The gleaming towers of this mammoth resort casino – the largest outside Vegas – rise above the forest canopy of Great Cedar Swamp. Built on the ancestral land of the Mashantucket Pequot Tribal Nation (www.mptn-nsn.gov), the resort features the world's largest bingo hall, nightclubs with free entertainment, cinemas, rides and video-game heaven for kids. If you're not a gambler, you might want to shop 'til you drop in the Tanger Outlet Mall, or check out who's headlining the Fox and Grand Theatres.
The casino is a remarkable symbol of the resilience of a tribe that was nearly annihilated by Colonists in King Philip's 1637 war, and which then fought a long and dispiriting legal battle against attempts to declare the reservation abandoned in the 1970s and '80s. Their tenacity paid off, and in 1986 they were granted permission to open a high-stakes bingo hall. Not surprisingly, the casino and its success rejuvenated the tribe, which now numbers around 1000 members.