“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.
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.
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?