Explore New York City

A Day at New York's Coney Island

Feel like a kid again at this seaside park.

Coney Island has been a Brooklyn staple since the early 1900s, and every inch feels like a piece of the past brought to life. Most people in New York City know it for the amusement parks along the boardwalk, making it the perfect summer seaside getaway from the hustle and bustle of the Big Apple. However, there are many more treasures waiting for you than the rides. You can walk on the beach, meet some animal friends under the sea or catch a baseball game! No matter what you’re looking for, any day at the “Playground of the World” is sure to be a fun one in Coney Island USA.

A Coney Island Guide

Luna Park

Luna Park may be the most famous spot on Coney Island. This amusement park sits right on the boardwalk, giving you perfect access to the water alongside the rides. You’ll find rides for every age and thrillseeker inside, like the high-flying Thunderbolt roller coaster, heart-stopping Coney Tower freefall or the classic B&B Carousel. Luna Park is also home to the Cyclone, the world’s first wooden roller coaster still in operation. If you need a break from the rides, be sure to visit some of the gift shops, play a carnival game or take a bite of a Nathan’s hot dog. You won’t want to miss this landmark when you visit. 

Luna Park in Coney Island New York | WhereTraveler
Luna Park in Coney Island (©Jeffrey Blum)

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park

If you still want the Coney Island amusement park experience but are looking for something a little tamer, you’re in luck. Head over to Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park. Like Luna Park, Deno’s hosts several rides that have been a part of the neighborhood since the 1920s. The most famous ride is the Wonder Wheel, a ferris wheel standing as tall as a 15-story building. You may have seen the Wonder Wheel in some of your favorite movies and TV shows, but Deno’s hosts other classic amusement park rides inside. Race around on the new Phoenix coaster, bump into your friends and family at the bumper cars or get a fright at the Spook-A-Rama. You’ll feel on top of the world when you take a ride on Deno’s Wonder Wheel. 

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park New York | WhereTraveler
Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park (©Julie Ricard)

Coney Island Beach

When you step onto the boardwalk, you’ll find a different kind of fun waiting for you on the other side. The boardwalk serves as a border between the neighborhood amusement parks and Coney Island Beach. The beach creates the perfect seaside escape from the city, blending the sounds of the ocean with the music of the parks behind you. There are over three miles of sand and water for you to explore along its coast, so you’ll always find the perfect place to sit back and relax on the shore. When you feel like you’ve gotten that perfect tan, visit one of their nearby sports courts to play a volleyball game or handball with your friends. If you’re visiting Coney Island before beach season begins, don’t worry. The boardwalk is open year-round, so you can always take a walk beside the sea and get a glimpse of this beautiful beach. 

Coney Island Beach New York | WhereTraveler
Coney Island Beach (©Qihai Weng)

New York Aquarium

With its waterfront location, Coney Island is a great place to see what goes on underneath the waves. For the best look at life under the sea, stop at New York Aquarium. This aquarium has had multiple locations over the years, but it’s now made its home in Coney Island. Step inside to see a world of creatures swimming beside you like colorful fish, playful seals and even sharks and penguins! You can find them swimming inside their tanks, or you can watch them perform as a part of their live show in the Aquatheater. You might even learn about the habitats they live in when you explore their new, immersive Playquarium. The New York Aquarium offers visitors a new way to hit the waves with all of your favorite animals. 

New York Aquarium Coney Island | WhereTraveler
New York Aquarium (©Paul La Rosa)

Maimonides Park

Everyone knows that the Yankees and Mets are New York’s signature baseball teams, but did you know Brooklyn has one too? The Brooklyn Cyclones are one of the many teams in the minor league, and you can watch them play at Maimonides Park. You may know this stadium from the other names it’s gone by over the years, like MCU Park or KeySpan Park. When you visit, you can catch a baseball game with a glimpse of Coney Island’s most popular rides on the horizon. If baseball’s not your thing, there are plenty of other activities you might find. Maimonides has been host to several different events over the years like soccer and rugby matches, concerts and even the annual Nathan’s hot dog eating contest! No matter what you choose to do at Maimonides, you’re in for the perfect day in the sun. 

Maimonides Park Coney Island New York | WhereTraveler
Maimonides Park (Courtesy Lisa C.)

Gargiulo’s

You definitely won’t want to be having carnival food all day at Coney Island, so you’ll need a classy meal to finish off your day. If Italian’s what you’re after, take a bite of the food at Gargiulo’s. This family-owned restaurant has been making everyone come back for more of their traditional Italian dishes for over 100 years. You’ll find a classic New York-style meal waiting for you inside with various Italian staples to choose from on their menu. Treat yourself to some pasta covered in your choice of sauce, be it tomato, meat or Alfredo. You’ll also find different chicken and veal dishes coated in the classic tastes of Italy, like parmigiana or Francese. If you’re looking for something a little different, order off of their seafood menu, where you can find the flavors of the sea like sole, lobster and calamari. Gargiulo’s sets itself apart from the world of the boardwalk, creating an Italian dish that you’re sure to remember. 

Grilled Salmon at Gargiulo’s Coney Island New York | WhereTraveler
Grilled Salmon (Courtesy Gargiulo's)