Thursday, March 31, 2016

Fort McDowell Casino ~ Arizona!














     Fort McDowell Casino!
     Touring all of the scenic National Parks, monuments and historic old west sites in Arizona can take several months.  Arizona is a mighty big territory to cover.  Because I have been working in this state for a few months, there has been plenty of opportunities to hit the road to numerous destinations on days off.
     Gas prices have been low enough in recent months to make taking a day trip venture a fairly good entertainment bargain.  This evidently is so, because many National Parks in the Southwest are seeing endless lines of rental cars stacked up waiting to pay entrance fees.  The increased vehicular traffic at primary tourist destinations, like the Grand Canyon, can cause visitors to scratch their heads and wonder why they are stuck sitting in a Los Angeles style traffic jam for hours out in the middle of nowhere, instead of enjoying the great outdoors for a whole day like they intended to do.  Such is the nature of primary tourist destinations when gas prices are low.
     Some tourists exercise a bit of strategy when planning a trip in the Southwest when fuel prices are cheap.  National Parks are always in the limelight and they are most often featured on the cover of tourist brochures, so it is easy to imagine that maybe avoiding the National Park scene is a good option, especially if time is a limiting factor.
     Other than the Grand Canyon, are there any other worthwhile tourism options in Arizona?  Yes!  Arizona offers hundreds of secondary scenic destinations that are well worth visiting.  From one end of the state to the other, there are plenty of scenic sights to see that the big crowds tend to overlook.  
     Oddly enough, because less traffic will be found away from the primary tourist destinations, it is possible to visit several secondary destinations all in one day.  Since gas prices are low, doing the extra miles does not take a big bite out of the wallet and the open road scenery certainly is nice to take in.  All it takes is looking at a map and connecting a few dots, to come up with a travel strategy that allows visiting several worthwhile places while beating the crowds.  Sometimes an unexpected surprise pops up along the way.  Old saloons, traditional western style steakhouses and tribal casinos are perks of the open road that are usually worth checking out.
   
     On a day off a few months ago, I set a course for the Superstition Mountains just east of the Scottsdale and Phoenix metropolitan areas.  The Superstitions are a legendary place that is a source of volumes of old west lore.  Nestled near the scenic mountain range was the Superstition Mountain Museum, the remnants of the old Apacheland western movie set and Goldfield Ghost Town.  Needless to say, I spent the entire day checking these places out and as expected, there were no long waiting lines or traffic jams.
     Since the day trip strategy of soaking up as many secondary destinations as possible went well and there was no stress, I figured that one more stop on the way home was well within order.  After typing the word casino into the mapping device, a few options popped up on the screen.  The Fort McDowell Casino was along the planned route, so I gave this Yavapai Tribal casino a try.
     The first thing that folks tend to ask about tribal casinos kind of goes like, "I have never been to a Native American Casino.  Whats it like?  I mean, is it like Vegas?"  All I can say is that one simply must check these casinos out for themselves, in order to grasp what it is like.
    The Fort McDowell Casino is a nice place to experience some cultural exchange and there are historical exhibits on the grounds.  The casino offers live entertainment and special events.  There is a huge bingo hall and the slot play is upbeat.  Fort McDowell has a locals style casino atmosphere and good food specials too.  While fiddling around with a poker machine I actually won a little jackpot and celebrated by getting a Las Vegas Sushi Roll, before hitting the road home!  
     The Fort McDowell Casino is located at 10424 North Fort McDowell Rd in Fort McDowell, Arizona.  This location is east of Scottsdale and it is fairly close to Apache Junction.  The Wekopa Resort & Conference Center is a state of the art facility that is located adjacent to The Fort McDowell Casino.                  

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