Home REVIEWS Atlantic City is Still a Great Vacation Destination
Atlantic City is Still a Great Vacation Destination PDF Print E-mail

I can remember as far back to the late 20s, when my parents took me to Atlantic City. Everyone in Philly called it The Shore, which meant that stretch of sand by the ocean 60 miles away, backed by a wide wooden boardwalk and a line of stores with goodies that included the famed salt water taffy. One of my earliest memories is seeing men on the beach or flopping on the waves in two-piece bathing suits, and women all bundled up in bathing caps, shirts, skirts, stockings and rubber slippers.

Atlantic City girls, 1909


Then, right after we came home from World War II, my brother and I were rewarded for our service with one free week at my aunt’s dinky little hotel just two blocks away from the Boardwalk. Our room was closet-sized and was tucked behind the check-in counter. But, we were fortunate, because the room usually rented out for $7 a week.

Although our family has since scattered all over the map, we still get back about once a year for reunions, conventions or just to eat fresh pan-sauteed crab cakes once again at such great old restaurants as Dock’s Oyster House.

Atlantic City’s history goes much further back than the 1920s. For centuries it was the home of the Lenni-Lenapes, a Native American tribe. Then, in the late 18th Century, English settlers founded a village there. A century later, someone got the great idea that the ten miles sand and sea would make a great vacation site for residents of nearby big cities, including Philadelphia and New York. When the railroad came through in the 1850s, it made a glorious one-hour summertime ride from the hot, sweaty city cement sidewalks to the cool, breezy fresh air, surf and sand of Atlantic City.

When the famous Boardwalk was built in 1870 and flanked by rows of souvenir stores, hot dog stands, bath houses, amusement rides and luxury hotels, Atlantic City hit boom times. And there were also enticing one-penny picture postcards and James salt water taffy. In the 1920s, the Miss America Pageant put Altantic City on the world map. Adding to the glamor was the popular Monopoly game in the 1930s, that made Atlantic Avenue, Boardwalk, Pacific Avenue and other streets household names.

In the two decades after World War II, people turned from trains to airplanes for vacations in Florida and the Caribbean. When Las Vegas also burst on the scene as the gambling and entertainment capital, Atlantic City went through some hard times. Then gambling was permitted in 1974, and the city once more returned to its role as one of the most exciting vacation destinations in the U.S.

If you want to see the glory that was and is again Atlantic City, check with Travelocity, your travel agent or atlanticcitynj.com.

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