The very first minigolf course opened in Scotland in 1876. The Ladies’ Putting Club of St. Andrews was built out of necessity to adhere to a societal convention that women golfers “not take the club back past their shoulder.”
That first green may not have had the obstacles we associate with the game today—there were no water features, giant clowns, or windmills—but it proved incredibly popular nonetheless, and similar courses began popping up around the world.
Today, the popularity of minigolf has only grown, particularly as a date night or family activity on vacation. Front Office Sports reports that more than 130 million people pick up a mini putter every year, make it more popular than the longer, often more serious “regular” golf.
Alabama: Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf, Gulf Shores
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (353 reviews)
Alabama’s favorite minigolf park is beloved for its cleanliness, impeccable landscaping, and beautiful Gulf Shores location. Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf has two 18-hole courses—one easy, one hard—which traverse caves, pirate ships, and a pirate village.
The area’s warm weather allows for the courses to be open year-round, though hours change seasonally, and all-day play is an option for those who aren’t satisfied with just a round or two.
Alaska: Putters Wild, Anchorage
– Rating: 4 / 5 (22 reviews)
The only 3D black light minigolf course in Anchorage, Putters Wild offers 18 holes of ocean-themed play. Recommended for golfers ages 5 and up, the course has earned praise for how clean and well-maintained it is. After you wrap on the green, be sure to check out the state-of-the-art VR booths on site.
Arizona: Glow Putt Mini Golf, Scottsdale
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (66 reviews)
If ordinary minigolf isn’t challenging enough for you, consider playing a round or two in the dark at Glow Putt Mini Golf in Scottsdale. The 18-hole course is illuminated with special UV lighting that dramatically enhances the jungle-safari-themed holes. Open year-round, the course offers discounts for active military, fire, and police personnel.
Arkansas: Big Rock Mini Golf & Fun Park, Little Rock
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (33 reviews)
Spread out over 7.5 acres, Big Rock Mini Golf & Fun Park offers an entire day’s worth of activities for the whole family. Batting cages, go-karts, bumper boats, a ropes course, and an outdoor maze accompany the minigolf, which—as far as we’re concerned—is the main attraction.
There are two 18-hole courses—one course is entirely wheelchair accessible—and both can be reserved for a little after-hours fun, from 10 p.m. to midnight, for groups looking for an out-of-the-ordinary experience.
California: Golf Gardens Miniature Golf, Avalon
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (255 reviews)
According to Golf Gardens Miniature Golf’s website, the 18-hole “Catalina Island” course is known in minigolf circles as “one of the world’s most beautiful and challenging.”
Located one block from the beach, the garden-like attraction boasts none of the typical tacky or wacky minigolf paraphernalia—no oversize clowns or pirate ships here—but instead provides a much more sophisticated experience. Its southern California location allows it to be open year-round as well.
Colorado: Adventure Golf & Raceway, Westminster
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (140 reviews)
More than 2.5 million golfers have put their way through Colorado’s Adventure Golf & Raceway three-themed courses since it opened in 1989. Whether you’re playing 18 holes in Buccaneer Bay, Adventure Cove, or the Lost Continent, you’re sure to have a delightful experience.
And if you’re looking to fill your whole day, there are plenty of other attractions, from go-karts to a ropes course you can check out afterward.
Connecticut: Matterhorn Mini Golf, Canton
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (56 reviews)
Located 30 minutes outside of Hartford, Matterhorn Mini Golf is a Swiss-themed course that’s as educational as it is fun. Facts about Switzerland and its commercial outputs dot the 18-hole green, which is largely wheelchair-accessible.
Making the whole experience sweeter, visitors who ask for the “total yodel” can finish their game with a free ice cream treat.
