The Jersey Shore Play in the sand or on the boardwalk
Last but not least, there’s Atlantic City. The city by the sea was created in the 1850s as a seaside escape and has worn a lot of hats over the years: from the glamorous 1920s (which marked the birth of A.C.’s signature event, the Miss America Pageant, last held here in 2005) to the 1930s (when the value of Boardwalk property lent the city’s street names to the game of Monopoly) through the swingin’ postwar years (when Dean Martin and Jerry Lewis first teamed up at Skinny D’Amato’s legendary 500 Club) and on past the gritty 1960s to the post-1977 renaissance, when casinos saved the city’s life. Today, A.C. is a pastiche of all those things, juxtaposing remnants of its golden era with the pseudo-glam escapism of 21st-century resorts and a certain retro seediness that’s tantalisingly attractive.
Far from the Boardwalk, the billion-dollar Borgata resort and casino opened its doors in 2003, setting a new A.C. standard with its sleek styling, luxurious rooms, 125,000-square-foot gaming floor, huge spa and top-drawer restaurants. Two large theatres bring in top-name acts and prizefights. Elsewhere in town, The Quarter (an adjunct of the Tropicana) and the Pier at Caesars are entertainment complexes full of theatres, restaurants, comedy and dance clubs, and inviting shops.