Are you on the hunt for the absolute best things to do in Coney Island? Well, you’re in luck! This iconic Brooklyn gem is not just a summertime sensation; it’s a year-round playground bursting with activities you won’t want to miss.

So, buckle up and get ready to dive deep into this epic local guide to Coney Island. Whether you’re a seasoned New Yorker or a first-time visitor, I’ve got something special for everyone.

Are you ready to discover the immortal, old-world charm of visiting Coney Island like never before? Let the adventure begin.

Brief History of Coney Island

Coney Island, today’s emblem of entertainment, began as a blank canvas. Surprisingly, it wasn’t initially part of Brooklyn. In the 19th century, its magnetic charm drew developers who envisioned and crafted a lively seaside resort from a mere waterfront expanse.

Its proximity to Manhattan and Brooklyn amplified its allure as the perfect seaside escape. The 1840s heralded significant developments, and by 1847, ferries bridged the distance, opening its wonders to the middle class.

Two decades later, railways further unlocked its treasures, making it a magnet for visitors. The 1869 unveiling of the Brooklyn Bridge streamlined access, beckoning even more city dwellers.

But it wasn’t all rosy; a darker side of gangs, brothels, and swindlers once overshadowed its reputation. Yet, the world’s first gated amusement park, Sea Lion Park, and the 1876 debut of a hand-carved carousel painted a brighter picture.

1884 was a landmark year with the introduction of America’s first roller coaster, the Switchback Railway, priced at a mere five cents a ride.

The 1919 launch of Stillwell Avenue Station saw visitor numbers skyrocket, with peak days drawing over a million thrill-seekers. Coney Island reigned supreme as the grandest amusement park until the shadows of World War II began to lengthen.

Getting to Coney Island

Considering a trip to Coney Island? Getting there is a breeze, whether driving or opting for public transit.

By Car:

Driving to Coney Island is straightforward, with several parking options. However, a word to the wise: parking can get a tad challenging during the bustling summer months. Weekends and holidays are hectic, so be sure to plan accordingly. multiple parking spots ensure

Rest assured, there are numerous parking spots, ensuring you find a convenient location for your vehicle.

By Subway:

If you’re looking to avoid the hassle of parking, the subway is a fantastic alternative. The Coney Island subway station, serviced by the D, F, N, and Q lines, places you right at the heart of the action. For a detailed guide on subway routes and timings, click here.

From the bustling streets of Times Square, it’s roughly a 60-minute ride, while those coming from Downtown Brooklyn can expect a journey of 30-45 minutes.

By Ferry (New!):

Starting in 2021, there’s an exciting new way to reach Coney Island. The NYC ferry has introduced a fresh route that sails from Pier 11 in Lower Manhattan straight to the iconic shores of Coney Island. It’s not just a mode of transportation; it’s an experience in itself!

Best Things to Do in Coney Island

1. Take a Stroll On The Iconic Coney Island Boardwalk (Riegelmann Boardwalk)

Coney Island boardwalk, one of the best things to do in Coney Island

The Riegelmann Boardwalk is more than just a simple walk along the boardwalk; it’s a Coney Island institution. Spanning an impressive 2.7 miles along the southern shore, this wooden plank boardwalk is the main artery connecting all Coney Island amusement parks and must-see attractions.

It’s like the Yellow Brick Road, but instead of Oz, it leads you to cotton candy and roller coasters. Now, if you’re looking for a spot that offers the best panoramic views of Coney Island, make your way to the Steeplechase Pier.

Not to be outdone by the Coney Island boardwalk, this pier has its historical charm—it’s the only remaining pier on Coney Island Beach and dates back to 1904.

So, while enjoying those sweeping views of the beach and boardwalk, remember: you’re standing on a piece of New York City history.

2. Hop on Deno’s Wonder Wheel

Wonder Wheel, one of the best things to do in Coney Island

Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is a cornerstone of Coney Island’s rich history. Standing at a jaw-dropping height of 150 feet—roughly equivalent to a 15-story building—this iconic Ferris wheel is the centerpiece of its own amusement park.

Think of it as the North Star of Coney Island, guiding you to a universe of thrills and excitement. The amusement park is no slouch either, featuring five adrenaline-pumping rides for adults and a sweet sixteen for the kiddos.

