Coney Island, Brooklyn is a seaside resort community with a legendary boardwalk and amusement parks, hot dog stand, minor league baseball, aquarium, and a bohemian reputation.
Lower New York Bay | Coney Island | Brighton Beach
Lower New York Bay
Belt Parkway is the northern border. Ocean Parkway is the eastern border.
Coney Island News
The 2021 Coney Island Mermaid Parade is moved this year from the first summer Saturday to Sunday, September 12, 2021.
Visit Coney Island
(D)(F) (N)(Q) to Coney Island – Stillwell Ave
(F)(Q) to West 8 St – New York Aquarium
Belt Parkway/Shore Parkway is the main highway through town. Ocean Parkway is a main route through Brooklyn. Parking can be difficult, so arrive early in the day.
Surf Avenue is the main driving street. The Boardwalk is the main walking street.
Coney Island Beach is one of New York City’s great beaches. It’s popular because you can ride the subway there. It’s a long ride from Manhattan, but takes you right to the beach.
The Coney Island Boardwalk is fun and free. The people watching is great. You can see how clever and freaky your fellow New Yorkers are.
Nathan’s Famous is the legendary hot dog stand that opened at Surf and Stillwell Avenues in 1916. It’s the home of the Nathan’s Hot Dog Eating Contest on the Fourth of July. nathansfamous.com
The Coney Island Circus Sideshow is a classic freak show that renews traditions from another era. coneyisland.com
Ford Amphitheater hosts popular concerts outdoors along the Boardwalk.
Luna Park is the home of the Coney Island Cyclone wooden roller coaster. lunaparknyc.com
Deno’s Wonder Wheel Amusement Park is the home of the Wonder Wheel, a ferris wheel whose swinging cars ride their own circular track. denoswonderwheel.com
The Brooklyn Cyclones play minor league baseball at Maimonides Park. It’s a lot more affordable than Major League Baseball and is kind of what baseball used to be. milb.com
The New York Aquarium is the oldest aquarium in the United States. It originally opened at Castle Garden in Battery Park, Manhattan in 1896. It moved to Coney Island in 1957. The Aquarium’s mission is to promote conservation of the seas. Its exhibits include an outdoor Aquatheater, a shark tank, a Conservation Hall with reef creatures, Spineless creatures and Sea Cliffs with aquatic mammals. nyaquarium.com
Coney Island’s big event is the Mermaid Parade on the first Saturday of summer. It’s been going since 1983. In the spirit of Coney Island, some mermaids barely cover their breasts. It’s part of the fun and done with good humor. We only mention it for those who might be offended. It’s really part of the show.
Fourth of July Fireworks and Friday Night Fireworks brighten summer nights.
Coney Island Government
The neighborhood is served by Brooklyn Community District 13 and the Brooklyn Borough President. It is NY City Council District 47. In the U.S. Congress, it is New York District 8.
A Great Story
The island was originally Indigenous Lenape land. Coney Island was a barrier island. It really was an island, but is now connected to the mainland.
There are many stories about the origin of the name including that it derives from the Conyn family of Dutch settlers, or from “konijn,” the Dutch word for rabbit (rather like “conejo” in Spanish). The island was originally part of Gravesend.
The island became a resort in the 1820s. Herman Melville wrote “Moby Dick” there in 1849. From the 1880s to 1940s, Coney Island was the biggest amusement park in the United States. It once had three amusement parks: Luna Park, Dreamland and Steeplechase Park.
Until recently, many unique characters worked in the parks. When visiting, you can’t help but imagine the glory days.
It’s been in redevelopment since the 1980s. It’s now a very different place, but Coney Island is still lots of fun.