Delaware: Riverwalk Mini Golf, Wilmington
– Rating: 4 / 5 (14 reviews)
Some minigolf courses, with their garish colors and cartoonish mascots, are what we’d politely term an eyesore. That’s not the case with Delaware’s Riverwalk Mini Golf, which is professionally landscaped to blend in flawlessly with the colors and natural plant life found along the Wilmington River, which it borders.
And rather than populate its 18 holes with one-eyed pirates or giant dinosaur statues, the course features a number of iconic Tom Burke birdhouses, all of which are miniature replicas of existing houses and landmarks.
Florida: Congo River Golf, Orlando
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (891 reviews)
At each of its eight locations across Florida, Congo River Golf takes players on an African-themed adventure that features everything from real-life alligators to tropical rainforests and haunted caves.
Reviewers praise the friendly and helpful staff, as well as the creative holes, which are heavy on the water features. Rainy Florida weather can often put a damper on the fun, but the park honors rained-out tickets when necessary.
Georgia: 2nd Story Entertainment, Blue Ridge
– Rating: 5 / 5 (28 reviews)
Located in a 112-year-old hotel, 2nd Story Entertainment boasts an 18-hole golf course that winds in and out of eight themed rooms. Along the way, players can break up their putting by taking a turn at the giant connect four, checkers, and darts games that line the greenway.
A small refreshment stand and arcade await you at the end, the icing on the cake of this truly unique experience.
Hawaii: Kauai Mini Golf & Botanical Gardens, Kilauea
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (436 reviews)
Surrounded by one of Hawaii’s lush botanical gardens, Kauai Mini Golf may be the most beautiful course on our list. Eighteen holes in all, the course complies with the federal Americans with Disabilities Act access guidelines and is just as interested in teaching players about the island state’s history as it is challenging them with water hazards and pipe shots.
Visitors should take note that this Kauai course is only open Wednesday through Sunday, taking the last golfers at 4 p.m.
Idaho: Outback Golf Park, Pocatello
– Rating: 5 / 5 (11 reviews)
Outback Golf Park in Pocatello offers golfers the opportunity to practice their putting on the minigolf course or their long shot on the driving range. The minigolf area features several water features as well as manicured holes that require uphill and around-the-corner-type shots.
If you find yourself hankering for something a little more challenging, you can head about five minutes down the road to Highland Golf Course.
Illinois: Par-King Skill Golf, Lincolnshire
– Rating: 4 / 5 (93 reviews)
Voted one of the top 10 mini golf courses in America by the Travel Channel, Par-King Skill Golf is truly one of the most unique courses in the country.
Its two 18-hole courses—which feature 19 moving obstacles and seven water holes—are decorated with miniaturized landmarks like the Taj Mahal and Mount Rushmore, storybook characters, carousels, and more. Priced at a reasonable $10 a round, the location only takes cash, so be sure to hit up an ATM before you arrive.
Indiana: Walther’s Golf & Fun, Evansville
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (49 reviews)
What are likely to be the only banana trees in all of Indiana can be found at Walther’s Golf & Fun, dotting the 18-hole outdoor minigolf course alongside dense bamboo forests and other tropical plants.
Both the indoor and outdoor courses are tropical paradise-themed and have been voted best in the city of Evansville for eight years running. For just $9.50 per person, families can enjoy unlimited golf year-round.
Iowa: Pirate Putt, Council Bluffs
– Rating: 4 / 5 (13 reviews)
Pirate Putt is an indoor, 18-hole minigolf course that is geared toward younger players. While still fun for guests of all ages, this Council Bluffs attraction doesn’t have some of the extra-challenging features that other courses on this list do.
Kansas: Field Station Dinosaurs, Derby
– Rating: 4 / 5 (19 reviews)
Located just south of Wichita, Field Stations Dinosaurs is a “one-of-a-kind prehistoric experience” that features 40 life-sized, moving dinos.
\Visitors can start out on the 18-hole, Jurassic golf course before walking the 10 acres of dinosaur trails, taking in a live show, stopping by the Paleo Playground, or exploring the Raptor Maze. Tickets are a little steeper than at some other courses—at $16.75 for adults, and $13.75 for kids—but include a full day’s worth of fun.