It’s like an array of fun, offering something for every age and thrill level. Now, let’s talk vistas. From the pinnacle of the Wonder Wheel, you’re treated to unparalleled seaside views that are nothing short of Instagram-worthy.

And while you’re up there, soaking in the panorama, remember this: the Wonder Wheel wasn’t always its own amusement park. Originally known as “Dip-the-Dip,” it transformed in 1983 and became the standalone attraction it is today.

And for the cinephiles among you, this isn’t just any Ferris wheel. The Wonder Wheel has graced the silver screen in numerous films, adding a touch of Hollywood glam to its already illustrious reputation.

So, as you take that exhilarating spin on the Wonder Wheel, know that you’re not just riding a Ferris wheel—you’re partaking in a piece of Coney Island’s storied history.

3. Enjoy the thrills of Luna Park

Pic of Luna Park entrance logo, the park is part of some of the best things to do in Coney Island

Luna Park amusement park is a nod to Coney Island’s rich history. Although it bears the same name as the original Luna Park that operated from 1903 to 1944, this modern version has carved out its own identity.

It serves as a bridge between the past and the present, offering a diverse range of around 30 rides and 13 carnival games that cater to visitors of all ages.

As you explore Luna Park, you’ll find it a well-rounded entertainment destination. Whether you’re interested in adrenaline-pumping rides or skill-based carnival games, there’s something here for everyone.

Now, let’s focus on what’s new for the 2024 season. Luna Park introduced two exciting additions that promise to elevate your experience.

First, there’s Tony’s Express, a roller coaster designed to deliver thrilling twists and turns. Then there is Leti’s Treasure, a log flume ride that promises excitement and a refreshing splash on this water adventure.

4. Try the the Cyclone Ride!

If you’re planning a trip to Coney Island, the Cyclone rollercoaster is a non-negotiable stop on your itinerary. Why, you ask? Well, this isn’t just any rollercoaster; it’s a living piece of amusement history.

Built in 1927, the Cyclone has been offering heart-pounding excitement for nearly a century, making it one of the oldest operating rollercoasters in the world.

The Cyclone’s design is a marvel in itself. Crafted from wood, it features steep drops and sharp turns that defy its age, offering a ride experience that modern steel coasters can’t replicate. With a top speed of 60 mph and a track length of 2,640 feet, this ride is not for the faint-hearted.

But the Cyclone isn’t just about thrills; it’s a cultural icon. It has been featured in many movies, television shows, and music videos, cementing its status as a symbol of Coney Island and American amusement history. It’s not just a ride; it’s a rite of passage for thrill-seekers and history buffs alike.

5. Eat a Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog

AdobeStock 438819268 Editorial Use Only

At Coney Island, you can’t miss indulging in a culinary classic: Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog. Located at the iconic intersection of Surf and Stillwell, this isn’t just a hot dog stand; it’s a slice of New York history.

Operating year-round, Nathan’s has been serving up deliciousness since 1916. And if you’re already on the boardwalk, good news! There’s a smaller Nathan’s outpost there too.

Now, let’s talk options. Whether you’re a purist who prefers the classic beef frank or someone who likes to spice things up with a chili cheese dog, Nathan’s has got you covered. Each hot dog is a masterpiece in its own right, offering a burst of flavors that encapsulate the spirit of Coney Island.

So, as you explore the amusements and rides, take a gastronomic pit stop at Nathan’s. After all, what’s a trip to Coney Island without a famous hot dog in hand?

6. Be amazed at the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest

If you thought eating a Nathan’s hot dog was an experience, wait until you see people consume them competitively!

The Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest is one of the best Coney Island attractions. This isn’t just a local spectacle; it’s a nationally televised event every 4th of July.

The contest dates back to 1916 but gained its official status in 1972. It’s not just a competition; it’s a tradition, a spectacle, and, for some, a sport. The event has seen various champions over the years, but the name that stands out is Joey Chestnut.

This gastronomic gladiator set a jaw-dropping record in 2021 by devouring 76 hot dogs. Yes, you read that right—76. So, if you find yourself at Coney Island on Independence Day, check out this epic contest.

It’s not just about the hot dogs; it’s about witnessing a unique slice of American culture.

