Visiting Atlantic City During United 2012
United 2012 in Atlantic City (September 8-14) includes several recreational activities and social events for at-tendees. However, delegates may find some downtime to venture out and see what the eclectic city has to offer.
Located in southern New Jersey along the Atlantic Ocean, Atlantic City, with its cool breezes and sandy beaches, is an energetic resort town. On July 1, 1854, the first public train arrived in Atlantic City, signaling the beginning of the town’s rich history. Because the city is close to other major metropolises such as Phila-delphia, New York City and Baltimore, many traveled to the seashore by train. In 1870, the Atlantic City Boardwalk was created. Surprisingly, its original pur-pose was to keep sand out of beachfront hotels and railroad passenger cars. Commerce was not allowed on the Boardwalk, and for many years, it was taken apart and stored away during the winter months. After being rebuilt several times, it now stands as a nearly 5-mi.-long steel, concrete and wooden structure filled with a number of attractions.
After World War II, Atlantic City began to decline, and to bring back visitors, gambling was legalized in 1972. By the 1980s, dozens of casinos were opened, bringing with them many other development projects in the city. After another long lull, the Borgata opened in 2003, the first new casino to be built in Atlantic City since 1990. Several other developments have since ex-panded the city’s attractions beyond gambling. Shop-ping, dining, golfing and beach-combing are among visitors’ favored pastimes.
The Pier Shops at Caesars located on the Boardwalk is a newly developed Atlantic City shopping mall that features designer retail shops. The Walk is another re-cently developed retail and entertainment complex lo-cated in the center of the city.
The Boardwalk, as expected, is a key location for entertainment. Steel Pier, originally known for show-casing top entertainers and novelty acts, offers a carnival-type experience, including amusement rides. For those bringing kids along, Central Pier Arcade and Speedway and Atlantic City Mini Golf are two family hotspots. Stroll up to Garden Pier, known as the arts and cultural center of the Boardwalk, to see the Atlantic City His-torical Museum and Atlantic City Art Center. Spanish Renaissance architecture and colorful gardens attract calm crowds, compared to the more upbeat downtown Boardwalk area. While at Garden Pier, take a tour of the Absecon Lighthouse, New Jersey’s tallest and the country’s third-tallest lighthouse. Historic Gardner’s Basin is around the corner along the bay. The bayside mari-time park offers shopping, dining, fishing, sightseeing boat rides and the Atlantic City Aquarium.
For an early morning excursion, rent a bicycle, as bike riding is permitted on the Boardwalk between 6:30 a.m. and 10:00 a.m. daily. As a lunchtime outing, stroll Atlantic City’s beaches for a fun time in the sun. Bring a boogie board or take surfing lessons, while spending time by the water. Choose from one of 10 popular golf courses to play on in Atlantic City. Dining
Dining in Atlantic City runs the gamut. The city of-fers everything from popular themed restaurants like the Hard Rock Café to authentic Mexican and Chinese cuisine and several fine-dining restaurants provided in many of the casinos. For lunch, pay a visit to the popu-lar White House Sub Shop, a South Jersey sub hotspot where several famous figures have visited, including the late Frank Sinatra and George Clooney. Eat when walking along the Boardwalk, where Jersey-style hot dogs, pretzels and pizzas are available. Visit some of the many seafood restaurants, or stay a couple of days after United to attend the Atlantic City Seafood Festival held at Bader Field on September 15-16. Transportation
Traveling in Atlantic City is easy and affordable. The Jitney bus transit system is an inexpensive way to travel from hotels to city destinations, offering 24-hr.
service seven days a week. Taxis are also available throughout the city. When visiting the Boardwalk, hop on one of the manually pushed buggies called Rolling Chairs, a fun mode of transportation used since the late 1800s. Tours are available by bus or trolley to see popular sights throughout the city.
Atlantic City is not just about gaming and casinos. The city’s long heritage of good food and fun times by the beach can make for a memorable vacation. United’s destination may prove as exciting as the convention itself. More information can be found at United’s web-site: www.unitedconvention.com or the city’s convention and visitor’s authority website: www.atlanticcitynj.com.