With a reconstructed boardwalk for leisurely strolling, iconic rides, the original Nathan’s Famous hot dogs and even an innovative brewery, Coney Island is most definitely worth a visit. Besides the actual beach, there are countless things to do in this popular spot that has been enchanting visitors since the 1830s. Here are a few reasons why Coney Island—once the largest amusement area in the U.S.—is still a legendary destination in NYC.
Luna Park is chock-full of rides for thrill-seekers. Get your roller-coaster fix with The Cyclone (opened in 1927, it’s one of the oldest wooden roller coasters in the U.S.) and Thunderbolt (flips and dips galore). Nearby, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park offers numerous rides, including bumper cars and a trip on The Wonder Wheel. This famous Ferris wheel has cars that rock and slide or stay stationary to accommodate riders who prefer to choose their level of adventure.
See sharks, seals, penguins and more at the New York Aquarium, the oldest continually operating aquarium in the country. Enjoy baseball and other events at MCU Park, home of the Brooklyn Cyclones minor league baseball team. The stadium boasts a fantastic view of both amusement parks and is situated underneath the Parachute Jump, a Coney Island landmark. Check out circus sideshows and, above the Freak Bar (a real bar), the Coney Island Museum.
Coney Art Walls showcases 21 murals during the summer. This public project also offers food from vendors including Table 87 and Dinosaur Bar-B-Que. The Amphitheater at Coney Island Boardwalk is a new 5,000-seat outdoor concert hall at which Sting, Peter Gabriel, The Beach Boys and more perform. There is also a beach fireworks show every Friday through the summer until Labor Day weekend.
Coney Island is easy to get to via subway (take the D, F, N or Q train to the Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue station), bus (the express X28 and X38 from Manhattan), car service or car rental (metered parking and commercial lots are available).