7. Lay out and enjoy the sand at Coney Island Beach

When you think of New York City, beaches might not be the first thing that comes to mind. But Coney Island Beach defies that notion. This beach is not just famous; it’s an urban oasis that welcomes visitors with open arms and is free!

With lifeguards on duty during the summer and designated swimming areas, it offers a safe environment for everyone to enjoy.

Whether you want to take a refreshing dip in the Atlantic Ocean or catch some rays, this beach has got you covered. Spanning three miles of pristine sandy shores, it’s a picturesque destination perfect for sunbathing, swimming, and even a game of beach volleyball.

But the allure of Coney Island Beach isn’t just for the summer crowd. The beach route stretches from West 37th Street to Manhattan Beach, making it an ideal spot for invigorating runs by the sea at any time of the year.

And with operating hours from 6 am to 9 pm, it ensures accessibility for everyone, whether you’re an early riser looking to catch the sunrise or a night owl wanting to hear the soothing sounds of the waves.

8. Visit the Coney Island Museum

If you’re a history buff or just curious about the storied past of Coney Island, the Coney Island Museum is a must-visit.

It holds the unique distinction of being the only accredited institution in the world solely dedicated to preserving and showcasing the rich history of Coney Island’s amusement district.

The museum boasts a permanent collection of over 5,000 items that offer a fascinating glimpse into the area’s past.

The museum is a treasure trove of Coney Island history, from vintage photographs and paintings to amusement-related artifacts and architectural elements. And let’s not forget the vintage signs that once adorned the facades of iconic attractions; they’re here, too.

The best part? Exploring this wealth of history won’t break the bank. Admission fees are incredibly reasonable at just $5 for adults and $3 for children and seniors.

So, for the cost of a cup of coffee, you can immerse yourself in the captivating history of one of America’s most iconic amusement districts. It’s not just a museum; it’s a journey through time that enriches your Coney Island experience.

9. Sip and Savor at the Coney Island Brewing Company

The Coney Island Brewing Company is a must-visit spot for those who appreciate a good brew. Renowned as one of Brooklyn’s finest breweries, this establishment is more than just a place to grab a drink; it’s an experience.

With a spacious taproom and an array of distinctive limited-release beers, you’re in for a treat beyond the usual pint.

But here’s where it gets interesting: the brewery has a history as rich as its beers. Originally, it was located inside a historic building that housed the Coney Island attraction known as the Freakatorium.

Unfortunately, Hurricane Sandy had other plans, causing significant damage to the brewery and many of Coney Island’s boardwalk and historical sites.

Not to be deterred, in 2015, the brewery rose like a phoenix, constructing a magnificent new facility adjacent to the original site. The new building is a testament to the brewery’s resilience and commitment to quality, capturing its grandeur and beauty.

And if you’re curious about the brewing process, you’re in luck! The brewery offers free tours, giving you a behind-the-scenes look at how their exceptional craft beers are made. So, why not elevate your Coney Island visit by stopping at this iconic brewery? Cheers!

10. Explore the Depths of New York Aquarium

Regarding aquatic experiences, the New York Aquarium is in a league of its own. Holding the title of the oldest continuously operating aquarium in the United States, this institution has captivated visitors since 1896.

Originally located at Battery Park in Manhattan, the aquarium found its current home at Coney Island in 1957, and it’s been a staple of the area ever since.

One of the standout exhibits here is “Ocean Wonders: Sharks.” And let’s be clear: this isn’t just a couple of fish in a tank; we’re talking about 20 distinct species of sharks. That’s right, twenty! It’s like the United Nations of sharks, all under one roof.

But the New York Aquarium is more than just a place to ogle at marine life. It’s deeply engaged in both conservation and educational programs.

The aim? To provide visitors with a fun day out and valuable experiences that broaden their understanding of marine biology and the importance of ocean conservation.

Pro Tip: Get your tickets in advance to avoid long lines and to take advantage of timed entry.

11. Check out the Coney Island History Project & Walking Tour

If you’re a history buff or simply curious about the storied past of Coney Island, then the Coney Island History Project is your go-to destination. This esteemed non-profit educational initiative is committed to preserving and sharing the rich tapestry of Coney Island’s history.

From diverse exhibitions and archives to captivating photographs, the project offers a treasure trove of information, and the best part? It’s free to the public.

