This post was written in partnership with Hotels.com. Atlantic City here we come! I had heard that for many years growing up. Every year this location was showcased in both movies and the annual airing of the Miss America contest. Atlantic City is definitely an American icon that everyone should find their way to once in their life.
Why is Atlantic City Famous?
Atlantic City is on the coast of the United States. This iconic little coastal resort city in Atlantic County, New Jersey, United State was a bit sleepy. Then it became the home of casinos and the famous boardwalk. It had always been famous for its beaches.
One little known fact is that Atlantic City inspired the USA version of the extremely famous board game Monopoly. When it comes to the streets names it is especially familiar.
Since 1921, Atlantic City has been the home of the Miss America pageant. I was able to visit along with my daughter a few years ago. She was Miss Reigning America Teen and we won a trip to the event. She was able to sit right up on the front row and was seen by all. We go so many phone calls saying I SEE YOU!
One not so little known fact is that in 1976, New Jersey voters legalized casino gambling in Atlantic City. The first casino opened two years later. Then another one and another one and so on. People were then visiting even when it was not beach weather or the vacation season. Atlantic City had now become a four season place to visit.
Where to Stay in Atlantic City?
There are a lot of places to pick from in Atlantic City. You definitely do not want to stay over in Philadelphia and just make a day visit. The journey across the bridge takes much longer than anyone expects. Make sure to find a hotel in Atlantic City for your visit to be seamless.
Favorite Free Activity
While those at home tune in to watch the crowning of Miss America on their TVs, the local residents look forward to getting an earlier view to their favorite contestants. The annual Miss America Show Us Your Shoes Parade is more delightful than the actual day of the pageant almost and the contestants appear to be having so much more fun.
The parade began back at the first pageant but it has changed and evolved just like the competition. Do not get me started on that! The earlier parades featured huge extravagant floats. The current parade features the contestants riding in cars – much like they do in their local parades. That does not mean no effort is made to take it up a notch. They deck out the car and themselves to a level never seen before in the pageant organization or on any of their other states. The dress up to the max in an over the top costume representing their states and/or their own interests.
Each contestant’s costume includes the most elaborate pair of shoes many have ever seen or worn. Most are so extravagant they cannot be walked in at any moment. Parade viewers line the Boardwalk and scream to the contestants to “Show us your shoes.” It is a fun time by all and no fee is needed to view. You can get reservations for some reserved seating to make sure you have a good spot.
Per the Atlantic City Experience, local lore states that in the 1970s or 1980s, the tired contestants had taken to wearing slippers under their gowns as they rode down the Boardwalk. Parade watchers on New York Avenue, viewing the event from a balcony, noticed this and encouraged the women to show off their footwear. Soon after, the shoes became as important a part – if not more so – than the costumes.
The Famous Atlantic City Boardwalk
The Atlantic City Boardwalk may just be the most famous boardwalk in history. The Atlantic City Boardwalk is the famed promenade known for the roaring sea and so many drool worthy confection shops. It is also a cherished property of the most popular board game in the world Monopoly. If you are in Atlantic City and do not know what to do – just head down to the boardwalk. Something is always going on there. My daughter and friends were on the boardwalk and ended up on the national news for an interview. It is a national place to see and be seen.
Per the official Atlantic City website it was surprisingly built only to be anything a solution to keep the sand out of the ritzy beachfront hotels and the Camden and Atlantic’s railroad passenger cars. A fed-up railroad conductor and hotel owner first petitioned the city council in 1870, asking that a mile long walk be established. It is not a historical famous destination and full of places to eat and explore.
How to Get There
Atlantic City does have a smaller airport, but many enjoy flying into Philadelphia. Once in Philly one would need to take a tax, rent a car or Uber across the bridge to Atlantic City. This does take a bit of time, so please plan accordingly. Do need to check out your options and see if the Atlantic City International Airport is the right thing for you. Landing in Philadelphia does allow for a quick visit to this historical city and a quick visit to the Liberty Bell.
Traveling During Covid
As travel today remains uncertain, please keep your safety and the safety of others in mind at all times. If you are comfortable with traveling, please travel responsibly and within regulation as any travel is at your own risk.
If you do decide to travel at this time, here are our recommendations:
- Wear a face mask.
- Bring hand sanitizer and wash your hands on a regular basis.
- Check official websites before your trip for the latest updates on policies, closures and status of local businesses.
- Book a hotel with free cancellation in case you need to change your plans at the last minute.