Coney Island: What to Know and What to Do

It’s a rule that you can’t visit New York City in the summer without visiting Coney Island. And while everyone has probably heard of Coney Island, you may not be aware of all there is to do and see.

Coney Island History

Coney Island was settled back in the 1700s, but according to Ultimate History Project:

It was not until after the Civil War, however, that Coney truly began to flourish as a popular resort. A spate of hotels grew up along the beach, and they often included restaurants and facilities for renting bathing costumes. In 1868, one guidebook listed Coney Island as the best beach on the Atlantic coast, and by 1873 it was attracting 25,000 to 30,000 visitors on weekends.

Now, Coney Island is a place for adults, kids, families, tourists and locals alike.

Attractions and Food

One of the best things to do in New York next month is to check out some of the famous attractions and food at Coney Island. Here are just a few of the iconic things to try:

Luna Park

Luna Park amusement park

Credit: Shutterstock

Luna Park is where you’ll find the famous Cyclone roller coaster. Along with one of the most well-known rides in the country, you can also check out the Coney Clipper, Astro Tower and Steeplechase. There is food, games and shops — everything for a visit you won’t forget.

New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium is the oldest operating aquarium in the United States and has been at Coney Island since the late 1950s. It hosts attractions like the AquaTheater, which is an interactive show, Conservation Hall, Sea Cliffs and Ocean Wonder: Sharks! There are also things like a 4D show, sea otter feedings, and quite a few ocean animals like penguins, sea lions, seals and sharks.

Deno’s Wonder Wheel

Coney Island

Credit: Shutterstock

Another famous ride is Deno’s Wonder Wheel. Built in the 1900s, it became a Coney Island staple and has a 100 percent perfect safety record. It has 24 cars, of which 16 are swinging and eight are stationary. The swinging cars slide on a serpentine track towards the hub of the Wheel, and as the Wheel turns they slide towards the circumference. There are other attractions and rides within the Wonder Wheel park area.

Food and Drinks

After you’ve spent the day or evening enjoying all of the fun, you can grab a hot dog from Nathan’s Famous or visit any of the other iconic places, like Tom’s Coney Island, Footprints Cafe, Grimaldi’s Pizza and more.

Events and More

There are fireworks every Friday night during the season, and the park stays open very late hours. You can also find a variety of events like the Historic New York: Coney Island and Arts, Culture & Fun: Alley Extension – Revelations Workshop with Lisa Johnson — both in June 2018.

Coney Island is something you do not want to miss on your visit to New York City. Whether you have children, are a couple or are friends on a first-time trip — Coney Island has the beach, the boardwalk, rides, attractions and food. So, whether a roller coaster is what thrills you or you’re more low-key and just want to walk on the beach — Coney Island Beach and Boardwalk is a NYC must-see destination.

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