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Enter Sands, man

There’s loads of fun to be had beyond the casino at Sands Bethlehem

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When you hear casino, you inevitably think gambling—the two go hand in hand. But Sands Casino Resort in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania, is more than just a place to drop in for a few rounds at the roulette table. It’s a bona fide getaway, with shopping, a spa, live entertainment and quality dining neatly tucked all under one roof. One night isn’t enough to take advantage of all the amenities on offer—you’re gonna want a whole weekend at Sands.

Kick off Friday night with dinner at one of the resort's ten restaurants and a show—grade-A comedians like Kathy Griffin, Bill Maher and Wanda Sykes regularly take the stage at Sands Bethlehem Event Center, as well as musical performances by popular acts, including the Counting Crows, Blondie and New Kids on the Block with Nelly. Toast a night well spent with cocktails at one of the nightlife lounges conveniently located right on the casino floor: Coil, Molten and Infusion.

After a relaxing sleep in one of the hotel’s sleek-and-spacious rooms (each equipped with plush, pillow-topped beds, free high-speed WiFi connection and flatscreen LCD televisions) and a complimentary continental breakfast at the rustic, understated Emeril’s Italian Table, treat yourself to a Saturday-morning spa treatment from one of the resort's thoughtful masseuses. A relaxing, rejuvenative hour-long full-body massage at medium pressure in one of the spa's comfortable massage rooms (single and couple rooms also available), soothingly decorated in neutral tones and playing soft ambient muisc, will get you in gear for an afternoon spent exploring the Outlets at Sands Bethlehem, an indoor shopping mall housing not only the spa but also more than 30 brand-name stores (Coach, Under Armour, Tommy Hilfiger), a family-friendly Kids Quest arcade and lunchtime options at the Market Gourmet Express, offering Mo Burger, Green Leaf's salads, Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and more.

Celebrate your wins on the casino floor—armed with 200 tables devoted to blackjack, three-card poker, craps and more, along with sundry slot machines—with an elegant, wine-paired dinner at Emeril’s Chop House, a handsome dining room fitted with white-clothed tables and glass chandeliers. Begin your meal with plump Gulf shrimp, updated with brandied cocktail sauce and pickled mirliton, or a half dozen oysters from the raw bar, then sink your teeth into a picture-perfect medium-rare filet, served a la carte in six- and nine-ounce portions. Pair the steak with a range of sides (butter-whipped potatoes, creamed spinach, roasted cauliflower) to share with the whole table. Then make your way over for a night of dancing at Vision Bar’s no-cover Cirque Saturdays, a multifloor spectacle complete with aerial acrobats, go-go dancers, stilt walkers, bottle service and a live DJ pumping music from a deck above the crowd.

Cashing out at the casino is as easy as checking out of the hotel on Sunday, with attendants readily available to help you gather your winnings. The Trans-Bridge Lines bus company runs services daily from Sands back to New York’s Port Authority every few hours, so you can depart the resort at your leisure—and fit in one more hand at the casino before you take off!

For more information, go to pasands.com.

Gambling Problem? Call 1-800-GAMBLER.

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