Saturday, October 8, 2011

Coney Island (Brooklyn): Surf Ave

Coney Island Boardwalk

The famed Coney Island has been refurbished and is a fantastic place to spend a sunny day.  On a simple 45 min - 1 hour subway ride you can get to this beautiful beach from midtown Manhattan.  The boardwalk is wide, provides breathtaking views to the open sea (see left), and is lined with fun tourist shops and carnival-like food vendors (see above). 

Alongside the boardwalk is the Luna Amusement Park.  It includes the famous Deno's Wonder Wheel (Wonder Wheel built in 1920 and designated an official city landmark in 1989, it is 150 ft high, has a diameter of 140 ft, and holds up to 144 passengers in 16 swinging cars and 8 stationary cars with views of the Atlantic Ocean), and historic wood and steel Cyclone roller coaster (in operation since 1927 and once described by Charles Lindbergh as the 2 1/2 minute ride "more thrilling than flying solo across the Atlantic," see right), another 25 fun rides, 2 arcades, and an old fashioned Sweet Shoppe (this is not your cheap traveling carnival--this looks solid and nice but with a cool retro vibe).  Unfortunately when I was visiting mid-week it was not open, as they were preparing for the Halloween themed nights (check out

On weekends there is also a Coney Island Museum (Coney Island Museum) you can visit right across the street from the famous original Nathan's hotdog stand (where they have the annual hot dog eating contest--see the billboard with this year's winning consumption totals at left).

If you are interested in baseball, there is also MCU Park, the home of the Brooklyn Cyclones (the minor league short season class A team affiliated with the Mets).  These games can be a great alternative to the pricey games at Shea or Yankee Stadiums, plus on Friday nights there are free fireworks (not to mention the phenomenal views of the ocean from the upper levels).

If you want good family fun, check out Coney Island--it's a step back in time but with modern conveniences (although I wouldn't use the public bathrooms by the beach unless I absolutely had to) and surrounded by natural beach beauty.  Also check out my next post on the adjacent NY Aquarium, which was wonderful.

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