Coney Island and Brighton Beach

1000 Surf Ave, Brooklyn, NY 11224, USA

First, Brooklyn’s Coney Island is not, in fact, an island, having been attached to the rest of the borough by landfill since the 1920s. What the area is best known for, however, is its heyday from around the 1880s through World War II when it began as a posh seaside resort area and gradually became a beloved beach destination, thanks to a number of amusement parks. The appeals of Coney Island declined after the war (historians attribute this to the proliferation of both air-conditioning, which made escaping to the shore less important, and the automobile, which made it easier to reach nicer sandy stretches on Long Island). In recent decades it has increased in popularity again. Brooklyn residents, and visitors to New York, have embraced anew the retro charms of the boardwalk and the rides that are still operating, like the Cyclone roller coaster and the Wonder Wheel Ferris wheel. The towering Parachute Jump has been abandoned, but it still stands as an impossible-to-miss landmark. Brighton Beach sits next to Coney Island and is a largely Russian neighborhood where restaurants are happy to serve any diners who appreciate copious amounts of vodka and Russian specialties.

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Walking the Boardwalk: Coney Island and Brighton Beach

New York is the place that people from around the world flock to in a bid to get lost amongst the rush of people and activity that chokes the small island of Manhattan. Unfortunately, only a small handful venture across the Hudson to explore NYC’s most populous borough and dive into all the great things that Brooklyn has to offer: great food, fantastic shopping, lush green parks and sandy beaches. Located in southwest Brooklyn are the residential neighbourhoods of Coney Island and Brighton Beach. Sitting on the doorstep of the Atlantic Ocean, these suburbs are home to a high number of East-European and Russian immigrants who have the good fortune of residing next to a wide stretch of sandy beach and a boardwalk that takes visitors from one neighbourhood straight into the the other. Aside from frolicking in the ocean and working on your tan, there’s more to be done at Coney Island and Brighton Beach. You can visit the New York Aquarium ( or stop in at one of the amusement parks and take a spin on the ferris wheel, lose your lunch on the roller coaster or indulge in intriguing ‘delicacies’ like deep fried Oreo cookies. If need more sustenance there are plenty of Mom & Pop stands along the boardwalk where you can satiate your tastebuds with clams, fries and an ice cold beer. There are also ongoing events (circus, magic and more) from June thru to September.

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