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Destination: Inn of the Mountain Gods

There’s nothing like a nice road trip to clear your mind and reenergize the body.

Sometimes it just takes a weekend and a change of environment that is only a short distance away.

INN OF THE MOUNTAIN GODS RESORT & CASINO: Fall is here and a drive down to Ruidoso is literally a breath of fresh air. The mountain air is crisp, clean and refreshing. My stops in Ruidoso have usually entailed horseback riding, go-carts and a stop at Inn of the Mountain Gods on the Mescalero Apache reservation.

The Inn of the Mountain Gods on the Mescalero Apache reservation near Ruidoso looks out over a lake. (Courtesy of The Inn Of The Mountain Gods)

The Inn of the Mountain Gods on the Mescalero Apache reservation near Ruidoso looks out over a lake. (Courtesy of The Inn Of The Mountain Gods)

Stop and have a bite at Wendell’s Lounge located inside Inn of the Mountain Gods that overlooks beautiful Lake Mescalero. The award-winning steak and seafood restaurant hosts live music weekly and serves up unbeatable specials and a signature Wendell’s Margarita.

Need a laugh? Head over to Club 49’s “LOL” Comedy Night at 7 p.m. Wednesdays. Two new professional comedians take the stage each week. Food and drinks are served during performances and a DJ keeps the party going into the night. Tickets are $5 and can be purchased by calling 800-545-9011.

I mentioned some of Inn of the Mountain Gods gaming promotions in an earlier column. But, just a reminder that you can be part of its Ford 150 Truck giveaway through Nov. 17. Every 100 points earned on your Apache Spirit Club Member card earns you an entry into the drawing. On Wednesdays, earn five entries for every 100 points earned on your Apache Spirit card.

BUFFALO THUNDER RESORT & CASINO: Head north and be glad you did when you drive upon Buffalo Thunder. The gorgeous venue is complimented by the surrounding mountains and desert landscape of the Pojoaque valley. Buffalo Thunder is close to skiing, hiking and about 15 minutes away from Santa Fe’s popular Plaza area.

But, there is no need to stray from Buffalo Thunder with the gaming, lodging and nightlife it has to offer.

Enjoy a day at the Wo’ P’in Spa, which is offering $25 off any regularly priced spa service through Nov. 30. Or, relieve your stress on the Towa golf course. Winter green fees are $49 and include a cart and use of the range. The winter green fees are valid November through March for Lightning Rewards members.

Later, enjoy live country music on Fridays and DJs on Saturdays at Club Warehouse.

Head down to the gaming floor this month from 1-9 p.m. every Thursday and earn 50 points on your Lightning Rewards Players Club card to spin the prize wheel during the Jackpot Spin Off promotion. Earn free spins for your chance to win a jackpot of more than $500,000. Play your spins and keep the cash.

Every Friday this month, play The Big Game between noon and 9 p.m. using your Lightning Rewards card and earn a football. Each football has a prize inside that ranges from a free buffet, free play or cash. Every Tuesday in November, take part in the $25,000 Progressive Drawing. Guests earn 500 points or more and will receive an invitation to a progressive drawing each Tuesday. Check in at a kiosk between 5 p.m. and 7 p.m. Buffalo Thunder will draw 20 names and those chosen will be able to pick a capsule with their prize from a drawing barrel. There is one $5,000 capsule and if no one picks that capsule, $2,000 will be added each week until there is a winner.

If poker is your game, you have many weekly tournaments to choose from. On Tuesdays the fun starts at 6:30 p.m. with a $40 buy-in; Friday and Saturday tournaments begin at 6:30 p.m. with a $75 buy-in. On Nov. 30, beginning at 1 p.m., be part of Texas Hold ‘Em Deep Stack Tournament with a $150 buy-in.

Whether you head to southeast or to northern New Mexico, these resorts and casinos are worth the drive.