Kentucky: Maggie’s Jungle Golf & Jungle Run, Gilbertsville
– Rating: 5 / 5 (75 reviews)
Family-owned and operated, Maggie’s Jungle Golf & Jungle Run is an 18-hole jungle-themed outdoors course in Kentucky’s lakes region. At just $4 a round, the game is low-cost family fun, especially when paired with a walk along the live animal trail.
Louisiana: City Putt, New Orleans
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (51 reviews)
Located inside New Orleans’ City Park, City Putt boasts two 18-hole courses, one that highlights the state’s culture and various cities and another that delves into the history of the city itself. Both courses received a full makeover in 2017, which rendered them ADA-accessible and elevated the experience overall.
Maine: Schooner Miniature Golf, Saco
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (30 reviews)
This nautical-themed minigolf course is just steps from Old Orchard Beach in southern Maine. One of the largest minigolf courses in the state, the venue is fairly textbook in its features, which include massive ships, waterfalls, and windmills.
After you wrap up your game, you can grab a scoop or two of local ice cream from the adjacent snack shack.
Maryland: Embers Island Miniature Golf, Ocean City
– Rating: 4 / 5 (153 reviews)
Yet another pirate-themed minigolf park, Embers Island Miniature Golf has two courses that center around a giant volcano and a pirate ship. Open till 1 a.m., the venue provides a great option for families and groups of Maryland night owls.
Massachusetts: Pirate’s Cove, South Yarmouth
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (539 reviews)
Boston Magazine wrote that a visit to Cape Cod’s Pirate’s Cove minigolf course might be “the next best thing” if a trip to a Disney theme park isn’t in the works for your family this year.
It may sound like high praise, but considering the incredible amount of detail put into the park’s theme, as well as its overall cleanliness and friendliness, it’s certainly not misplaced. Visit both 18-hole courses from April to October.
Michigan: Miners Falls Mini Golf, Munising
– Rating: 5 / 5 (43 reviews)
An 18-hole championship minigolf course, Miners Falls serves up rounds of all-ages fun alongside scoops of gourmet ice cream. As is the case with all outdoor activities in Michigan, the course is seasonal. But locals don’t seem to mind the off-season closures, preferring to support a local business.
Minnesota: Wildwedge Golf, Mini Golf, and Maze, Pequot Lakes
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (45 reviews)
With ever-changing landscaping and intentionally difficult holes, Wildwedge Golf, Mini Golf, and Maze is a truly original take on the decades-old putting game. Open from dawn till dusk in Minnesota’s colder months, and well into the night during the summer months, the location provides year-round fun for golfers of all ages.
Mississippi: Bananas Mini-Golf & Arcade, Gulfport
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (17 reviews)
Bananas Mini-Golf makes a beach oasis out of its Mississippi location. The course contains plenty of water features, including several misters, designed to keep you cool through even the hot and humid Gulf Coast summers. Hours are seasonal, and Bananas currently has limited hours; check the website before you go.
Missouri: Greatest Adventures Mini Golf, Branson
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (128 reviews)
Located in the Ozarks tourist hub of Branson in southwest Missouri, Greatest Adventures Mini Golf has two 18-hole courses, one with a medieval theme and the other with a jungle, Egyptian theme.
Reviewers praise how well maintained the courses are and love the variety in individual hole setups and challenges. And the adjoining restaurant, Scooter’s Sports Grill, makes the perfect place to grab a bite once you’re done.
Montana: Golfing to the Sun Mini Golf, West Glacier
– Rating: 5 / 5 (5 reviews)
Nostalgia is the name of the game at Golfing to the Sun, a minigolf spot steps from Montana’s Glacier National Park.
