March 2, 2015
Brooklyn's most rip-roaringly fun neighborhood.
by Nicole Haddad
A peninsula that juts into the Atlantic Ocean, Coney Island sits in the Southwestern portion of Brooklyn. The neighborhood is primarily residential, yet is still recognized more for its iconic theme parks and its heyday, prior to the 1920s, as a seaside resort. While Coney Island has endured more economic downturns than upswings in the past few decades, it looks like revitalization is on the horizon. The recent arrival of the Thunderbolt roller coaster, a multi-million-dollar attraction, to its recently reincarnated Luna Park is expected to be a big draw. Today, New Yorkers and tourists alike continue to flock to the neighborhood for the rides, the hot dogs, the beach, and since 2001, to take in a minor league baseball game at MCU Park-the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones.
Coney Island can be reached via the D, Q, N or F trains to Stillwell Avenue.
When to Visit
Coney Island's amusement area is seasonal. Between Easter and Halloween, the approximately 50 rides and attractions operate mostly on weekends; from Memorial Day to Labor Day, they're open every day.
The c. 1927 Cyclone roller coaster still stands. If you truly want to shake, rattle, and roll, get on this 85-foot-tall (at its highest point) railroad track full of turns and steep slopes and get ready to be turned inside-out...literally. Other gravity-defying rides in the amusement area include the Sling Shot, the Steeplechase roller coaster (where you will reach a speed of 40 miles per hour in less than two minutes), and the highly anticipated new steel roller coaster, the Thunderbolt. This two-minute-long ride will reach terrifying speeds and race over 2,000 feet of track. Did we mention it stands over 100 feet-tall at its highest point? Shudder!
Nerves of Play-doh
Jump on the historic B&B Carousell and take a ride on the restored antique wooden horses carved by famed carousel maker Charles Carmel.
Support the New York Aquarium in its efforts to rebuild and recover after its 14-acre complex was flooded during 2012's Hurricane Sandy. You can also learn about piranhas, otters, and how the aquarium grows its own coral. Or bask in the sun in the neighborhood's nearly three-mile stretch of beach.
Do we really need to tell you to eat a hot dog from Nathan's Famous? It has even been rumored President Roosevelt served these legendary dogs to the King and Queen of England in 1939. Other favorites include Ruby's, Paul's Daughter, and Gargiuolo's.