Hit The Beach And Walk The Boardwalk
For those whose like to embrace the city heat, this nearly three-mile stretch of sea and sand is free. But it does get crowded, so arrive earlymost beachesopen at 10am. The adjacent boardwalk boasts some of the best people-watching in all of New York, not to mention rides, corny carnival games, concessions and shops chockablock with graphic T-shirts, souvenirs and beach gear. You could spend the whole day meandering along the boardwalk, but wear sunscreenthere aren’t many shady escapes.
Top 5 Things To Do At Coney Island And Brighton Beach
- Luna Park Located in Coney Island, Luna Park is the replacement of the infamous Astroland amusement park. Here, tourists and locals flock this amusement park and enjoy the many attractions. One of them is the United States historic wooden roller coaster, the Cyclone.
- Coney Island Boardwalk In the summer months, thousands of people on the boardwalk. Youll have access to the water, you can enjoy seafood and even enjoy drinks.
- Brighton Beach Coney Island and shares the same beach and boardwalk as Coney Island. The people here are mostly locals that have ties to the Russian and Eastern European communities. Its very laid back and many restaurants so spread out through the neighborhood.
- The Coney Island Museum Here, guests want to learn about popular American culture through creative exhibits and performances. Its a great place for families to check out.
- Nathans Famous The most popular hot dog in the world started off in Coney Island. Its definitely a place to pay a visit, but make sure its ready for long lines, especially during warmer months.
Where Is Coney Island And How To Get There
Coney Island is located all the way out the most Southwestern end of Brooklyn. It sits right on the Atlantic Ocean and is surrounded by the neighborhoods of Manhattan Beach, Lower New York Bay, Brighton Beach, Gravesend, and Sea Gate.
Therefore, if you want to visit from midtown Manhattan, your best option is to use the subway. Just hop on the Brooklyn bound Q train from Times Square and get off at Ocean Parkway.
Alternatively, you could you catch a train from Bryant Park instead. Just board the Brooklyn bound F train and take it to West 8th street station or take the Brooklyn bound B train to Brighton Beach station.
Regardless of the train you choose though, the journey will be relatively long and can take anywhere between 58 minutes and and one hour and fifteen minutes with no delays.
Pro Tip: If youre in a hurry, the Q train from Times Square would be your fastest option.
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Eat Some Williams Candy
Located just across the street from the original Nathans Famous Hot Dogs restaurant is a place made of confectionary dreams: Williams Candy.
As the name suggests, this is a candy shop. And both my inner child and sweet tooth love stopping here. Yeah, I cant help but stop into Williams Candy whenever Im in Coney Island and stock up on all my fave classic sweets.
In fact, they sell a wide variety of classics like soft serve ice cream, candy apples. lollipops, and cotton candy.
And best of all, most of these classics come in various flavors. So, you always have a ton of options to choose from. However, If you dont feel like something sweet, you can also always get a carton of buttered popcorn instead.
FYI, youll also find more modern classics like pixie stix, rock candy, sour apple rings, yogurt pretzels, and Swedish fish, among others.
Address: 1318 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 7:00 pm.
See Coney Art Walls And Admire Artworks
Curated by Jeffrey Deitch and Joseph Sitt and presented by Thor Equities, Coney Art Walls serves as an outdoor museum of street art to provide an art experience that is accessible and free to the public.
Located just a short walk from the beach and boardwalk at 3050 Stillwell Ave., this one-of-a-kind public art museum also made room for entertainment with popular restaurants throughout New York City.
Coney Art Walls showcased sixty-eight wall projects and murals created by the worlds foremost street and graffiti artists in 2015-2018.
This helped to shed light on the existence of emerging artists such as Shantell Martin, Timothy Curtis, and Lauren Halsey, who have become quite the inspiration to many enthusiasts.
The wonderful murals you’ll see here include “Assume Vivid Astro Focus,” “Daze,” “Kaves,” and many more from 2015-2018.
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Chow Down On Doa Zita Tacos
As a kid, whenever I thought of Coney Island, food was one of the first things that came to mind but not Mexican!
Well after discovering this absolute gem, that all instantly changed. And now I will gleefully tell anyone who asks that eating at Doña Zitas is definitely one of the top things to do in Coney Island when your tummy starts a-rumblin.
While tacos are their bestsellers and for good reason youll find plenty of other options here, too, like cemitas, tortas, flautas, and more. As well as hot dogs, obvi, but Mexican style!
All of their dishes come with multiple filling options when it comes to meat, as well as a veggie-friendly choices too. Theres also a ton of Jarritos flavors to wash it all down!
So, grab a delicious meal to go and head to the boardwalk where you can enjoy stuffing your face as you walk along the beach. OR, if you arent that coordinated sit on the patio and eat to your hearts content.
