Known as the “People’s Playground,” Coney Island is one of New York City’s most iconic destinations, providing amusements and relaxation to New Yorkers and tourists alike for almost 200 years.
Whether it’s riding the historic Wonder Wheel or Cyclone Roller Coaster, grabbing a hotdog from Nathan’s, catching a ball game at Maimonides Park, or just soaking in the sun on our beach and boardwalk, Coney Island has a mix of attractions and activities for everyone. And at the center of it all is the Amusement District, a section of the neighborhood between Surf Avenue and the Riegelmann Boardwalk that has long-served as the face of summertime in the city.
For the price of subway fare, an unforgettable day of enjoyment, entertainment, and relaxation is easily accessible from almost anywhere in NYC. Your summer fun is only a train ride away!
Life’s a Beach
The beach is the most defining feature of Coney Island and the reason why the area has become such a popular recreational destination for NYC and beyond. Catch a wave, wade in the shallows, or just relax on the sand. The opportunity to have fun and enjoy the refreshing ocean is what keeps bringing people back summer after summer.
Come for the Rides, Stay for the Games: Enjoy Coney Island’s Amusement Parks
Who would have guessed you can find not one, but two amusement parks in NYC? Two of the biggest attractions in Coney Island, Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Luna Park continue the neighborhood’s legacy of offering rides, games, and treats to New Yorkers looking to escape their daily routine in the city. Take a spin on the iconic Wonder Wheel, zoom along the historic Cyclone Roller Coaster–which is turning 95 this year!–and be sure to check out the many new rides that have opened in the past year as both parks continue to work to create new and exciting draws to the neighborhood!
Sports, Culture, Mermaids and Aquatic Wildlife
There are attractions here for anyone. Are you a sports fan? Check out a Brooklyn Cyclones game, our borough baseball team, at Maimonides Stadium.
Are your interests more eclectic? Coney Island USA (CIUSA) is a multi-arts center offering innovative exhibits and performances through three unique venues: the Coney Island Museum, Sideshows by the Seashore, and the Shooting Gallery/Arts Annex. Their work helps preserve uniquely American visual and performing art forms while paying homage to the iconic sideshow performances, such as sword swallowing, fire eating and more.
Additionally, Coney Island USA produces the legendary annual Mermaid Parade, which returns June 18th after a two-year hiatus! Speaking of performances, the Coney Island Amphitheater, a premier outdoor live entertainment venue, hosts Live Nation concerts and free shows as part of City Park Foundation’s Summerstage series, adding even more music and entertainment to the already vibrant neighborhood.
Finally, for those who want to experience and learn about our local sea life, the New York Aquarium offers guests a one-of-a-kind experience with their newest exhibits, Ocean Wonders: Sharks!, Spineless and the all new interactive and imaginative Playquarium where guests can explore and learn all about our local marine life.
Grab a Few Bites…
The Coney Island Amusement District has a wide variety of eateries to appeal to any palette. The birthplace of the hot dog, no visit to Coney Island is complete without a stop at the legendary Nathan’s Famous. With two locations to choose from, the original Stillwell Avenue restaurant or Boardwalk walk-up, enjoy not only a hot dog, but their wide selection of different foods from hamburgers, chicken sandwiches and even frog legs.
Located a few doors down from Nathan’s on Surf Avenue, you’ll be able to find Williams Candy Shop and Pete’s Clam Stop, a counter-service food spot and candy store. Pete’s is not only one of the best spots for shish-kabobs or clams but is also one of the legacy businesses in Coney Island. Williams Candy offers a delicious array of homemade treats from jelly apples, cotton candy, sprinkled marshmallows and more to snack on while enjoying everything Coney has to offer, or to take home and savor.
Want to enjoy your food with a view? Then stop into boardwalk eateries Ruby’s Bar and Grill or Paul’s Daughter. Two iconic Coney Island institutions, Ruby’s is the oldest bar and grill on the boardwalk, while Paul’s Daughter is the #1 spot for clams, lobster rolls and cold beers on tap.
Speaking of beer, hit up the Coney Island Brewery which is located right next to Maimonides Stadium. With 9 different beers on tap—changed seasonally with specialty brews made right in Coney Island—and a menu dishing out classic bar eats to vegan specialties, be sure to stop by for a bite or try one of their seasonal and specialty brews on tap!
Don’t Forget to Pick Up a Souvenir!
Shopping in Coney Island isn’t limited to just gift shops, there are plenty of stores where one can not only buy Coney Island merchandise but also any and all things that help ensure visitors are thoroughly prepared for their trip to the beach. The Brooklyn Beach Shop, Coney Island Beach Shop, and Surf & Stillwell are three family-owned shops specializing in souvenirs, T-shirts & sweatshirts, beach supplies and more. Located on Stillwell Avenue and directly on the Boardwalk, these shops are hard to miss, and their items are hard to pass up, so be sure to stock up as a lovely reminder of your time in Coney Island!
There will be a free fireworks show every Friday this summer, viewable (weather permitting) from the Coney Island Boardwalk. These start around 9:45 p.m. More details here.
And before you go, check out all of the Coney Island Local Stop Deals!
5 minute walk to most attractions at Coney Island