For a winter-season thrill, ice skating is a swish-swish sure thing. But we’ll let you in on a little secret: the best way to kick your ice skating experience up a notch is to add an unbelievable scenic backdrop. From the heart of Manhattan to seaside San Diego, we’ve gathered up rinks that boast winter wonderland views, postcard-pretty panoramas, and more.

Rockefeller Center (New York, NY)

The Rockefeller Center rink is pretty much a holiday icon when it comes to ice skating—it’s appeared in its fair share of movies and TV shows and continues to be a NYC fave, even after 80 years. And who can resist skating beneath that world-famous sparkly tree? Fair warning: crowds can be crazy but you do get an hour and a half of skate time to make the most of it.

photo: Peter Cruise via flickr

  • Rockefeller Center (New York, NY)
  • National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.)
  • Central Park (New York, NY)
  • McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (Chicago, IL)
  • Hotel del Coronado (San Diego, CA)
  • Evergreen Lake (Evergreen, CO)
  • Embarcadero Center (San Francisco, CA)
  • Keystone Lake (Keystone, CO)
  • Squaw Valley Olympic Ice Rink (Lake Tahoe, CA)
  • Sun Valley (Sun Valley, ID)
  • Blue Cross River Rink (Philadelphia, PA)
  • CitySkate Rink (Phoenix, AZ)
  • Pershing Square (Los Angeles, CA)
  • Winthrop Ice Rink (Winthrop, WA)
  • Curry Village Ice Rink (Yosemite National Park, CA)
  • Boston Common Frog Pond (Boston, MA)

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Did we miss your favorite ice-skating rink with a view? Let us know where you skate in the comment section below!

— Abigail Matsumoto