Harrah’s Resort San Diego

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Harrah’s Resort San Diego

When I was offered a chance to go see the Penn and Teller show at Harrah’s Resort, I jumped at the opportunity considering that I’m a long time fan of magic. When I was a kid, I had every magic kit possible and I have always been, and still am a fan of card tricks.

So off to Harrah’s we go on a rainy night in Southern California. Harrah’s Resort is situated just about a mile from the 76 Freeway in Valley Center, a part of North San Diego County.  One of many Indian casinos in the area, Harrah’s is owned by the Luiseño Indians and operated by Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

To get there, you travel through a picturesque valley of rolling hills and meadows so it is always amusing when out of nowhere there suddenly appears this towering hotel and casino. It seems so out of place.

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Harrah’s in the distance

As well as the ticket to see Penn and Teller, we were lucky enough to get a few free rooms for the night which is always nice especially when the show starts at nine o’clock.

Through the years, I have seen every room this hotel has to offer and even though we had one of the smallest, it was still quite sizable. The beds are super comfortable and after three nights, it was hard to go back to my lumpy mattress at home.

One of the suites has an enormous balcony that can easily accommodate a huge party. The same can be said of their bathrooms where you could fitat least ten peoplein the shower stall alone.

After checking in and then a great dinner at the buffet, it was time for the Penn and Teller show.  This was an incredible evening of mind blowing tricks, thought provoking acts, and plenty of laughs.     They included the audience in some of their routines which included a great opening bit featuring a cell phone on loan from one lucky participant.

These seasoned pros put on such a great show and it was especially impressive that immediately after the performance, they walked right into the lobby to pose for photos and give out autographs.  No privileged “Meet and Greets” for these guys, they put themselves out there for all of us.

I bypassed the line and headed out to the casino to win my soon to be millions.  The nice sized casino has many nooks and crannies including a poker room, gaming tables, and a high roller area.   All of the machines are state-of-the-art and as good as any Vegas casino.

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Within ten minutes I was happily pulling out a $240 ticket from the machine and was ready to go home the next day a tad bit richer.

But oh no.   As it turned out, my friend got two more nights free!! So we were staying.

It gave me a chance to really explore the hotel and I decided that it was one of my favorites.  As mentioned above, the rooms are impressive but the grounds are equally remarkable and will rival any fine resort.   You will find a huge pool, three Jacuzzis, cabanas, a swim-up-bar, palapas, fire pits, and their 400 foot-long Lazy River.

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by-pool day-bed

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The Lazy River provides you with inner tubes to twist and turn your way through the slowly moving water, while waterfalls and spouts either add to the ambience or get you wet, your choice. Even on this cool February weekend, the pool and river were kept at a balmy 85 degrees.

lazy-river
waterfall

After a day in the sun you can take your hungry body inside to one of the many restaurants.Besides a really nice fine dining restaurant, there is a casual café, a great Mexican food place and, of course, the enormous buffet. This isn’t one of your cheap Vegas $9.99 buffets though.  It is a little on the pricey side but does feature a few different cuisines and plenty of sea food.

For quick bites they have a food court and no place is complete without a Starbucks on the premises.

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There is also a spa and shops are just a short walk from the casino or your room.

Besides the main stage that hosted the Penn and Teller show, there are other venues with top notch entertainment including often booked tribute bands that perform the likes of the Beatles, Fleetwood Mac, Heart, and many others.

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One of the bar lounges

Going from just staying one night to spending over two days at the hotel, we were never bored.  If we weren’t relaxing, eating, or gambling, we were taking a one-day excursion over to Julian for the day.

Even though I love Harrah’s Resort, my luck in the casino isn’t so great.  For a brief moment, I thought I broke my Harrah’s losing streak as I admired that $240 ticket courtesy of two bars surrounded by two double diamonds.  However, it was not meant to be.  Because we stayed longer, the winning ticket soon traveled back into the abyss of the brightly lit slot machines never to be seen again.

However, I did see plenty of people winning as I walked through the casino. The clanking and squawking of winning jackpots is always a welcome sound and even more so if it is you!!!

In the end, I guess I channeled my inner magician way too much as I made my winnings disappear, so I need to find Penn and Teller and ask them to teach me how to make them reappear.  Now that would be an awesome trick!!

Whether, you are winning, losing, eating, swimming, dancing, laughing,drinking, or simply relaxing, check out Harrah’s Resort when you are in Southern California.

Story and photos: D
Debbie Colwell

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