Few New York beaches, if any, are as iconic as Coney Island. Offering exciting things to do and nearly endless opportunities for fun, this seaside destination is one of the most visited places in Brooklyn, no matter what the season.
When the weather is warm, the beach in Coney Island is one of the biggest draws in the entire city. Stretching for nearly three miles along the Atlantic Ocean, the beach is a natural choice for swimming, volleyball, beachcoming, and soaking in the sun. Lifeguards are on duty between Memorial Day and Labor Day, when the weather is most favorable for swimming. The Coney Island beach also features playgrounds, handball courts, and places to play basketball. No matter what they decide to do, visitors are sure to have a good time along the ocean.
Visiting the amusements along the Coney Island Boardwalk has been a summertime tradition for generations. Stretching nearly three miles to Brighton Beach from West 37th Street to Corbin Avenue, this landmark is one of the most visited places in all of New York City.
Over the years, the Coney Island Boardwalk has received major improvements; much of the old wood has been replaced with sustainable materials not taken from tropical rainforests. The beach in Coney Island also has been resurfaced with the addition of fine, white sand, which feels fantastic under bare feet.
Along the boardwalk, there's a variety of interesting things to see and do. Whether people plan to hit the beach, grab a hot dog at Nathan's Famous, visit one of the attractions, or just do some people watching, they can soak in sights while strolling the Coney Island Boardwalk, officially called the Riegelmann Boardwalk.
Every June, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade brings a lot of attention to Coney island. One of the biggest art parades in America features costumed mermaids and mermen, classic cars, marching bands, and a celebrity ribbon cutter. The parade is one of the most exciting events on the boardwalk, and is one of many scheduled throughout the year.
Outside the New York Aquarium, visitors will find one of the most striking pieces of public art along the boardwalk. The 332-foot-long "First Symphony of the Sea," crafted from concrete and ceramic, faces Coney Island Beach, complete with ocean-themed motifs. Visitors can step inside the aquarium to peek at a colorful world home to loggerhead turtles, moon jellies, reef fish, otters, and more creatures of the deep.
Other attractions along the beach in Coney Island include bumper cars, kiddie rides, the Coney Island Museum, a minor-league baseball park home to the Brooklyn Cyclones, arcade games, and even an ice skating ring for the winter. Two classic attractions, Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Cyclone Rollercoaster, continue to provide summertime fun. And with restaurants, shops, historical tours, and special events, there's always something fun to experience.
Including Coney Island Beach, the city of New York manages fourteen miles of beaches. All of the boroughs, with the exception of Manhattan, have swimming beaches; Orchard Beach is a favorite place to swim in the Bronx, while Rockaway Beach in Queens and Midland Beach in State Island provide excellent backdrops to summertime fun. All of the city beaches are free to enter, but some require parking fees. Coney Island and the other city beaches are easily accessible by bus or subway.