Ice skating is one of my favorite winter activities. There’s something magical about gliding on a frozen surface, feeling the cold air on your face, and enjoying the festive atmosphere. Whether you’re a beginner or a pro, ice skating is a great way to have fun, exercise, and make memories with your loved ones.

But where should you go for the best ice skating experience in the US? You might think of the famous Rockefeller Center Ice Skating Rink in New York City, or other ice skating locations around NYC, but that’s not the only option. In fact, there are many more unexpected (and less crowded) places to enjoy this beloved pastime across the country.

To help you plan your next winter adventure, I’ve teamed up with Viator, the leading online platform for booking travel experiences, to uncover the best states to visit for ice skating this winter. Viator created a points-based index system that analyzed the total number of ice rinks and the number of ice rinks per 100,000 people in each state. The results are surprising, to say the least.

Are you ready to discover the top 10 ice-skating hotspots in the US? Let’s go!

10. Connecticut

Connecticut may be a small state, but it has a lot to offer for ice skating enthusiasts. With 56 ice rinks and 1.54 ice rinks per 100,000 people, Connecticut ranks tenth in the list of must-visit states for ice skating. That’s more than twice the number of ice rinks in Hawaii, which has a similar-sized population.

One of the most popular ice rinks in Connecticut is the 4.5-star rated Winterfest Hartford, which offers free skating and skate rentals from November to January. You can also enjoy live music, food trucks, and fireworks at this festive venue. If you’re looking for a more intimate setting, you can check out the 4.7-star rated International Skating Center of Connecticut, which is home to several Olympic and world champions. You can take lessons, join a hockey league, or just have fun on the ice.

Watch this video to get a glimpse:

Connecticut is also a great destination for other winter activities, such as skiing, snowshoeing, and sledding. You can explore the scenic trails, cozy lodges, and charming towns of this New England state. Don’t forget to try some of the local specialties, such as clam chowder, lobster rolls, and apple cider.

9. South Dakota

South Dakota may not be the first place that comes to mind when you think of ice skating, but it’s actually a hidden gem for this sport. With 15 ice rinks and 1.65 ice rinks per 100,000 people, South Dakota ranks ninth in the list of best states for ice skating. That’s more than three times the number of ice rinks in Nevada, which has a similar-sized population.

One of the most unique ice rinks in South Dakota is the 4.8-star rated Main Street Square Ice Rink, which is located in the heart of downtown Rapid City. You can skate under the stars, surrounded by sculptures, fountains, and lights. You can also enjoy live entertainment, food vendors, and special events at this urban oasis. If you’re looking for a more natural setting, you can head to the 4.6-star rated Spearfish Rec and Aquatics Center, which offers an outdoor ice rink with stunning views of the Black Hills.

South Dakota is also a great destination for other winter activities, such as snowmobiling, ice fishing, and snowboarding. You can visit the iconic Mount Rushmore, the majestic Badlands, and the historic Deadwood. You can also learn about the rich culture and history of the Native American tribes that live in this state.

8. Wisconsin

Wisconsin is a state that loves ice skating. With 103 ice rinks and 1.75 ice rinks per 100,000 people, Wisconsin ranks eighth in the list of best states for ice skating. That’s more than four times the number of ice rinks in Arizona, which has a similar-sized population.

One of the most famous ice rinks in Wisconsin is the 4.6-star rated Red Arrow Park, which is located in downtown Milwaukee. You can skate on a 128-by-95-foot oval rink, surrounded by skyscrapers, trees, and sculptures. You can also warm up with a hot chocolate or a coffee at the Starbucks cafe next to the rink. If you’re looking for a more adventurous experience, you can try the 4.7-star rated Titletown Ice Rink, which is part of the Green Bay Packers’ entertainment district. You can skate on a football-shaped rink, slide down a snow tubing hill, or play on a winter playground.

Wisconsin is also a great destination for other winter activities, such as cross-country skiing, ice climbing, and curling. You can explore the beautiful lakes, forests, and farms of this Midwest state. You can also taste some of the delicious cheese, beer, and bratwurst that Wisconsin is famous for.

Watch this video to get a glimpse:

7. Massachusetts

Massachusetts is a state that has a long and proud tradition of ice skating. With 139 ice rinks and 1.99 ice rinks per 100,000 people, Massachusetts ranks seventh in the list of best states for ice skating. That’s more than five times the number of ice rinks in Florida, which has a similar-sized population.

