Written by Brad Kovach
January 2020

Whether you love the thrill of gambling or simply enjoy the glitz and glamour at today’s world-class casinos, these waterfront destinations are a sure bet. Split into region, the following seaside casinos and gaming establishments are flush with exciting games of chance and endless hours of entertainment.

New England

A gaming getaway to this historic seafaring region of the northeast United States promises a windfall of memorable experiences. Berth your vessel in a charming harbor next to working boats and private yachts, then stroll the cobblestone streets lined with boutique shops, art galleries, whaling museums and fresh seafood restaurants. Don’t miss a trip to the rocky headlands along the coast, home to pocket beaches and majestic lighthouses.

From north to south, you can try your luck at Encore Boston Harbor Casino (grand-scale glamor) in Boston, Atlantic Beach Casino Resort (old-time beachy) in Westerly, RI, and Mohegan Sun Casino (modern luxury high-rise) in Montville, CT.


Atlantic City, NJ

Last time we checked, Las Vegas was still landlocked, which makes Atlantic City the seaside casinos capital of the United States. More than $1.7 billion in investments in recent years has enhanced the resort town’s magnetic appeal with big name restaurants featuring famous chefs, headline entertainment, lavish spas, championship golf courses, elite shopping and more.

Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Tropicana Atlantic City are both located on the famed Atlantic City Boardwalk and all its sun-and-sand attractions. Golden Nugget Atlantic City is in the Marina District, a less congested and more chic setting away from the hubbub of the beach.

Baltimore, MD

A stay in one of America’s oldest seaports, bustling and diverse Baltimore could be the ending to a wonderful, nature-filled cruise up the Chesapeake Bay. The city’s downtown and many of its neighborhoods are being revitalized, with special attention given to its greatest assets: the Inner Harbor and Patapsco River waterfront. Family-friendly museums, eclectic restaurants, exciting nightlife, and historic monuments and ships are just the tip of the iceberg here.

The Horseshoe Baltimore Casino, located on Baltimore’s south side a short distance from the Inner Harbor, has 122,000 square feet of gaming space and offers easy access to both Camden Yards and M&T Bank Stadium, where the Orioles and Ravens play.

Washington, DC

National Harbor on the eastern shore of the Potomac River invites stunning views of the monuments of Washington, DC, from the top of its 180-foot-tall Capital Wheel. But that’s not all. This celebrated waterfront entertainment district features fashionable shopping, restaurants from top-rated chefs, and renowned attractions including indoor and outdoor art collections, relaxing full-service spas, noteworthy buildings and estates, and a full-service marina.

MGM National Harbor is a 300-suite hotel with a spacious casino, high-end retail, fine and casual dining, a MGM National Harbor Closeup | Seaside Casinos | Marinalife1,200-seat theater venue, and conservatory. Plus, you can take the water taxi or cruise up the Potomac River to Old Town Alexandria and DC waterfront hotspots, memorials and Nationals Stadium, home to the 2019 World Series champs. The District Wharf and The Yards marinas offer convenient dockage in DC.

Bay St. Louis, MS

This quaint coastal community, located about 90 miles east of New Orleans, has been named one of the “Coolest Small Towns in America” by Budget Travel, and a “Dream Town” by Coastal Living Magazine. Picture vintage architecture, quirky shops and galleries, and mouth-watering eateries set against a backdrop of marshlands and a wide, sandy beach on the Gulf of Mexico. The perfect spot for a laidback sojourn.

When it’s time to up the ante with some excitement, stop in at Island View Casino Resort, Hollywood Casino Marina or Silver Slipper Casino Beachfront RV Park — each with sweeping seaside views and games galore.

Vicksburg, MS

Rising from the banks of the Mississippi River and claiming a pivotal site in the American Civil War, Vicksburg lies at the crossroads of old and new. Paved-brick streets, antebellum mansions and colorful murals painted on the floodwall show the heritage of the downtown district, while specialty shopping, outstanding New Southern cuisine, and a thriving arts and culture scene look to the future.

But the best views could be at the casinos. Ameristar Vicksburg is a stationary riverboat packed with the latest electronic and table games. Lady Luck Casino and WaterView Casino are both on the water’s edge and offer Vegas-style gambling, restaurants and full guest services.

New Orleans, LA

“The Big Easy” is a place like no other. Between the multifaceted festivals, soulful music, unique cuisine, historic tours, curated shopping, and dark-to-dawn nightlife, it’s impossible to overstate the city’s melting-pot charm.

That extends to the seaside casinos, too. Twenty-six stories tall, Harrah’s New Orleans has spectacular views of the skyline and is just steps from the French Quarter. Boomtown Casino & Hotel, across the Mississippi River on the West Bank, operates a 380-foot stationary riverboat with games, food and more. Treasure Chest Casino, about 30 minutes from downtown New Orleans, is another riverboat with red-hot slots, table games and dining — against the backdrop of Lake Pontchartrain.


Florida is a big, beautiful, diverse state, as demonstrated by its richly influenced cities and attractions. Known as the home of the Daytona 500 NASCAR Race, Daytona Beach is also a spring break hotspot with its activity-filled boardwalk and 23 miles of sand. Daytona Beach Racing & Card Club works racing into the betting repertoire, with live and simulcast greyhound races.

The Casino at Dania Beach hosts Jai Alia — “the fastest game ever played by man” — and recently renovated its court to seat up to 500 spectators. At Seminole Hard Rock Hotel & Casino in Davie, the setting evokes a posh rock ‘n’ roll feel and hosts performers such as Sting and Alicia Keys. In the heart of the Everglades south of Miami, Miccosukee Resort & Gaming treats guests with a salon and spa, top-notch food, and events that highlight the culture of the native Miccosukee tribe.

Lake Tahoe, NV

Carved from the surrounding Sierra Nevada Mountains during the last ice age, cerulean-blue Lake Tahoe is a major destination for outdoor enthusiasts, and those looking for seaside casinos. The 22-mile-long by 12-mile-wide body of water straddles California and Nevada, with the latter boasting several casinos divided between the North Shore and South Shore.

Up north, Crystal Bay Casino and Tahoe Biltmore Casino & Lodge combine traditional alpine charm with modern amenities. If you’re looking for an overtly glamorous experience, Hard Rock Hotel & Casino and Montbleu Resort Casino & Spa to the south tap into the pampered traveler inside us all and provide high-rise views and extravagant resort features.

Southern California

The ultimate Southern California boat trip could start on secluded Santa Catalina Island, where you can explore the beautiful wildlife above and below the waves before spending an evening at Avalon’s circular, art deco Catalina Casino — the kind of timeless landmark where James Bond wouldn’t seem out of place. Then, it’s over to Ocean’s Eleven Casino in Oceanside. You probably won’t see Brad Pitt or George Clooney on your visit, but that shouldn’t stop you from enjoying the 22,000-square-foot gaming space with 50 tables and slot machines.

Last comes a trip to San Diego’s seaside casinos (don’t miss the Gaslamp Quarter and Balboa Park) and a stop at Barona Resort & Casino, winner of Best Casino, Loosest Slots, and Best Casino Buffet in the San Diego Union-Tribune’s “Best Of” Readers Poll for nine years in a row.