The boardwalk is a very American concept. A coast side pathway, with the ocean to one side and bars and amusements on the other, there are few as famous as the Atlantic Boardwalk in New Jersey. Below, we provide the history of this must-see location. 

Early Days of the Boardwalk

The boardwalk was initially designed as a barricade, protecting the hotels and carriages from sand whipped up by the fierce Atlantic winds. The state began to create a wooden structure for this purpose and erected it in 1870. However, it was temporary and was taken down in the winter months. It was also forbidden for commercial premises to be constructed close to it. 

All of that soon changed. People could now walk out of their hotels and onto the beach without the sand itself causing an issue, and they loved it. As the tourists came in, the boardwalk area soon became prime real estate and before long, was a haven for holidaymakers. Early bathers would wear wool flannel bathing suits, with censors roaming to tell those brave tourists who bared too much flesh to cover up. 

Despite rebuilding over the years due to storms and excessive use, the boardwalk stayed and continued to prosper well into the post-WWII boom years. Stars such as Frank Sinatra and Marilyn Monroe would visit, making it the place to be seen

The Casino Years

By the 70s, the boardwalk had fallen on hard times. Tourists were starting to go elsewhere and its glitz and glamour had faded somewhat. Thus, the decision was made to allow casinos to be built, making it one of the few places in the US to do so. This move quickly brought investment to the boardwalk, with the restaurants and hotels soon reopening and upgrading as guests flocked to play on the tables. 

This would not be the only time New Jersey would forge ahead with innovation in the gambling industry. In 2013, along with Delaware and Nevada, New Jersey became one of the first states to have its own internet-based casinos. While they were fledgling, this early foray has now given rise to a billion-dollar industry. If you use a New Jersey online casino today, you will find a host of modern games, providing a wide range of choices including side bets and even live dealer games. Providing a convenience not found when visiting a physical establishment, it has transformed the industry and New Jersey helped do it. 

The Boardwalk Today

Today, the boardwalk remains the longest and oldest boardwalk in the US, clocking in at around 5.5 miles. It is peppered with amusements, bars, restaurants, and hotels. It is also a great focal point for residents, visitors, and the rest of the US.

The boardwalk is often used for marathons and fitness events, including triathlons and Ironman races. In August when the weather heats up, the Atlantic City Airshow takes place every year and you can see classic and modern aircraft jetting over the sky in a spectacular display. For music lovers, from June to September, it is home to the Boardwalk Summer Entertainment Series of concerts. 

A true icon of New Jersey and the country, the Atlantic City Boardwalk is worth a visit at any time of year. Simply take a stroll, or plan your visit to coincide with one of the many events. You may even find your own special, hidden gem amongst the waterfront attractions. 

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