I finally crossed off an adventure on my New York City bucket list I had wanted to experience for a long time: a trip to Coney Island!
For months I wanted to visit this famous neighbourhood at the bottom of Brooklyn, known for its beach, boardwalk and amusement parks. There’s something about riding a ferris wheel overlooking the ocean and eating ice cream on a boardwalk that screams summer to me.
So, I’m happy to say that Coney Island delivered all of the summer feels I was hoping for. Here are the details of my Coney Island adventure and why you should go on your own!
It’s like going on vacay without having to leave the city
Depending on where you’re coming from and how you’re getting there, it can take awhile to get to Coney Island. It took us about an hour and a half on the subway (in part due to disrupted train service). But the beauty is that when you finally arrive and take in the view of the beach from the pier, it’s hard to believe you haven’t actually left New York.
It’s home to those famous hot dogs
The first thing Blake and I did when we arrived was chow down on hot dogs and crinkle cut fries at the original Nathan’s Famous hot dog stand. There’s a reason why “Famous” is in the name; those crappy NYC street dogs just don’t compare. I ordered a dog topped with cooked onions and peppers and then loaded ‘er up with ketchup, mustard and relish. A little messy, but a lot delicious!
P.S. Don’t let the lines at the main stand scare you; ours moved quickly, plus we spotted two other stands in the area.
It has that quirky carnival atmosphere
Amusement parks and carnival culture have a fun but kind of seedy side to them, which makes them all the more interesting. I loved taking in the brightly coloured signs and artwork that make Coney Island what it is.
The Wonder Wheel will make you feel like a kid again
A trip to Coney Island wouldn’t be complete without hitting up the midway games and rides. My pick is the famous Wonder Wheel. Choose either a stationary car or one that swings, but beware – when it swings, it really swings. And when you reach the top take in the awesome view of the ocean.
P.S. The Wonder Wheel is so famous a movie about it starring Kate Winslet and Justin Timberlake is coming out later this year.
The people watching is perfection
My favourite part of the day was strolling along the boardwalk and pier (with ice cream in hand, of course) and people watching. Coney Island brings together everyone from families out for a day at the beach and toddlers in cute swimsuits to locals and camera-toting newbies like me. Grab a cone or a drink and take it all in!