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Since Resorts Casino Hotel, the region's first casino, opened in May 1978, Atlantic City has become known the world over as a first-rate casino/gaming mecca. Celebrating its 20th anniversary of casino/gaming this year, Atlantic City boasts 13 casinos, which collectively pay out an average of $97 million everyday to visitors. In addition, the city is home to the newly-opened Atlantic City Convention Center, miles of white sandy beaches, and the world famous Boardwalk. And, there is much more to this region called "America's Favorite Playground," where nearly 37 million people visit each year.
The newest casino, The Wild, Wild West Casino at Bally's Park Place, is modeled after a late 19th century prosperous mining town. The new 116,000-square foot building includes shop facades, such as a blacksmith shop and a dressmaker, and an enormous man-made mountain that you must walk through to enter the casino. The New Atlantic City Convention Center has 500,000 square feet of contiguous exhibit space-more than any other convention center from Atlanta to Boston-and an additional 45 meeting rooms. The Convention Center also has the latest business communications technology, along with other amenities such as indoor parking, and an adjacent rail transportation station.
You can cover the length of the Boardwalk by foot, rolling chair, or bicycle, and drop in and out of the many gift shops, arcades, eateries, and sweet shops. Don't head home without a box of saltwater taffy, or a bag of fresh-roasted peanuts, both of which are Boardwalk institutions.
Don't know what to do for dinner? Grab a bite at the Hard Rock Cafe, Planet Hollywood, the All-Star Cafe, the resort hotels, or the many fine restaurants throughout the region. The fun continues well into the early morning hours, as you can take in a show at all of the resorts and see the likes of Tina Turner, Lorrie Morgan, the Beach Boys, and Wayne Newton, or catch a magic show or Broadway production
After a day inside at the resorts, try your luck at thoroughbred horse racing at the Atlantic City Race Course in nearby Mays Landing. If you're looking for yet another change of pace, tour the Renault Winery in Egg Harbor City, the oldest working winery in the country, featuring a gourmet restaurant, a gift shop, and wine-tasting weekends and festivals. To complete your tour of the area's vineyards, visit the Tomasello Winery in Hammonton, and the Balic Winery in Mays Landing.
Culture, art, history, and Mother Nature are alive in the Atlantic City area. The Atlantic City Art Center & Historical Museum on Garden Pier at the Boardwalk has three art galleries. More than 1,000 items bring to life the resort's over 100-year history through photographs of past hotels and nightclubs, gowns and crowns of past Miss Americas, and exhibits on African-American history. Art enthusiasts will truly enjoy discovering the Florence Valore Miller Art Center, also on Garden Pier. For a bit of the quirky, browse through the hundreds of exhibits at Ripley's Believe it or Not! Museum on the Boardwalk. Atlantic City's Boardwalk Convention Hall is an American landmark, where the nationally-televised Miss America pageant is held annually.
Another integral part of the life and history of Atlantic City is the Absecon Lighthouse, where restoration of the 141-year-old landmark is underway. In Margate, visit the world-famous 65-foot pachyderm, Lucy the Elephant. A National Historic Landmark, Lucy holds artifacts from South Jersey history. At the Noyes Museum in nearby Oceanville, you can see an outstanding display of 19th and 20th century American fine and folk art, and vintage bird decoys.
If you want to see the beauty of nature up close, the Edwin B. Forsythe National Wildlife Refuge sits on over 22,000 acres and is an excellent spot for bird watching, wildlife viewing, and hiking. The Marine Mammal Stranding Center in Brigantine rescues and returns stranded marine life to their natural environments, and features replicas of game fish, marine life, and has educational exhibits. The Wetlands Institute near Stone Harbor is situated on 6,000 acres of coastal wetlands, and lets visitors explore nature in laboratories, exhibits, and natural habitats.
You'll find lots of family fun at the TW Sports Amusement Park in McKee City, and at Storybook Land, just 10 miles west of Atlantic City. If you want to add history to your family activities, the Towne of Historic Smithville and The Village Green, 10 miles north of Atlantic City, will charm you back to the 19th century. Stroll down cobblestone paths through 60 shops which are replicas of colonial buildings.
The region is also a haven for golfers with dozens of superior courses including Brigantine Golf Links on the barrier island of Brigantine, Greate Bay Golf Resort & Country Club in Somers Point, The Seaview Marriott Resort in Absecon, Mays Landing Golf Club in McKee City, and Blue Heron Pine Golf Club in Cologne.
Your visit to the Greater Atlantic City Region will give you a taste of every region of the state. Soak in our history, meander up and down the Boardwalk, taste fine wine at our vineyards, enjoy our wildlife, find all the streets on the Monopoly board, and stroll our sandy beaches. However you fill your days and nights in the Greater Atlantic City Region, you will treasure the moments spent along our shores.