One of the most historic ice rinks in Massachusetts is the 4.5-star rated Boston Common Frog Pond, which is located in the oldest public park in the US. You can skate on a 16,000-square-foot rink, surrounded by monuments, statues, and gardens. You can also enjoy the festive lights, music, and events that take place at this iconic venue. If you’re looking for a more modern experience, you can visit the 4.6-star rated Warrior Ice Arena, which is the official practice facility of the Boston Bruins. You can watch the NHL team train, take lessons, join a league, or just have fun on the ice.

Massachusetts is also a great destination for other winter activities, such as sleigh rides, ice sculptures, and winter festivals. You can visit the historic sites, museums, and universities of this New England state. You can also sample some of the seafood, clam chowder, and baked beans that Massachusetts is known for.

6. Maine

Maine is a state that has a lot of natural beauty and charm, especially in the winter. With 34 ice rinks and 2.45 ice rinks per 100,000 people, Maine ranks sixth in the list of best states for ice skating. That’s more than six times the number of ice rinks in California, which has a similar-sized population.

One of the most scenic ice rinks in Maine is the 4.8-star rated Camden Snow Bowl, which is located on the slopes of Ragged Mountain. You can skate on a 85-by-200-foot rink, overlooking the Atlantic Ocean, the Camden Hills, and the Penobscot Bay. You can also enjoy the ski trails, toboggan chute, and snowshoe paths that are available at this winter wonderland. If you’re looking for a more cozy experience, you can check out the 4.9-star rated Millinocket Municipal Ice Rink, which is located in the heart of the Katahdin region. You can skate on a 60-by-120-foot rink, surrounded by snow-covered trees, mountains, and lakes. You can also warm up with a fire pit, a snack bar, and a heated shelter.

Maine is also a great destination for other winter activities, such as snowshoeing, dog sledding, and ice fishing. You can visit the stunning Acadia National Park, the charming Portland, and the quaint coastal towns of this New England state. You can also savor some of the lobster, blueberries, and maple syrup that Maine is famous for.

5. Alaska

Alaska is a state that has a lot of ice, and a lot of ice skating. With 19 ice rinks and 2.59 ice rinks per 100,000 people, Alaska ranks fifth in the list of best states for ice skating. That’s more than seven times the number of ice rinks in Texas, which has a similar-sized population.

One of the most spectacular ice rinks in Alaska is the 4.9-star rated Westchester Lagoon, which is located in downtown Anchorage. You can skate on a 15-acre lagoon, surrounded by mountains, glaciers, and wildlife. You can also enjoy the lighted trails, music, and art that are featured at this outdoor paradise. If you’re looking for a more indoor experience, you can visit the 4.7-star rated Carlson Center, which is the largest multipurpose facility in Alaska. You can skate on a 85-by-200-foot rink, watch a hockey game, attend a concert, or join a trade show.

Watch this video to get a glimpse:

Alaska is also a great destination for other winter activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, and snowmobiling. You can visit the majestic Denali National Park, the vibrant Fairbanks, and the remote Kodiak Island. You can also witness some of the natural wonders, such as the northern lights, the glaciers, and the wildlife that Alaska is known for.

4. New Hampshire

New Hampshire is a state that has a lot of charm and character, especially in the winter. With 37 ice rinks and 2.59 ice rinks per 100,000 people, New Hampshire ranks fourth in the list of best states for ice skating. That’s more than eight times the number of ice rinks in Georgia, which has a similar-sized population.

One of the most charming ice rinks in New Hampshire is the 4.8-star rated Nestlenook Farm, which is located in the picturesque town of Jackson. You can skate on a 3-acre Victorian-style pond, surrounded by lanterns, bridges, and gazebos. You can also enjoy the horse-drawn sleigh rides, the hot chocolate bar, and the cozy fire pits that are available at this winter wonderland. If you’re looking for a more thrilling experience, you can visit the 4.7-star rated Ice Castles, which is a frozen attraction that features ice sculptures, tunnels, slides, and fountains. You can skate on a 1-acre rink, illuminated by colorful LED lights and music.

