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My Mini Moon in Central NY’s Little Las Vegas

Ever considered taking a mini moon with your fiance? I mean, who here needs a vacation? All of us? Obviously. However, I’m sure that the majority of us can’t all jump at the opportunity to get outta dodge at the drop of a hat. You’re planning your wedding, duh! Not to mention the rest of the shit-storm that is life that’s chasing you down. I was in that exact spot not too long ago, so I decided to do something for myself and my fiance. Yes – I’M GETTING MARRIED TOO. My fiance and I took a mini moon to central NY’s Little Las Vegas: The Turning Stone Resort and Casino and it was just what we needed.

Mini moon: a lovely little quickie getaway that’s within reach, yet so far from your life.

It’s not too often that I get a chance to speak directly to you all from my own voice on the blog since I’m always sharing content and info directly from our talented group of wedding vendors! Oh, by the way, I’m Ali. 👋 Boss lady around these parts! It feels kinda good to chat with you! I imagine that this is what it was like for the bloggers who started it all. The only difference being I don’t think my every day life is nearly interesting enough to read about on the regular… but when I spend a weekend at a place like the Turning Stone Casino.. well… read on, my friends!

Pre-Wedding Getaway

Michael and I are tying the knot in February 2020 in Mexico. (That being another reason we can’t just jet set to anywhere we want at the moment.) Our lives have been pretty bogged down lately by work, family obligations, and bickering. Yes. We have been fighting. Like… the kind of fighting that isn’t going anywhere and really needs a refresh to remind us that we actually like each other. I kid! Mostly. So here was our criteria for agreeing on a destination:

  1. Driving distance less than 5 hours

  2. Something for him

  3. Something for me

  4. Nightlife and fun

  5. Luxury experience

The Turning Stone Resort and Casino met all of our needs. Just a super easy 3 hour drive from Buffalo, our suite in The Lodge was the warm, cozy welcome that we were hoping for. When you stay at the Turning Stone Casino you’re surrounded by action, but while we were in the Lodge we felt secluded and calm. Right inside The Lodge is Skana day spa, which is the perfect place to spend at least half of your day indulging in! Between the wide range of services and water therapies, there is really no better way to set the tone for a relaxing weekend than with a lot of pampering and self care. We got a couples massage (first time ever!) which was really extraordinary. It definitely put us in the right mind set to unwind. We spent some time in the sauna, mineral pool and hot tubs before enjoying our first of many fabulous meals right inside the spa, in our  bathrobes!

Date Nights, Bachelor / Bachelorette Parties and Wedding Parties

After we freshened up back in The Lodge, we went right over to the casino to try our luck! Michael loves poker, but decided to wait until Sunday to play since it would take at  least a couple of hours. So we played a few different games, shopped around the retail stores and grabbed drinks in between. Lucky for us the entire casino is now decked out for the holidays, so it was beautiful inside! Another highlight at The Turning Stone Casino is the gingerbread village! Their pasty teams designs and creates the most elaborate and intricate gingerbread houses from scratch! They are new every year! This is the same pastry team that creates wedding cakes – so I’m sure you can imagine what their wedding cakes must look like!

You really feel like you’re in a mini-Las Vegas when you’re inside the Turning Stone. There are countless bars and clubs with entertainment to choose from, including three themed bars: The Gig, The Turquoise Tiger and The Tin Rooster. We spent a fair amount of time in each of these clubs and each one was just as fun as the next. You get a blend of the roaring twenties with lounge singing, underground alt concert space and a chic country barn dance hall! What’s even more amazing is that you can have your wedding in any of these spaces!

Our last stop for the evening was Lava Nightclub, a true dance club. Both Michael and I have a fondness for our NYC clubbing days, so we geeked out when we walked in! He and I B-lined it right for the dance floor, where a bridal party was already dancing their faces off.

Endless Dining and Drinking

We grazed our way through the hotels and casinos over the course of the weekend, but our dinner was truly spectacular. TS Steakhouse is located at the penthouse level with a view that is unparalleled. Everything about this place was SWANKY AF. From the people and the lounge singer, to the smoking cosmos and cushy deep booths you dine in. I’m a big time food snob, so believe me when I tell you that the sea bass was like butter. Literal butter that melted in your mouth it was so perfect. Michael’s steak was equally as divine!

I was most excited about ordering room service. A true guilty pleasure of mine! The Lodge prepared the most thoughtful and delicious breakfast for us. It was just what we needed after our non-stop night! There are so many other restaurants and cafes to enjoy. There is really something for everyone at the Turning Stone Casino. I also really appreciated that the main casino is smoke free, with a smaller smoking casino separate.

Sports and Golf

For any sport lovers reading, there is a full on sports bar just inside the Tower at The Turning Stone Casino. It’s got such a cool vibe and hype since it’s the first thing you see when  you come into The Tower, just before the retail and gaming floor. There are a total of 5 golf courses, 3 of which are PGA level! My father is a big time golfer, so both Michael and I thought it would be a good idea to brush up a bit on the off chance dear old Dad wants to golf while in Mexico!

There are two massive golf domes that have double-decker driving range, tennis courts and racquetball courts. We enjoyed a lesson from a PGA certified trainer, and, you guys… I HIT THE BALL. I hit it a lot! It’s pretty fun to try something new, especially when you’re with someone you love!

Weddings and Special Events

Being that we are a wedding website… I would be remiss if I didn’t share the oodles of options The Turning Stone has for weddings! Where do I even begin?! They can accommodate parties of 30, all the way up to 700! They have so many different spaces where you can celebrate your wedding that range from traditional, rich country refinement to a barn style hall with disco saddles! You should definitely check out all of the options they have to offer on their website. It’s pretty bananas. We both agreed that if we weren’t already going to Mexico, we would have seriously considered Turning Stone!

We might just have to have a second stag/stagette and invite everyone to come! Or maybe this lovely weekend we had can be an annual trip for us this time of year to remind of how important it is to take the time to connect with one another. One thing I know for sure… I need to be a lot better at getting strangers to take our photographs.

Wedding photos courtesy Janelle Rodriguez

We encourage you to plan your own mini moon to wherever feels right for you and your love. After all, the most important thing you share together is the love you have for each other. Practice and cultivate that love as often as you can. Taking the time out for a mini moon in central NY’s Little Las Vegas might be just what you need to refocus and reconnect!

Learn more about having your wedding, bachelor or bachelorette party or getaway weekend at The Turning Stone Resort and Casino!

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