From the Boardwalk to the Bay, Atlantic City, New Jersey has been drawing
people to its shore for over a century.  This major resort
city, 120-miles south of New York City on Absecon Island,
exudes a small town charm coupled with an international big city

The home of the Miss America Pageant, Atlantic City was founded
in the late 19th century as a resort destination, but it fell out of favor
in the last half of the 20th century.  After legalized gambling
was revived in 1976, casinos began popping up on the Atlantic City

The Atlantic City Boardwalk, the world’s first boardwalk and the
backbone of this seaside resort city, served as the inspiration for
the original version of the board game Monopoly. The streets in
this world famous board game, take their names from Atlantic City’s

Atlantic City’s 4-mile long Boardwalk, the oldest in the United States, is
home to most of the city’s casinos.  While walking is the
most popular way of navigating the boardwalk, there are also
old-fashioned shaded surreys that can be rolled up and down the
length of the Boardwalk by experienced guides. The rolling chair
was introduced in the 1880’s and was the only vehicle permitted on
the Boardwalk at the time. It was once a sign of luxury for
vacationers to ride in a rolling chair. A ride in a rolling chair
on the Boardwalk is a great way to get to a particular destination or
to relax and enjoy a scenic tour.  National Geographic called it
the “grandfather of boardwalks”.


Several piers radiate from the Boardwalk.  The Steel Pier is
a legendary part of Atlantic City history.  Delivering
cutting edge family fun, it features both classic and new
amusement park rides, games and food, The Garden Pier is known as
the arts and cultural center of the Atlantic City Boardwalk complete
with Atlantic City Historical Museum and Atlantic City Art Center.

“Here she is…Miss America…” Who can forget Bert Parks crooning that song
as the each new Miss America was crowned?  Parks
hosted the annual contest from 1955 to 1979.  Today, a
bronze statue of the iconic Parks in the garden fronting the Sheraton Atlantic
City Convention Center Hotel, still crowns visitors and sings
his song as you stand beneath the crown he is holding.


Within the hotel, in the lobby rotunda, is the Miss America
Dress Exhibit featuring some of the dresses (or replicas) worn by former
Miss America’s.  Miss America 2010 Caressa Cameron has
loaned her original stunning yellow satin mermaid-style dress to the


Dress of Miss America 2014

In the second floor rotunda of the hotel is the “Shoe Bar”
that displays the collection of unusual shoes worn by the contestants in
the Miss America Parade.  During the parade,
spectators would shout, “Show us your shoes!”  Their shoes are
elaborately decorated with themes from the states the
girls represent. 

Miss America Parade Shoes

I reveled in my accommodations in Atlantic
City.  Revel Atlantic City Hotel gives new meaning to the
word “revel”.   Atlantic City’s newest casino hotel
has raised the bar on pure pleasure.  It is Atlantic
City’s premium destination…a luxury hotel/resort that just
happens to have a casino.

Revel’s futuristic design and décor makes most hotel/casinos seem
outdated. Light flows through floor-to-ceiling windows…smoking areas
are well-planned… rooms are high tech with drapes, lights, and
thermostats all controlled by the TV remote.

This 57-story hotel, the tallest structure in Atlantic City and
the second tallest in the state of New Jersey, is the
northernmost casino on the Atlantic
City Boardwalk.  Because of its location on the north end
of the Boardwalk, this visually stunning venue is
a peaceful respite from the hustle and bustle of the lower Boardwalk.


Relaxing, a word that is not de rigueur at most
casino/hotels, comes easily at Revel…either in the SkyGarden,
an outdoor oasis 114 ft. above sea level between sand and
sky…on the sandy beach…at the In-Out swimming pool that begins indoors and
continues outside…or in the Spa.

Aaaahhh the Spa!  Exhale, the Mindbody Spa at Revel, is a
spa dedicated to elevating wellbeing.  Within this
stunning 35,000 square-foot sanctuary, you can socialize in the
healing co-ed bathhouse, restore your mind and body in one of 32 spa
rooms, and revive in the mind body studio and gym that offers a
plethora of classes.

