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Preview: The Getaway Planner: Weekends from A to Z

Game On
Salamanca New York
Do you feel lucky? Well, do you? A gin and tonic, 2,000 slot machines and the only live poker tables in the area are waiting at Seneca Allegany Casino & Hotel in Salamanca, N.Y. You supply the sunglasses, the bravado and the cash to let it all ride on red 36.
The Seneca is a single, 11-story modern glass building that slices through a skyline of mountains and forests. Owned by the Seneca Nation of Indians, it’s as sparkling, themed and decadent as anything on The Strip. The grandeur starts in the lobby, where a stunning copper fireplace reflects the spirit of the Seneca culture. There are Native American touches throughout: The High Limit Room celebrates harvest with basket-weave pillars and glass panels, and the Casino Bar plays on the weather with a background that resembles lightning and a ceiling with continuously shifting colors.

Washington Soaked Here
Berkeley Springs, West Virginia
Berkeley Springs, W.Va., is a different world. It’s a small town (barely 600 residents), of the sort that have spent the last few decades disappearing. And it’s an artsy town, with as many quirky identities as there are colors of autumn leaves.
The population of this tiny burg triples during weekends in season — it’s practically a stone’s throw from Washington D.C. and Baltimore. Nestled in the Sleepy Creek Mountains — a leafy, rolling expanse of land near the Potomac River — mineral water flows in prodigious quantities. Visitors have come for its healing qualities since George Washington himself came to have a soak, making Berkeley Springs the country’s first spa.

The European Adventure
Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania
The turnpike isn’t exactly the yellow-brick road, but there’s something about a journey to Ikea that feels like going off to see the wizard. For the Tin Man, there’s affordable furniture with actual wood at its heart. The Cowardly Lion can find the resources — and courage — to organize his den, and the Scarecrow will discover brainy solutions to his biggest decorating problems. Dorothy can take it all home, along with next year’s catalog.
Sure, Southern Ohio’s getting its own Ikea soon, but Clevelanders will still be closer to the Pittsburgh location. The store is 221,000 square feet, so take your time: maps and disposable tape measures are available and highly recommended. There’s an only-at-Ikea mix of euro-strange, cottage cute and calmly neutral pre-set rooms and furniture; the perfect zone for a generation of grown-ups who still like to play video games.

Check back Sept. 1 for the full stories and to read the rest of our fall getaway planner.

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