But the learning doesn’t stop at the door. The Coney Island History Project also provides walking tours throughout the year, immersing you in the area’s history and iconic landmarks.

Just a heads-up, though—advance ticket reservations are required to join a tour. So, if you’re keen on a guided journey through time, reserve your spot ahead of time.

12. Stay for Friday Night Fireworks

AdobeStock 69243554

If you’re looking for a dazzling end to your week, look no further than Coney Island’s Friday Night Fireworks. This mesmerizing pyrotechnics display lights up the sky every Friday night and is open to the public—free of charge. Talk about a bang for your buck, right?

The fireworks show kicks off in the third week of June and runs until the end of August, weather permitting. The spectacle starts at 9:30 p.m. and wraps up by 10 p.m., giving you 30 minutes of awe-inspiring visuals.

So, why not cap off your Coney Island adventure with a sky full of fireworks? It’s the perfect way to add sparkle to your summer nights. Remember to check the weather forecast; Mother Nature has the final say.

13. Be mesmerized by the Coney Island Mermaid Parade 

If you want to kick off your summer with a splash of color and a wave of excitement, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade is your go-to event. This vibrant procession is as enchanting as it sounds, celebrating the onset of the summer season in the most whimsical way possible.

Imagine a grand gathering of thousands of participants, all dressed up as mesmerizing mermaids and majestic mermen. But that’s not all; the festivities also feature a lively parade of floats that add an extra layer of magic to the atmosphere.

Held every year in June, come rain or shine, the event takes place on the Saturday closest to the summer solstice. And here’s a fun fact: this art parade is the largest of its kind in the country.

The Mermaid Parade made its grand debut in 1983, and it’s been a beloved Coney Island tradition ever since. So, mark your calendars and prepare your costumes; this is one summer event you want to attend!

Pro Tip: You can also secure your spot at the exciting afterparty, The Mermaid Ball, by planning and booking your tickets in advance.

14. Go Ice Skating at Abe Stark Sports Center

For those who love the thrill of ice under their feet, the Abe Stark Sports Center in Coney Island is a must-visit. Recognized as a premier year-round ice skating rink, this facility beckons visitors to lace up their skates and indulge in an exhilarating session on the ice, no matter the season.

With admission fees set at a reasonable $10 for adults and $6 for seniors and children under 12, the center ensures that fun doesn’t come at a high price. Moreover, the cost includes skate rentals, so you don’t have to worry about bringing your pair.

But if you want to elevate your skating skills, the center has got you covered. They offer lessons tailored for all ages, from figure skating to ice hockey. Private lessons are available upon request for those seeking a more personalized touch.

Operating daily from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., the Abe Stark Sports Center provides ample opportunities for both seasoned skaters and beginners to enjoy their time on the ice.

This spot is plenty of fun and promises a delightful experience in Coney Island throughout the year.

Pro Tip: Check the schedule for special events or closures before planning your visit.

15. Hop in bumper cars at Eldorado Auto Skooter

Step into the vibrant world of Eldorado Auto Skooter, fondly known as Eldorado Bumper Cars, and prepare for an electrifying experience. This isn’t your average bumper car ride.

Here, each twist and turn is accentuated by a mesmerizing laser show, all set to the rhythm of pulsating beats curated by skilled DJs. It’s a sensory delight that promises both thrill and fun.

But the excitement doesn’t end with the bumper cars. The venue also offers a range of entertaining games that guarantee a good time and perhaps even a hearty laugh.

And while you’re there, don’t miss out on the iconic “Bump Your Ass Off” signs and t-shirts. These quirky designs are the brainchild of Brooklyn’s very own Steve Powers, an artist renowned in the ESPO’s Art World.

It’s a touch of local artistry that adds to the unique charm of Eldorado Auto Skooter. So, gear up for a ride that’s as much about fun as it is about Coney Island’s vibrant culture.

16. Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth at Williams Candy

Nestled on Surf Ave, Williams Candy is a testament to timeless treats and the magic of old-world confectionery. For over 80 years, this landmark candy shop has been a beacon for those seeking a sweet escape in Coney Island.

Run by a dedicated family, Williams Candy offers a plethora of treats that evoke memories of classic amusement parks.

