Sometimes the unbearable heat of a New York City summer calls for a day-trip to somewhere abundant with ice cream cones, sandy beaches and a colourful boardwalk.
Coney Island is a quintessential weekend day-trip for New Yorkers looking to escape the heat. Despite being a mere 45-60 minutes on the train, the southern most point of Brooklyn feels like a world away from Manhattan. The breezy boardwalk makes for a pleasant stroll, Brooklynites bask in the long stretches of sand along Brighton Beach and Luna Park stands as a relic from it’s hedonistic hey-day.
By the late afternoon when you’ve exhausted all the rides and soaked up enough sunshine, simply head back into Manhattan. An adventure to Coney Island certainly makes for a weird and wonderful ‘staycation’.
Coney Island was once an elegant 19th century seaside resort for the rich and famous. In 1886 George C Tilyou wrote; “If Paris is France, then Coney Island, between June and September, is the world”. By the turn of the century it had become a captivating ‘peoples playground’ with folks flocking from all over to enjoy the sunshine, daredevil rides, circus acts, freak shows and endless entertainment. It remained the destination for fun and frivolity until the Second World War.
Coney Island now stands a tad dilapidated especially since Hurricane Sandy wreaked havoc in 2012, but the remains of the amusement park are a hint of its once thoroughly mesmerising, pleasure-seeking past. Today you can enjoy some rides such as the iconic Wonder Wheel, visit the Aquarium, buy cotton candy from a beachside vendor, win a plush toy for your significant other and enjoy a stroll along the pier.
The Original Nathan’s Famous once served hotdogs to legendary gangsters like Al Capone and swoon-worthy Hollywood stars such as Cary Grant. It’s now the go-to lunch spot for hoards of day-trippers and their classic hotdogs are washed down with refreshing old-fashioned lemonade.
From Manhattan, take the B line downtown to Brighton Beach and then walk a short distance to Coney Island.
For more information visit http://www.coneyisland.com/tourist-information