In the past, if you wanted to hit the casinos, you had few options in the United States besides Las Vegas and Atlantic City. Since the 90’s, however, the number of casino vacation destinations has multiplied to the point that you can plan a casino vacation in nearly any region of the United States.
What’s refreshing about this newer generation of casino travel options is that many were built to offer visitors so much more than casinos. Some were created to revitalize existing tourist attractions, while others are built in close proximity to vibrant cities. Travelers can even elect to stay at affordably priced casino-based hotels to take in the sights without having to ever hit the blackjack tables or slot machines.
Here are five destinations to consider for your next casino vacation.
When Mississippi gambling laws were relaxed in 1992, Biloxi was among the first in the new wave of municipalities to dive into the casino business. The city now offers a mature market for a casino vacation, with eight casinos located within its limits and four more situated nearby on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Beau Rivage Casino and the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino are often considered favorite in-city casinos by travelers.
Despite the gaming build-up, the surrounding Gulf Coast still maintains a tranquil Southern charm. Travelers can visit the villages and towns along the coastline to take in the local art scenes and do some boutique shopping. There are many options for year-round fishing and golfing, as well.
Mashantucket and Uncasville, Connecticut
Home to Foxwoods Resort Casino and Mohegan Sun, respectively, these two nearby communities create a casino vacation hub in the heart of New England. Both resorts have impressive amenities, but Mohegan Sun recently was named the top casino in the U.S., according to USA Today 10 Best Reader’s Choice Awards. The 185-acre resort features a 10,000 seat entertainment venue, three individual gaming floors, two luxury hotels, a full golf course, an expansive shopping mall, and two luxury spas.
The two resorts are located just a few hours’ drive from both Boston and New York City, making the locale a perfect add-on to a big city vacation. Travelers may also want to visit quaint Mystic, Connecticut and New England’s southern coastline or go leaf-peeping in the fall.
Deadwood, South Dakota
Yes, that Deadwood. This Wild West destination reinvented itself to also become an action-packed spot for a casino vacation. There are now more than 20 spots in town to try your hand at poker, blackjack, roulette, or the slot machines.
And you’re never more than a glance away from the town’s Gold-Rush era vibe, as most of the heart of the city was designated a National Historic Landmark and has been preserved accordingly. If you get a chance, catch daily live re-enactments that harken back to the era when Deadwood was home to Wild Bill Hickok and Calamity Jane Cannary. If that’s not enough, venture outside town limits to the Black Hills and try your hand at rock-climbing, fly fishing, or some adventurous mountain biking.
A few city planners have utilized casinos to revitalize urban centers; Detroit has been among the most successful. Its three casinos are considered important economic drivers that have helped fuel the Motor City’s turnaround, and a fourth casino just over the border in Windsor, Ontario helps make the region a great spot for a casino vacation.
While there, you may find that Detroit is full of surprises. While the city is still a work in progress, it has gained accolades for its revitalized foods and arts scenes. Home to three notable professional sports franchises-the Red Wings, the Pistons, and the Tigers-Detroit is also one of the few year-round sports towns.
Southern California is home to several high-end casinos that create a casino vacation corridor leading to Las Vegas. The mid-sized city of Temecula is home to Pechanga Resort & Casino, which is consistently rated one of the most popular casinos in the United States. The resort features a very large and state-of-the-art casino, a marquee concert and entertainment center, and a great golf course, among other great amenities.
For daytrip ideas, consider that Temecula is surrounded by picturesque wineries. The city is also just an hour’s drive to San Diego, which is home to great beaches, a world-class zoo, and the USS Midway Museum, among other attractions.
Now that gambling is legal in most of the United States, these are just some of the many options from among which you can choose for your next casino vacation.
Have a favorite casino travel spot we haven’t mentioned? Leave a comment to tell us about it.
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