Exhale has a saying: “The deeper the inner journey, the greater the outer
results.”  Well, let me tell you, my Swedish-based
Fusion Massage provided me with an unparalleled hour of
relaxation and great outer results.  And my Power Facial made me
feel 10-years younger…even if I didn’t look it.


And of course, what’s a grand hotel without grand restaurants?  With
Revel’s 10 dining venues to choose from, I had major decisions to
make.   But I came up with a couple of real winners.

American Cut is a modern American steakhouse where Iron Chef
Marc Forgione puts a delicious spin on traditional favorites in a
sexy and vibrant atmosphere. The Art-Deco-inspired main dining
room features an open show-kitchen and stunning views of the

Azure by Allegretti transports the allure and high style of
the Mediterranean to the Jersey Shore.  Alain Allegretti, a
native of Nice, France, combines his perfect French technique with
his Italian heritage to create a fresh and flavorful spin on Riviera

When I finally pulled myself away from Revel’s pampering paradise, I found
lots of food and fun in the outside world. 

The Knife and Fork restaurant has led a long and colorful life in Atlantic
City for over 100 years.   The distinctive four-story Flemish
structure was originally established in 1912 as an exclusive men’s
club.  In 1927, the club was converted into a public restaurant,
which eventually hosted celebrities the likes of Frank Sinatra
and Burt Lancaster.  The Knife and Fork signature dinner of
chowder, salad, and surf and turf was a winner.


For cheap eats, you can’t beat the affordable lunches at The
Irish Pub.  And the food is as great as the
prices.  The history of the Irish Pub dates back to the
19th century and its walls display the memorabilia to prove it.
 It has survived wicked weather and wars.  It has
hosted the famous and infamous.  Lest I forget,
this establishment that has been called “America’s Greatest Pub”
has an unending array of beers and Irish coffee.


You can shop ‘til you drop at The Pier Shops at
Caesars. This upscale mall, on the historic Boardwalk, was built on
what was once an industrial pier. This upscale shopping destination
features such world-class names in fashion as Gucci, Louis Vuitton,
Michael Kors, and Burberry.  The more budget-minded can make their
way to the Tanger Outlets, right behind Caesars casino.

When it’s time for a pickup and you need a sugar rush, head to
Fralinger’s, the most famous name in Salt Water Taffy since the
1880’s. Legend has it that Salt Water Taffy received its name by
accident. A young candy merchant opened a taffy stand on the
first Atlantic City Boardwalk – then just two steps above sea
level. One night a generous tide brought in surf that sprayed sea
foam over his establishment and dampened his stock of candy. The next
morning, the merchant was dismayed to find his merchandise wet and
responded to a girl’s request for taffy with a sarcastic but witty,
“you mean Salt Water Taffy.” The name stuck!

Lucy the Elephant, located along the beach in Josephine Harron
Park in the nearby town of Margate, is a 6-story high building in the
shape of an elephant. Built in 1881, and listed on the National Park
Registry of Historical Landmarks, this is a piece of Americana not to
be missed.  This iconic elephant, whose picture is painted on
the town’s water tower, survived the 2012 Hurricane Sandy.
Guided tours take you inside Lucy the Elephant.  If you are
wondering how you get inside an elephant, the answer is
simple…through her front door.  If you are wondering how
you see outside from within an elephant, the answer is
also simple…through her window eyes.   I love Lucy!


The 157-year old Absecon Lighthouse is New Jersey’s tallest Lighthouse and
the third tallest in the country. If you choose to ascend the 228
steps of the Absecon Lighthouse, you’ll have breathtaking views of
the Atlantic City skyline and up top you’ll come face-to-face with
the original first-order Fresnel Lens, first lit in 1857.


A trip to the real Jersey Shore beat watching the TV reality show of the
same name.  Don’t take your vision of Atlantic City from
that show, but rather from the Monopoly board: “Do Not Pass Go”…but
do go directly to Atlantic City!

JANET STEINBERG is winner of 40 national travel writing awards and is a Travel Consultant
with The Travel Authority in Mariemont, Ohio