Colorado’s Casinos: Cannabis and Gaming Travel Guide

In Travel Tips by Midas

Welcome to our quick guide on Colorado’s Casinos and Cannabis.

Colorado, known for its breathtaking landscapes and pioneering spirit, also has a wild side nestled in its mountain crests. If you’re thinking Vegas is the only American destination for slots, poker, and a good ol’ party vibe, let me introduce you to the Colorado trifecta: Black Hawk, Central City, and Cripple Creek. Sitting above 8,000 feet, these towns aren’t just a gamble; they’re an adventure!

PRO TIP – Be sure to pick up some cannabis supplies in Manitou Springs before you go up into Cripple Creek, and you also have to stop in Denver before you head up to Black Hawk and Central City.

Quick Guide to Gambling Rules in Colorado

  • Legal Age: You must be at least 21 years old to gamble in Colorado.
  • ID Requirements: Always carry a valid ID. No ID, no play—it’s essential for entering casinos and claiming winnings.
  • Gambling Types: Colorado allows slot machines, blackjack, poker, craps, and roulette.
  • Drinking: Alcohol can be purchased and consumed of course. Some casinos allow tobacco smoking. They will cut you off from gaming and drinking if they think your drunk, so be warned.
Colorado's Casinos Cannabis and Gaming Travel Guide

Black Hawk: The Mini-Vegas of the Rockies

First up, let’s take a ride to Black Hawk. Nestled in the Rocky Mountains, Black Hawk is a prime spot for both gaming enthusiasts and those looking to experience a piece of Colorado’s rich mining history. Here’s what you need to know about this bustling little casino town:

  • Distance from Denver: Just a quick 40-mile drive west of Denver, Black Hawk is easily accessible via the scenic State Highway 119. This means you can swap city skylines for mountain vistas in about an hour!
  • Elevation: Sitting pretty at approximately 8,537 feet above sea level, Black Hawk isn’t just high on excitement. Remember, at this altitude, you might feel the effects of alcohol and cannabis more intensely.
Credit – Wikipedia

Places to Stay in Black Hawk

Whether you’re in town for a night or planning an extended stay, Black Hawk offers a range of accommodations. Here are a few top spots:

  • Ameristar Casino Resort Spa: This is the big boy on the block, offering not just plush rooms but also a full-service casino, spa, and pool. Perfect for those who want a little luxury with their luck.
  • The Lodge Casino: Known for its welcoming atmosphere, The Lodge offers comfortable rooms and is a great base for all your gambling adventures.
  • Monarch Casino Resort Spa: For those seeking the newest in town, the Monarch promises modern rooms, dining options, and the added bonus of spectacular mountain views.

Find lodging in Black Hawk, Colorado here.

Places to Eat in Black Hawk, CO

All that gambling and sightseeing can work up quite an appetite. Here are some eateries where you can refuel:

  • Fireside Kitchen: Located in Ameristar, this cozy spot offers comfort food that’s perfect for chilling out after a few intense rounds at the blackjack table.
  • Timberline Grill: If you’re looking for a more upscale dining experience, this place in Ameristar offers a steakhouse vibe with top-notch meats and a fine selection of wines.
  • The Buffet at Monarch: For those who want to try a little bit of everything, the Buffet at Monarch features cuisines from around the globe, making it a hit for every palate.

Extra Tips

  • Stay Hydrated: The high elevation can lead to dehydration, which feels all the worse with alcohol or cannabis.
  • Gamble Responsibly: With the variety and excitement of casinos here, it’s easy to get swept up. Keep track of your spending (and winning!).
  • Casinos Galore: With over 15 casinos, Black Hawk is where you can throw down a royal flush one minute and enjoy a gourmet meal the next.
  • Modern Meets Historical: The town does a sweet job of preserving its Victorian roots while boasting modern resorts.

The Twist:

Cannabis is in the air (quite literally, though only where it’s legally permitted). Walking through Black Hawk, you might catch a whiff of nature’s bounty. Just remember, mixing cannabis with high-stakes gambling can turn “Bet it all on black!” into “Did I just bet my shoes?”

Be cautious, party responsibly, and remember, altitude can amplify effects.

Central City: Cute, Walk-able, Charm

central city main street
Central City

Just up the road from Black Hawk, Central City offers its own unique blend of history and gaming, often with a quieter, more laid-back vibe. This is an old city, that has a lot of walk-ability. If your out of shape you will find this a bit of a challenge.

Lots of cute shops and places selling Colorado souvenirs. One of the better times to visit is Fall; Sept to Oct. This will get you some amazing views of the changing Aspens.

  • Distance from Denver: About 45 miles west of Denver, directly adjacent to Black Hawk, making it an easy addition to any gambling circuit in the area.
  • Elevation: Perched at about 8,510 feet, the elevation is similar to Black Hawk. Keep in mind the thinner air when enjoying drinks or cannabis.

