The 5 Best Ice Skating Rinks in the Country

by  Zachary Laks | Dec 15, 2014
Ice skating
Ice skating / vkovalcik/iStock

We love lacing up our skates in the winter -- it's a great way to stay active and warm up even as the temps drop below freezing. Even more, we love doing so at rinks with great views, whether it's mountain vistas, starry skies by the beach, or historical monuments in the background. Here are some of our favorite places to try to land that triple axel. (Remember to layer up and bring some thick socks!)

The Ice Rink at Boulevard Pool, The Cosmopolitan (Las Vegas, NV)
Hovering over the glitz and glam of the Las Vegas Strip, The Cosmopolitan hotel’s ice rink transforms the Boulevard Pool into a desert skating oasis. Glide atop the real ice as artificial snow showers add a touch of frosty fun. The bright neon lights of the Strip provide a perfect backdrop for the rink’s fire pits, which offer the opportunity to make your own s’mores, in addition to to a menu of playful winter cocktails, when you're off the ice. ($15 all-day access for visitors; $5 skate rental fee.)

National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden Ice Rink (Washington, D.C.)
For ice skating in our nation’s capital, there’s no better place than the rink at the National Gallery of Art, which is perfectly placed in the National Mall. These historic grounds boast panoramic views of stately museums and monuments, and the barren trees on the National Mall set the rink's perimeter aglow with strings of holiday lights. Private lessons and coaching sessions are available with advance reservations. ($8 adults; $7 seniors, students, and children under 12.)

McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (Chicago, IL)
Chicagoans have something to look forward to when the temperature drops, as Millennium Park transforms for the winter with a 16,000-square foot ice skating rink. Set right along the Windy City’s famed Michigan Avenue, more than 100,000 skaters are expected take a scenic lap around the rink this year. We love that there's no entry charge -- plus, the rink-side Park Grill Café offers the perfect chance to refuel with hot chocolate and warm winter treats. (Free; $12 skate rentals) 

Hotel del Coronado (San Diego, CA)
Sunny San Diego’s Hotel del Coronado is an expansive Victorian seaside resort that stands as the second largest wooden structure in the U.S. Now in its 10th season, Hotel del Coronado offers the rare chance to ice skate on the beach, with Pacific Ocean views, at its custom-built rink. The best part? It's T-shirt weather here, though the hotel's thousands of white lights make it just as atmospheric a setting as any colder locale. ($25, skates included.)

Curry Village Ice Rink (Yosemite National Park, CA)
The great snow-dusted mountains and towering evergreens of this favorite National Park provide an active escape into nature’s majesty at the Curry Village Ice Rink. Here, skating to the backdrop of the Half Dome and Glacier Point formations has been a tradition since 1928, when the Yosemite Winter Club flooded -- providing the perfect mesa for ice sports. The modern rink offers a large fire pit for warmth and s’mores, and the nearby Curry Village also offers winter treats, gifts, and hot drinks. ($10.50 entry; $4 skate rentals.)

Lobby area at Hotel Lincoln
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