Quiet Rooms Connected to Casino & Greyhound Racing
As the gates burst open, a pack of greyhounds springs forth, kicking up dirt with a swift patter of paws. Race spectators can cheer on their hounds of choice from a vantage spot perched along the racetrack, or at Mardi Gras Casino & Resort's First Turn restaurant, where televisions broadcast the races. The betting continues in the 24-hour casino, which encompasses 90,000 square feet of gaming, with more than 1,200 slot machines and a sea of tables featuring blackjack, craps, and roulette. In the Big Easy poker room, card sharks bluff and boast during games of Texas hold'em, Omaha Hi-Lo and Seven-Card Stud.
An enclosed, elevated walkway connects the casino to the colorful Mardi Gras hotel, where deluxe rooms feature king- or queen-size beds draped in all-white linens and topped with double pillow-top mattresses. Amenities include a high-definition flat-screen television, Keurig coffeemaker, and daily cooked-to-order breakfast.
For a taste of New Orleans, the French Quarter restaurant serves up creole and French-inspired cuisine, such as bourbon salmon ($22) and chicken rochambeau ($21). Libations flow at the resort and casino's six bars, and 24-hour room service sates late-night cravings.
Greater Charleston, West Virginia: Cultural Capital in Appalachians
The undulating Appalachian Mountains of West Virginia embody the state's abundant natural beauty and colorful past. Tucked away in the mountains, Charleston, West Virginia's capital and largest city, sits only a 15-minute drive away from Nitro. At the West Virginia State Museum, 26 rooms of exhibits chronicle the mountain state's history, covering eras ranging from prehistory to frontier life and coal mining.
About 15 miles from the hotel, the Kanawha State Forest hums with life, boasting 9,300 acres of flora and fauna, including 19 species of wood warblers. Twenty-five miles of hiking trails and nine mountain-biking trails crisscross dense woodlands, streams, and chipmunk duplexes.