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)
1 of 16

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

  1. Rockefeller Center (New York, NY)
  2. National Gallery of Art Sculpture Garden (Washington D.C.)
  3. Central Park (New York, NY)
  4. McCormick Tribune Ice Rink (Chicago, IL)
  5. Hotel del Coronado (San Diego, CA)

Click here to see more awesome lists like this!

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

— Abigail Matsumoto