Things to Do Coney Island through the years, in photos By Shaye Weaver firstname.lastname@example.org July 11, 2019 1:10 PM Print Share fbShare Tweet Email A New York City summer isn't complete without a trip to Coney Island for some sun and fun. The neighborhood, which currently encompasses two amusement parks, has been the "people's playground" since the mid-1800s when the first resorts were built. It came into its own between 1880 and World War II as the largest amusement area in the U.S. It has seen its share of attractions come and go, but it remains a beloved summer stop for many New Yorkers. Below, you'll find scenes from across its history, from its beginning as a tourist destination to a district full of nostalgia and tradition. 1889 Photo Credit: The Miriam and Ira D. Wallach Division of Art, Prints and Photographs: Photography Collection, The New York Public Library. "In the surf, Manhattan Beach, U.S.A." The New York Public Library Digital Collections. 1889. A Stereoscopic view of Coney Island depicts women in their bathing costumes on the shore. 1910 Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hulton Archive Feltman's restaurant and resort (the possible birthplace of the hot dog) is on the right in its original building, across from the Sea Beach Palace (the terminal and hotel). Giant Racer, in the background, was a rollercoaster. 1927 Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hulton Archive Film director King Vidor (far right) at the Coney Island fair, with James Murray, Eleanor Boardman and Estelle Clark, cast members of the film "The Mob." Photo Credit: Getty Images/Hulton Archive Crowds watching a parade outside the entrance to Luna Park on Coney Island. 1950 Photo Credit: Nathan's Famous, Inc. Nathan's Original Restaurant packed to the gills in the mid-20th century. 1955 Photo Credit: Getty Images/Three Lions A boy looks at fish in the New York Aquarium, home to many species of tropical fish and aquatic mammals. 1955 Photo Credit: Getty Images/George Heyer People queue up for their meals at Nathan's Famous hot dog stand. 1965 Photo Credit: Newsday/Marvin Sussman The main entrance to George C. Tilyous Steeplechase Park featured "Tillie," the now iconic smiling face that greets you at the park. 1966 Photo Credit: Getty Images/Harry Benson A lifeguard on lookout duty at Coney Island. 1978 Photo Credit: Newsday/David Pokress The beach at Coney Island reopened on August 6, 1978, after being shut because of an oil spill. 1986 Photo Credit: Newsday/Alan Raia Passengers ride on the Cyclone roller coaster on the first day of the ride's reopening. 1987 Photo Credit: Newsday/Bruce Gilbert Mermaids Marlene Testabaum and Carol Albino dance for the crowd during the fifth annual Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. 1987 Photo Credit: Newsday/Chris Gierlich Jonathan Joura and Chris Voytasko ride the Cyclone roller coaster for the third consecutive time. 1987 Photo Credit: Newsday/Alan Hlavenka A child dives off the pier at Coney Island while others have fishing poles in the water. 2003 Photo Credit: Getty Images/Chris Hondros Takeru Kobayashi of Japan sits in exhaustion after downing 44 hot dogs at the annual hot dog eating contest at Coney Island. 2005 Photo Credit: Charles Eckert Participants march during the Mermaid Parade in Coney Island. 2007 Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mario Tama Zarina the Human Cannonball is launched into the air at the Cole Bros. Circus at Coney Island. It was the first time since 1938 that a full circus entertained at the historic seaside resort. 2008 Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mario Tama Visitors walk on the final day of operation for Astroland Park, which closed permanently following a lease dispute with its developer. 2011 Photo Credit: AFP/Getty Images/EMMANUEL DUNAND A taxi sits in flood water on Coney Island after Hurricane Irene hit. 2012 Photo Credit: Getty Images/Mario Tama People clean the boardwalk of sand washed in by superstorm Sandy in low-lying Coney Island. 2012 Photo Credit: POOL/Todd Maisel Mayor Bill de Blasio, wife Chirlane McCray, Council Speaker Melissa Mark-Viverito and Borough President Eric Adams contributed some painting and other work to the home of Margurite Batts, 81, whose home was wrecked by Superstorm Sandy on Neptune Avenue. 2014 Photo Credit: Charles Eckert Mayor Bill de Blasio, center, watches as women's hot dog-eating record holder Sonya "The Black Widow" Thomas, left, stares down Joey Chestnut, the men's champion, after the pair were weighed for the contest at City Hall. 2015 Photo Credit: Nina Ruggiero Riders of the Cyclone walk down staircases of the iconic Coney Island ride on a chilly morning after the wooden roller coaster stopped working just as it inched up to the peak of the ride's first big drop. 2019 Photo Credit: Corey Sipkin And they're off: Thousand of participants in the 115th annual plunge run toward the water. 2019 Photo Credit: Todd Maisel Joey Chestnut won the Nathan's Famous Fourth of July International Hot Dog Eating contest for the 12th time, eating 71 hot dogs. 2019 Photo Credit: Todd Maisel As it has been for over a century, Coney Island Beach was very crowded on the Fourth of July. By Shaye Weaver email@example.com Share on Facebook Share on Twitter More on this topic What to do and eat in Coney IslandMake fond memories and get your heart racing on a ride or in the waves. Comments We're revamping our Comments section. Learn more and share your input.