Over the course of 18 holes, visitors will follow McBilly the Mountain Goat, Glacier Park’s mascot, and their local tour guide, as he leads them through varying terrain. Each hole is riddled with trivia pertaining to the national park, which looms in the background and provides spectacular views.
Nebraska: Outlaw Pizza, Ponca
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (19 reviews)
There’s not much info out for this minigolf course located in the backyard of a Western-themed pizza restaurant. But as far as we can tell you don’t really need to know much to know it’s a must-see if you’re ever in Ponca.
After all, what’s better than a few low-key holes of golf, a warm, crispy slice, and a decadent scoop of ice cream all in the same place?”
Nevada: Twilight Zone by Monster Mini Golf, Las Vegas
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (111 reviews)
While some folks claim there’s few things to do in Las Vegas off the Strip, Twilight Zone Mini Golf is direct proof that’s simply not true. All of the 10,000-square foot indoor course’s 18 holes glow in the dark, are custom-designed, and look totally unique. An on-site live DJ plays old-school tunes and asks trivia questions—complete with prizes—from open to close, ramping up the fun.
New Hampshire: Chucksters, Hooksett
– Rating: 5 / 5 (18 reviews)
There are two 18-hole courses to choose from at Chucksters in Hooksett, New Hampshire: the Cave Course, which is ADA-accessible, and the Fire Tower Course, which definitely is not wheelchair accessible.
The Fire Tower Course claims to have the longest, shortest, easiest, and most difficult minigolf shots in the world— though you can be the judge of those claims. One round of golf is $10 per adult, but if you choose to play both courses in a single day the park does offer a steep discount on the second round.
New Jersey: Congo Falls Adventure Golf, Ocean City
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (201 reviews)
Boasting a “Disney-like atmosphere,” Congo Falls Adventure Golf is located on the world-famous New Jersey boardwalk. The park has three 18-hole courses, two outdoor and one air-conditioned indoor, all with different themes.
After you finish the last hole, be sure to snap a picture with the iconic, larger-than-life, King Kong statue that guards the entrance.
New Mexico: Hinkle Fun Center, Albuquerque
– Rating: 4 / 5 (93 reviews)
Minigolf isn’t the only attraction at Alburquerque’s Hinkle Fun Center—there are also bumper cars, laser tag, go-karts, a game room, and half a dozen other things to keep your family busy.
However, the two 18-hole minigolf courses certainly are the main draw. Beautifully landscaped, the courses are dotted with streams, lakes, waterfalls, trees, gazebos, and bridges, making play as easy on the eyes as it is challenging.
New York: Shipwreck Amusements, Cortland
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (90 reviews)
Golfers at south central New York state’s Shipwreck Amusements have two options: a traditional outdoor minigolf course or an indoor, blacklight course.
Outside are 18 holes of pirate-themed fun, including what they claim is the longest minigolf hole in the world. Inside you’ll find 18 holes of glow-in-the-dark golf, complete with detailed wall murals and life-sized animal statues.
North Carolina: Patio Playground Putt-Putt, Topsail Beach
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (91 reviews)
The only minigolf facility on North Carolina’s Topsail Beach Island, Patio Playground Putt-Putt is a 1950s-themed outdoor course.
With a live DJ on Wednesdays and Fridays, the location also has an arcade and ice cream stand on site. And during the warmer summer months, costumed characters make appearances providing the perfect photo ops for families with younger children.
North Dakota: The Putt District, Minot
– Rating: 5 / 5 (6 reviews)
A newer addition to the minigolf scene, North Dakota’s The Putt District only opened back in 2017. The glow-in-the-dark course features 14 difficult holes, as well as a lounge where patrons can enjoy a cold drink or locally sourced ice cream treat.
Ohio: Alien Vacation Mini Golf Attraction, Medina
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (85 reviews)
A 3D, interactive, blacklight minigolf course, Alien Vacation Mini Golf is a whimsical, otherworldly experience designed by the world-renowned artist Mark Klaus.