Pro Tip: Portions are huge so dont order a ton and get the Gordita de Chicharrón. Plus, if youre in the mood for pizza.head to Totonnos Pizza. The pies here are next level and theyve been around since 1905.
Address: 1221 Bowery St, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 11:00 pm.
Price: Entrees start at around $8.00 each.
Residential Development And Decline
Robert Moses era
In 1937, New York City parks commissioner Robert Moses published a report about the possible redevelopment of Coney Island, which would have entailed the addition of parking lots and reconstruction of part of the boardwalk. The city purchased a 400-foot-wide strip of land along the shoreline, which would allow the boardwalk to be moved 300 feet inland. At this point, Coney Island was so crowded on summer weekends that, according to Moses, a coffin would provide more space per person. Though ride construction was delayed due to material shortages caused by the onset of World War II, two new rides were constructed in 1946 at the end of the war.
In 1953, Moses proposed that most of the peninsula be rezoned for various uses, claiming that it would be an “upgrade” over the various business and unrestricted zones that existed at the time. Steeplechase Park would be allowed to remain open, but much of the shorefront amusements and concessions would be replaced by residential developments. After many complaints from the public and from concession operators, the Estimate Board reinstated the area between West 22nd and West Eighth Streets as an amusement-only zone, with the zone extending 200 to 400 feet inland from the shoreline. Moses’s subsequent proposal to extend the Coney Island boardwalk east to Manhattan Beach was denied in 1955. A proposal to make the Quonset hut development into a permanent housing structure was also rejected.
Fred Trump era
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Visit The Amphitheater At Coney Island Boardwalk
This 5,000-seat covered open-air amphitheater is one of the best things to do in Coney Island if youre looking for entertainment. And, because its actually covered, its also a perfect event venue regardless of the weather.
While there isnt always something going on, they tend to keep the calendar pretty full when there arent any ongoing restrictions.
Plus, since it opened in 2016, the amphitheater has hosted a mix of concerts, family shows, sports, comedy, and multicultural events. Its also a popular spot for local graduation ceremonies too.
Apparently, the first show ever held here was Impractical Jokers. However, the amphitheater has also seen performances from legends like Beach Boys and Willie Nelson.
It has hosted events and shows as disparate as Reggae shows, a One Africa festival, an Irish Fair, and Boyz II Men.
Plus, as part of the contract to build the amphitheater, it guarantees good jobs for local residents and is a great way to support local residents as you enjoy various Coney Island attractions.
Address: 3052 W 21st St, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Hours: Varies by show.
Price: Varies by show.
Admire The Coney Art Walls
This is one of the most creative and best things to do in Coney Island.
See, every year, at 3050 Stillwell Ave, Coney Island holds an annual outdoor exhibition of street art. Its completely free, and it showcases the skills of talented artists from around the world.
Yeah, this amazing public art wall project was started by Jeffrey Deitch, and Joseph Sitt, who curated an exhibition for the work of 30 artists, both local lesser-known ones and others who are well-known in the global street art scene.
Because different artists take part each year, every summer youll get to see new pieces of street art.
Many take their inspiration from Coney Island, and feature things like mermaids, local landmarks and residents.
Others often use the event to create pieces that represent a form social commentary and that help get people think about important issues.
Whatever they choose to create though, you can guarantee its going to look amazing. So start filling your Insta feed up with some excellent art!
Address: 3050 Stillwell Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Hours: Open daily from 12:00 pm to 8:00 pm.
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Things To Do On Winter In Coney Island New York
Planning to visit Coney Island, New York in winter? Make the most of the winter festivities, snuggle up by roaring fires, find cool things to do and make the most of your trip with this insiders guide.
If youre into twinkling lights, carolers on the streets, and delicious Christmas market cookies, we cant think of anything better than visiting Coney Island, New York in the winter. Keep reading, because weve got the ultimate list for you! Coney Island, New York in winter is full of magical surprises around every street corner.
If youve decided to visit Coney Island, New York during the winter months and are hoping to make the most of the city, such as see some of the sights, or enjoy some of the indoor highlights then here are some top ideas. Here are some of the best things to see and do in Coney Island, New York during the winter.
Placerai Mall Indexes: December 2022 Recap
For a moment, it seemed like Manhattan and its surrounding boroughs were on the verge of losing their status as Americaâs economic and cultural capitals. COVID-19 hit the city particularly hard, and a substantial out-migration had some saying that the city would never recover, with a popular narrative claiming that cities were âoverâ in favor of the suburbs. But it takes a lot more than a pandemic to keep New York down.
To understand COVIDâs impact on the city â and appreciate the subsequent recovery â we took a closer look at population trends in New York Cityâs five boroughs over the past five years. We also explored the urban revival that is taking place in areas such as Northwest Brooklyn and Lower Manhattan to understand what these trends mean for the fate of cities post-pandemic.
