New Yorkers’ favorite spots because it has amenities and a boardwalk full of shops, restaurants, and it is fun. It is the quintessential New York City experience that you should not pass up.” data-id=”133684675″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/6124_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.33684675″/> Photo Credit: Todd Maisel
Michael Georgoulakos, the manager and nephew of the original owner of Paul’s Daughter, said that he’s been working the counter since he was a boy.
“Whatever Coney Island provides, we have,” he said. “We’re the diner on the boardwalk.”” data-id=”119129349″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/6125_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.19129349″/>
Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver
a long history in New York City from its beginning in 1916 to the annual Hot Dog Eating Contest it puts on each July 4. Aside from getting a dog, try the chili cheese fries — you won’t be sorry. ” data-id=”133684682″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/6126_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.33684682″/> Photo Credit: Todd Maisel
Luna Park arrived in 1903, but it burned down in the 1940s, according to the Coney Island History Project. Today’s Luna Park, which reopened in 2010, has some classic coasters (Coney Island Cyclone and a new Steeplechase), but also features the B&B Carousel, the Soarin’ Eagle, the Endeavor, the Luna 360, the Wild River water ride and more. Deno’s, a second amusement park that is known for the Wonder Wheel, has its own rides such as the Spook-A-Rama, bumper cars, the Thunderbolt and the new Stop the Zombies VR game, not to mention a lot of rides for kids. ” data-id=”133684693″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/7005_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.33684693″/> Photo Credit: Todd Maisel
introduced two new rides — the Atlantic Aviator and Clockworkz (pictured). Found between the Electro Spin and Wild River rides, Clockworkz reaches 33 feet as each clock’s arms swing in opposite circular motions with speeds as high as 13 rotations per minute. The Atlantic Aviator offers the sensation of being in an “acrobatic” airplane flight with dives and loop-de-loops. Riders spin in the air as the ride travels up a 50-foot tower and moves as fast as 25 rotations per minute. ” data-id=”133684692″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/6127_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.33684692″/> Photo Credit: Jim McDonnell courtesy of Luna Park
Photo Credit: Anthony Lanzilote
The Lola Star Boardwalk Boutique has these things, but it also has fanciful objects, from unicorn-themed items to mermaid-themed hats and T-shirts. Lola Star, a Coney Island resident who also runs the Dreamland Roller Disco in Prospect Park, designs the apparel, mugs, magnets and jewelry in her shop, so we think it’s pretty special. ” data-id=”119129343″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/6129_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.19129343″/> Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver
Williams Candy (1318 Surf Ave.). The family-owned candy shop has been making treats for more than 75 years and is known for its candy apple recipe. If you’re not into candy apples, the caramel and chocolate covered apples (pictured) might do the trick. Otherwise, the shop has anything you could imagine, including cotton candy, homemade fudge, lollipops, ice cream, marshmallow treats and regular candy and gummies you can buy by the bagful. ” data-id=”119129369″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/6130_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.19129369″/> Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver
New York Aquarium, which is down by the boardwalk (602 Surf Ave.), is a good place for that. From a California Sea Lion to black-footed penguins, rays and sea otters, there is plenty to see. Check out the Donald Zucker and Barbara Hrbek Zucker Ocean Wonders: Sharks! exhibit with nine galleries, which will take you eye-to-eye with sharks, rays and other ocean wildlife. There’s a new coral reef tunnel and a recreation of the Hudson Canyon’s edge with shark species that live off the coast of New York. And don’t miss the penguins, sea otters and seals at the museum’s “sea cliffs.” ” data-id=”119129726″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/6131_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.19129726″/> Photo Credit: Jeff Bachner
Totonno’s for dinner. While it’s off the beaten path at 1524 Neptune Ave., it is worth the walk. For more than 90 years, the pizzeria has been making Neapolitan pies way before it was cool. Its founder, Anthony (Totonno) Pero opened it in 1924 after training at Lombardi’s, believed to be the city’s first pizzeria. Having survived a changing neighborhood, a fire and the deluge of superstorm Sandy, Totonno’s is still making pies that are super-thin yet manage to hold up under their own weight, with a crust that puffs up around the edges. Unfortunately, Totonno’s makes it a little difficult to enjoy a slice — be sure to get there for an early dinner because the last seating is at 7:30 p.m., unless they’ve run out of supplies, which can happen. And don’t go on Monday, Tuesday or Wednesday when it’s closed. If you’re out of luck, check out another favorite, Grimaldi’s, back at 1215 Surf Ave. ” data-id=”119129495″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/4416_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.19129495″/> Photo Credit: Nicole Brown
Coney’s Cones (across from Paul’s Daughter on the boardwalk) is a true treat. Choose from 21 flavors of gelato and sorbet (we chose Nutella crunch with chocolate gelato) or frozen yogurt, granitas, hot chocolate, coffee and more. This is a good time to take your dessert on the go and walk the iconic boardwalk and people watch. ” data-id=”119129363″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/6132_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.19129363″/> Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver
Coney Island Brewery, which shares property with MCU Park, with its house-brewed Mermaid pilsner, Merman IPA, Coney Island Lager or Watermelon Wheat (or a craft cocktail if you’re not a beer person). There are eight beers on tap that are rotated regularly so there’s always something new to try. Plus, you can ask to take a tour to see where the magic happens at 2, 4 and 6 p.m. daily, although tours might be canceled due to events and other circumstances. You can also join in on yoga & beer nights, a “beer freak show” and more.
“Foreigners and tourists are captivated by Coney Island, which is home to freaks and misfits,” said Phil Eggers, a staff member at Coney Island Brewery. “We celebrate that here, where people’s outlook on life are slightly askew. You forget you’re in New York City. It is unlike anywhere else.”” data-id=”119129168″ data-link=”https://amnewyork.wpengine.com/wp-content/uploads/2019/10/6133_image.jpg” class=”wp-image-1.19129168″/>
Photo Credit: Shaye Weaver
Photo Credit: iStock
Coney Island, the “people’s playground,” has for generations been where to go to make fond memories and get your heart racing, whether on a ride, in the waves or with a date.
Both in spite of and because of its gritty vibe, it continues to offer a unique experience for those who visit its amusement park and iconic boardwalk. But Coney Island is much more than its rides (although that’s a major part of it). There are characters, businesses and iconic architecture responsible for making the neighborhood a beloved destination, from its oldest candy store and long-established restaurants to newer arrivals along the boardwalk.
With those in mind, we’ve put together an agenda of things you should do when you visit Coney Island.