I'd only ever seen Coney Island featured in old Hollywood movies so I half expected to step out in the roaring 1920s as we got out of the subway in Coney Island. In 1884, the very first American rollercoaster was built on Coney Island. In 1903, the famous Luna Park amusement park opened, and in 1927, the Cyclone rollercoaster - today's world's oldest rollercoaster still in operation - opened. A 2.5-mile boardwalk was built along the beach in the early 1920s, and several shops and restaurants were built at that time, including Nathan's Famous hot dog joint (home of the equally famous hot dog eating contest). Coney Island's amusement parks and boardwalk remained very popular until the mid-1940s, after which time began a period of slow decline. By the 1970s, this once bustling area of Brooklyn had practically been abandonned. The City of New York then drew up several revitilization plans, some of which failed, but some of which finally succeeded!
Today, Coney Island might not be back to its former glory yet, but it sure is a fun place to visit on a hot summer day! I very much enjoyed walking along the boardwalk, feeling the refreshing ocean breeze on my face, and walking through the new Luna Park, which opened in 2010 - you don't need to pay to get in, you only pay to get on the rides; and although some might get a kick out of riding the old Cyclone rollercoaster, most of the rides are in fact quite modern. The ones I was interested in cost $7 per person, which I thought was a bit expensive, but given that there are no fees to access the beach (and there are plenty of restrooms available along the beach where you can put on your swimsuit) and that checking out the different shops along the boardwalk is free as well (well, except for the souvenir tank top and the candy I bought!), it turned out to be a very inexpensive and unusual way to spend a day in NYC :o)
This iconic sight was devastated by Hurricane Sandy and is just starting to reopen in 2015. This is where both the beach boardwalk and the amusement park was invented along with the Hot dog. If you're not into beaches or amusement parks however this area may not have much to offer.
Every year, on the first day of January, people go for a plunge in the freezing Atlantic Ocean. In 2015, 2500 people raised $70000 for charity. Access for spectators is free.
Quick background....I work in law enforcement, I usually am traveling with my family (2 children), and while I do like to explore and I am adventurous, I want to be safe and I don't want to go anywhere that is too trashy. We visit NYC 2 times a year and we have explored most of Manhattan, some of Brooklyn, & Yankee Stadium in the Bronx. I was on the fence on whether to visit Coney Island or not. Was it going to be worth the trip from Manhattan? So I took to Tripadvisor to read the reviews. After reading some of the reviews, I knew that it was going to be nostalgic and fun, but was it clean and safe? The answer is yes. It was clean and safe, and we had lots of fun on a weekend afternoon. We did not do the beach or swim, but here's what we did do. We took the subway there, which drops you off immediately across the street from Nathan's Hot Dogs and the piers. We walked almost the entire boardwalk. We walked out onto the pier which is full of families, fishers, and dog walkers, we ate at Nathan's which was delicious, we rode the Cyclone roller coaster, which is historic by it self, took tons of photos, and then went back to the city. Here's what I experienced. One homeless man asked me for loose change, then politely moved along. Were there some strange, perhaps shady people? Very few! Less than 1%, and none were causing any trouble or concern. There was nothing that you'll experience here that you won't experience in the subway or in any other urban area in the U.S. By the way, uniformed NYPD was present everywhere, even outside of the public bathroom facilities. I did not use the restrooms, but my family did. Apparently they stunk inside and weren't exceptionally clean, but they were safe and usable. As far as cleanliness....It was pretty clean! The boardwalk was in excellent maintained state. The beach and water had no apparent trash. I suspect that when it's really crowded, people do leave bottles, cans, cigarette butts, etc, and while that's a shame, it happens. It was not the Caribbean, and I would not drink the water, but I was not grossed out. I think that if you have visited all of the NYC tourists sites more than once, and you're looking for something nostalgic and different to do, take a few hours on a nice day and venture over to Coney Island. We really enjoyed it and I think that fans of the NYC area should experience it at least once. Enjoy!
One of America's most celebrated beach resorts during the first half of the 20th Century, Coney Island remains a Mecca for summer fun even today.