New Hampshire is also a great destination for other winter activities, such as hiking, skiing, and snow tubing. You can visit the stunning White Mountains, the historic Concord, and the quaint Portsmouth. You can also sample some of the maple syrup, apple cider, and pumpkin pie that New Hampshire is famous for.

3. Minnesota

Minnesota is a state that has a passion and a talent for ice skating. With 192 ice rinks and 3.36 ice rinks per 100,000 people, Minnesota ranks third in the list of best states for ice skating. That’s more than nine times the number of ice rinks in Illinois, which has a similar-sized population.

One of the most impressive ice rinks in Minnesota is the 4.9-star rated Guidant John Rose Minnesota Oval, which is the largest outdoor refrigerated skating facility in North America. You can skate on a 110,000-square-foot rink, which can accommodate up to 800 skaters at a time. You can also enjoy the speed skating, hockey, and bandy programs that are offered at this world-class venue. If you’re looking for a more scenic experience, you can check out the 4.8-star rated Lake of the Isles, which is a natural lake that freezes over in the winter. You can skate on a 2.86-mile loop, surrounded by trees, islands, and mansions.

Watch this video for more:

Minnesota is also a great destination for other winter activities, such as ice fishing, snowshoeing, and ice sailing. You can visit the vibrant Minneapolis, the cultural St. Paul, and the charming Duluth. You can also taste some of the hot dish, wild rice, and lutefisk that Minnesota is known for.

2. Vermont

Vermont is a state that has a lot of natural beauty and charm, especially in the winter. With 30 ice rinks and 4.64 ice rinks per 100,000 people, Vermont ranks second in the list of best states for ice skating. That’s more than 10 times the number of ice rinks in New Jersey, which has a similar-sized population.

One of the most beautiful ice rinks in Vermont is the 4.9-star rated Woodstock Inn & Resort, which is located in the historic town of Woodstock. You can skate on a 3,200-square-foot rink, surrounded by mountains, gardens, and a covered bridge. You can also enjoy the spa, the fireplace, and the afternoon tea that are available at this luxury resort. If you’re looking for a more rustic experience, you can visit the 4.8-star rated Lake Morey Resort, which is home to the longest maintained ice skating trail in the US. You can skate on a 4.5-mile loop, surrounded by hills, forests, and wildlife.

Vermont is also a great destination for other winter activities, such as skiing, snowboarding, and sleigh riding. You can visit the spectacular Green Mountains, the charming Montpelier, and the artistic Burlington. You can also savor some of the cheese, chocolate, and ice cream that Vermont is famous for.

1. North Dakota

North Dakota is the ultimate ice-skating hotspot in the US, with an ice-skating score of 9.90 out of 10. North Dakota is home to 41 ice rinks, which equates to 5.26 ice rinks per 100,000 people, the highest figure per capita of all states analyzed. This is more than double the number of ice rinks available in Alaska (19), despite having a similar-sized population.

One of the most amazing ice rinks in North Dakota is the 5-star rated Ralph Engelstad Arena, which is the home of the University of North Dakota’s ice hockey team—the Fighting Hawks—one of the oldest and most successful Division I programs in the United States. You can skate on a 200-by-85-foot rink, surrounded by 11,000 seats, a video scoreboard, and a state-of-the-art sound system. You can also watch the hockey games, concerts, and shows that are hosted at this world-class venue. If you’re looking for a more quaint experience, you can check out the 4.9-star rated Town Square Ice Rink, which is located in the heart of downtown Grand Forks. You can skate on a 60-by-120-foot rink, surrounded by shops, restaurants, and art galleries.

North Dakota is also a great destination for other winter activities, such as snowmobiling, cross-country skiing, and ice fishing. You can visit the stunning Theodore Roosevelt National Park, the historic Bismarck, and the friendly Fargo. You can also try some of the bison, sunflower, and honey that North Dakota is known for.


I hope you enjoyed reading this article as much as I enjoyed writing it. Ice skating is a wonderful way to experience the beauty and diversity of the US in the winter. Whether you prefer a natural or a man-made rink, a cozy or a lively atmosphere, a relaxing or a thrilling adventure, you’ll find something to suit your taste and budget in one of these 10 states.

So, what are you waiting for? Grab your skates, pack your bags, and book your trip with Viator today. You’ll have the time of your life, I promise. And don’t forget to share your photos and stories with me in the comments below. I’d love to hear from you. Happy skating! 😊

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