Whether you’re in the mood for the airy delight of cotton candy, the creamy goodness of soft-serve ice cream, the crunch of fresh popcorn, or the sticky sweetness of their famed candy apples, this shop has it all.

And let’s not forget their marshmallow treats that melt in your mouth, transporting you to a simpler time. Open all year round, Williams Candy invites visitors to step back in time and indulge in nostalgia.

It’s not just about the candy; it’s about the experience, the memories, and the joy that comes with every bite. So, the next time you’re in Coney Island, stop by and treat yourself to a sweet journey through time.

17. Visit the Coney Island Circus Sideshow

Dive into a realm of the unique and unexpected at the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. This isn’t your average circus; it’s a treasure trove of wonders, curiosities, and jaw-dropping talents that have captivated audiences since the 1800s in NYC.

The world of traveling circuses, which once soared in popularity through World Fair expos, is brought to life here in all its vibrant glory. Each show, lasting around 45 minutes, offers a curated selection of 10 acts that will leave you in awe.

From the daring art of sword swallowing to the hypnotic dance of fire eaters, every performance is a testament to the skill and dedication of the artists.

But what truly sets the Coney Island Circus Sideshow apart is its commitment to excellence and authenticity. As the pioneering not-for-profit theater of its kind, it has set a gold standard for professionalism in the world of sideshow entertainment.

Whether you’re a history buff, an art enthusiast, or simply looking for a unique experience, this is a must-visit. The shows run from Memorial Day through the fall, offering multiple chances to witness the magic.

18. Admire the Coney Art Walls

Step into a world where art knows no bounds at the Coney Art Walls. This open-air museum is a testament to the power of creativity, featuring mesmerizing murals and dynamic street art crafted by over 30 gifted artists from all corners of the world.

But what makes the Coney Art Walls unique is its ever-evolving nature. Each year, the walls transform, ensuring every visit offers a fresh and novel experience.

The art installations, bursting with color and imagination, are not just mere decorations but stories, emotions, and expressions waiting to be explored.

The best part? This visual feast is freely accessible to the public. So, whether you’re an art enthusiast or looking for a splash of color in your day, the Coney Art Walls await with open arms and vibrant hues.

19. See live entertainment at Coney Island Amphitheater

For those seeking a dose of live entertainment by the sea, the Coney Island Amphitheater is the place to be. As a leading open-air venue, it stands as a beacon for live performances, drawing crowds from near and far.

With a seating capacity of over 5,000 spectators, this state-of-the-art amphitheater ensures every audience member gets a stellar view, whether they opt for the covered seating or prefer to lounge on the lawn.

The lineup of events is as diverse as it is captivating. From chart-topping music sensations to rib-tickling comedy acts, the Coney Island Amphitheater promises unparalleled entertainment.

Given its popularity, it’s wise to plan your visit in advance. Secure your tickets early, especially for the high-demand shows, to ensure you get all the magic that unfolds on this iconic stage.

20. Have a Slice of History at Totonno’s Pizzeria

In the bustling heart of Coney Island, amidst the whirl of rides and the scent of the sea, lies one of its most cherished culinary gems: Totonno’s Pizzeria. This establishment isn’t just another pizza joint; it’s a slice of New York’s rich food history.

Totonno’s has graced the palates of pizza enthusiasts for generations and has earned its place as one of the most renowned foodie spots in the area.

Its fame isn’t just local; the pizzeria has been spotlighted on acclaimed TV shows such as “Ugly Delicious” and “Somebody Feed Phil,” showcasing its legacy and mouthwatering offerings to a global audience.

The story of Totonno began with Antonio Pero, a visionary who embarked on a journey to serve authentic, delectable pizzas. His passion and dedication to the craft have been the driving force behind the pizzeria’s enduring success.

21. Fill your tummies at Ruby’s Bar & Grill 

Step into Ruby’s Bar & Grill for a genuine slice of Coney Island’s history. Established in 1934, this iconic spot has been serving locals and tourists alike with its blend of classic and contemporary dishes.

From seafood delights to traditional bar fare, Ruby’s menu captures the seaside spirit of Coney Island.

