Nestled in the mountains of the Cascades or docked on the banks of winding rivers, casinos sure aren't what they used to be. Gambling, check. Hiking, check. Golfing, check. Spas? You bet! Here are the most interesting places in America to try your luck.
1. The Snoqualmie Casino, Snoqualmie, WA
The Snoqualmie Casino is a recent and beautiful addition to the many gambling destinations sprinkled across the U.S. Snoqualmie had its grand opening on November 6, 2008, and features an expansive 51,000-square-foot gaming floor, nightclub, fine-dining restaurant, and spa. The building itself sure knows how to make a first impression: the intricate beadwork gives the feel of a Native American great lodge. Walking through the main entrance feels more like you've arrived at the beginning of an epic hiking adventure than the start of a gambling vacation. For many whom make the trip to Seattle's closest casino, they plan to do just that.
Located just 20 minutes east of Seattle on I-90, the Snoqualmie Casino is just a short drive from beautiful Snoqualmie Falls and some of the country's premier hiking destinations. Twin Falls hiking trail is an easy nearby hike that offers up-close-and-personal views of a gorgeous multi-tiered waterfall. When you're done hitting the trail, unwind with a massage at the casino's spa.
The Snoqualmie Casino is the perfect blend of nature, comfort, and of course, slot machines.
2. Mount Airy Casino and Resort, Pocono, PA
The Mount Airy Casino is a revamped version of an old classic. The beautiful Mount Airy Lodge was once a premiere honeymoon and vacation destination, well-known for its heart-shaped tubs and quaint comforts. The original lodge was constructed in 1898, and at the time had only eight rooms. It was rebuilt in the 1950s as the Poconos' largest resort. At the lodge's heyday in the 1960s and 1970s, the resort had 820 rooms, many of them decked-out with velvet canopy beds and floor-to-ceiling mirrors.
The 1980s saw a decline in business, and the Mount Airy Lodge closed in 2001. It was officially reopened in 2007 as the Mount Airy Casino and Resort. The resort features an outdoor/indoor pool, golfing, and plenty of nearby hiking and horseback riding to round out your days.
3. French Lick Resort, Southern Indiana
The French Lick Resort is another gambling destination that has the air of times gone by. The resort features not just one, but two historic hotels: the French Lick Springs and the West Baden Springs Hotel. Exactly how historic are they? The original French Lick Resort was built in 1845. At the time, the main attraction wasn't gambling but the area's natural sulfur springs. The original French Lick Springs burned to the ground before the turn of the century and has since been rebuilt.
What is now the casino opened in 2006. The French Lick Resort is known for its world-renowned golfing. The French Lick's Donald Ross Course is the area's oldest, originally opening in 1917, and fully restored in 1996. The greens are challenging, but the course is enjoyable and is a sight for sore eyes. The French Lick Resort's Dye Course was host to the 2015 Senior PGA Championship, and the Valley Links Course is gorgeous and playable. Sultans Run is a fourth option, located just 25 minutes away in Jasper, Indiana. The French Licks are hard to compete with when it comes to golfing and gambling in the midwest.
4. Beau Rivage Resort and Casino, Biloxi, Mississippi
The Beau Rivage delivers Las Vegas class to the banks of the Mississippi. "Beau Rivage" was a name originally intended for another Steve Wynn casino. That establishment ended up being named the Bellagio instead. What is now the Beau Rivage in Biloxi opened in March of 1999. It's owned and operated by the MGM Grand Resorts International.
The building, which towers above the banks of the Mississippi, offers stunning views from the hotel's 1,740 rooms. At 29 stories high, the casino is the tallest building on the Mississippi. By law, the entire structure must sit on floating mobile platforms. The Beau Rivage is a classy fusion of southern charm and Las Vegas glitz. It won the Governor's Cup Award for Outstanding Large Business in 2003. Will it win your heart in 2018?
5. Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa, Atlantic City, New Jersey
If you're on the east coast and in the mood for luxury, the Borgata Hotel, Casino & Spa is hard to compete with. The Borgata opened in July of 2003 and is currently the top-grossing casino in Atlantic City. The resort has over 2,000 rooms to accommodate its steady influx of visitors. Atlantic City is a known as the place to be for exciting moments and big entertainment.
That's why in 2008, Borgata opened its second hotel, the Water Club, complete with its own 161,000 -square-foot casino floor, housing over 4,000 slot machines. The Borgata's poker room has hosted several high-stakes tournaments, including the World Poker Tour. While other resorts offer balance and variety, the Borgata caters to gamblers-at-heart. When you're all tuckered out from shooting dice and calling bets, try any of the Borgata's celebrity-owned restaurants - Bobby Flay Steak or the Wolfgang Puck American Grille.
Whether you're a hiker, a honeymooner in need of a heart-shaped tub, or a gambling enthusiast with a soft spot for southern charm, the perfect resort awaits you. May fortune smile on you!