Hartford, Connecticut

Ariel view of Hartford Connecticut

Welcome to the Insurance Capital of the World! Hartford, Connecticut is not only the state capital but also the fourth largest city in the state. Hartford is the main city of the Greater Hartford metropolitan area, and has a population of over 100,000. it’s also one of the oldest cities in the United States, this means the city is filled with rich history for any visitor to enjoy.

The city houses many of the country’s oldest buildings, some of which include the oldest art museum’s. the oldest park is also located in Hartford, making it an excellent location for anyone visiting.

Hartford was also where Mark Twain would raise his family, he would remark about how he found the town to be beautiful. For a while, Hartford was one of the richest cities in the United States, many of its riches coming after the American Civil War. This was because Hartford was the home of one of America’s most famous arms makers, Colt’s Arm Manufacturing Company.

Hartford is now in a strange situation, while the Greater Hartford Area is one of the richest in the country, most of its population lives below the poverty line. Though you’ll find this is true of most major cities. Despite this, Hartford is filled with vibrant culture for any visitor to enjoy. Greater Hartford‘s is also filled with both high ranking universities and manufacturing companies, however Hartford is most known for its top tier insurance companies.

While an odd nickname, Hartford Connecticut is known for being the insurance capital of the world.

Many insurance companies built their main operating bases in Hartford due to its location. Connecticut is in between New York and Massachusetts, making it an ideal location for companies looking for a work force. With both New York‘s and Massachusetts’ concentration of workers, Hartford is perfect for insurance companies who mainly rely on blue collar workers. Recently, New Jersey has also become a prominent location for insurance companies, as it sits in between New York and Washington D.C.. This makes it one of the best states for insurance companies looking to extend their reach.

During colonial times Hartford operated as a trading center for both the Dutch and the English. For a while, Hartford would be sold around until 1636 where Hartford’s boundaries would be officially set. Then new docks were built, helping explode the trade market within the city.

Hartford would also have a prominent role during the industrial revolution. The city would begin to specialize in manufacturing precision parts used in automobiles, clocks, and even rifles. Colt’s Arm Manufacturing Company was stationed in Hartford Connecticut. Hartford was also known for its innovation, with many modern pieces of technology coming from that time. Some of these include rotator cuffs for machinery, gear transmission for vehicles, and even chucks that are used for drills.

In the early to mid 1900’s Hartford was hit by a flood and then a massive fire that killed over a hundred people. Then after World War II, a number of Puerto Ricans moved to Hartford, this drove a lot of its original residence to outer suburbs. This led to a decline in the main city, causing insurance companies to move their offices out.

Hartford would storm back into power following the establishment of the Hartford Graduate School. The city would then kick off a 4 decade long rebuilding process beginning with the reconstruction of the Cathedral of St. Joseph. Multiple colleges, and company buildings would be constructed, and many houses were turned into museums. Transit hubs were built and many skyscrapers began to pop up around the city, the most notable being City Place I. Connecticut’s insurance giants would move back in during this time, most famously the Phoenix Life Insurance Company. Most company’s would build their offices on Constitution Plaza.

Constitution Plaza is a mixed use development that is occupied by both retail and office buildings.

It was seen as the ideal urban environment and was often used as an example for what urban growth should look like. a mixed urban plaza were both vehicles and pedestrians can co-exist safely, while still allowing access to the road should any resident want to take a taxi home. The plaza is surrounded by a number of mid-twentieth century buildings that were mostly designed by Charles Dubose. Such buildings include the 100 Constitution Plaza, 200 Constitution Plaza, and many more. Though most residents would agree that the Phoenix Life Insurance Company Building is the staple of the plaza. Constitution Plaza also features a freestanding pavilion used by Trinity College as part of their campus, and a U shaped court that was repurposed to luxury apartments by the company Spectra in 2015. The plaza itself is connected via well kept walkways and has numerous large pedestrian areas that include pools, fountains, and even a clock tower. Constitution Plaza is now home to many restaurants and shops, turning it into a retail hotspot for anyone visiting Hartford.

