10 Things You Shouldn’t Miss at Coney Island This Summer

One of my favorite NYC excursions is a trip to Coney Island. I love the old Brooklyn feel strolling the boardwalk people-wacthing and eating food I’d normally not indulge in like fried oreos and dogs. I love the historic old rides and freakish sideshows. There’s really no place like it. You’ve got to go at least once! Below are 10 things you shouldn’t miss when you go.

10 Things That Make Coney Island Worth the Trip:

1. The Cyclone.
Take a ride on this famous 80 year old roller coaster at Luna Park. 
 Although it’s not as large as roller coasters at today’s amusement parks, the fear is in the ricketiness! It’s one of the few roller coasters left that is made of wood!

2. Grab a Hotdog at Nathans.
In 1916, Polish immigrant Nathan Handwerker started a nickel hot dog stand on Coney Island with a $300 loan from two friends and his wife’s secret spice recipe. Today, Nathan’s is the most famous hot dog in the world. And yes, the original Coney Island restaurant is still there at the corner of Surf and Stillwell also home of our annual Hot Dog Eating Contest. While you’re indulging in fun food, don’t miss the friend oreos stand!

Wonder Wheel Coney Island

3. Ride the Wonder Wheel.
 ferris wheel has even been around longer than the Cyclone. It was built in 1920. Riders have two options: the swinging red and blue cars, which appeal to the more adventurous, and the stationary white ones, for those who just want to enjoy the view.

4. The Historic Carousel
Built in 1919, the historic Coney Island Carousel features fifty hand-carved wooden horses.

5. The Freakshow.
This is last traditional sideshow performing in a circus or amusement. Be amazed (and a little freaked out) by the fire-eating man, the tattooed woman, sword-eating woman and a woman who walks on nails. See more about the show.

6. Coney Island Aquarium
If you have some extra time, take a few hours to explore the Coney Island Aquarium, the only aquarium in New York City! You’ll see 115 marine species, 18 different kinds of sharks and sting rays, watch otters and penguins being fed and see a show at the Aquatheater. 

cyclones7. Cheer on the Brooklyn Cyclones
If you’re there on a summer evening, you can sit under the stars and smell the ocean while you catch a
 good old-fashioned baseball game with the Brooklyn Cyclones, the single-A minor-league farm team for the New York Mets. Tickets start at only $12. Check out the schedule.

8. An Outdoor Art Museum
Here’s your perfect Instagram moment at the beach. Take a selfie in front of one of 35 colorful murals at Coney Art Walls, an outdoor museum of street art curated by Joseph Sitt and Jeffrey Deitch. The murals were created by renowned local and international artists including Crash, Daze, Lee Quinones, Ron English and Miss Van. 3050 Stillwell Avenue

9. Friday Night Fireworks
Sit under the stars with your basket of fried delights and enjoy the beautiful display over the ocean on Friday nights at 9pm. The series ends Aug 30.

10. Hit the Beach
Of course, a tip to Coney island wouldn’t be complete without dipping your toes in the ocean. There is nearly three miles of beach in the neighborhood. Brighton Beach is also just a walk away.

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Author: Heather Zachariah

Former Art Director for Home Magazine, Heather Leahy Zachariah, left her career in publishing after baby number number one. She now works from home as a freelance graphic designer and a chauffeur to her 3 busy kids. "Working on TipsFromTown has been a wonderful outlet for me. It renewed my love of publishing where I can design colorful, enticing pages online and allows me to share the things I love about being a mom." Heather grew up in Shaker Heights, Ohio, a place that still is near and dear to her. " After living in Brooklyn for 18 years and studying Graphic Design at Pratt Institute, she now lives in the Jersey burbs. "I love living so close to NYC, but in my heart, I'm an Ohio girl."


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