With pandemic restrictions easing more and more and great weather on the way, an in-state gambling trip sounds like absolute fun, win or lose.

My very first gambling excursion was to Central City right after they legalized gambling in 1991. I’ve always had a good time when going there or to Blackhawk. I’ve also been to Cripple Creek a couple of times, but it's worth noting that unless you live really close to Cripple Creek, it’s not really a day-trip adventure; you should book a room.

Get our free mobile app

From Blackhawk and Central City to Cripple Creek and the Ute Mountain Reservation, these are the top 10 places to gamble in Colorado, according to TripAdvisor rankings.

#1: MONARCH CASINO RESORT & SPA - BLACKHAWK

This Casino Resort Spa is one of the best places to stay in Blackhawk, CO. Highly recommend you give this hotel a try. From the beautifully luxurious decorations, hotel rooms and fine dining (Monarch Chophouse), which had outstanding service and the food was phenomenal, this place is a must-see!!! Not to mention some of the best and many gambling machines, very clean, well kept and sanitized quickly.

#2: AMERISTAR CASINO & SPA - BLACKHAWK

Me and my family came here to celebrate someone's birthday and had an absolute blast. Most nearly similar to Vegas strip, this casino hits high marks and makes it easy to pass many many hours. Great food options all around, from cheaper to expensive, and spa or rooftop pool and hot tubs! You won't regret it.

#3: BRONCO BILLY'S CASINO - CRIPPLE CREEK

We love the hotel upstairs of Casino. Rm 123 is our favorite. The Steakhouse is fabulous. The restaurant in the casino is good too, but not as good as the Steakhouse. The staff recognizes us now and we never have trouble getting drinks while gambling. The slots usually pay enough for us to play and have fun, we go a couple times a week. The Ice Sculptures and Ice Slide are still standing in the rd. Heated smoking area with benches on the street. Great for people watching.

#4: THE BRASS ASS - CRIPPLE CREEK

Loved this little casino. Has a great atmosphere and great staff. Staff is friendly, and the dealers all have a good personality and will make the night go by fast! We kept coming back here during our stay—in fact, we stayed in this casino about 85% of our trip, haha. We played blackjack the majority of the time and had a blast. Ground level is where the tables and good slots are, downstairs is a small cafe and some more slots. There is a great handy connection to the Midnight Rose Casino as well.

#5: THE LODGE CASINO - BLACKHAWK

I like the Lodge Casino because the minimums are lower on the table games than over at Ameristar. Not as nice as Ameristar in terms of décor, etc. Right in the middle of town and easy to get to, but no hotel attached, as I understand it. Dealers were friendly and helpful but hotel is not as upscale as some in the area.

#6: CENTURY CASINO HOTEL- CRIPPLE CREEK

We spent one night at the Century Casino a couple of weeks ago. Our king bedroom was very clean and comfortable. The casino was fun, and we won, too! We ate at the café for dinner and breakfast, and it had tasty food. All the employees, from the ladies at the front desk, waitresses, dealers and other casino employees were very welcoming and friendly. It was a great experience, and we will go back someday!

#7: SKY UTE CASINO RESORT - IGNACIO

Made a special trip to this casino on our way back from Durango on a Sunday morning. Lucky for us, Sundays were special "veteran perks days" and we signed up getting $15.00 in free play and a t-shirt! Staff were very gracious and helpful. The casino floor had a lot of new games...and they paid off very well. Area was kept very clean and a beverage server was always available for refreshments. When we arrived home about 3 days later, we had a thank you postcard waiting for us! Can't get any better than that! What a great casino...laid back and welcoming. We will go back if ever again in the area.

#8: WILDWOOD CASINO - CRIPPLE CREEK

I went with a friend to enjoy a few hours of gambling during the week of Christmas. We played craps, blackjack and ultimate Texas hold'em for about 5 hours. Except for taking my money :), the dealers were all very friendly and helpful, while maintaining a professional status. The pit boss was also warm and friendly. The cocktail waitresses were friendly and efficient as well. All in all, we had a very good time (would have been a GREAT time if we had won... :) ).

#9: EASY STREET CASINO - CENTRAL CITY

We went into this casino while walking around the main street in Central City, and we were impressed! It's a cute little casino and the building is really cool. There's a decent choice of casino games as well as a kid-friendly arcade, too. It's very walkable and not too far from the CC/BH tram shuttle stop.

#10: DOSTAL ALLEY BREWPUB & CASINO - CENTRAL CITY

We didn’t know what to expect from the outside, but several folks recommended the pub. We were pleasantly surprised with the atmosphere inside and the food. We went to Central City for the history and not the gambling. There were no gambling machines in our view in the dining area. The beer was very good and we had street tacos and a vegetarian pizza and both were delicious! One lady taking orders and cooking and she did an excellent job.

LOOK: Stunning vintage photos capture the beauty of America's national parks

Today these parks are located throughout the country in 25 states and the U.S. Virgin Islands. The land encompassing them was either purchased or donated, though much of it had been inhabited by native people for thousands of years before the founding of the United States. These areas are protected and revered as educational resources about the natural world, and as spaces for exploration.

Keep scrolling for 50 vintage photos that show the beauty of America's national parks.