Hartford’s main place to stay is currently the Marriott.

The Greater Hartford area is a name that is used to define a large boundary that covers both Hartford and even parts of New England. While Hartford is known for being home to insurance companies it has recently expanded its specialty. Recently Hartford is becoming one of the leading entities in the tech industry thanks to its location.

Connecticut ranks as the 3rd most educated state in the country, making it prime real-estate for both universities and tech companies. The Greater Hartford Area is home to many universities that specialize in many aspects. While mainly known for its medical universities, Hartford has recently expanded to other areas.

Hartford is now home to schools that specialize in areas such as tech, and manufacturing. Some of Hartford’s universities now specialize in healthcare. Some of these universities include UCONN, Trinity, and even St. Joseph’s. This has also made Hartford one of the best states for tech companies wanting to put to use the skills of graduates.

As of late, The Greater Hartford Area is becoming prominent in manufacturing and even aerospace. Some of these manufacturing companies include Reno Machine Co., Novo Metal Finishing Equipment, Hebert Engineering & Design and plenty more, including a couple of solar companies. While most manufacturing companies in Connecticut fabricate heavy machinery and metal framing, they also conduct plenty of precision manufacturing as well. Companies such as Synectic Product Development, focus on developing medical products for hospitals and clinics. Hartford’s expansion into tech and manufacturing has led to an explosion of vibrant urban culture in the city.

Hartford is now home to many different types of arts, whether that be music, writing or even performing arts. Hartford has many different genres of music for anyone to enjoy, from salsa, jazz, blues, indie, composer and even electric! The city also has plenty of shows for any visitor interested in Street Performances, acting, or even comedy shows! Hartford has a number of parades for anyone looking to vacation on a holiday. Some of which include, St. Patrick’s Day, Veterans Parade, and even a Puerto Rican Day Parade!

Hartford has many activities for any visitor. If you’re planning a vacation to Connecticut soon, it’s important to have good transportation there. Now a days most limo service’s will provide an hourly service for anyone looking to take a shopping trip.

Hartford is also packed with residents who work in the city, so you’ll often times find them taking a car service or taxi in order to avoid public transit. Most drivers in the city are very reliable, however if you want to be absolutely sure than you can also order a limo. Overall any visitor planning a visit to Connecticut should absolutely give Hartford a chance.

Atlantic City, New Jersey

Ariel view of Atlantic City coast line

Welcome to Atlantic City! with a population of just under 40,000 the city itself is best known for its casinos and beaches, while also have some of the best restaurants going alongside its boardwalk. The city is actually located on Absecon Island, located south of New Jersey. its also known by neighboring states around New Jersey as a hotspot during the summer. Atlantic City has gone through many remodeling and rebuilding phases, however it now stands as one of the most popular tourist destinations on the East Coast. So if you’re planning a vacation, don’t hesitate to take a taxi down to Atlantic City for a visit.

The Tropicana Casino in Atlantic City.

The Atlantic City region was originally the home of the Lenape people, an indigenous tribe in the area. It wasn’t until early 1780’s were Jeremiah Leeds constructed their first home in the neighborhood. Leed’s had actually bought the land from previous owner Thomas Budd, who actually believed the land was worthless. Thomas Budd was a navy veteran who led multiple expeditions around the globe, including some in the South Pole. Budd’s multiple expeditions earned several features to be named after him, one of which being Budd Coast located in Antarctica.

It wasn’t until the 1850’s where the idea for a resort town would come to fruition. Shortly after in 1853, the name Atlantic City was given to the town. soon after developers would move into the area in hopes of building up the city as quickly as possible.

Atlantic City is located in Southern New Jersey which made it prime real estate for anyone looking to build there. Hotels became eager to open their doors, some of which would house guest before the building was even finished with construction. Atlantic City’s first set of hotels would go up the same year the town was named. Then a year later the first railway would begin to bring visitors over.

Train service was provided by the Camden and Atlantic Railroad, which helped connect Atlantic City with Philadelphia.

