Fun's a sure bet at these nearby casinos
Maybe you're just not a beach person, or are looking for an easy alternative to fun in the sand. Either way, you should consider a weekend getaway to a nearby casino.
Thanks to a variety of gourmet eateries, live entertainment events, swanky spas and other non-gaming options, you don't even have to know when to hold 'em or when to fold 'em to have a good time.
MARYLAND LIVE! CASINO
Located in Arundel Mills, halfway between Baltimore and Washington, D.C., Maryland Live! (marylandlivecasino.com) is well worth the three-hour trip. In addition to 122 live table games and over 4,000 slots, a two-level state-of-the-art poker room with 50 traditional poker tables is set to open by the end of the summer. Gamblers and non-gamblers alike can enjoy live shows at Rams Head Center Stage and tantalize their taste buds at Phillips Seafood, the multi-station Live! Buffet, Bobby Flay's Bobby's Burger Palace and The Cheesecake Factory.
Don't miss: Spend your winnings at the adjacent Arundel Mills outlet mall, which features more than 200 indoor stores, or have some family fun at Medieval Times, Dave & Buster's and/or Cinemark Egyptian 24 Theatres.
SUGAR HOUSE CASINO
Hop in the car or on the bus and head to Philadelphia's Sugar House Casino (sugarhousecasino.com) for 54 live-action table games including 3-Card Poker, Blackjack and Ultimate Texas Hold 'Em, 1,602 slots and microbrews and comfort food at the waterfront eatery, The Refinery. The trip is less than two hours from New York City, and since the casino is open 24 hours with free on-site parking and easy access to public transportation, you can arrive anytime.
Don't miss: Every Friday and Saturday night from 5-midnight through Sept. 7 guests can lounge, dance and dine outdoors on the Delaware waterfront to the sounds of Philly's favorite bands, singers and performers.
JIMMY BUFFET'S MARGARITAVILLE
Not that you need an excuse to day-trip it to "the gambling capital of the East," but Atlantic City is now home to the latest Margaritaville Complex (margaritavilleatlanticcity.com), which occupies more than 17,400 square feet within the remodeled Resorts Casino Hotel. Parrot Heads will flock to the beachside, tropical-motif casino to play 12 Margaritaville-themed table games and 160 slot machines, purchase Jimmy Buffet souvenirs and eat and drink aplenty at the Margaritaville Restaurant and LandShark Bar & Grill and the 5 O'Clock Somewhere Bar. If traffic conditions aren't terrible, New Yorkers can be drifting away in Margaritaville in just about two hours.
Don't miss: While the weather is still seasonal, chill out on the Boardwalk and sip on "The Perfect Margarita" while listening to live performances by local artists.
This hotspot (mohegansun.com) is as well-known for its amenities as it is for its gambling options. Mohegan boasts a luxury spa and 1,200-room hotel, star-studded concerts, designer shops, delectable fine dining (Michael Jordan's Steak House, Todd English's Tuscany), upscale nightlife options and more than 350,000 square feet of gaming. Divided into three parts -- the Casino of the Wind, the Casino of the Sky and the Casino of the Earth -- the Uncasville, Conn., resort is just over two hours from NYC.
Don't miss: Upcoming performances in the 10,000-seat Arena include the American Idol Live! Tour 2013 (Saturday), Ke$ha (Aug. 23) and Bon Jovi (Oct. 25).
RESORTS WORLD CASINO
This Queens (rwnewyork.com) racino (a gambling facility at a racetrack) is only a subway ride away. The New York City-themed casino next to Kennedy Airport and Aqueduct Racetrack opened in 2011 and features three floors of activities. Although New York State law prohibits live table games at racinos, Resorts World offers electronic craps, Sic Bo, baccarat and roulette. Fine dining options include RW Prime steakhouse, the dim-sum restaurant Genting Palace and Artichoke Pizza in the food court.
Don't miss: Live music nightly at Bar 360, including Latin Night Tuesdays, Throwback Thursdays and Freestyle Fridays.