The 18-hole Ohio course, which winds through 12 themed rooms, is dotted with movie paraphernalia, making it a veritable sci-fi museum. Halfway through the attraction, you’ll find the Mars Bar, where you can sit a spell and enjoy a beer or an ice-cold slushy.
Oklahoma: Brickopolis, Oklahoma City
– Rating: 4 / 5 (90 reviews)
In the heart of Oklahoma City lies Brickopolis, an amusement park that contains everything from minigolf to precious rock mining to laser tag.
The outdoor 18-hole minigolf course is the venue’s crown jewel—perfectly suited for the teen/tween/family crowd that frequents it. According to several reviewers, the staff regularly gives away free games of laser tag to putt-putt players who hit a hole in one.
Oregon: Glowing Greens, Portland
– Rating: 4 / 5 (52 reviews)
With only 13 holes, Glowing Greens provides a quicker golf experience than many of the other locations on our list. But just because it’s smaller doesn’t mean it’s any less of a good time.
In fact, the indoor blacklight pirate and ocean-themed course feature impressive 3D sets, animated skeletons, and CGI videos that keep even the easiest holes fun and exciting.
Pennsylvania: Village Greens Miniature Golf, Strasburg
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (189 reviews)
Can’t decide between spending an afternoon strolling through a luscious garden or playing a round or two of minigolf? Head to Village Greens Miniature Golf in Lancaster County and do a bit of both.
Spread out over 13 acres of beautiful countryside, the courses make use of the natural surroundings and improved landscaping for obstacles, eliminating the need for plastic barricades or tacky windmills.
Rhode Island: Mulligan’s Island Golf & Entertainment, Cranston
– Rating: 4 / 5 (52 reviews)
Both of the Mulligan’s Island Golf & Entertainment minigolf courses are designed to make players feel as if they were stranded on a remote island.
Designed around a volcano that blows with real flames, the 18-hole attractions are ADA-accessible and suitably challenging for players of all ages. After you wind up your game, you can check out the other options on the property, like the driving range, batting cages, and the tiki hut.
South Carolina: Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf, Hilton Head
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (1253 reviews)
Pirate’s Island Adventure Golf has two 18-hole courses—one easy, one hard—which traverse caves, pirate ships, and a pirate village. The Hilton Head area’s warm weather allows for the courses to be open year-round, though hours change seasonally, and all-day play is an option for those who aren’t satisfied with just a round or two.
South Dakota: Putz n Glo Black Light Mini Golf, Rapid City
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (104 reviews)
Rock through the ’50s, ’60s, ’70s, ’80s, and ’90s at this indoor minigolf experience in South Dakota. The course’s 18 decade-themed holes include several standard obstacles like windmills, but the black light elevates them from boring to thrilling.
Those looking to spice the game up can pick up a mischief spinner at the start of their game, which tosses in challenges, like attempting a hole with your eyes closed.
Tennessee: Toy Box Mini Golf, Pigeon Forge
– Rating: 5 / 5 (422 reviews)
Your inner child is sure to fall in love with Toy Box Mini Golf, an outdoor, toy-themed, 18-hole course in Pigeon Forge.
Larger-than-life sculptures of childhood classics—from Rubix cubes to baby dolls and Lego blocks—line the course, creating fun opportunities for playful photos. After visitors are done playing this Tennessee course they can stop inside the on-site toy and candy shop and bring home a little childhood magic of their own.
Texas: Peter Pan Mini Golf, Austin
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (99 reviews)
First opened in 1948, Peter Pan Mini Golf has been owned and operated by the Dismuke family for over 70 years of its existence.
The two 18-hole courses feature two Austin icons—a giant wooden Peter Pan and T. Rex—as well as plenty of split-level and water obstacles. Texas’ warm weather allows the course to be open year-round, though hours of operation vary by season and day. Be sure to check with the front office before deciding on a tee time.
