One of the pleasures of traveling as an adult is that you are welcome in casino resorts on your vacation, where a fortune can be won (or, yes, lost). Whether you have post-wedding cash to spend, are hooked on Texas Hold 'em, or simply enjoy games of chance, go ahead and try your luck on a casino gambling trip.
The best gambling spots in the USA, Canada, the Caribbean, and Europe offer more than just a casino vacation. Fine accommodations, great restaurants, sunshine and beaches, spas and golf courses, and other attractions can be found among select locations below.
Center of the universe for those who like to play, Las Vegas hotels are the ultimate casino vacation getaways. In this 24/7 city, you can get married, dine like a king and queen, and even commune with nature in the vast desert on your trip to this Disneyland for adults.
On Paradise Island in the Bahamas, 100,000-square-foot Atlantis casino shares bragging rights with the newly opened Baha Mar as largest in the Caribbean. Atlantis contains nearly 1,000 slot machines, close to 3,000 guest rooms including a tower just for grownups, celebrity-chef restaurants, an expansive aqua center, and even a dolphin habitat.
Half an hour's drive south of Washington, DC, National Harbor lies along the Potomac River in Maryland and lures couples for a weekend casino getaway that also offers plentiful opportunities to shop, dine, and indulge in spa treatments. The only hotel with a casino, MGM National Harbor has a large, well-lit, smokefree gaming floor fronted by an iron sculpture by Bob Dylan. It's just part of the hotel's $20-million art collection. Winners as well as bargain-hunters will be tempted to splurge at the nearby Tanger Outlets. For a bird's eye view, ride the Capital Wheel. Then dine at Bond 45, where the mozzarella is freshly made each morning and the experienced staff and kitchen coordinate memorable meals for lovers to savor.
Montreal, Canada, has just one casino, the shipshape Casino de Montreal. French is spoken at the tables, but most gamblers catch on quickly when money is on the line. Away from the casino, bi-lingual Montreal is a sophisticated city with fine hotels, shops, and charming restaurants.
Dry little Aruba boasts the most casinos in the Caribbean, and each of her major hotels has one. If your trip is based around gambling, you may prefer the Renaissance Aruba. Among all Aruba beach hotels with casinos, this one stays open 24/7 and is in the center of both the town and the action. And when you're ready to chill, the resort even has a private island that's an eight-minute ride away via water taxi.
This pretty lakeside town in Michigan is home to Odawa Casino, an Indian casino. Chicago residents have known about Petoskey for years; it's a great weekend getaway spot to drive to.
The beauty of Lake Tahoe, Nevada, is its magnificent lake surrounded by mountains where couples can indulge their appetites for indoor and outdoor sports, gamble, and eat well on a trip that combines casino time with a genuine vacation. Nearby Heavenly Valley, the largest ski area in the United States, affords great views of the lake as you schuss down the trails.
The world's most glamorous casino, the elegant Casino de Monte-Carlo opened in 1863. Its decor, from crystal chandeliers to stained-glass windows, epitomizes a place that respects money. Unlike American casinos, where any shlub with cash in a stained t-shirt and dirty jeans can belly up to a table, there's a level of decorum and civility that reign here. Proper attire means you can't get in wearing shorts, sneakers or flip-flops and jackets for men are recommended after 8 pm.
Located among upstate New York farmland, Turning Stone Casino has built a world unto itself. Take a trip here, and you'll find four-star accommodations, exceptional food, golf courses, and a large spa. Unless you like to gamble, though, you won't find much else to do on a trip to this part of the state.
Eastern Connecticut is home to two Indian casinos, the stylish Mohegan Sun and more flamboyant Foxwoods, two of the largest casinos in the world. While the areas around these two casinos offer little in the way of tourist attractions, couples may want to combine a casino trip with a visit to appealing destinations up the road that include Newport, RI, and Boston and Cape Cod, MA.
While few would opt to spend an entire vacation in Atlantic City (aside from the ocean, the Boardwalk and the casinos, Atlantic City is a slum), there are good hotels and restaurants. Both the Borgata casino and hotel and the adjacent Water Club are oases of cool. The Playground across from Caesars Palace on the Boardwalk encompasses a bevy of top brands, and the top level features good restaurants, including an outpost of the creative, pan-Asian Buddakan.
More of a family destination than a romantic one these days, Niagara Falls does harbor three gambling casinos where adults can escape the hurly-burly of this tourist-trap town for the hurly-burly of the gambling hall.