Casinos near upper michigan - casinos within a 250-mile radius

If you find yourself in or around Michigan’s Upper Peninsula (also known as the U.P.), you might be wondering if there are any nearby casinos. The answer depends on your definition of “near.”

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If you want to drive just an hour or so and play your slot machines or table games, there are a few options. But if you’re looking for a casual day trip, you’ll likely end up driving to Flint, Battle Creek, or another town outside the U.P.

However, if a two-hour drive is your limit, there are several casinos from which to choose in Michigan’s Lower Peninsula. I’ll discuss those casinos near Upper Michigan soon.

But before I do, allow me to provide a quick introduction to gambling in the Great Lake State.

At a Glance

Here are the major pointers on casinos near Upper Michigan:

Creating a gambling itinerary when visiting somewhere new can sometimes seem overwhelming. When you factor in driving distance, casino offerings, gaming hours, etc., making heads or tails of everything can prove daunting.

But if you’re looking for casinos close to Upper Michigan, choosing where to gamble shouldn’t be too difficult.

As you can see above, all four casinos are operated by different organizations, so each one offers a unique experience. Furthermore, three of the four casinos are open 24 hours, so whenever you choose to gamble, you can play slots, table games, or poker.

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Greektown Casino-Hotel is the only establishment that doesn’t offer 24-hour gaming, and it closes on both Tuesday and Wednesday. But aside from those minor inconveniences, Detroit offers plenty of entertainment, so you should have no trouble finding something fun to do.

It’s also essential to note that all four casinos offer promotions, fantastic dining establishments, luxurious accommodations, and much more. So no matter which venue you pick, you are sure to have a great time.

But if you’d like to know a little more about Upper Peninsula casinos or gambling in Michigan generally, read on.

Casinos in Upper Michigan

There are no casinos in the Upper Peninsula of Michigan per se. However, the Kewadin Casinos have locations in the U.P., so you can enjoy native American gambling without leaving the region.

The six Kewadin Casinos are located in the following places:

  • Sault Ste. Marie
  • Mackinac City
  • Manistique
  • Christman
  • Hessel
  • Leland

As you can see, the farthest a Casinoman needs to travel is to Mackinac City, which is just under 170 miles from popular Upper Michigan towns like Negaunee and Marquette.

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Unfortunately, Mackinac City is also where the closest casino to Upper Michigan is located. As you can see below, the other three casinos are at least 20 miles away. And the two most northerly casinos – Christman and Hessel – are over 230 miles apart.

So, realistically, the only Upper Peninsula casino that is convenient for anyone is the Casino Barbeaux in Sault Ste. Marie. But the St. Mary’s River-spanning city is still considered part of the rural, northern Mockinac County.

That means the Casino Barbeux is not technically in the U.P., but it’s the closest thing Upper Peninsula residents and visitors have to a local casino. By way of comparison, the drive from Traverse City to the Barbeaux is just under 240 miles.

But as I covered earlier, there are several casinos within a similar radius that are arguably more accessible and convenient.

Casinos One to Two Hours from Upper Michigan

If a two-hour drive is as far as you care to go, there are plenty of excellent casinos from which to choose. In fact, I recently wrote an article covering the best , and four of the casinos I discussed are within easy driving distance from Upper Michigan.

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That said, the Gun Lake Casino is three hours and twenty minutes from Traverse City and just over two hours from Escanaba. Thus, it’s marginally further away than some of the others, but it’s worth keeping in mind for the following reasons.

For example, the Gun Lake property is massive, covering 118 acres of land. By way of comparison, the MGM Grand Casino in Las Vegas covers slightly less than 160 acres, so the Glenn Arbor facility is impressively vast.

More importantly, the Glen Arbor downtown Escanaba, MI hotel and casino just opened in August 2022. As such, Gun Lake is fresh in the minds of many casino aficionados, and word-of-mouth buzz tends to be positive.

Additionally, the new venue boasts numerous features that make it stand out among its competitors, including a massive gaming floor. There are 2,000 slot machines and 30 table games on offer.

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Furthermore, the GLA also has a high-limit room, a poker room with ten tables, and a 350-seat bingo hall. Thus, no matter what type of casino game you prefer playing, you’re bound to have a fantastic time at this newly built casino.

Of course, the other three casinos I covered are well worth considering as well. For example, the MotorCity Casino is roughly 190 miles from Traverse City and 155 miles from Escanaba.

Once you arrive at the establishment, you’ll find nearly 100,00 square feet of gaming space. Additionally, there are over 2,900 slot machines and gaming tables on hand, so you won’t be disappointed regarding the range of games available.

Here’s a quick overview of all the casinos within a two-hour radius of the Upper Peninsula.

As you can see, there are plenty of excellent casinos from which to choose. Whether you head south to the Lansing area or all of the way to Mt. Pleasant, you’ll find a wealth of gaming opportunities and exciting experiences.

That said, perhaps a road trip is in order. If you’re prepared to extend your horizon, the pickings get even more impressive.