Coney Island is a peninsula, formerly an island, in southernmost Brooklyn, New York City, USA, with a beach lying on the Atlantic Ocean. The eponymous neighborhood is a community of 60,000 people in the western part of the peninsula, with Seagate to its west; Brighton Beach and Manhattan Beach to its east; and Gravesend to the north.
Coney Island is a seasonal center operating roughly between Easter and Labor Day. Rides and attraction are generally open on weekends from Easter until Memorial Day, all week long from Memorial Day until Labor Day, and then weekends from Labor Day until the end of September. The beach and boardwalk are open all year round (although lifeguards are only on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day) and Nathan's Hot Dogs and the New York Aquarium are open almost every day of the year. The Coney Island Museum is also open on Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 5 PM all year round. During the week, rides and attractions may open at noon and run until the late evening. During the weekends, the same rides and attractions open around noon and may run until the early morning.
(work in progress)
It’s difficult to explain why I decided that I needed to visit Coney Island, as it would scarcely feature on the ‘must see’ list for the vast majority of tourists to New York.
And yet I succumbed to Coney Island’s siren call on a breezy Monday in early October. Maybe it was the nostalgic ‘boardwalk’ factor – a distinctive feature of U.S. beachside culture - and a desire to explore the allure that had inspired musicians artists like Lou Reed, Aerosmith and the Ramones. Or maybe it was the sense of visiting a set from a ‘Scooby Doo’ movie and my morbid fascination for a vintage rickety roller coaster which made such an almighty clatter that every health and safety alarm was registering ‘red alert’.
In all probability, what tipped the balance was a casual reference in the tour of the superb Tenement Museum to what immigrants did for fun in the little free time that they were afforded. The establishment of the subway system not only facilitated the garment industry’s transition from homebound sweatshops to factories located at some distance from where the workforce lived, but also allowed the workers to travel to Coney Island on the few days off that they were afforded. The image of overworked labourers flocking from overcrowded ghettoes where their working conditions seldom allowed them to venture outside in daylight hours to enjoy a few hours of fresh air and freedom by the seaside was compelling, and I wanted to follow in the footsteps of the immigrant labourers who paid their dues to the U.S. by means of sweat equity and faith in the vision of a better life.
When I was young, I listened to Lou Reed's 'Coney Island Baby' many times. Since then, I have had a hope to visit there some day. So this time, during my first visit to New York, I took subway, which brought me there in about 1 hour from Central Manhattan.
When the subway came near Coney Island Station, I could see the Ferris wheel and the jet coaster of an amusement park that had been closed years before.
I got off at the last stop and walked straight toward the beach.
The first landmark was the sign of famous hotdog 'Nathan's'. But the first shop I found did not seem to be open. Just in front of the beach there was another Nathan's, where some people were buying coca cola and hotdog.
Coney Island will be a place for New Yorkers to enjoy swimming and sunbathing in summer. There is a beautiful white beach. Sea gulls. A pier jutting out into the sea to take a walk on.
An aquarium. I hear the amusement park are being renewed and will be open soon.
If you are tired from walking too much in the city of NY or from seeing too many great works at Metropolitan Museum, I recommend you to have a visit to Coney Island and rest yourself for a while.
The New York Aquarium first opened on December 10, 1896, making it the oldest continually operating aquarium in the United States. The Aquarium currently occupies 14 acres by the sea in Coney Island, and boasts over 350 species of aquatic wildlife. We enjoy the beluga whales, the shark tanks and the interactive shows with seals and sealions.
Between about 1880 and World War II, Coney Island was the largest amusement area in the United States, attracting several million visitors per year. At its height it contained three competing major amusement parks, Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park, as well as many independent amusements. Today it looks a bit sad and rundown, but we still had a lot of fun. The Wonder Wheel was built in 1918 and opened in 1920, this steel Ferris wheel has both stationary cars and rocking cars that slide along a track. It holds 144 riders, stands 150 feet tall, and weighs over 2,000 tons. At night the Wonder Wheel's steel frame is outlined and illuminated by neon tubes. The Cyclone roller coaster, built in 1927, is one of the nation's oldest wooden coasters still in operation. The Cyclone includes an 85-foot, 60 degree drop. The Parachute Jump, originally the Life Savers Parachute Jump at the 1939 New York World's Fair still stands.
