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The top casino resorts to explore for an end-of-summer delight

By Karrie L Zukowski


As the sun-kissed days of summer gradually give way to the cool embrace of autumn, the allure of adventure beckons one last time. For those who find themselves drawn to the thrill of gaming and the opulence of casino resorts, the end of summer brings forth a unique kind of getaway. Nestled in different corners of the country, these destinations offer not only the promise of entertainment and relaxation but also the chance to savor the final moments of the season in unforgettable style. From the vibrant heart of Northern California to the vibrant blues of Memphis, join us on a journey through four distinct end-of-summer travel hot spots. As the colors of summer transition to the hues of fall, these havens of excitement invite you to seize the moment and make memories that will linger long after the last leaf falls.



Located an hour north of the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Choctaw Casino & Resort – Durant is a AAA Four Diamond casino resort, entertainment and convention destination in southeastern Oklahoma. The resort features more than 7,400 slot machines, table games, a poker room and a large non-smoking casino. From luxurious pools to award-winning dining, live shows, family-friendly activities and million- dollar opportunities, everyone can enjoy an unforgettable stay.

Get ready for an exciting visit at Choctaw Durant with numerous ways to make your vacation perfect. Experience topnotch dining, unwind by the pool, enjoy unique entertainment, engage in family-friendly fun, and seize chances to strike it rich in the state-of-the-art casino.

If slots are your game, you’re in the right place. Choctaw Durant has over 7,400 machines for the taking. Choose between the latest and greatest, plus all your favorite classic, progressive and high- stakes machines. And if you don’t smoke, you’re in luck. They have over 3,200 slots and table games in their nonsmoking area, Sky Casino.

If you’re searching for action-packed tables, they have over 100 nonsmoking tables offering craps, roulette, baccarat, Pai Gow and the ever-popular blackjack.

Jeff Penz, senior director of gaming & hospitality, says, “We aim to provide an unforgettable elevated getaway for every guest at Choctaw Casino & Resort – Durant. From our stunning AQUA pools to exceptional dining and entertainment for all ages, there’s something for everyone. And for the first time ever, we gave away 1 million dollars to three guests over the summer.”


Here’s how to create the perfect summer retreat at Choctaw Durant:

Exceptional Dining: Recognized by Casino Player magazine for “Best Overall Dining,” Choctaw Casino & Resort – Durant offers award-winning dining. From the upscale 1832 Steakhouse to casual eateries like Guy Fieri American Kitchen + Bar and Bamboo Noodle Bar, the variety and quality of dining options create a memorable experience.

AQUA Paradise: Whether you’re a splash enthusiast or sun-soaker, AQUA delivers relaxation and fun with 50 poolside cabanas, 750 lounge chairs, three outdoor bars and two food spots. A family- friendly pool with water slides and an adults-only pool ensures everyone’s enjoyment, and Saturday poolside DJs from noon to 8 p.m. add to the excitement.

Live Entertainment: Guests can enjoy free music every Friday and Saturday night at Gilley’s and Guy Fieri’s American Kitchen + Bar. Upcoming headliners include Darius Rucker, Sept. 8 & 9; Hank William Jr., Sept. 22 & 23; Lady A, Sept. 29; Steve Harvey, Sept. 30; Jamey Johnson, Oct. 6; Hozier with Madison Cunningham, Oct. 13; Aaron Lewis, Oct. 14; Carrie Underwood, Oct. 20; The Black Crowes, Nov. 9; Megan Moroney, Nov. 11, Little Big Town, Nov. 17 & 18; Josh Tuner and Sara Evans, Nov. 15 and Dierks Bentley, Dec. 2

Family-Friendly Fun: The District offers entertainment for the whole family, including an arcade, bowling alley, movie theater and dining options. Additionally, guests can enjoy the 30-camper KOA Choctaw RV Park located across from the casino.

For more information, visit



Situated in Sonoma County, Graton Resort & Casino commands a striking presence amidst the scenic hills of Northern California’s wine country. Owned and operated by the Federated Indians of Graton Rancheria, the resort boasts an array of table games, the latest slot machines, upscale and casual dining options, as well as diverse entertainment choices, catering to both locals and visitors.

Graton Resort & Casino’s award-winning hotel ensures a first-class experience during your stay. The resort has 200 Premium King and Double rooms filled with modern luxuries and a full house of amenities, including a full-service Spa & Salon, fitness center, business center, and relaxing resort- style pool area with cabanas.

Graton Resort & Casino has over 3,000 of the hottest slots. Experience gaming on a whole new level, with a variety of classic titles, video poker games, and progressives. You’ll always find your favorite games here. Looking to raise the stakes? Be surrounded in elegance with a true VIP feel in the premier High Limit Gaming areas, complete with a variety of slots and table games with better odds and limits.

Graton is thrilled to announce the upcoming $1 Million Life of Luxury Slot Tournament. This exciting event will feature two qualifying tournament sessions (see page 12 for full details) and for players seeking to step it up a notch, Graton offers a VIP Package. This includes a 2-night stay in a premium hotel room along with one entry into a qualifying tournament. To secure a spot in a qualifying slot tournament or to indulge in the VIP experience, call 1.888.258.2986.