Utah: Fiesta Fun Family Fun Center, St. George
– Rating: 4 / 5 (47 reviews)
Whether you choose to battle it out among the grizzly bears or wind your way through a fantasy world, you’re certain to enjoy your minigolf experience at Fiesta Fun Family Center.
The two 18-hole outdoor courses are joined by tons of other games and attractions like bowling, laser tag, bumper boats, go-karts, batting cages, and an arcade, making this the perfect place to spend your next family day.
Vermont: Champ’s Trading Post Extreme Mini Golf, Addison
– Rating: 5 / 5 (4 reviews)
Open from Memorial Day through the end of September, Champ’s Training Post Extreme Mini Golf provides an exciting, outdoor, nine-hole experience for players of all ages. Beautiful landscaping and complex rock formations define the course, which transforms into a Christmas tree lot during the colder months.
After finishing the game, visitors can browse through a handful of local Vermont delicacies, including maple syrup and honey, in the neighboring gift shop.
Virginia: Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf, Williamsburg
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (387 reviews)
The Williamsburg, Virginia, location of Pirate’s Cove Adventure Golf is widely considered among the best Pirate’s Cove in the country.
Two 18-hole courses provide ample space for multiple groups to play at once, and the particularly devoted have the option to play both courses on the same day for a discounted price. As the name would suggest, the course is full of pirate-themed obstacles like sunken ships, buried treasure, and renegade cannons.
Washington: Flatstick Pub, Seattle
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (45 reviews)
This adults-only mini golf experience combines nine holes of putt-putt with craft microbrews, making it the perfect place for date night, ladies’ night, guys’ night, or anything in between.
Each of the holes is decorated with Seattle landmarks—and holes 2-8 actually spell out the city name—and while it’s not the most challenging course at $8 per person, you really can’t beat it for a night of fun.
Washington DC: Swingers The Crazy Golf Club, Dupont Circle
– Rating: 5 / 5 (6 reviews)
An adults-only course imported from London, Swingers is a 20,000-square foot, two-story, indoor minigolf course that combines craft cocktails with classic obstacles.
Two nine-hole layouts exist side-by-side in the 1920s English country golf club-themed space, each with a prize wheel at the final hole that affords visitors the opportunity to win everything from free shots to snacks from the attached food hall.
A round costs between $19-$24, excluding drinks, which makes it one of the more expensive courses on our list, but still well worth a visit for the 21-and-over crowd.
West Virginia: Mountain State Miniature Golf, Beckley
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (53 reviews)
Playing through all 18 holes at Mountain State Miniature Golf, visitors will not only hone their golf skills but will also learn quite a bit about the state of West Virginia.
The themed attraction, which has also been voted one of USA Today’s “30 Most Interesting Courses in America,” takes you over a replica of the New River Gorge Bridge, past an outhouse, and through the twisty-turny Route 5 West Virginia Turnpike.
The course is open daily throughout the summer months but is closed during the cooler part of the year.
Wisconsin: Red Putter Mini Golf, Ephraim
– Rating: 4.5 / 5 (115 reviews)
Locally owned and operated, Red Putter Mini Golf has been welcoming players since 1993. The 18-hole course is open from May to October, with special events—like the Frostbite Open on New Year’s Day and the Red Putter Pro Tournament in August—scattered throughout the year.
Though it only costs $5 per person on an average day, there is a free weekend in May for those looking for even more affordable Wisconsin family fun.
Wyoming: Cody City Park Miniature Golf Course, Cody
– Rating: 5 / 5 (3 reviews)
Over 20,000 players visit Cody City Park’s miniature golf course each summer. For just $5 per person, visitors can enjoy the attraction’s 18 holes, which are based on landmarks in and around the Wyoming town.
The course is open daily from June to August, with limited hours in May and September—cold and snowy winter months prevent it from being opened year-round.
This article was produced by Stacker.