Coney Island – a name synonymous in American culture with seaside fun and frolicking in days of yore – achieved worldwide fame as a working-class amusement park and beach-resort area at the turn of the 20th century. After decades of seedy decline, its kitschy charms have experienced a 21st-century revival. Though it's no longer the booming, peninsula-wide attraction it once was, it still draws crowds of tourists and locals alike for roller-coaster rides, hot dogs and beer on the beachside boardwalk.
Luna Park is one of Coney Island’s most popular amusement parks and contains one of its most legendary rides: the Cyclone ($10), a wooden roller coaster that reaches speeds of 60mph and makes near-vertical drops. The pink-and-mint-green Deno’s Wonder Wheel, which has been delighting New Yorkers since 1920, is the best place to survey Coney Island from up high.
The hot dog was invented in Coney Island in 1867, and there's no better place to eat one than Nathan's Famous, established 1916. When thirst strikes, head to Ruby's, a legendary dive bar right on the boardwalk.
- Cyclone roller-coaster ride
- Cold beer at Ruby’s
- Nathan’s Famous hot dogs
- Luna Park does not charge an admission fee; rides are à la carte. The higher the thrill, the more it costs: from around $3 up to $7 or $10 for the really exciting ones. If you want to hit all the rides, you'll save money with the all-day wrist band at $49 (or $29 for those under 4ft tall)
- Be aware that not all of the rides at Coney Island are part of Luna Park, and thus require separate fees.
- The best times to go to avoid crowds and lines are weekdays during the daytime.
Take a Break
Coney Island is approximately 14 miles southeast of Times Sq. A subway ride from there takes about an hour.
Subway D/F or N/Q to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave (last stop).
Old-fashioned fun on the boardwalk.