It’s summertime in the city…and that means time to escape to the beach. For over a decade, New Yorkers have managed to make their way to the waterfront of Brooklyn known as Coney Island. From rides to sites to world-famous hot dogs, there is plenty to do on Coney Island Day. We started out our day trip at the New York Aquarium
, arriving just in time to see the penguin feeding. Unlike the Bronx Zoo, the aquarium is a much smaller attraction.
You can get up close with some pretty big sea turtles while learning about New York-area wildlife.
The shark tank has a tube you can go inside and crawl through for a very intimage look at all of the sea creatures.
After you have explored all of the exhibits, it is well worth trekking to the top of the shark pavilion to the aquarium’s cafe. From there, you have a great view down the length of the boardwalk. It is also well worth the $2 extra for the 3D shark video outside of the main entrance to the aquarium.
By now it was lunchtime, so we headed to from the aquarium to a Mexican food stall off the boardwalk, Dona Zita
. Tacos are the way to go here, they are quick and easy. I got the quesadilla with all of the toppings…while delicious, it was a lot!
A not-to-miss attraction of the boardwalk is the Coney Island Museum. Here, you can both learn about the history of Coney Island and see the weird and colorful artifacts from the heyday of the beach. The museum isn’t all you can see here, this is also home to the Coney Island Circus Sideshow. This 45-minute show runs continuously throughout the day and pays homage to wild and wonderful curiosities that once populated the Coney Island boardwalk. That Saturday, we saw KooKoo the Bird Girl hula hoop on a bed of nails, sword swallowing, crazy contortions, fire-eating, and more! All of the performers were really incredible and clearly passionate about preserving the craft and art of the sideshow.
Next stop on the tour, the Coney Island Brewery
! Currently located on the outside of the Coney Island Cyclones’ stadium, the brewery was jam-packed with people celebrating Pride. I tried a flight with the Pride 365, Killer Rye Life, Mermaid IPA, and Wheats Goin’ On. All light and refreshing, I would have to say the limited-edition Pride 365 was my favorite. After our beer tasting, it was time for another time-honored Coney Island tradition, Nathan’s Famous
! While this boardwalk front outpost of Nathan’s has more exotic fare like frog legs and clams, you can also hop on the express line for a classic hot dog. There is nothing like a delicious hot dog after a full day of exploring Coney Island.
There is nothing like the sites and sounds of the boardwalk midway. Dino’s Wonder Wheel shines like a beacon at the center of all the fun.
If you want a gentle ride, be sure to wait in line for the outside cars that don’t swing. But…all of the fun is on the inside cars that swing as they rotate around and up!
From the top, you get a bird’s eyeview of Coney Island and the distant island of Manhattan.
Our final stop for the afternoon was Ruby’s Bar & Grill
for some fries and people watching. You never know who or what you will see on the boardwalk! There is plenty of fun to be had visiting Coney Island in the summer.