New York attractions: Coney Island and Luna Park in Brooklyn

Coney Island is the quintessential New York attraction, from the beach to the boardwalk to the rides at Luna Park. Plan a trip to with our Coney Island guide.

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Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel in Coney Island, Brooklyn

Luna Park and Deno's Wonder Wheel in Coney Island, Brooklyn Photograph: Robert & Robbie Bailey


In its heyday, from the turn of the century to the Second World War, Coney Island was New York City's playground. Years of neglect followed, but the arrival of the new Luna Park amusement hub—and the staying power of the iconic Wonder Wheel and teeth-rattling Cyclone roller coaster—have made the area a resurgent New York attraction. It's also the home to hot dog stalwart Nathan's and Coney Island USA, a group that's driven the New York renaissance in sideshow and burlesque diversions. Coney Island's one of the New Yorkiest ways to spend a few hours or a weekend afternoon.

RECOMMENDED: The 50 best New York attractions | Summer in New York guide

Coney Island events

Coney Island Circus Sideshow

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. Sideshows by the Seashore 1208 Surf Ave, at 12th St, 11224
  2. Sun Apr 20 - Sun Sep 28
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Coney Island Reggae Beach Party

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. Coney Island Boardwalk Boardwalk, at 10th St
  2. Sun May 25
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Coney Island Reggae Beach Party

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. Coney Island Boardwalk Boardwalk, at 10th St
  2. Sat Jun 28
More info

Coney Island Reggae Beach Party

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. Coney Island Boardwalk Boardwalk, at 10th St
  2. Sun Jul 27
More info
See more events in Coney Island


Things to do at Coney Island

  1. Surf Ave between Ocean Pkwy and W 37th St
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Coney Island Boardwalk

  • Critics choice
  • Free
  1. Boardwalk at 10th St
More info

Coney Island Cyclone

  • Price band: 1/4
  1. 834 Surf Ave at 8th St
More info
  1. 1025 Boardwalk at W 12th St
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Luna Park

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 1000 Surf Ave at W 10th St
More info

Sideshows by the Seashore

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 1208 Surf Ave at 12th St
More info

Coney Island Museum

  • Rated as: 4/5
  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 1208 Surf Ave at 12th St
More info
  1. Boardwalk at W 15th St
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Museums and attractions near Coney Island

  1. Surf Ave at 8th St
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  1. Brighton Beach Ave between Corbin Pl and Ocean Pkwy
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MCU Park

  • Critics choice
  1. 1904 Surf Ave between 17th and 19th Sts
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  1. 1901 Mermaid Ave at 19th St
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Where to eat near Coney Island

Nathan’s Famous

  • Price band: 1/4
  • Critics choice
  1. 1310 Surf Ave at Stillwell Ave
More info
  1. 1215 Surf Ave between Stillwell Ave and W 12th St
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Totonno’s

  • Price band: 1/4
  1. 1524 Neptune Ave between W 15th and W 16th Sts
More info

Gargiulo’s

  • Price band: 1/4
  1. 2911 West 15th St at Mermaid Ave
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See all restaurants near Coney Island



  • Photograph: Flickr via SmileyReilly

    More than 106,120 New Yorkers call Coney Island home year-round, but upwards of 11 million visitors descend on the area's three miles of beach during the summer season (Memorial Day through Labor Day). Every Friday at 9:30pm through Aug 31, stake out your spot early to get a prime seat for the free fireworks display that lights up the sky between West 10th and West 15th Streets.

  • Photograph: Flickr via emilydickinsonridesabmx

    In its early days, the Coney Island boardwalk was rife with boxing matches, gambling dens and brothels. These days you’re more likely to see out-of-towners, local beachgoers and novice fishermen casting their lines off the pier.

  • Photograph: Flickr via Doug McNeall

    Designed by Vernan Keenan and built by Harry C. Baker with a $175,000 initial investment, the Cyclone roller coaster debuted on June 26, 1927. The wooden ride comprises six loops and 12 steep drops. In 1991, it earned a spot on the National Register of Historic Places.

  • Photograph: Flickr via Barry Yanowitz

    The now-legendary Cyclone stretches 2,640 feet and reaches speeds of up to 60 miles per hour. From start to finish, the ride takes only one minute and 50 seconds to complete.

  • Photograph: Flickr via mollybob

    Deno’s Wonder Wheel first spun in 1920. The only time service was ever interrupted was in July 1977, during that year’s infamous citywide blackout. Workers hand-cranked the wheel to keep the wheel going and bring people down safely.