The first boardwalk was officially built in the 1870’s and it was actually built along the beach in order to keep sand out of hotels. After a while the boardwalk would slowly be removed and replaced and overtime it was made wider and longer in order to make it more comfortable for visitors. In the same year the first road that connected Atlantic City to the rest of the mainland was built. The road itself was tolled, visitors would have to pay a 30 cent fee to pass. Eventually, a new road would be built, this one being toll free.

Dr. Jonathan Pitney and Samuel Richards are typically seen as the fathers of Atlantic City, as they were some of the first to build in the town. Dr. Pitney was a Columbia university graduate, who helped push Atlantic City by promoting it as a medical retreat. He would often go to Absecon Island in order to treat patients.

Dr. Pitney would often go by rowboat, and during these times he got an idea to start a retreat. After getting help from Richard Osborne, a civil engineer born in London. they began to create designs for a large-scale resort. The designs intrigued local landowner Samuel Richards, who was a prominent figure in South Jersey at the time. Samuel Richards helped Jonathan Pitney reach investors for the project and even donated towards the creation himself. Samuels also secured the charter needed to transport people to Atlantic City and even invested in the Camden-Atlantic Railroad. Once the Camden-Atlantic Railroad was built Atlantic City would begin to bring in guests. The first group to stay at Atlantic City were carefully selected by both Dr. Jonathan Pitney and Samuel Richards.

The Absecon Lighthouse is a lighthouse located north of Atlantic City, and is the tallest lighthouse in New Jersey. Construction of Absecon Lighthouse began in 1854 and first lit up in 1857. The lighthouse was also heavily lobbied by Dr. Pitney after the wreck of Powhattan. The Powhattan sank after encountering a storm off the coast of New Jersey, it was carrying 200 migrants before going down in April 1854. This event led to the creation of the Absecon Lighthouse.

The Absecon Lighthouse ran for more than 75 years before being deactivated. The lighthouse is no longer used for navigational purposes and instead has been turned to a visitation center with an indoor museum. The Absecon Lighthouse also offers several programs to scouts and group tours, including an overnight program. The overturning of the lighthouse was overseen by Jack E. Boucher, an American photographer who made a career of preserving historic sights. Recently, the lighthouse went through an extensive renovation program, going as far as to replicate the living quarters of the lightkeeper’s dwelling. Nowadays visitors can climb the 228 steps to the top of the lighthouse if they so please!

One of the first supermassive  luxury hotels to open up in Atlantic City was the United States Hotel. The hotel took up an entire city block and featured up to date amenities at the time. The hotel was known for being one of the most luxurious stays in the nation, even attracting the eye of presidents. The United States Hotel would open up on July 4th, 1854, however it wasn’t fully completed when it first opened its doors. The owners actually tried hiding the unfinished construction by restricting the visitors to only one wing of the hotel. The United States Hotel would operate until about 1900, where it would be demolished.

In 1944 a hurricane hit the city and completely destroyed the boardwalk, the entire length would have to be reconstructed. Atlantic City saw its biggest explosion in popularity during the early 20th century. During the prohibition tourism was at its peak, this was because prohibitions was never actually enforced in Atlantic City. While people would still go into backrooms and hide the fact they where drinking, it was largely ignored due to the nature of the city.

During this time a conference was called where major organized crime figures had come to create the National Crime Syndicate. This conference was actually attended by Al Capone and numerous other crime families.

After which from the 1930’s to the 1960’s it was an economic heyday as the city began to move into its nightclub era. Keep in mind that during this time segregation was still very strong and it was definitely seen in Atlantic City. In the white-populated side of the city, this being the south side and included places like The 500 Club, The Clicquot Club, and The Jockey Club. On the other end of the spectrum you would have the north side of the city which was home to many different African Americans, and many different entertainment in the segregated city through mainly Kentucky Avenue. Some of the most popular entertainment include four major nightclubs, Club Harlem, The Paradise Club, Grace’s Little Belmont, and Wonder Gardens. These four major clubs had actually drawn in every type of people whether black or white, and during the summer season, tourist enjoy jazz and R&B music along with soul food throughout the avenue.

