Exploring Coney Island in Brooklyn NY

Brooklyn wouldn't be Brooklyn without historic and ever-changing Coney Island. Once a Dutch settlement in the 17th century and seaside resort neighborhood in the nineteenth century, this diverse neighborhood on the Southernmost tip of the Coney Island Peninsula is now a favorite spot for locals and tourists seeking fun, food, and a little slice of history. Here are just a few of the things that make Coney Island worth your weekend in Brooklyn NY and ride on the Southbound N.

The New York Aquarium

The New York Aquarium is the oldest operating aquarium in the United States. It was founded in 1896 in Downtown Manhattan's Battery Park.

In 1957, the aquarium was moved to its current home on Coney Island. The 14-acre aquarium houses over 350 species of wildlife and exists to save wildlife and wild places through education, science, conservation action, and inspiring people to love and appreciate nature.

The aquarium is open seven days a week, and admission ticket prices vary depending on the day you go and the length of time you wish to stay. Buy a ticket, and learn something new about our amazing oceans!

Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs

What would Coney Island be without a Nathan's Famous hot dog? Though much larger than the first 5-foot 8-inch structure, Nathan’s sits at its original site at the corner of Surf and Stillwell and serves thousands of hot dogs each day.

The nickel stand turned franchise was the creation of Nathan Handwerker and his wife, Ida. Handwerker immigrated to the United States in 1912 and spent a four-year stint working at a local Coney Island restaurant.

When Nathan’s opened in 1916, Mr. Handwerker had a plan and a secret recipe created by his wife. Nathan’s sold hot dogs at half the price of the surrounding restaurants beating out the competition. The restaurant expanded in the 1950s under the supervision of Handwerker's son. In the 1980s, the restaurant became a franchise.

Today, there are more than three hundred Nathan’s Famous locations, and Nathan’s hot dogs ship to supermarkets in all fifty states. More recently, Nathan’s became the official hot dog of major league baseball--the first hot dog sponsor ever in the majors!

The Beach

Before 1923, Coney Island beaches were private, but today most of the beaches are free, open to the public, and maintained by New York City.

Take a stroll down the 2.7 miles of Riegelmann Boardwalk, and think about the people who came before and walked the same path. Then, grab your beach chair, a hot dog, some sun, and some surf!

Theme Parks in Brooklyn NY

Since the late 1800s, Coney Island has been home to rides and amusement parks. Though the history of the parks has been a roller coaster of sorts due to political shifts, The Great Depression, and fire, and the parks have endured many name and physical changes.

Today, Coney is home to two theme parks. Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel have a look and feel reminiscent of parks’ past with the advantage of modern technology. They house three landmark rides from the early 1900s that are still bringing joy to the people who ride them! Jump on the Cyclone or ride the Wonderwheel, and soak in all of the wonder and fun that is Coney Island!