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1. Coney Island
You wouldn't think the Big Apple needed any more attractions, but add to the list historic Coney Island, Brooklyn's popular seaside community beloved by both locals and tourists. Beach-hungry city dwellers have been coming to this recreational stretch for many years, and some classic amusement park rides and attractions have been preserved and are still in use, honoring the area's long-held traditions.Throwback Oceanfront Community
The Cyclone rollercoaster, built in 1927, is one such example. Its 85-foot drop is only recommended for those in need of a major adrenaline rush. A tamer ride is the Wonder Wheel, a steel Ferris Wheel built in 1918, which lights up the horizon at dusk in a rainbow of neon colors.
Among other Coney Island classics is the Riegelmann Boardwalk, also known simply as the Coney Island Boardwalk, which has been the best place for a stroll to take in the sights since it was built in 1923. If you need a bite to eat, you've come to the right place. Many eateries and food stands make their home here, and the parade of businesses stretches on for more than two miles.Beachside Amusement
Though the beachfront can get crowded in the summer, it's still a great place to lay a beach blanket and get some sun. If you decide to take a dip, you'll be watched over by lifeguards on duty in the warm weather season. For a unique beach experience, head over to Brighton Beach, home to a Russian cultural enclave and many authentic Russian restaurants.
Before you leave Coney Island, there's one thing you need to make sure you do: Watch in wonder as performers bring you the Coney Island Circus Sideshow, a daily recreation of traditional circus acts, complete with human curiosities and daring stunts.
Coney Island at a glance
Country or State: New York
Length of Beach: 2.5 miles
Access: By car, taxi or public transit
- Many bars, shops and restaurants along the Boardwalk and on Surf Ave.
- Public restrooms
- Lifeguards from 10 am to 6 pm
- Coney Island Circus Sideshow