“The only thing about America that interests me is Coney Island,” Sigmund Freud once said. Coney Island is a staple for any New Yorker or visitor in summertime. Ride colorful roller coasters or taste the first ever New York hot dog. Fun Fact: Coney Island is actually a peninsula, not an island. Here are some top highlights of the beach destination only about an hour subway ride away from NYC.

Coney Island Travel Guide Photo of @jenniferscamera and @thenomadsoasis by @thearielviera

1. Wonder Wheel 

This iconic wheel was built in 1920 and is not the usual slow-moving ride but instead the blue and red cars sway back and forth within the radius of the wheel, while white cars stay stationary. The 150ft high Ferris wheel is also a beautiful spot for sunset views. (walking towards the wheel pictured above)

2. Cyclone

The site of the Cyclone once housed the first roller coaster in America, the Switchback Railway, built in 1884. Replaced by the Cyclone in 1927, the Cyclone is now the second-steepest wooden roller coaster in the world.

Visit the art walls in Coney Island, NY. Photo of @jenniferscamera and @thenomadsoasis by @thearielviera

3. Coney Art Walls

This outdoor museum of street art has 35 painted murals that pay homage to Coney Island’s icons from mermaids to hot dogs. During the summer, they are open from 12pm to 10pm daily. (pictured above)

4. Coney Island History Project

History buffs will love viewing artifacts and colorful exhibits at the Coney Island Hall of Fame.

5. Luna Park Rides and Fresh Cotton Candy

Luna Park is an amusement park with a myriad of rides and games for children of all ages! While you’re there don’t forget to scope out “Luna Snacks” near The Tickler for hand spun cotton candy.

6. Feltman’s

German immigrant Charles Feltman invented the hot dog in 1867, to make it easier to eat sausages on the go without plates and silverware. Feltman’s hot dogs were brought back to Coney Island in April 2017, where you can taste the original all natural hot dog.

7. Coney Island Circus Sideshow

The vintage signs out front are worth a visit alone! The show is supposedly “the last traditional 10-in-1 continuous sideshow” featuring all sorts of unique attractions from sword swallowing to fire-eating.

8. Thunderbolt Roller Coaster

Originally a wooden roller coaster, Thunderbolt was reconstructed in steel in 2014. It is known for its 90-degree vertical drop and a zero-gravity roll.

9. Totonno’s Pizzeria

This award-winning Napolitana pizzeria has been family owned since 1924 and is worth a visit! Don’t forget it is only open Thursday through Sunday 12 – 8pm (last seating at 7:30pm).

10. New York Aquarium

If you love sea life dive into the aquarium to get close to the penguins, sea otters and more.

11. Boardwalk and Beach

A visit to Coney Island would not be complete without a walk along the boardwalk and beach. They even have fireworks Friday nights in the summer.

Have you ever been to Coney Island? What are you most excited to see there?

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Best Things To Do in Coney Island

13 thoughts on “11 Best Things To Do in Coney Island”

  1. Great article and photos. I have never been and I am not sure why because I would love to go. Thanks for posting all the great things there are to do.

  2. Coney Island is a place I’ve heard of from various places (mainly TV haha) and other travelers I know from the states. Everybody always raves about it and now reading through this I can see why. Would love to see the circus sideshow and ride the Cyclone 😀 – Will definitely keep this in mind for when I travel to the states 😀

  3. I’ve heard so much about Coney Island – I wish I’d visited when I was over that side of the world a couple of years ago! I’ve pinned this article so will come back to it next time I’m over that way 🙂 x

  4. Coney Island was formerly an outer barrier island but became partially connected to the rest of Long Island by land fill.

  5. Just got back from C.I. First visited C.I. in late 60’s and early70’s. It was ,then,dirty and dangerous at night and much more spooky than the Spook-a-rama dark ride.
    Today C.I. is clean,safe and fun.
    For me it’s the perfect beach. Clean beach, fabulous boarwalk and plenty of good fast food.
    And behind that 3 brand new amusement park. They are clean all ride are new.
    Rode the Cyclone on it’s 90th anniversary and planning on riding it on it’s 100th anniversary.
    Il’l be 86 by then and might need help to get on but i will be ther.
    Love Coney Island and will foerever.

  6. I’m a native Brooklynite. I have been to Coney Island countless times, have seen transformations band beatiful things happen recently. However, go a block away and you feel unsafe. Projects, shady characters. More must be done to uplift the community it’s settled and thrived in. The YMCA of coney island is a start, but so much more can be done to help the youth in that community.

  7. I lived in Coney for eight years .As a kid there was no better place. The beach and rides was only 3 blocks away 2 movie houses Lowe’s Shore ‘R.K.O. first rate place to see a movie. Great food all over the place. Would love to go back.

  8. This is really an amazing blog and i love all of your discovered places and i hope it will be very beneficial for all visitors and it will also be use post for beginners and your this blog is really informative for all visitors thanks for your knowledge..

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