Ferris wheel in California at night.
David McNew—Getty Images

Pacific Wheel at Pacific Park

Santa Monica, California

Santa Monica Pier is a well-known destination. “It has been featured in more than a thousand different movies, TV shows, and music videos,” says Nathan Smithson, who works at the pier. The Pacific Park amusement complex features classic rides and games. But the park’s centerpiece has a futuristic twist: It’s the world’s only solar-powered Ferris wheel. The eco-friendly attraction uses LED lighting. It’s more energy-efficient than the bulbs used on traditional wheels. And the structure itself is powered by the sun. That means the ride—which carries you up nine stories, until you’re hanging some 130 feet above the Pacific Ocean—comes with minimal environmental impact. —Karena Phan

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