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5 of America’s Best Ferris Wheels

When I’m traveling, I adore checking out Ferris wheels.

When summer rolls around, it always reminds me of my childhood and how much fun it is walk the boardwalk, ride a roller coaster and go high up in the sky on a Ferris wheel. Every time I visit a new city, I always look to see if they have an observation wheel. Why? Because it allows me to see the city from high above, which is often the best possible view.

Luckily, there are amazing wheels to be found all across the country. Ride one and become a little kid again. And don’t forget to  take some incredible selfies as you spin around. Here are few to put on your list:

The High Roller, Las Vegas

Vegas wouldn’t be Vegas without a big high roller, and this giant Ferris wheel that reaches 550-feet into the sky plays the role perfectly.  At the moment, it holds the record as the highest observation wheel in the world.  Pretty impressive!  The individual pods are air conditioned, so you can enjoy your ride and the wonderful view of the Vegas skyline.


Texas Star, Dallas

Everything is bigger in Texas, and the Texas Star that reaches 212-feet into the clear blue horizon is no exception. This gigantic wheel was once America’s largest, however it can only be ridden once a year when the Texas State Fair comes to town, so plan ahead.  You’ll enjoy seeing the Lone Star State from this amazing vantage point.

[Related Post:  8 of America’s Top State Fairs]

Texas-star-dallas - Ferris Wheels

Navy Pier, Chicago

When I travel to Chicago, I absolutely love visiting the Navy Pier.  The fireworks and old-school feel of the place transports me back to much easier, simpler times.  The Ferris wheel at the Navy Pier stretches 150-feet up into the Chicago night sky and you really can’t leave without buying your ticket and taking a ride around.  Try riding the wheel during the fireworks display!

Navy-pier-Chicago - Ferris Wheels

Wonder Wheel, Brooklyn

This Coney Island landmark has been delighting old and young alike since the 1920’s.  As you ride around, several of the rocking cars slide along a shorter track towards the center axle and then back to the rim.  It’s something different and a very nice surprise!  Also, you’ll love the view of New York from up way up top.

Ferris Wheels

Pacific Wheel, Santa Monica

One of my all time favorites, this iconic and unique Ferris wheel hovers 130-feet above the Santa Monica pier.  It’s the only solar-powered Ferris wheel in the world making it very environmentally friendly. The old wheel (also 100% solar powered), was auctioned-off on eBay for over $130,000 to make room for a brand new wheel in 2008.  Go up to the top for panoramic views of the California coastline.  You really can’t visit southern California and not take a spin on this historic landmark.  Amazing!

Ferris Wheels

More from Samantha Brown:

America’s Coolest Coasters

Best Boardwalks for Summertime Fun

Wet and Wild Waterparks

Light Up Your Summer Nights

Camping: Say Yes to Yurts


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