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Scenic Gaming: Casinos with Stunning Views
For many, the word casino evokes images of neon lights, noisy machines or perhaps even tuxedos and martinis a la Bond. But what if we told you that you could have all that casino fun in the crisp alpine air or with a stunning view of the ocean? Sounds incredible, right? And it’s true.

Casinos by the Water

The aptly named Cher-Ae Heights Casino offers breathtaking views of the Northern Californian coastline just outside the seaside city of Trinidad. And while it’s not the most luxurious of casinos, the stunning location on the cliffs surrounded by pine trees puts it on our list.

Even though Trinidad, California, probably isn’t on your bucket list, the location of our next scenic casino probably is. Fallsview Casino Resort sits in a prime location overlooking, yes, you guessed it, the Niagara Falls. This casino not only has a perfect view of the falls but is also a great base for exploring the Canadian side of the river. The resort has it all, including all the usual games like poker and roulette along with live entertainment. But in all fairness, it’s that view you’ll come here for.

Although the beach nearby is man-made, we simply couldn’t write this list without mentioning the breathtaking Sun City Resort and Casino in North West, South Africa. Set in the lush green countryside, it doesn’t matter what direction you look in, this place is in one of the most amazing settings you’ll ever find. It even has that safari feel to the place; although it’s probably best not to wander off too far into the bush on your own. There could be lions about.

While the casinos by the water offer so much more than just a chance to sit down and play some blackjack or try your hand at the video poker, it’s still lots of fun to spend some time at the tables. But before you go, you should probably spend a little time practicing, and no we don't mean with a trip to the nearest casino in New Jersey or even Vegas. Nope, if you're going to practice, then do it online. There are tons of websites where you can play casino games in the U.S. these days, and by honing your skills at one of them, you get the chance to practice without the pressure of pro-gamblers watching your every move.

Now, what were we saying about fresh, alpine air?

Casinos in the Mountains

Located in the heart of one of the most famous skiing locations in the world, Casino Chamonix-Mont-Blanc is a wonderfully European-style building that along with the town itself is steeped in history. It was here that the very first Winter Olympics took place in 1924. Take a step outside, and you’re in the shadow of Mont Blanc and just a cable car ride away from Aiguille du Midi. Honestly, you’ll be hard-pressed to find a casino in a more scenic mountain setting.

Back in the U.S., though, Harrah’s Cherokee Casino Resort in the Smoky Mountains will certainly give Chamonix a run for its money regarding natural beauty. The Smoky Mountains need no introduction, and while there are many casinos in the area, none are quite as spectacularly situated as Harrah’s. Here gamers are surrounded by greenery and the local area is full of interesting things to do during the day before enjoying a game or two at the poker table in the evening. The most impressive thing about this place, though, is the fact that the money generated from the casino goes directly to the Cherokee tribe members in the area.

So, the next time you’re considering a weekend trip to the casino, there’s no need to limit yourself to Atlantic City or Vegas. As you can see, you can enjoy playing poker and even the slot machines in some amazingly scenic surroundings. When you take the path less traveled and think scenery first, gambling second, you won’t be disappointed.

The Spain, Petersfield GU32, UK