Places to Stay in Central City, CO

While smaller than Black Hawk, Central City provides charming options for accommodations:

  • Century Casino & Hotel: This spot provides comfortable lodging with the added convenience of being right in the middle of the gaming action.
  • The Grand Z Casino Hotel: Offering a blend of comfort and convenience, it’s a solid base for both gaming and exploring the historic surroundings.
  • Hooper Homestead Bed and Breakfast: For those who prefer a quieter, more quaint experience, this B&B is a perfect retreat with cozy rooms and a homey feel.

Find lodging in Central City, Colorado here.

Places to Eat in Central City

Central City’s dining scene may be smaller, but it’s still mighty tasty:

  • Millie’s Restaurant: Located inside the Dostal Alley Casino, this cozy eatery is great for grabbing a casual American meal.
  • The Retro Deli and Tavern: A fun spot for sandwiches, snacks, and a good drink in a relaxed atmosphere.
  • Teller House: Not only a place to dine but also a piece of Central City’s history, offering a fancier dining experience in a historic setting.
Central City – Winter and Residences

Extra Tips

  • Explore the History: Make sure to take a walk through the Central City Opera House and other historical sites.
  • Gaming Tips: The casinos here are generally less crowded than in Black Hawk, offering a more relaxed gambling experience.
  • Cultural Mix: Opera houses and fine art with a side of slot machines? You bet.
  • Historic Charm: Walking through Central City feels like time-traveling, with its well-preserved architecture and friendly ghosts.


 Sipping a cocktail while enjoying a puff outside on the vape, sounds like a mountain-top experience, right? Just be mindful my friends, as the effects of alcohol and cannabis can be stronger at higher altitudes. Hydrate, and gamble responsibly—nobody wants their chips to go flying without them. Believe me, water does help.

Cripple Creek: Wild West Reborn

Cripple Creek, Colorado

Farther down south lies Cripple Creek, an old gold mining town turned gambling destination, famous for its wild west flair. This town is not pretty like the others. It is set in an old mining town so all the trees that were there are, long gone.

But it does have its charm and views of the surrounding mountains. You can also find small shops and places to see.

They also have a ride-able short line railroad for some great sightseeing, that runs in the warmer seasons. The drive up from Colorado Springs is a beautiful one, but you must like driving windy two lane mountain roads. Best time to visit is in the fall for the amazing views of the changing Aspens.

  • Distance from Denver: About 115 miles south of Denver, Cripple Creek is a bit of a longer trek but well worth the drive for its unique character.
  • Elevation: At approximately 9,494 feet, it’s the highest of the trio. The altitude might make your casino adventures even more dizzying, so pace yourself!
Cripple Creek, Bennet Ave.

Places to Stay in Cripple Creek

Cripple Creek has lodging options that complement its old-west character:

  • Bronco Billy’s Hotel: Recently expanded, this place offers comfortable new rooms right in the heart of the action.
  • Double Eagle Hotel and Casino: Besides gaming, they provide good rooms with stunning views of the surrounding mountains.
  • The Cripple Creek Inn: For a more budget-friendly option, this inn provides basic accommodations with easy access to local attractions.

Find lodging in Cripple Creek, Colorado here.

Places to Eat in Cripple Creek

Food in Cripple Creek is as hearty as its history:

  • Maggie’s Restaurant: Located in the Pikes Peak region, this spot offers a good mix of comfort food to keep you fueled up for the slots.
  • The Steakhouse at Bronco Billy’s: Treat yourself to a high-end meal with fine steaks and a selection of wines.
  • Home Cafe: Known for its laid-back atmosphere and good portions, it’s a great place to relax after a day of gaming.
Views of Sangre de Cristo Mountains; from above Cripple Creek, Colorado

Extra Tips

  • Historical Attractions: Don’t miss the Cripple Creek Heritage Center and the out-of-town gold mine tours.
  • Be Prepared for Weather: The weather here can be quite unpredictable, so pack accordingly.
  • Diverse Entertainment: It’s not just about gambling. There’s theater, museums, and outdoor activities.
  • Vegas Baby, Kinda?: With several casinos, there’s plenty of gambling action. Less neon, more saloon.

The Heads-Up:

Mixing high-octane gambling with high-grade cannabis? Remember, you’re at a whopping 9,494 feet! Oxygen is scarce up here, and judgement might be too if you’re not careful. Keep the spirits light and the stakes right.

So, if you’re looking to up the ante on adventure, Colorado’s historic gambling towns are a safe bet. From historic to hilarious, these towns offer a unique blend of gaming, history, and high-altitude hilarity. Just keep an eye on your two best buds—Jack Daniels and Mary Jane—and remember, the house always wins, especially when you forget the rules.

I hope this post helps you on your travel dates to these cool mountain towns. Be sure to book a room with us; it free of up-charges, unlike our competitors and it helps us to bring you these helpful hints and tips. Safe travels!