Places To GoTravel Ideas & Lists

8 Historic U.S. Carousels for Summer Fun

Share This Vacation Idea!

With summer coming I thought we would pay tribute that amusement park classic, the merry-go-round. Here are eight especially cool carousels to seek out this summer. The list begins and ends in Brooklyn, and I’m unapologetic about that.

Be sure to tell us about the ones we left out!

What: B&B Carousel

Where: Coney Island, Brooklyn, NY
Why It’s Neat: Built in 1906, it offers riders 50 hand-carved wooden horses and a Gebruder Bruder “Elite Orchestra Apollo” band organ (believed to have been constructed between 1913 and 1916). It was nearly sold in pieces at an auction in 2005. But it was reopened right on the boardwalk two years ago as part of Luna Park’s makeover.

B&B Carousel in Coney Island

What: Tom Mankiewicz Conservation Carousel

Where: Los Angeles
Why It’s Neat: Located in the Los Angeles Zoo, it features several of the Several residents the zoo has worked to keep from extinction. Riders will notice the flora and fauna of California in the artwork and appreciate the “California sound” of the 1960s and 1970s AM radio.

the carousel at the LA Zoo

What: Crescent Park Carousel

Where: East Providence, Rhode Island
Why It’s Neat: This very swift carousel, proclaimed the State Symbol of Folk Art in 1985, offer 66 figures designed in 1895 by Charles I.D. Looff.  Its band organ is carved with moving figures in neo-baroque style.

crescent park carousel, RI

What: Riverview Carousel, Six Flags

Where: Austell, Georgia
Why It’s Neat: Built in 1908, this wood carousel features 60 horses, 14 and 4 cherub-bedecked chariots.  This is one of four 5-row carousels built by a company called Philadelphia Toboggan Company and the only one still in its original configuration.

The Riverview carousel in GA

What: San Francisco Carousel

Where: San Francisco
Why It’s Neat: Handcrafted in Italy, this double-decker merry-go-round at Pier 39 features local landmarks such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Coit Tower, Chinatown, Lombard Street, Alcatraz and the California sea lions that hang out near the pier.  The carousel has 1,800 LED lights and its 32 animals include panda bears, horses, dolphins and sea dragons.

the pier 39 carousel in san francisco

What: Smithsonian Carousel

Where: Washington DC
Why It’s Neat: Built in the 1940s by the Allan Herschell Co., This little merry-go-round has a unique, antique feel to it. Hop aboard any number of horses or chariots, but if you’re really lucky you’ll get to ride the brightly colored dragon.


What: Cedar Downs Racing Derby

Where: Sandusky, OH
Why It’s Neat:  This 1920 carousel makes its home at Cedar Point amusement park. Its 64 horses move forward and backward in rows of four to create one of a rare breed of racing carousels. Hope you win!

the racing carousel at cedar point

What: Jane’s Carousel

Where: DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY
Why It’s Neat: Built in 1922 by Philadelphia Toboggan Company, PTC number 61 features 48 carved horses and two chariots. It was originally installed in Idora Park in Youngstown, OH. It’s new home along the East River probably makes it the carousel with the best skyline view anywhere.

Janes carousel in DUMBO, Brooklyn, NY

Tell us which carousel we left out, and why you love it!


This blog is part of Weekend Travel Inspiration. Visit our partners:

• AlbomAdventures
• BayEssence
• ContentedTraveller 
• TheCrowdedPlanet
• ReflectionsOnRoute 
• Safari254

Share This Vacation Idea!

Previous post

Our Family's Favorite Philadelphia Foods

Next post

A Year-Long RV Adventure—Over In 6 Weeks