Casinos Near Upper Michigan within a 250-mile Radius

When you widen your search parameters to include casinos within a 250-mile radius of the U.P., you open yourself up to countless wonderful destinations.

From charming riverfront towns to bustling cities filled with life, there is no shortage of excitement in lower Michigan. Here are the casinos you can look forward to visiting.

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As you can see, I have included several casinos in Flint and one in Mount Pleasant. You could visit all four venues in one day if you really wanted to!

That said, it would be wise to pace yourself if you plan on hitting multiple casinos in one day. After all, responsible gambling is always the best approach.

You may be interested in learning about . Whatever your motivation for visiting these fine establishments, here’s a closer look at the casinos between Upper Michigan and the lower part of the state.

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So, what types of things can you do when you’re not busy gambling? Well, if you find yourself in Battle Creek, there are plenty of family-friendly attractions to keep you occupied.

Whether you take the kids to the Binder Park Zoo or the Columbia Avenue Shopping District, there is plenty to do in the Cereal City.

If you head to the FireKeepers Casino in Battle Creek, there is an attached hotel with 246 rooms. That means you and your loved ones can stay right next to the casino, making it easy to get your gamble on while enjoying quality time together.

In Bay Mills, the Bay Mills Resort & Casino is the main attraction. It should come as no surprise that people tend to visit this casino and spend their days enjoying all that Drummond Island has to offer.

From horseback riding to hiking and biking, there is plenty to see and do on the island. If you’re lucky enough to win big at the casino, you could always splurge on a hot air balloon ride. Either way, there is no bad option when you choose Drummond Island as your vacation spot.

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Are you looking for a place to bring the whole family? The Dacey's Twin Burlington Steak House in the Flint Casino is widely regarded as one of the best steakhouses in Michigan. With mouthwatering food and a full bar, parents can relax and enjoy a nice meal while watching the kiddos run around.

There is truly no shortage of fun things to do at the Flint casinos. Between the two properties, you will find numerous restaurants, a bowling alley, live poker rooms, and so much more.

From the moment you walk through the doors, you’ll be treated to first-class service and a wide variety of games. Whether you prefer classic slots or modern video poker machines, you’ll find them all at these dazzling casinos.

Speaking of video poker, did you know that you can get in some practice via your phone? Whether you’re sitting in a doctor’s office or waiting in line, you can whip out your mobile device and get in some valuable reps.

I recently timed out five minutes of play on a pair of Jacks versus a King. On my first try, I ended up getting Quads about once every three attempts. The second time, I was only able to hit the royal once in 15 tries.

Needless to say, practice makes perfect – especially when lady luck seems to be hiding her wand.

If you intend to play live and in-person, I recommend brushing up on your skills however you can. Whether you play video poker, slot machines, or table games, you can always improve your odds by studying the craft.

When you’re ready to hit the tables, you’ll find that the casinos near Upper Michigan offer plenty of chances to win big. Even better, you’ll find plenty of things to see and do when you’re finished rolling the dice.

Perhaps you’ve always wanted to visit Frankenmuth – one of the top Bavarian-style towns outside of Germany. If so, you’ll be happy to learn that you can reach the Atlas Valley Casino in just under two hours.

Maybe you’ll get lucky and win enough money to fund an entire weekend in Frankenmuth. Or maybe you’ll lose your shirt and have to live off of fried chicken for the next month.

Whatever happens at the tables stays at the tables, so let’s focus on the positives. For instance, there are very few places on earth that can compete with Frankenmuth when it comes to Bavarian charm.

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Founded in 1845, this quaint little village is often called “Little Bavaria.” It’s easy to understand why after you’ve spent a couple of days exploring all that it has to offer.

From the world’s largest Christmas store to Bronner’s Christmas Wonderland, there is no bad time of year to visit Frankenmuth. Of course, the festivities reach new heights during the holiday season, so you may want to plan your trip accordingly.

While you’re in the area, don’t forget to stop by the world’s largest nut house. Okay, it’s officially called Wolverine State Brewing Company, but the building certainly looks nutty.

After enjoying a frosty brew at the WSBC, you might start cracking jokes about having a few nuts in your head. To avoid confusion, you might want to win a few bucks at the Mt. Brighton Casino or the Atlas Valley Casino. That way, everyone will think you’re just a wise guy/nut instead of being nuts from the beer you drank at Bronner’s house.

Seriously, though, there is no bad time of year to visit Frankenmuth. Whether you plan a summer trip or head down in the wintertime, you’re guaranteed to have a grand old time. Just remember to set aside some funds for your journey and try not to go nuts at the casino.


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  • Reference to Frankenmuth as “Little Bavaria” is from .

Anthony is a sports writer for on the hunt for the best tips, picks and tricks for betting articles. He aims to enhance his own betting knowledge while helping others and sharing advices on how to beat the odds. His favorite teams are the Chicago Bears, Bulls, Cubs, and Blackhawks.