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The Original Nathans Famous Hot Dogs
Many visitors to Coney island may find it mandatory to have at least a bite of a Nathans Famous hot dog from their original location here. Its located at 1310 Surf Avenue, on the corner of Surf and Stilwell, conveniently adjacent to the Subway station. It was opened over 100 years ago in 1916, by Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker.
If you get a hot dog here, I personally also recommend ordering some french fries. The fries themselves werent particularly great, in my personal opinion anyway. But they have novelty value. Nathans serves their fries with these little red plastic cocktail forks, so you can eat them the old-school way without using your fingers.
Things To Do In Coney Island New York With Friends
Visiting Coney Island, New York is always fun but it can also be overwhelming, depending on the group youre with, Coney Island, New York has everything to offer. If youre in Coney Island, New York with your crowd, read on, my friend, as this guide will help you pick and choose fun activities to do in Coney Island, New York.
You made a new friend! A pal for life, a Netflix buddy, a mate to date and shoulder to cry on well done you! Better make sure they stick around then, huh? Luckily for you, billy-loads-of-mates, weve put together the ultimate ideas guide for things to do with friends in Coney Island, New York. From the best restaurants for group dining, to pubs and bars with spaces to chat, from the newest events and nightlife, to the latest art exhibitions and theatre shows, charm your pals with the best things to do with friends in Coney Island, New York and make sure they stick around
Discover all the cool things to do in Coney Island, New York with teenagers by following our guide to fun, quirky and Insta-worthy activities.
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Discover Nathans Famous Hot Dogs
Nathans hot dogs are famous for a reason. I mean, I cant think of things to do in Coney Island without thinking of scarfing down hot dogs as a kid.
And while you can find Nathans outposts all over the USA now , the original is still right here in Coney Island, where its been selling some of the best hotdogs in the world since 1916!
In fact, there are actually two Nathans Famous Hot Dog spots in Coney Island, the original, which is on Surf Ave, a few blocks from the beach, and a Boardwalk stall.
Just for authenticity and nostalgia sake though, I recommend the original. But, the location along the Boardwalk is certainly more atmospheric. Its also usually busier and one of the best Coney Island attractions of them all!
So, what makes Nathans so special? Well, over the years theyve perfected the art of the hot dog. And while they do sell fries, burgers and various seafood dishes, their hot dogs are basically a form of art and need to be ingested while youre here.
Thats why, whether youre enjoying a romantic getaway, on a family vacation, or just wandering through solo, stoping in at Nathans Famous Hot Dogs is one of the best top things to do at Coney Island.
Pro Tip: The original Nathans hot dog stand is also home to Coneys Island annual hot dog eating contest on July 4th.
Address: 1310 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224
Hours: Open daily from 10:00 am to 10:00 pm.
Price: Hot dogs start at $4.75.
Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest
The biggest and most famous hot dog eating contest in the world, Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest, takes place in Coney Island on July 4th.
The contest has been held at the original location on Coney Island since the early 1970s. Contestants try to consume as many hot dogs as possible in ten minutes.
See our post on things to do in July in NYC for other summer fun that month.
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Fun Things To Do In Coney Island Today: Rides Beach Food
Katie Dillon is La Jolla Mom and New York City is one of her favorite destinations.
Yes, there are many things to do in Coney Island, New York and they are fun.
When you hear the name Coney Island, if it means anything to you at all, you might think of some old-time seaside resort located somewhere near New York City. Or, the annual 4th of July Nathans Hot Dog Eating Contest comes to mind.
Both are accurate but are a small part of the whole story, which we learned during a recent visit to this amusement area with 50 or more separate rides and attractions, loads of concessions, and a beach.
Coney Island Location And Overview
Coney Island is located Brooklyn, on the Atlantic Coast. Its easy to get there via the D, F, N or Q trains depending on where you are in New York City. Indeed, its the last stop. From Midtown Manhattan, the ride takes just over an hour each way.
The Coney Island Subway station, on the corner of Stillwell and Surf Avenue, is just two blocks from the boardwalk. The boardwalk is a wide strip of pedestrianized concrete with a wide beach on one side and a bunch of fast food stands and the Luna Park amusement park on the other. Its the central focus of the touristy part of Coney Island today.
Wander more than a couple of blocks inland from here, the tourist façade of Coney Island rapidly recedes and gives way to a busy residential area by the sea. Therefore, most keep their Coney Island visits focused on the strip between Surf Avenue and the beach.
Note that, just as in the old days, the tourist attractions of Coney Island remain primarily seasonal. Theyre open on weekends from roughly Easter to Halloween but also open during weekdays from Memorial Day through Labor Day. Even then, I discovered several things closed there on Monday and Tuesdays, during peak summer season. The boardwalk, aquarium and Nathans hot dogs are open year round. Because of the odd hours, it does make sense to call before you go.
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