Atlantic City By Junket
Did you know Atlantic City is the birthplace of the Miss America Pageant? Or that saltwater taffy was invented here? Or that you can gamble from the comfort of your resort bed?
Crown Jewel of the Jersey Shore
A family-oriented beach destination since it was founded in the 19th century, Atlantic City is New Jersey’s most recognized seaside resort town. Created as a health retreat for those escaping urban life to breathe the invigorating sea air, Atlantic City grew into a fashionable vacation spot to lounge on the beach or try your luck at the gaming tables.
Atlantic City’s streets were the inspiration for the locations of the original Monopoly game, and its unique mixture of gambling, carnival attractions, and seaside resorts earned Atlantic City the title of “the world’s playground.”
Test Your Luck
A wholesome, family-friendly beach town during the day, Atlantic City is transformed with the evening sunset into a sparkling celebration of excitement, as numerous revue theaters like the Circus Maximus provide glitzy entertainment, live concerts, and sporting events. Dance the night away at one of the many beachside nightclubs or have a laugh at the Atlantic City Comedy Club.
Let the darker side of the city take hold as the Junket Atlantic City Experience immerses you in a thrilling exploration of Atlantic City’s ghost lore and haunted locations, impressive cultural scene, and the mysteries of what was once “the world’s playground.”
Discover the city’s roller-coaster history and eerie local legends on the unforgettable Atlantic City Ghosts tour, and explore some of the most haunted places in town where you will:
Uncover the shocking sightings of Bally’s Hotel and Casino
Encounter the spiritual remnants of the Warner Theatre
Unearth the mysteries of Boardwalk Hall
Discover the dark energy of Chicken Bone Beach
And so much more…
In addition to the Junket Atlantic City Experience, the city offers a wealth of dynamic attractions, historical landmarks, amusements, and arts. Atlantic City also features a wide range of one-of-a-kind activities, such as:
From its humble origins as a health resort to its rise as a casino boomtown and beyond, Atlantic City has long beckoned to those in search of escape from everyday life.
Atlantic City History
Long before the clanging of slot machines and squeals of excitement drifted from amusement park rides, the island where Atlantic City is located was the long-time summer home of the Leni-Lenape Indians. These Algonquian-speaking summer residents named the island Absegami, meaning “little water,” because the opposite shore can be seen across the bay.
The land was largely ignored by early colonial settlers in the area, as it could only be reached by boat. It is generally accepted that the first permanent residence built by a colonist was the home of Jeremiah Leeds, constructed in 1783.
Big Fun on Little Water
By 1850, sea air and salt water were recognized as conducive to good health, and New Jersey physician Dr. Jonathan Pitney envisioned a bathing village and health resort on the island, and soon developed a land deal with local businessmen. A railroad charter was secured, and a few years later, the public began flocking to the new travel destination known as Atlantic City.
The small town’s proximity to large cities like New York City and Boston, combined with inexpensive train access, invited thousands of visitors to flee hot urban areas and enjoy summer pleasures in Atlantic City each year. Its popularity grew and investors soon began to build luxury hotels, restaurants, and amusements for the whole family. The world’s first boardwalk was constructed in 1870 as an elevated wooden walkway designed to keep sand out of the hotel lobbies. Candy shops and carnival rides opened along the boardwalk, cementing Atlantic City as a major vacation resort town.
“There’s something that happens to you when you come into Atlantic City. You can smell the marsh, you can smell the salt air. It has healing properties. And when you get here, it just opens your lungs up like you would not believe.” – Ralph E. Hunter
The 1920s were a Golden Age for Atlantic City – theatrical productions and music revues became the tryouts for major Broadway shows, and the city’s nightlife drew in the best and brightest in the world of jazz. A second railway was installed to help funnel the loads of tourists heading to the tiny city, and massive hotels, offering entertainment of all kinds, both legal and illegal, lined the swath of the Jersey shore.
What would happen to “the world’s playground” once the 18th amendment went into effect? Alcohol, gambling, and other vices went largely unregulated during Prohibition.
Thanks to the corruption of almost every government and law enforcement official, Atlantic City would thrive during the fourteen-year existence of Prohibition – due in a large part to the organized crime syndicates that rose to power in the mid-20th century.
The Playground Bully
Atlantic City’s mob kingpin was Enoch “Nucky” Johnson, who profited off the sale of goods he determined most in demand – whiskey, wine, women, song, and slot machines. Between 1926 and 1933, some 40% of illegal alcohol brought into the United States came through Atlantic City. However, the town wouldn’t just thrive off of mob activity in the local arena. In 1929, it played host to the most significant mob leaders of the 20th century as they convened to align the numerous and disparate gangs in the northeast.
The end of Prohibition and the beginning of World War II began a decline in the city’s prosperity. The decline of train travel and the advent of the automobile meant tourists were free to explore other parts of the country, and Atlantic City soon lost its unique appeal. By 1970, Atlantic City was in disrepair until it found a new way to distinguish itself – as a hub for gambling.
Legal casino gambling in New Jersey was limited to Atlantic City in 1976 and at its peak, there were 15 major casinos built within the city limits, some of which are still open today. As the only other location for legal gambling besides Nevada, Atlantic City saw a revitalization in tourism, especially after New Jersey became one of the first states to legalize sports gambling. The city has been making strides ever since to reclaim the shine of the glittering jewel of a playground it was.
Atlantic City Today
Gaming Capital of the East Coast
“Hello Atlantic City, your lights are fireflies in my heart.” – Unknown
Whether betting the farm at the Blackjack tables, indulging yourself in a decadent spa service, or soaring high above the water on a classic Ferris wheel, you’ll never be bored in Atlantic City. From one of the most iconic amusement parks in the nation to luxurious gambling resorts like the Borgata Hotel Casino and Spa, Atlantic City is a treat for the senses, mingling the scent of saltwater taffy with the tang of ocean breezes, overlaid with the clanging of thousands of slot machines. It even has a history of playing host to notorious gangsters like Al Capone and Nucky Johnson, who kept the gaming tables open and the liquor flowing through Prohibition.
Like its Nevada counterpart, Atlantic City is a must-see destination for players of the game of chance. Posh card tables and spinning-reel adventures are currently available at several brands of casinos in the city. Luxury hotels such as the Tropicana Casino Resort strive to hold your complete attention, offering many opportunities for dining, shopping, theaters, and nightclubs.
Not into gambling? Atlantic City also offers a wide selection of cultural experiences and entertainment. Admire 100 different species of fish and marine animals at the Atlantic City Aquarium or take in exhibits of the bizarre and unbelievable at Ripley’s Believe It or Not! Odditorium. A stroll along the Atlantic City Boardwalk reveals a wide array of old-fashioned activities, from carnival rides and retro games to 18th-century exhibits documenting the city’s creation at the Atlantic City Historical Museum.
Beaches and Boardwalk
Indulge in luxury shopping at The Playground or go parasailing at Historic Gardner’s Basin. Soak up the sun at the city’s namesake beach and take home some signature saltwater taffy from James Candy Company. Built in 1929, Boardwalk Hall stands as an architectural treasure with its Art Deco design and 137-foot-high barrel vault ceiling. It also contains a 33,000-pipe organ, the largest musical instrument in the world.
During summer, the biggest draw for visitors is the beaches, from the upscale atmosphere of Cape May to the tranquil views of Stone Harbor Beach. The coastline to the south of the Boardwalk features pure white sand, ocean water pleasant for swimming and surfing for half the year, and ideal conditions for sport and recreational fishing. Lounge in the warm sand, breathe in the tang of the salt air and feel the restorative energy of Atlantic City as it was designed to be enjoyed.
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