Immerse yourself in the thrilling world of casino gaming at Graton, where you’ll discover an impressive array of over 120 table games and a larger collection of Linked Progressives than any other casino in the Bay Area. Step into the excitement with a diverse selection of beloved games, such as Baccarat, Blackjack, Pai Gow Poker, Ultimate Texas Hold’em, and an assortment of others.

Graton also tantalizes your taste buds with three delicious dining options. 630 Park Steakhouse reimagines the traditional American steakhouse with a contemporary flair, captivating diners through flawless prime steaks, ocean-fresh seafood, and unmatched warmth in service. Elevate your dining experience by pairing your meal with the most exquisite regional wines sourced from Napa and Sonoma Valley.

Twelve-time World Pizza Champion Chef Tony Gemignani’s passion for Italian food is the inspiration at Tony’s of North Beach. The menu includes pastas, pizzas, antipasti, and salads all prepared from Tony’s famous recipes. The full bar highlights handcrafted artisan cocktails and a selection of wines from Italy and California.

Looking for something different? Try Boathouse Asian Eatery an eclectic mix of Japanese and East Asian Cuisine that offers a large selection of fresh seafood including innovative sushi rolls.

Do miss the exciting entertainment at Graton while you are there! Enjoy some fun in the sun and listen to poolside tunes all summer long with DJ performances every weekend or catch a headliner in the Event at Graton Resort & Casino. Upcoming shows include Rock the Dock, Sept. 1, Jay Leno, Sept. 23, Thunder from Down Under, Sept. 29 & 30 and Night Ranger, Oct. 6.

For more information or to make reservations, please visit



Embark on a thrilling journey at Coushatta Casino Resort in Kinder, LA. Indulge in the thrills and excitement of the region’s largest gaming floor as you step into the vibrant world of Coushatta Casino Resort. Whether you’re a gaming enthusiast, a food lover, a golfer or seeking a luxurious escape, this premier casino destination has it all.

With over 2,000 slots and more than 55 table games, including live poker, sportsbook and off-track betting, Coushatta offers the ultimate gaming experience. Its Certfied Loose Slots have earned the endorsement of Strictly Slots magazine, ensuring an exhilarating time for all.

Brace yourself for the return of BINGO, now better than ever with a new, spacious 312-seat BINGO hall. Catch the high-energy action every Thursday through Sunday, conveniently located in the former Mikko Slots area.

Treat your taste buds to the finest dining experiences. Indulge in flavorful steaks at the Big Sky Steakhouse or savor sports bar classics and Cajun favorites at Gumbeaux’s. With additional dining options, Coushatta caters to every palate.

Stay in comfort at the adult-exclusive Grand Hotel, connected to the expansive gaming floor. Alternatively, enjoy the upscale suites at Seven Clans Hotel or the deluxe lakefront RV and chalet resort at Red Shoes Park.

Golf enthusiasts will find paradise at Koasati Pines golf course, nestled in the natural wetlands, surrounded by majestic pines and sprawling live oaks. This 18-hole, par-72 championship layout offers a unique “Gambling Hole” and a serene experience blending nature and challenge.

Visit for more information.



Southland Casino Hotel, situated in West Memphis, AR, has unveiled a $320 million expansion that marks a new era of luxury and entertainment. Known for its historic reputation as a racing venue, Southland Casino has transformed into a Las Vegas-style casino destination over the past three years. The crown jewel of this expansion is the remarkable 20-story Southland Hotel, which seamlessly combines modern design and timeless elegance. With its gleaming blueglass exterior, the hotel offers 300 lavish rooms, including 12 penthouse suites that provide breathtaking views. This expansion represents a significant achievement in the region’s luxury and entertainment scene.

Leading this transformation is Osi Imomoh, president and general manager, who emphasizes the importance of the dedicated team members in creating exceptional guest experiences. The Southland Hotel’s lobby, guest rooms and amenities have been meticulously designed, offering guests a world-class experience with comfort and Southern hospitality. The expansion also includes an enhanced gaming floor with 2,400 cutting-edge slot machines and 50 live table games. The Lucky North Rewards Club stands out, offering guests perks like free meals, free play and hotel stays across Delaware North properties.

Culinary offerings have also expanded, featuring venues like The Kitchens, Ignite Steakhouse, The Fry House, The Grind and Seasons Café. For sports enthusiasts, the Sports Bar & Grill provides a lively atmosphere with sportsbook betting. The Chairman’s Bar and Charred Oak Bourbon Bar offer unique bar experiences. Every Tuesday night at Charred Oak Bourbon Bar you can find live entertainment and one of the largest bourbon selections in the area.

Explore Memphis’s cultural treasures while staying at Southland Casino Hotel. Visit Graceland, immerse yourself in the music of Beale Street, and delve into the history of the American Civil Rights Movement at the National Civil Rights Museum. Return to the comfort of Southland Casino Hotel to reflect on your experiences and enjoy its expanded offerings, creating lasting memories.

Southland Casino Hotel offers a winning combination of gaming excitement, luxurious accommodations, delectable dining options, entertainment and exceptional service. Whether you’re seeking a thrilling gaming experience or a relaxing getaway, Southland Casino Hotel will exceed your expectations.

Visit for more information.

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