Over the past year, we have taken a number of poker road trips. We’ve visited rooms in the middle of cities, such as The Jack in Cleveland, and rooms in the middle of nowhere (hello Ebro!). However, if you’re looking for both stunning vistas and great poker, we have some recommendations for excellent poker rooms in beautiful settings. From the mountains to the desert, from rolling hills to the beach, we offer the following idyllic locations.
Florida has long been one of the primary poker regions in the country. Unsurprisingly, poker in Florida has come back strong, with most rooms reopened and a thriving cash game landscape. Further, unlike some regions where tournament poker has been slow to revive, Florida has many rooms offering daily tournaments. So what a great time to take a Florida poker road trip!
The exact order in which you visit Florida poker rooms will depend on your current location. The two main directions would be to arrive from the West through the panhandle or from the north down the coast. Let’s imagine that you’ve entered from the north. If you have. hopefully, you’ve stopped in Charleston, SC for some non-poker fun and great food. If you are coming from a different direction, revise at will.
On our road trip from Las Vegas to Boston last fall, we stopped for two days in Santa Fe, New Mexico. As we mentioned in that article, we were quite taken with Santa Fe and with all of the wonderful experiences that we had there.
Traveling to or from Santa Fe through Albuquerque
If you are visiting Santa Fe via road trip, as we did, we highly recommend choosing a route that takes you along the Turquoise Trail. The Turquoise Trail consists of about 50 miles of highway 14 in New Mexico where you will experience gorgeous views and visit the old mining towns of Golden, Madrid, and Cerrillos. Today these towns are full of arts and crafts stores, museums, and restaurants. In Madrid, we visited a number of stores, including our favorite, Carnival Azatlan. Carnival Azatlan displayed a wide variety of fascinating arts and crafts, including some funky furniture we might have picked up if it had fit in our small car. We also visited a number of jewelry stores and attempted to visit Shugarman’s, a famed chocolate store, that was sadly closed on the day we visited. Our chocolate needs would have to wait.
We recently shared the details of our cross-country poker road trip from Boston to Las Vegas. On that journey, we mainly followed Route 80 across the northern part of the United States, visiting multiple poker rooms along the way. For our return to Boston in November, we chose a more southern route, largely following Route 40 back to the East Coast. After a poker-packed month in Las Vegas, we also decided to focus on the sights, rather than more poker for our return home. We will visit any poker rooms that we missed along the way on a future trip. The current post describes our adventures traveling across the South.
As with our previous road trip, we had a very carefully thought-out plan…which we then completely reconfigured. We learned during our September poker road trip to Las Vegas that moving quickly across the country with long drives every day can be tiring. So on our way home we decided to take it slower. Many of our days featured short drives, and we chose to stay two nights in a couple of our destinations to get some more time to explore.
One of our bucket list items has always been to spend a month in Las Vegas during the World Series of Poker. The problem was that we could not imagine spending a month in 100-degree heat during June and July when the WSOP has been traditionally held. That kind of extended heat exposure is just not our thing. Then, in one of the many twists of these bizarre times, the 2021 WSOP was moved to the fall. Suddenly, everything fell into place. Our two youngest children had just entered college, our primary jobs are portable, and we had saved up enough for the trip. So, last October, Vegas it was! We chose to drive to Vegas, in order to have our car. You can read about our poker road trip from Boston to Las Vegas.
Where to Stay
The array of hotel options at various price points in Las Vegas is obviously endless. However, if you’re spending a month in Las Vegas and are at all worried about cost, you’re going to want to look for a condo rental via AirBnB, Vrbo, or other rental site. The two primary advantages of renting are: 1) the cost per night will be much lower for the quality you can get, and 2) having a kitchen will save you a lot of money. An extra bonus is the lack of Resort Fees, that are very difficult to escape in Vegas hotels these days. In our Airbnb on West Flamingo Ave, we ate most breakfasts and lunches at home. We also cooked 2-3 dinners a week, plus leftovers.