Strapping on a pair of ice skates typically involves a trip to an indoor rink or a frozen lake. Here are a few notable exceptions.
The Eiffel Tower
Located on the tower’s first floor—about 200 feet over the streets of Paris—visitors can buzz around a 623-square foot rink with an adjacent bar that serves pumpkin soup and mulled wine. This year it will be open through mid February.
The Hotel del Coronado
Guest at this ocean-side hotel in San Diego typically unwind by taking a dip in the Pacific. During the winter months they can truly “chill” by skating around an outdoor rink that the hotel installs on one of its spacious lawns. Located mere footsteps from Coronado Beach, it offers stunning views of the ocean and the hotel’s Victorian Building, which is decorated with thousands of twinkling lights every Christmas. Skaters can also enjoy warm drinks, or, since the surroundings are hardly what you might call a “winter wonderland,” a refreshing cocktail. Admission isn’t cheap ($25) but some of the proceeds are donated to local charity groups.
The Tower of London
The centuries-old moat that surrounds this former castle in the heart of London once protected it from invaders. During the holidays, it serves as a great spot for skating because a floating rink is installed atop its waters. (It doesn’t get cold enough in London for the moat itself to freeze over.) Visitors can perform a double axel alongside the tower’s battlements while enjoying views of the nearby River Thames. Visitors can dig into warm baguettes or order bottles of Champagne at its “Ice Cafe.”