The Best Things To Do When Visiting Coney Island

Coney Island, Brooklyn USA is on a lot of travelers bucketlist. It’s famous for the rides, food and it’s the location is the backdrop for so many tv shows & movies.

June 28, 2024

Best Things To Do When Visiting Coney Island

Coney Island, Brooklyn, USA is a must-visit on many travelers' bucket lists. Known for its rides, food, and iconic appearances in countless TV shows and movies, Coney Island is a highlight of any New York City summer visit. It boasts the city's only theme park, a favorite among kids. With summer events and fairs to enjoy, it's easy to see why Coney Island holds such widespread appeal.

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Coney Island is about 50 mins from Manhattan and getting there requires some planning. It’s deep into Brooklyn but it is accessible by subway or taxi. Figuring out the best way to get there and when to go does require some planning. Tell us your must-see attractions, favorite foods, and the number of days you’re in New York City, and our team will build a hand-crafted plan that matches your profile.

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Ok ... on to the list

Ride The Cyclone

Experience a heart-pounding blast from the past with a ride on the iconic Cyclone at Coney Island. Dating back to 1927, this legendary roller coaster has become synonymous with Brooklyn nostalgia. After facing a tumultuous period of closure starting in 1969, the Cyclone found a savior in the form of Astroland theme park in 1975. Thanks to their efforts, this wooden marvel was saved from demolition and went on to receive prestigious recognition as a city landmark in 1988 and a National Historic Landmark in 1991. Today, as part of Coney Island's vibrant Luna Park, the Cyclone continues to thrill visitors with its classic charm and exhilarating twists and turns.

Eat a Nathan’s Hot Dog

Indulge in an iconic culinary experience at Coney Island by sinking your teeth into a Nathan's Famous hot dog. Founded in 1916, this renowned hot dog chain has deep roots in the area, and while the Coney Island hot dog topped with chili may not be the most popular choice, it's the classic all-American dog that takes center stage. The annual Fourth of July hot-dog-eating contest, now celebrating its 101st year, showcases these delectable dogs. Despite the price having evolved from its humble beginnings, a timeless Nathan's hot dog can still be savored for just a little over $3, delivering a taste that is worth every penny.

Go To The Mermaid Parade

Experience the captivating Mermaid Parade at Coney Island, a cherished tradition since 1983. This vibrant event pays tribute to a century of ingenuity, revelry, and pageantry in the area. From crowned King Neptune and Queen Mermaid to fantastical sea creatures, mer-folk, marching bands, dancing groups, and even adorned baby strollers, the parade showcases the creative vision of individuals from all over New York City. It's a summer kickoff that celebrates incredible art, entrepreneurial spirit, and community pride in a spectacular display of color and creativity.

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Walk The Boardwalk & Beach

Embrace the city heat with a leisurely stroll along the three-mile stretch of Coney Island's boardwalk and beach. Arriving early is recommended due to the crowds, as most beaches open at 10 am. The vibrant boardwalk offers fantastic people-watching opportunities, thrilling rides, classic carnival games, and a variety of shops filled with graphic T-shirts, souvenirs, and beach gear. Don't forget to wear sunscreen, as shaded areas are limited. Enjoy the bustling atmosphere of the boardwalk and soak up the sun on the sandy beach, making the most of this delightful, free experience.

Watch The Fireworks

Immerse yourself in the magical tradition of Coney Island fireworks, a quintessential part of the NYC summer experience. Every Friday night from June to September, weather permitting, you can witness breathtaking firework displays lighting up the sky at around 9:45 PM. These enchanting shows are not limited to just Fridays, as several other special occasions, including the 4th of July and select non-Friday Brooklyn Cyclones games, also feature dazzling fireworks. Prepare to be captivated by the vibrant bursts of color and sparkling lights, adding an extra touch of excitement and wonder to your Coney Island visit.

Visit The NY Aquarium

Discover the wonders of marine life at the New York Aquarium, the sole major aquarium in NYC nestled within Coney Island. Spanning 14 acres, this aquatic paradise is open year-round and showcases over 300 captivating marine species. Engage with the enchanting PlayQuarium touch pool, where you can get up close and personal with an array of intriguing creatures, including sea stars, turtles, crabs, marine snails, and sea urchins. Marvel at the acrobatic sea lions as they steal the spotlight with their playful antics, mesmerizing dances, and daring dives. Discover the awe-inspiring world of the New York Aquarium, a must-visit destination for all ages.

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Visit The Coney Island Museum

Embark on a journey through time at the Coney Island Museum, a charming and informative destination that offers a glimpse into the area's colorful past. Step into a bygone era as you explore the museum's collection of antiques and memorabilia from the games and rides of yesteryears. From vintage bumper cars to captivating fun-house mirrors, you'll find yourself immersed in the nostalgic atmosphere of Coney Island's vibrant history. Currently, the museum's collaboration with the New York Transit Museum presents "Five Cents to Dreamland: A Trip to Coney Island," an exhibition that provides a unique perspective on the evolution of this iconic destination. The best part? Admission is accessible to all, with a nominal fee of just $5.

Grab A Beer At Coney Island Brewery

Kick back and enjoy a laid-back beer experience at Coney Island Brewery, conveniently situated along the lively boardwalk. When you need a break from basking in the sun on the beach, step into the brewery and treat yourself to an array of craft brews. The choices include Coney-themed favorites like the Mermaid Pilsner, Kettle Corn Cream Ale, Overpass IPA, and watermelon-wheat Tunnel of Love. Whether you prefer a pint, a flight, or a to-go growler, Coney Island Brewery offers a range of refreshing options to enhance your beachside experience.

Catch A FREE SummerStage Concert

This annual event presents nearly 80 performances in Central Park and various neighborhood parks throughout the five boroughs, drawing in 217,000 music lovers. From jazz and hip hop to Latin, global, indie, and contemporary dance, SummerStage showcases the cultural fabric of the city with a lineup that reflects its rich musical heritage. For almost four decades, this beloved event has brought together over six million people from New York City and beyond to enjoy the magic of live music. One of the exciting venues where SummerStage takes place is the Amphitheater at Coney Island, situated on the boardwalk just a short walk from the beach.

Watch A Minor League Baseball Game

Experience the joy of America's favorite pastime with a visit to MCU Park, home of the minor-league Brooklyn Cyclones. Unlike Yankee Stadium or Citi Field, this charming ballpark offers a unique feature: a breathtaking view of the ocean stretching across the outfield. Located just steps away from the beach and boardwalk, it provides the perfect backdrop for a memorable summer afternoon. With affordable ticket prices and a range of seating options, catching a game here is a budget-friendly delight. For just a few bucks, you can secure a seat, and parking is a mere $5. Enjoy an ice-cold beer for $6-$7 as you cheer on the Cyclones. The season runs from June 15 to September 3, and many night games culminate with mesmerizing oceanfront fireworks.

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