Carousels are synonymous with summer fairs and festivals. With Labor Day right around the corner, Rave Reviews is sharing its list of the top — 23 best carousels in the U.S. Families planning to enjoy one last weekend of fun can tick some of these rides off of their bucket lists.
From New York to California and everywhere in between, the comprehensive guide shares details on the significance of each carousel and how it earned its position on the list.
Among the noted carousels is Jane’s Carousel in Brooklyn, NY. The iconic attraction was designed by Jean Nouvel, Pritzker prize-winning architect, and built by the Philadelphia Toboggan Company in 1922. Jane’s Carousel was built in Ohio, but was restored and transported to Brooklyn, NY in 1984.
Today, the ride is encased in glass to allow for rain-free rides and panoramic views of the Brooklyn Bridge. The carousel features 48 prancing horses, and was also named the “Best Public Space” at the 2012 Travel & Leisure Design Awards.
The list also includes the famed Columbia Carousel in Chicago, which is one of the tallest in the world. This double-decker carousel can be found in the Six Flags amusement park.
Two of the carousels are considered National Historic Landmarks: Dentzel Carousel in Meridian, Mississippi and Looff Carousel on Santa Cruz Beach Boardwalk.
The Dentzel Carousel has been in operation since 1909, and all of the animals were hand carved from bass and poplar wood. The Looff Carousel was built in 1911 and features an outside row of jumping horses.
Rave Review’s list includes the carousel at the LA Zoo, which only plays music created by California musicians and features 66 endangered animals. The carousel at Six Flags Over Georgia also gets a mention. The carousel is one of the largest in the United States, and features five rows of animals. The ride originally made its debut in 1908 at Chicago’s Riverview Park.
The House on the Rock carousel in Spring Green, Wisconsin is among the most unique on the list.
“This majestic carousel features thousands of flashing lights, hundreds of angels suspended in air and lots of thrills,” writes Rave Reviews.
The ride is the largest indoor carousel, and features 269 animals – none of which are horses. The carousel is not rideable, but is still worth visiting, says Rave Reviews.
One of the oldest carousels on the list is the one in East Providence’s Crescent Park. This Rhode Island attraction has been in operation since 1895, and was built by Charles I.D. Looff. The ride features 61 horses, and was restored in the 1970s. Today, the ride is listed in the National Register of Historic Sites and Places.
One of the more sentimental entries on the list is Looff Carousel in Spokane, Washington. The carousel was built in 1909 as a wedding gift to Charles Looff’s daughter. The ride features hand carved horses, elaborate decorations and exotic animals, including a tiger and giraffe.
Rave Reviews also mentions the Smithsonian Carousel in Washington, D.C., which is just steps from where the Civil Rights March took place and down the street from where Martin Luther King Jr. gave his famous “I have a dream” speech.
While the majority of the carousels on the list are for children, there’s one unique entry that’s aimed exclusively at adults: the Carousel Bar & Lounge in New Orleans. Found in the Hotel Monteleone, the ride revolves as bartenders pour drinks and has been open since 1949.
The well-rounded list features carousels from all over the United States, making it easy for readers across the country to check out these historic rides.
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