Casinos offer more than slot machines, smoke

During a wrestling show, Daniel Beck, 24, holds open the mouth of his alligator, Austin. Alligators can close their mouths with 2,000-3,000 pounds per square inch of pressure. Adrianne D’Angelo//Staff Photographer

Didn’t get that straight flush? No luck playing the slots? Stop chasing dreams of a jackpot, and explore the options that lie outside the jingling slot machines and clouds of smoke.

Calder Casino and Race Course

Put on your derby hat and sip on mint julep as you watch horses from around the world compete at the Calder Casino and Race Course. Place a bet, or spend the afternoon at the upscale Turf Club Dining Room, which overlooks the racetrack.

The amount of races and race times vary, but admission is free.

Calder Casino and Race Course is located at 21001 NW 27th Ave., Miami Gardens. Visit calderracecourse.com.

Magic City Casino

Spend time at the closest casino to campus. Near Little Havana, the core of Miami’s Cuban population, Magic City has Latin flavor.

Finish the school year at one of the live music events. Grammy-award winner Willy Chirino will be performing May 19. His daughters, the Chirino Sisters, will perform April 28 and May 26 with free admission.

Also, Magic City is often a stop for food trucks. On Saturday, check out your favorite mobile munchies at the casino’s Wheelin’ Dealin’ Street Food Festival from 5 to 10 p.m.

Magic City Casino is located at 450 NW 37th Ave., Miami. Visit magiccitycasino.com.

Miccosukee Resort and Gaming

If you’re bored of the flashy casinos, take a trip down to the heart of the Florida Everglades. Visit the Miccosukee Indian Village and discover the Miccosukees’ art, traditions and culture. You can also take a tour through the Miccosukee’s museum.

If you’re not in the mood for a history lesson, relax on one of the resort’s three golf courses or explore Empeeke Aaweeke, a low-key international buffet. But if you find yourself glued to the blackjack table, at least drinks are free for casino players.

Miccosukee Resort and Gaming is located at 500 SW 177th Avenue, Miami. Visit miccosukee.com.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino

With beautiful hotel rooms, pool, luxury shops, huge casino, and dozens of restaurants, clubs and bars, the Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino feels like paradise. You’ll never run out of things to do.

Prepare to gawk in awe as you watch alligator wrestling at the on-site Seminole Okalee Indian Village. The resort also offers a Billie Swamp Safari, which takes visitors on tours and airboat rides through the Big Cypress Seminole Indian Reservation.

If being among nature and reptiles, for that matter, aren’t your thing, grab a frozen daiquiri at Wet Willie’s before watching renowned comedians at Improv Comedy Club.

Seminole Hard Rock Hotel and Casino is located at 1 Seminole Way, Hollywood, Fla. Visit seminolehardrockhollywood.com.

Note: Casino visitors between 18 and 20 years old can only participate in poker games. Those over 21 can gamble in all casino games.

April 18, 2012


Alexa Lopez


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