Atlantic City, New Jersey, a seaside resort and convention city. It is in Atlantic County, about 95 miles (153 km) south of New York City. Atlantic City lies at the north end of Absecon Beach, an island in the Atlantic Ocean. Bridges span the Intracoastal Waterway and shallow bays that separate the city from the mainland.
Each year Atlantic City entertains millions of tourists and conventioneers. The famous boardwalk (more than five miles [8 km] long and up to 60 feet [18 m] wide) runs along the beach and is bordered by hotels, nightclubs, theaters, and gambling casinos. From the boardwalk five long piers, lined with various amusement parlors, jut into the water. The Convention Center is the scene of the annual Miss America beauty contest.
Atlantic City was settled as a fishing village in 1788. It grew as a seaside resort after completion of a railway from Philadelphia in 1854. In 1977 the state legislature passed a law permitting casino gambling in the city; the first casino opened there the following year.