During World War II Atlantic City became riddled with crime and poverty, it would unfortunately follow the trend of struggling east coast cities at the time. Interestingly enough it was the creation of the automobile that caused Atlantic City to fall into a state of crime and over crowdedness. The automobile allowed any person to be able to drive to Atlantic City. This meant that even taking a taxi would seem old fashioned, This led to the city being known as a playground for criminals and the typical person who would come daily. This eventually led to the vacancy of many hotels in Atlantic City, this lead to an economic decline in the city and forced the city to demolish hotels.

Traymore Hotel in Atlantic City 1930’s.

In 1976 New Jersey passed a law to legalize gambling in casinos, this was done in an effort to revive Atlantic City. Funny enough, moments after this law was passed, The Chalfonte-Haddon Hall Hotel was converted into the Resorts international. it became the first legal casino in the eastern United States and opened on May 26. Donald Trump had actually helped Atlantic City gain popularity by bringing in big names, Mike Tyson being one of these people. Mike Tyson had numerous fights in Atlantic City during the 1980’s, this helped the city become famous not just around the area but throughout the entire nation. This was followed up by the legalization of sports betting in Atlantic City, this made New Jersey the third state to legalize sports betting. New Jersey is now a great destination spot for anyone planning a weekend vacation, some of its guest even opt to take limos to Atlantic City due to its perception.

Transportation to Atlantic City has always been important to the city and its development, while before people would rely on the trains coming in and out of the city now most people can just drive there or even order a car. Though some of the more well off tourist will probably opt into taking a limo service just for the extra experience. Though you shouldn’t let the name car service deter you, most car services now a days contain more then the basic transport. There are certain situations however where a person might live too far from Atlantic City and find it difficult to go there. Luckily, now a days most car companies make long distance trips for your convenience, this is assuming you can afford it of course. Most car companies can take you to or from any area around Atlantic City, this including New York, New Jersey, and possibly Pennsylvania. However, there are some car companies that may go even further than that. Some car companies will take from places like Rhode Island to Atlantic City, or even Washington D.C. to Atlantic City. If you happen to live further out and don’t want to take a train or plane then some limo companies can take you even further out. Some Black Car services will bring you from Connecticut to Atlantic City, and from Massachusetts to Atlantic City.

Coast Line view of Atlantic City.

Atlantic City has 9 current casinos that have been up and running since the late 1970’s, the most recent one being opened in 2018. Resorts, the oldest casino, it was opened in 1978 and was located in the uptown section of Atlantic City, it is also features a Roaring Twenties theme. Caesars, opened in 1979 and is located in the Midtown section of Atlantic City, like the name suggest it is based off a Roman Empire theme. Bally’s, this was the last one to open in 1979 and is also located in the Midtown section of Atlantic City, its theme is modern based. Harrah’s is the first of three to be opened in the 1980’s, it is located in the Marina section of Atlantic City and features a Marina Waterfront theme. Tropicana was opened in 1981 and is located in the Downbeach section of Atlantic City, this casino has a Old Havana theme. Golden Nugget, opened in the 1985 and like its name suggest its based off the Gold Rush Era, this casino is located in the Marian section of Atlantic City. Borgata is the first casino to be opened in the 2000’s, it is also set in the Marina section of the city and has a Tuscany Theme for its design. The Hard Rock casino is one of the two opened in 2018 and is located in the uptown section of the city, like its name suggest it has a Rock and Roll theme. Finally, Ocean and like its name suggest it has a Ocean theme and was the other casino to open up in 2018 and is located in the uptown section of Atlantic City.

Overall, Atlantic City has slowly built itself up multiple times and has proven that its perseverance throughout the times leads to success. Atlantic City is now considering a hot vacation and gambling spot for tourist and locals of the East Coast. With its perfect blend of Casinos, Resorts, Shopping Malls, and Exhibits there’s something for everyone in this tourist city. If you plan on going there anytime soon then be sure to book the perfect car transportation company and get there safely and comfortably.