Diamond Jo Casino, Northwood – Iowa

Location of Diamond Jo Casino in Northwood, Iowa

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Photos of Diamond Jo Casino

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Diamond Jo Casino in Dubuque, Iowa

Tucked into the bluffs along the Mississippi River is the Diamond Jo Casino. It is located in Dubuque, Iowa, and for those unfamiliar with the area, the city is on the border of the state where Wisconsin, Illinois, and Iowa all come together. The casino is among several other new hotels, eateries and tourist attractions in the beautiful grand harbor area, where the view of the river and surrounding states is always breathtaking.

Diamond Jo is a full-service casino with a large selection of slots and table games as well as evening entertainment choices. There are several restaurants and bars on the premises, and a large meeting space available for business events and wedding receptions. The set-up is slightly different in that the gaming tables and slot machines are intermixed on the casino floor. Also, gambling age in Iowa is twenty-one, so you’ll need identification at the door.

Variety is one of the big draws here. Not only does the place have 975 high-definition display slot machines, but it also features more than just blackjack. Any player, amateur or experienced, can try your hand at the craps, Pai Gow Poker, Roulette, or Mississippi Stud tables in a fun, comfortable environment. The Tree Bar is also located right there on the casino floor. Casual and convenient, you can grab a cocktail while admiring the reclaimed wood bar top, made of heart pine estimated to be over 500 years old. Make sure to sign up for their Diamond Club. This program allows you to redeem points not only for games, but also for dining, gift shop purchases and even at some local hotels.

The Diamond Jo, very aware of the state age restrictions, smartly created a place for visitors of all ages to enjoy. Cherry Lanes is a 30-lane bowling alley with a private room available to reserve for smaller parties and celebrations. This really is a great way to include families and groups with kids under 21. Walk into the Diamond Jo and adults can head right onto the casino floor and younger folks can venture upstairs to the bowling alley.

One of the highlights of the Diamond Jo, for those wanting a stellar dining experience, is the Woodfire Grill. Open evenings every day but Sunday, this restaurant is known for its contemporary cuisine, wine selection and in-house crafted cocktails. On the menu you’ll find the typical appetizer selections like crab cakes and calamari listed amongst unique flatbreads featuring roasted butternut squash, balsamic, and prosciutto. They feature locally sourced meats including Black Angus, USDA Prime Grade Beef, Berkshire Pork, and free range chicken. You can accompany your entree with a variety of sides, including lobster tail and the chef’s choice of fresh vegetables.

Even if you are not normally a big drinker, you will want to check out Woodfire’s wine selection. Bestowed with the 2014 Wine Spectator Award of Excellence, this restaurant prides themselves on offering a wide selection at reasonable prices. Good food should be accompanied by good wine, so you won’t find bottles exorbitantly priced. They care so much for their wines that each is stored in a temperature controlled room designed to keep the sparklings, whites and reds at their optimum temperature. Woodfire also invested in a state-of-the-art Enomatic wine dispenser, which preserves a bottle’s freshness after it’s been opened. Because of this feature, you can choose from over 32 wines by the glass, and then purchase a bottle of the same if you really like it.

No less impressive is Woodfire Grill’s cocktail program with mixes carefully crafted from fresh, local ingredients. You will not want to miss the Bacon Bloody Mary, made with their own bacon-infused vodka, house-made bloody mary mix served with asparagus, pickle, lemon, olives, salt rim, bacon and molasses. For a real treat, try their premium version, which comes with jumbo black tiger shrimp. With over 75 liquor choices, you can pretty much get any drink you want. They also serve a good variety of domestic and specialty beers, including Backpocket Wooden Nickel Peated Bock, a smoky lager brewed in nearby Coralville, Iowa.

Whether you go to the Woodfire Grill to celebrate a special occasion or not, you’ll want to make reservations. It’s a popular place for casino guests and local residents, and the restaurant fills up quickly. The Diamond Jo website has an area that lists all their dining choices and gives you the option to reserve right there.

If you are looking for a more casual dining experience, you’ll enjoy the wide variety at The Kitchen Buffet, the burgers and New Orleans-style Po’ Boys at Mojo’s Sports Bar, and the flexible hours and selection at Jo’s Delicatessen. For a simpler breakfast than the buffet’s brunch, you can order pancakes or a breakfast sandwich and coffee from Jo’s starting at 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m. or midnight on weekends.

Though the Diamond Jo Casino does not have its own hotel, there are several close by. A couple are within walking distance (though probably not when it’s wintertime) and most offer complimentary shuttle service to the casino all throughout the day. The Grand Harbor Resort and Waterpark sits right along the Mississippi by the Diamond Jo and offers yet another alternative activity for children while their parents visit the casino. Also, in the same area is the Mississippi River Museum and Aquarium, a perfect place to spend the day learning and exploring the river’s history.

As for evening entertainment, Mississippi Moon Bar in the Diamond Jo books a variety of acts from comedians to musicians. Club 84 is a dance club featuring the music of the 70’s and 80’s. Like the casino, these venues are 21 and over only, and there is no smoking.

Regardless of where you travel from, following the Mississippi River to the Diamond Jo Casino is a worthwhile trip. With its own variety of entertainment on the property combined with other surrounding venues along the harbor, you’ll easily find something for everyone of all ages. For more information, visit their website.

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