Coney Island still maintains a broad sandy beach that is served for its entire length by the broad Riegelmann boardwalk. A number of amusements are directly accessible from the land side of the boardwalk, as is the New York Aquarium and a variety of food shops and arcades. The position of the beach and lack of significant obstructions means virtually the entire beach is in sunlight all day. The beach is open to all without restriction and there is no charge for use. The beach area is divided into "bays", areas of beach delineated by rock jetties, which moderate erosion and the force of ocean waves. The Coney Island Polar Bear Club is a group of people who swim at Coney Island throughout the winter months, most notably on New Year's Day when additional participants join them to swim in the frigid.
We got a kick out of the Freak Show next to Nathans. We saw men with deformities and "made freaks" that could swallow fire, contort their bodies .. These performers performed magic tricks and daredevil stunts. In addition, the freak show performers might also perform acts or stunts, and would often sell souvenirs like "giant's rings" or "pitch cards" with their photos and life stories. They had a performer who could be viewed for an additional fee.
The KeySpan Park is home to the Brooklyn Cyclones a minor league baseball team
time is running out to visit the world's greatest sideshow. Yes Coney Island is filthy, rundown and has a constant smell of something leaking from the pipes below. But one thing is definite. Whether it is playing Shoot the Freak, eating a Nathan's Famous hotdog, riding the Cyclone or visiting the freakshow, you will find yourself completely entertained by what Coney Island offers... for a limited time only. Next year Astroland is expected to shut down and Coney Island will receive a long overdue deap cleaning. I am not the only one who will miss the grime.
When i wentr for a day trip to C island, i had a great time. You can go on one of the old rides or go Go karting. The sea and beach is very beautiful and it is relaxing to get away from thre city for a while.
Anyone who is visiting Brooklyn during the warm months should be obligated to take a stroll through Coney Island. So much of Brooklyn's history, warmth and charm has come from the stories, plays and musicals written about it's neighborhoods. Coney Island is one such neighborhood. It has been featured in numerous movies and TV shows. Coney Island is home to Nathan's Hot Dogs, the best hot dogs in the entire world. It is also home to The Wonder Wheel and the Cyclone. Overall Coney Island has 35 or more rides for visitors to enjoy.
Coney Island is a seasonal center. Coney Island typically operates from Easter through Labor Day. In general rides and attraction are generally open on weekends between Easter and Memorial Day. One the warm weather hits, they are open all week long until Labor Day, and then weekends from Labor Day until the end of September. The beach and boardwalk are open all year round. Be warey though lifeguards are only on duty from Memorial Day to Labor Day. Nathan's Hot Dogs and the New York Aquarium are open almost every day of the year. The Coney Island Museum is also open on Saturdays and Sundays, from noon to 5 PM all year round.
Fireworks are sponsored by Astroland and Deno's Wonder Wheel Park every Friday night at 9:30 during the season. As a rule of thumb, fireworks start the last weekend in June and conclude the Friday before Labor Day. Specific questions about the fireworks should be directed to Astroland (718-265-2100) or Deno's (718-449-8836) directly.
Coney Island also hosts a Saturday Night Film Series sponsored by indiefilmpage.com and Coney Island USA. It. The dates change from year to year, but the location is always the same, The Coney Island Museum at 1208 Sufe Avenue and the time never changes 8:30 PM with doors opening at 8:00 PM. Admission is $5.00 and the popcorn is free.
Coney Island was once a huge attraction. It really isn't quite that anymore, but it's still making a big comeback from how it was ten years ago. Since amusement parks are available everywhere now (unlike in the early days of Coney Island), I'd say it's inescapable that it's now more of an attraction for locals than tourists. Tourists want to see something unique.