And it’s not just about the food. Sip on a cold drink and feel the essence of summer, the rhythm of the waves, and the heartbeat of this iconic destination. Their outdoor seating offers panoramic ocean views, creating a magical ambiance.

Whether you’re a local or a traveler, Ruby’s invites you to be part of its legacy. Open daily from 11 am to 10 pm, it’s a celebration of Coney Island’s spirit and a promise of unforgettable memories.

Pro Tip: Try the famous Ruby Burger for an indulgent treat.

22. Eat a delicious burger at Paul’s Daughter

Nestled in the heart of Coney Island since 1962, Paul’s Daughter stands as a testament to timeless boardwalk delights. From classic hot dogs and juicy burgers to crispy fries, their menu captures the essence of beachside dining.

Relish your meal amidst the serene beach and ocean views from their indoor and outdoor seating areas. The rooftop deck offers a panoramic treat for the eyes. And their renowned shakes and ice cream cones beckon when it comes to dessert.

Open from 9 a.m. to 10 p.m. daily, Paul’s Daughter is your gateway to experiencing a slice of Coney Island’s culinary heritage, whether breakfast, lunch, or dinner.

23. Catch a Brooklyn Cyclones Game at MCU Park

MCU Park is the place for baseball enthusiasts and those looking for a slice of local entertainment. Home to the Brooklyn Cyclones, this minor league baseball stadium offers fans an intimate and authentic experience right in the heart of Coney Island.

Drawing inspiration from the iconic Cyclone rollercoaster, the park’s name pays homage to Coney Island’s rich amusement history.

But it’s not just about the game here. MCU Park elevates the baseball experience by offering fans the delectable taste of Nathan’s Famous hot dogs right within the stadium.

And it’s not just a local favorite; even Major League Baseball has crowned Nathan’s Famous as the sport’s official ‘hot dog’.

So, whether you’re a die-hard baseball fan or just looking for a fun outing, MCU Park promises a memorable experience with every pitch. Swing by and catch the action!

24. Have a blast at Brooklyn Go-Karts & Miniature Golf

Looking for a mix of thrill and skill? Brooklyn Go-Karts & Miniature Golf has got you covered. Nestled in the heart of Brooklyn, this attraction offers a delightful blend of high-speed excitement and strategic gameplay.

Race enthusiasts can rev up their engines on the Go-Kart tracks. Whether you prefer the sheltered environment of the indoor track or the scenic beauty of the outdoor track with its captivating skyline views, there’s a track tailored to every racer’s preference.

But if you’re in the mood for a more laid-back challenge, the venue’s mini-golf course awaits. Navigate through its twists and turns, aiming for that satisfying hole-in-one.

Open daily from 12 p.m. to 10 p.m., Brooklyn Go-Karts & Miniature Golf is the ideal destination for those seeking a dose of competitive fun with friends or family.

Pro Tip: Visit Brooklyn Go-Karts during weekday afternoons to avoid crowds and enjoy faster game rounds.

25. Find serenity at Mermaid Spa

Seeking a sanctuary of relaxation and tradition? Mermaid Spa is your haven. Located in the iconic Coney Island, this bathhouse blends Ukrainian and Russian-style traditions, offering an unparalleled rejuvenating experience.

Guests can enjoy three lavish Russian-style steam rooms, a serene dry sauna, a refreshing Turkish bath, invigorating cold pools, and a soothing jacuzzi. Each facility is meticulously designed to provide the utmost relaxation.

For those wanting to delve deeper into traditional spa treatments, Mermaid Spa offers age-old platza services and therapeutic massages, ensuring a holistic spa experience.

You can reserve a 4-hour slot on weekdays starting at just $50. Visitors are welcome all year round.

26. Honoring Heroes at the Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance

Seeking a moment of reflection and homage? The Brooklyn Wall of Remembrance within MCU Park is a poignant tribute to the brave souls lost in the 9/11 tragedy.

This solemn memorial is adorned with meticulously crafted bronze plaques, each bearing the name and face of firefighters, police officers, EMS workers, and other brave individuals who made the ultimate sacrifice.

As you traverse this hallowed ground, the weight of their sacrifice becomes palpable, reminding us of the resilience and unity that emerged from such a devastating event.

While the wall is accessible during park hours, visitors are invited to leave flowers or mementos, ensuring that the memories of these heroes live on. Take a moment, pay your respects, and remember the courage of those who gave everything.

