Coney Island, THE New York summer spot

A colourful place, a surreal atmosphere, a touch of madness... welcome to Coney Island! About an hour from Manhattan, it's the perfect place to escape the euphoria of the Big Apple with a completely different vibe. The journey to get there is an experience in itself, with the metro sometimes passing outside, allowing travellers to see the different architectural facets of New York and its incredible buildings! On site, despite the crowds that gather here on sunny days, you can enjoy delicious hot dogs from Nathan's Famous (be prepared to queue!), relax on the fine sand and simply admire the scenery. Beach, amusement park, century-old fast-food restaurant... we tell you all about Coney Island!

Coney Island à New York.

- © Kamira / Shutterstock
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What to do in Coney Island

Fun at Luna Park

To begin with, a bit of history: Coney Island is a former island that has become a peninsula located to the south of the Brooklyn district in New York. Today, it is home to almost 60,000 people.

It was in 1884 that Coney Island became a place of amusement for New Yorkers with the installation of a roller coaster: "the Gravity Switchback Railway". A few years later, in 1897, Steeplechase Park opened its doors until 1964. Meanwhile, another leisure park was attracting crowds: Luna Park. Luna Park is still open today and has of course been modernised. Among the attractions: "the Cyclone". The park's superstar since 1927, the thrills are guaranteed!

Practical info

  • 📍 Location: it's here on Google Maps!
  • 👛 Prices: $65 for people over 1m20 and $43 for people under 1m20.
  • ⏰ Times: check the Luna Park calendar

Eating a hot dog at Nathan's Famous

If you're travelling to New York and fancy a hot dog, head to ** *Nathan's Famous***. It's a veritable institution on Coney Island. Opened by Nathan Handwerker in 1916, the restaurant is renowned throughout the United States. Many celebrities, including President Franklin Roosevelt, have enjoyed a hot dog here. It is said that, in 1939, he had a hot dog served to the Queen of England!

Did you know that? Since its creation over 100 years ago, several Nathan's Famous restaurants have opened in New York, on Long Island and in Times Square. Since the 1980s, the company's products have even been available in supermarkets.

Practical info

  • 📍 Location: it's here on Google Maps!
  • Opening times: open every day from 10am

Lounging on the beach

When the heat gets stifling in New York, there's nothing better than lounging on a beach. The beach at Coney Island is popular with tourists and locals alike. You can also stroll along the Riegelmann boards, which run for four kilometres along the beach. A little further on, Brighton Beach, in the Little Odessa district, is quieter.

La plage de Coney Island.

- © Ann Marie Hughes / Shutterstock

Practical info

  • 📍 Location: Coney Island Beach is here and Brighton Beach is here on Google Maps!

Admire street art

Coney Island, an open-air museum. As street art fans know, New York is one of the best cities in the world for urban art. Coney Island is no exception to the rule! For example, when the shops close their curtains, it's not unusual to come face to face with sublime frescoes.

At the end of September 2020, the "People's Playground Mural Project" was set up by a neighbourhood association. Several street artists have come together to celebrate the incredible history of Coney Island.

Find filming locations

Coney Island's festive atmosphere has always attracted film-makers. In 1917, Roscoe Arbuckle's Fatty in Coney Island, a slapstick comedy starring a certain Buster Keaton, showed Luna Park in black and white. Coney Island was also the setting for the 1953 film The Little Fugitive (which won an award at the Venice Moestra) and 2012's Men in Black 3. And the list goes on. If you're a fan of the 7th art, Coney Island is the place for you!

Our favourite Coney Island hotel

Best Western Brooklyn-Coney Island Inn 3* New York
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Best Western Brooklyn-Coney Island Inn 3*

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Practical information for Coney Island

🚌 How do I get to Coney Island?

The easiest way is by metro. From Manhattan, allow around an hour for the journey. Take the D, N, F or Q lines, then stop at the "Coney Island, Stillwell Avenue" station. On the B line, get off at "Brighton Beach".

Our advice

When travelling to New York, take a MetroCard, which allows unlimited use of the underground for 7, 30 days or 1 year. A one-week pass costs around €30.

🗓️ When should you go to Coney Island?

All year round. A walk on the beach is certainly a little more pleasant in spring and summer, but in winter, Coney Island also has its charm. During the week, it's obviously less crowded.

by Anna Marie
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