Atlantic City (AC) may be the largest city on the Shore, but the vision of 'Vegas on the East Coast' has foundered and casinos gone bankrupt. But the hotels can be a bargain and the lovely beach is free and often empty because most visitors are indoors playing the slots. And in contrast with many homogeneous beach enclaves, the population here is more diverse.
As for the Prohibition-era glamour depicted in the HBO series Boardwalk Empire, there's little trace – though you can still ride along the boardwalk on a nifty wicker rolling chair. As you do, consider that the first boardwalk was built here, and if Baltic Ave rings a bell, it's because the game Monopoly uses AC's street names. A later contribution: the Miss America pageant, though it's now held in Vegas; the Miss'd America drag pageant fills the gap.