I got the chance to visit Harrah’s Cherokee  (@HarrahsCherokee on Twitter) last week as I pursue the “Total Rewards Great Race”.  The casino is owned by the Eastern band of the Cherokee and run by Caesar’s Entertainment (so your Total Reward’s Card will work here).

The casino is lucky to be one of the few in the area but has historically had to deal with some unusual rules. Until recently, alcohol could not be served and the state still does not allow live dealers (although this may change). The last one is a bit strange as many (most?) customers would like live dealers and I assume it would mean a few more jobs for the area.

When I got there I wasn’t expecting much having heard some negative comments from my twitter peeps and reading some of the reviews. It seems those involved at the Harrah’s Cherokee has heard this too as the casino is in the middle of a large expansion. In fact, if you want to watch the progress, there is a web cam here.  There are a number of new shops coming make this more like the casinos you might find in Vegas.

The casino seemed nice and I even found my favorite game there (Star Trek).  They didn’t have as many of the latest games like you might find in Vegas or even Biloxi and Tunica. I personally think the casinos cycle out the games too quickly so it was nice being able to find some old favorites there.

If you don’t like the spend your whole time at the casino, the positive part of Harrah’s Cherokee is that you are in the middle of some of the most beautiful country in the United States.  This is a good place to learn about some Indian history and culture, hike, raft, ride innertubes and try some new foods.   There is also The Great Smoky Mountains National Park. We personally stayed in a cabin not far off (Sorry, no peek at the Harrah’s Hotel this time 😦 )   Here’s a link to a map if you want to check it out yourself .