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.mashantucket.com), 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 900 members.