Written by travel  |  03. March 2006

What's really extraordinary about the Mohegan Sun Hotel and Casino is not the planetarium above its "Casino in the Sky," or the signature waterfall on its main shopping concourse. Rather, it's a sight before you even get there, when you see the 34-story complex rising from the Connecticut woods as you make a turn on the access highway. For those used to the seeing the urban grit outside the casinos in Atlantic City, it is a refreshing experience. Once inside, the wonder continues, and not only with the fascinating indoor waterfall, and the world's largest planetarium dome, with its fiberoptic displays of the sun, moon and stars. Gamblers and non-gamblers alike will find plenty to occupy their time in this Native American owned gaming and entertainment complex, about three hours' drive from Long Island. Among the attractions after a recent one billion dollar expansion are: A 1,200- room hotel, with spacious, tastefully decorated and luxurious rooms, a full-service spa, fitness center, indoor pool and sun terrace. The Casino in the Sky, under the planetarium dome, which, added to the original Casino of the Earth, gives the complex over 300,000 sq. feet of gaming space, including over 5,000 slot machines, varied table games and both smoking and non-smoking areas. Wombi Rock, a multi-leveled, onyx and alabaster entertainment and lounge venue with special lighting effects that complement the planetarium's laser show. Varied dining choices, including Michael Jordan's Steakhouse; the Tuscany, Summer Shack, and Rain gourmet restaurants; two popular buffets, Sunburst and Seasons; the Rising Moon gallery of eateries; and the Casino of the Earth food court. Shopping, including jewelry, antiques, Native American crafts, custom furniture, electronics, even an Imus Brothers Coffee outlet. Entertainment in the Wolf's Den, which offers free shows in the Casino of the Earth and has featured such acts as Blondie and Joan Jett; the Cabaret, offering comedy and traditional variety shows; and the 10,000 set arena, which has featured everything from world championship boxing to world class performers like Tony Bennett and Janet Jackson. Nightlife, showcasing the new Mohegan After Dark complex, offering a variety of experiences from the Lucky's Lounge and Ultra 88 Nightclub, to the Dubliner, an authentic Irish pub, with Guinness stout on tap and decorative accessories imported from the Emerald Isle. Close by are such Southeastern Connecticut attractions as Mystic Seaport and Aquarium; the Essex Steam Train and River Cruise; the Submarine Museum in Groton; the Old Lighthouse Museum in Stonington; and the Tantaquidgeon Indian Museum in Uncasville. Owned and operated by the Mohegan Tribal Nation, Mohegan Sun in Uncasville, Connecticut, is one of the largest and most distinctive gaming destinations in the United States. To reach Mohegan Sun by car, take the Throggs Neck Bridge to I-95 North, and then I-395 North to Exit 79A, then 2A East to Mohegan Sun Boulevard. For further information, call (toll-free) 1-888-226-7711, or log on to www.mohegansun.com.

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