  • Photograph: Flickr via edenpictures

    Luna Park opened on May 28, 2010, launching with 19 rides, 10 games (plus an arcade) and 11 food kiosks. See more photos from Luna Park

  • Photograph: Flickr via Paul Lowry

    During its first open season, Luna Park had 450,000 visitors, who took more than 1.7 million rides on the facility’s attractions. See more photos of Luna Park

  • Photograph: Flickr via Loozrboy

    The Scream Zone is one of the biggest draws in the relaunched park. Among the six thrill rides is Soarin’ Eagle, a flying coaster that suspends adrenaline junkies in harnesses before sending them through barrel rolls and loops at roughly 26 miles an hour.

  • Photograph: Flickr via Tony Fischer Photography

    Nathan’s Famous started out as a simple boardwalk hot-dog stand in 1916. Over the past 90-plus years, the business spawned a full chain of frankfurter-slinging fast-food joints, including Nathan’s original brick-and-mortar location on the Coney Island boardwalk.

  • Photograph: Flickr via Librarygroover

    Though we like Nathan’s signature beef hot dogs adorned with a simple squirt of ketchup or mustard, we won’t deny that the wieners are also mighty tasty when topped with chili, cheddar cheese, onions or sauerkraut. Don’t skimp on the meal—order a side of crinkle-cut french fries too.

  • Photograph: Flickr via w00kie

    The annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest occurs every Fourth of July just off the Coney Island boardwalk. The enormous Wall of Fame chronicles each year’s winners, displays the current record and counts down until the next competition. See more photos from the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

  • Photograph: Flickr via Hello Turkey Toe

    Competitive eater Joey Chestnut reigns as the current men’s record-holder in the annual Nathan’s Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest. His hoovering achievement stands at 68 frankfurters and buns. See more photos from the Nathan's Famous Hot Dog Eating Contest

  • Photograph: Flickr via Bob Jagendorf

    Another annual Coney Island tradition, the Mermaid Parade takes place every June and provides both adults and kids with an excuse to outfit themselves in flamboyant, sea-inspired costumes—though many aren’t as wholesome as these folks’ attire. See more photos from the Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: Flickr via benswing

    This duo seems to have channeled Jaws for its Mermaid Parade inspiration. A real shark hasn't been spotted close to Coney Island's shore since the 2007 (don't freak out—it was just a baby), but horseshoe crabs are regular visitors. The prehistoric-looking crustaceans lay eggs and hatch their young on the shore every May and June. See more photos from the Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: Flickr via Bob Jagendorf

    A metallic vixen embodies the namesake fictional creature. See more photos from the Mermaid Parade

  • Photograph: Flickr via Michael Alexander

    Another offbeat Coney Island event is the annual Beard and Moustache Competition, held in September, which pits bewhiskered folks against each other in such categories as Best Moustache, Best Beard, Best Sideburns, Best and Worst in Show and—for ladies and hairless dudes—Best Fake. See more photos from the Beard and Moustache Competition

  • Photograph: Flickr via Norman Blake

    History buffs can learn more about the area’s storied past at the Coney Island Museum (1208 Surf Ave at 12th St, Coney Island, Brooklyn; 718-372-5159, coneyisland.com). The institution’s newest attraction, a wraparound painting called Cosmorama of the Great Dreamland Fire, depicts the Dreamland amusement park as it appeared before it was destroyed in 1911. The installation conveys the tale of the great fire that decimated the park in a single night through a 360-degree narration, complete with light and sound effects.

  • Photograph: Flickr via Norman Blake

    Even if you’re not inked or riding a chopper, the annual Tattoo and Motorcycle Show offers plenty to admire every September. You can peep custom, stock and vintage cycles, plus a full spectrum of permanent-ink art, from detailed black-and-white portraits to intricate floral motifs that cover the entire upper body. See more photos from the Tattoo and Motorcycle Show

  • Photograph: Flickr via Charity de Meer

    Noisefest, a boisterous celebration of Coney Island’s culture and spirit, heralds the beginning of the season each April. See more photos from Noisefest

  • Photograph: Flickr via Phyllis B. Dooney

    Beachgoers erect grand castles, friendly sea creatures and a wide range of other objects inspired by the Coney Island shoreline during the annual Sand Sculpting Contest in July. See more photos from the Sand Sculpting Contest

  • Party fiends can plan their excursion to Coney Island to coincide with one of the free themed parties that occur throughout the summer season: The Reggae Beach Party features Jamaican-inspired tunes, while the Coney Island Dancers’ Boardwalk Party caters to disco and soulful house crowds.

Photograph: Flickr via SmileyReilly

More than 106,120 New Yorkers call Coney Island home year-round, but upwards of 11 million visitors descend on the area's three miles of beach during the summer season (Memorial Day through Labor Day). Every Friday at 9:30pm through Aug 31, stake out your spot early to get a prime seat for the free fireworks display that lights up the sky between West 10th and West 15th Streets.



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