When sweltering summer temperatures hit the city, New Yorkers flock to this kitschy seaside resort. As well as a boardwalk and almost 3 miles (5 kilometers) of sandy beach, Coney Island is home to roller coasters and amusements, New York Aquarium, and Nathan’s Famous, a landmark hot dog joint that started out as a stand in 1916.
Wading into the Atlantic Ocean at Coney Island is a quintessential New York experience. Visitors can book a day pass for Luna Park amusement park and try out retro rides, such as the antique B&B Carousell and the Cyclone, a wooden roller coaster that dates back to 1927, as well as playing classic arcade games like Whac-a-Mole.
Travelers can explore Coney Island on guided sightseeing and pizza-themed tours of Brooklyn, as well as on multiborough tours that hop between neighborhoods in Manhattan, the Bronx, Queens, and Brooklyn. Coney Island can also be seen from the water during Jet Ski tours and from the air during helicopter tours over NYC.
Things to Know Before You Go
- Coney Island is a must for fans of kitsch and Americana.
- Public bathrooms can be found at the beach.
- The boardwalk is wheelchair accessible, as is the beach. Beach mats are set up at West 33rd Street, Stillwell Avenue, and West Fifth Street.
How to Get There
Coney Island is in southwest Brooklyn. To get there, ride the D, Q, N, or F train to the last stop: Stillwell Avenue. The station is just a block away from the boardwalk.
When to Get There
When New York heats up, Coney Island draws crowds. Get there early in the day to secure a spot near the water. Swimming is only allowed when lifeguards are on duty: between 10am and 6pm, from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Events at Coney Island
Coney Island is the setting for many exciting events. There’s May’s Popular Brooklyn Half, a half-marathon with a finish line on the boardwalk; the glitter-fueled fun of June’s Coney Island Mermaid Parade; and Nathan’s Famous Annual Hot Dog–Eating Contest on July 4. There are also fireworks every Friday night from late June until Labor Day, and the Polar Bear Plunge on New Year’s Day, during which swimmers brave the freezing Atlantic waters.