If you’re looking to learn about the art, history, and culture of the resourceful Miccosukee people, who have been living in and around the Everglades since before Florida was part of the United States, you’ll want to visit Miccosukee Indian Village about 20 miles to the west. If, however, you want to camp out at a slot machine or play bingo at 3:30am on a Tuesday, head for Miccosukee Resort & Gaming, another tribal enterprise on the Everglades’ outskirts.
(Image by Philip Lange / Shutterstock)
Inside the resort, a vast 24-hour casino fills most of the ground floor with flashing lights, jingle-jangling electronic racket, and cigarette smoke. That’s right: Smoking indoors is still permitted here, and the resort’s patrons take full advantage of the opportunity. Bars, dining venues (including a buffet restaurant, a sit-down Italian joint, and a snack bar), live entertainment, and a disco give non-gamers something to do. An onsite spa can probably help you wash the smell of smoke out of your hair.
(Image by Zac Thompson)
Upstairs, the guest rooms are on par with what you’d find at any moderately priced chain hotel. Artwork on the walls and geometric designs on bedding subtly reference the resort’s Native American ownership.
The hotel's location is prime for overnighters who want to explore the Everglades—though finding a casino this close to wild wetlands has a surreal quality. At check-in, you might be handed a buffet voucher and given a warning about alligators at the same time.