27. Dive into the New Year with the Polar Plunge

New Year’s Eve in NYC is a spectacle, but the true thrill seekers look forward to what comes after: the New Year’s Day Polar Plunge. As the clock strikes midnight and a new year begins, the bravest souls prepare for a chilling tradition.

Hosted by the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, the oldest winter bathing organization in the U.S., this event sees thousands flocking to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean. With a mix of club members and daring non-members, they unite in a collective leap into the icy embrace of the sea.

While membership to the Polar Bear Club is typically required for participation, the spirit of the event often sees non-members diving in alongside the regulars, all sharing in the exhilarating start to the new year.

28. Visit Brighton Beach: A Cultural Mosaic by the Sea 

Just a stone’s throw away from the bustling Coney Island, Brighton Beach beckons with its unique charm and vibrant atmosphere. Often referred to as “Little Odessa,” this coastal enclave is a testament to the rich tapestry of New York’s cultural diversity.

As you wander through the streets of Brighton Beach, you’ll be transported to a world that feels both familiar and foreign.

The air is filled with the melodic cadence of Russian conversations, and the scent of traditional Eastern European dishes wafts from bustling eateries. Every corner, every shop, and every bite tells a story of a community that has found a home away from home.

Brighton Beach isn’t just about its rich Russian heritage. It’s a melting pot of cultures where traditions are celebrated and memories of distant shores are kept alive. The neighborhood continues to thrive as a hub for Russian speakers, but its appeal transcends language and borders.

If the allure of culture isn’t enough, Brighton Beach also offers a tranquil seaside escape.

While Coney Island might be the go-to for many, those in the know head to Brighton Beach for a more serene experience. Here, the sands are less crowded, the waves more inviting, and the horizon seems to stretch forever.

29. Visit Manhattan Beach: A Serene Oasis in the City

Tucked away at the far end of Brighton Beach, Manhattan Beach stands as a testament to tranquility amidst the urban hustle.

Unlike its bustling neighbors, this shoreline is cradled within a peaceful residential enclave, offering visitors a serene escape with the gentle hum of the Atlantic Ocean as its soundtrack.

As you step onto the sands of Manhattan Beach, the city’s cacophony fades, replaced by the rhythmic lull of waves and the distant silhouette of the Manhattan skyline. It’s a place where the horizon seems endless, and the worries of daily life drift away with the tide.

Families find a haven here. The beach is dotted with playgrounds where children’s laughter fills the air and picnic areas perfect for sharing a meal under the sun. The charming promenade invites leisurely strolls, hand in hand, as the ocean breeze whispers tales of distant shores.

But Manhattan Beach isn’t just about daytime relaxation. As the sun sets, the neighborhood comes alive with events that bring the community together.

Something is always happening in this coastal paradise, from concerts to movie nights under a canopy of stars.

Best Things to Do in Coney Island (2024)

Author Avatar


Check out related blogs below!

Street in Park Slope lined with brownstones, part of the best things to do in Park Slope

Best Things To Do in Park Slope, Brooklyn (2024)

Are you looking for the best things to do in Park Slope, Brooklyn? You’ve come to the right place. Imagine walking through this vibrant neighborhood, uncovering its hidden gems and well-loved spots. This guide is your key to the best experiences Park Slope offers, where history and modern vibes blend seamlessly. You’ll find a mix […]

Front of home in Dyker Heights Christmas Lights

Festive Dyker Heights Christmas Lights Guide (2024)

You’re about to discover the magic of Dyker Heights during the festive Christmas season. Imagine walking down streets illuminated by millions of twinkling lights, each corner revealing a new, dazzling holiday spectacle. This guide is your key to exploring the best Dyker Heights Christmas Lights. Think of this as your personal tour through a neighborhood […]

Assorted bagels as part of the best bagels in Brooklyn post

20 Spots For The Best Bagels In Brooklyn

Welcome to Brooklyn, New York’s famous borough known for its amazing bagels. Bagels here are more than just breakfast; they’re a special part of the city’s flavor.  In this guide, I’ll take you through 20 of the best spots for bagels in Brooklyn. You’ll find everything from the classic New York-style bagels to new, exciting […]