Harrah’s Rincon Resort, Valley Center, CA

If you’re looking for a “Funner” place to relax and gamble in Southern California, specifically in San Diego County, then you’ll want to check out Harrah’s Rincon Resort, Southern California. Harrah’s is located in Valley Center, on the Rincon Indian Reservation and operated by the tribe.

I don’t know about you, but if you live in Southern California, a trip to Vegas is always exhausting. Especially exhausting is the horrible drive home on Sunday. (Bumper to bumper traffic all… the… way… out of town!) So, why go to Vegas when you can head a few miles east of San Diego and go to Harrah’s?

The casino

Harrah’s a very nice, but small casino. The standard rooms are on the smaller side, but they’re nice and clean and have small refrigerators in case you have leftovers from your late-night taco truck stop at ‘Rita’s Cantina. Many also have nice views of the iconic Palomar Mountain. Their suites are also very nice, and you can choose to stay in one of two towers. The South Tower is a little bit more active and is close to the pool area and ‘Rita’s. The North Tower is much quieter but gives you better access to the casino area or front desk area.

The casino boasts over 1,500 slot machines, and over 50 table games to strike your fancy. There’s a decent sized non-smoking section, however the rest of the casino is smoking. Another cool amenity is the Top Golf Swing Suite, which can be rented out.

Go Poolside

During the summer at the pool, they often have DJ’s and live music. You can enjoy an “adult only” pool with a full bar, as well as a swim up bar and rent a cabana or daybed for the day.

If you must bring the kids, you can also grab a cabana near the lazy river where the kids can grab an inner tube (sold separately) and float around the river and under the refreshing waterfall. Adults are also allowed to float. No judgement here!

Grab a drink (and a refillable tumbler) and some food at the Dive In and you’re set for a nice, relaxing day at the pool. Note: You must be a guest to visit the pool and I believe at certain times of the year, you must be 21+ to enter.

If you’re not interested in time at the pool, there’s a lovely day spa that I’ve heard is nice as well.

Let’s eat

As far as your dining options, they fairly recently opened up Hell’s Kitchen, a fine dining experience with a spectacular executive chef and menu approved by Chef Gordon Ramsay.

There’s also The Café that is open late, Salt & Fin and Salt & Fin Oyster Bar, KJ Chinese Food, and as I mentioned before, ‘Rita’s Cantina. Although the Cantina, which overlooks the adult pool, isn’t open late, the taco truck just outside the cantina is open late and serves some tasty street tacos, among other snacks.

Drink up

One of my favorite parts of the casino is the Spiked bar. Our very talented bartender made me the most amazing, smoked, Old Fashioned, among other amazing craft cocktails.

And although I’m not a big beer drinker, there is also Rincon Reservation Road Brewery, located just outside the front of the hotel, past valet.

Thank you for your service

I also wanted to note that they offer pretty phenomenal military and first responder stay packages and discounts you may want to check out if it applies. Thank you for your service!

I highly recommend checking out Harrah’s Resort and skipping the muss and fuss of getting to and from Las Vegas. There is plenty for all to do, even if you don’t gamble. I do suggest leaving the kids at home if you can, as they are obviously not allowed in most parts of the casino.

If you’re looking to get out of San Diego County to gamble, but don’t want to drive all the way to Vegas, why not try out Pechanga Resort Casino in Temecula. It’s the largest casino in California and has plenty to do for everyone!

Enjoy your stay!

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