Brooklyn Is Where It's At: 7 Incredible Reasons You Should Visit Coney Island This Summer

Coney Island is awesome-- and maybe you already know that-- and that's why you're reading this.

Maybe you need some convincing, which is fine. We're up to the challenge. Which truly is not much of a challenge, considering Coney Island's stunning history and amazing oceanside activities.

They have a museum, amusement park, and amazing food and drinks-- Nathan's Famous Hot Dogs, anyone? All this, and we haven't even mentioned their incredible beach and boardwalk.

The point is, you should visit Coney Island this summer and you can read on to find out 7 incredible reasons why we think this.

1. Coney Island Mermaid Parade

jmoseman Looking forward to the Coney Island mermaid parade this Saturday June 20th! @victorialyn81 #coneyisland #mermaidparade #2015mermaidparade #allthingsbrooklyn

Live in Coney Island on streets named Mermaid or Neptune? No?

Are you an artistic NYer who wants to find self-expression in public? Yes? Well, the Coney Island Mermaid Parade, founded in 1983, was started with a few goals in mind.

One, they wanted to bring mythology to life. Two, they wanted to create self-esteem for Coney Islanders who are too often disregarded as entertainment only. And three, they wanted those amazing artistic New Yorkers to have an amazing forum to stage their talents.


The Mermaid Parade is the largest art parade in the nation, it's happening on Saturday June 20th at 1 p.m., and you can register here to participate. It's definitely going to be amazing, wild, and a cohesion of ecstatic artistic frenzy.

You don't want to miss this event, that's all we're saying.

2. Smorgasburg (1320 Bowery Street)

eddie.mark My first food #coneyislandsmorgasburg #coneyisland #homefrite #eatingmywaythroughconeyislandsmorgasbord

If you haven't heard, Smorgasburg just launched in Coney Island. The hippest new Smorgasburg location is dubbed Coney Smorgasburg.

It has two bars serving their new Smorgasbeer (it's delicious), thirteen food vendors, and the best news is that the whole thing is surrounded by the Coney Art Walls, which are painted with some of the sickest graffiti in NYC (after August Martin High School, of course).

If you're visiting Coney Island and you get hungry, you can celebrate. That's right, some of the most delectable cuisine in all of NYC is being sold at Coney Smorgasburg, like Queen Cobra Thai, Red Hook Lobster Pound, and El Gato Nacho.

So, the point is you should head to Coney Smorgasburg ASAP, especially because reading this is probably making you hungry.

 3. Beach and boardwalk (West 37th Street)

guilloluna #coneyisland #brooklyn #newyork #summertime #newyorkcity #beach #sun #tan #sunday #fantastic #mexicaninnewyork #nyc #colors #inspiration

Ever watch the sunset throw its splendor over of the ocean, the B&B Carousel, and the rest of the rides at Luna Park?

It's a sight to behold, and since we already convinced you that you should go to the beach here, it stands to reason that the Coney Island Beach would be a spot on choice.

I mean, they have nearly three miles of beaches, volleyball, handball, and basketball courts, plus playgrounds and amusement rides. Plus amazing, inexpensive food and an absurdly incredible view.

Do we really need to keep going?

4. Luna Park (1000 Surf Avenue)

dubbis259 The awesome Cyclone coaster at Luna Park, Coney Island. #cyclone #rollercoaster #woodie #lunapark #coneyisland #brooklyn #newyork #classic #boardwalk

Do you love that feeling of catapulting down a hill in a roller coaster?

Then get your pals together and get to Coney Island's Luna Park. Get there yesterday yesterday and ride the Thunderbolt. It's a 115-foot-tall roller coaster and travels at up to 55 miles per hour. It'll also spin you upside down, so don't wear sunglasses or hats that you care about on this monster.


You can also ride the Coney Island Cyclone, the Sling Shot, or Zenobio if you're a thrill junkie. If not, Luna Park also has a trapeze, a seaside swing, and magic bikes, which all have a much more moderate thrill level.

Of course, there's also the endlessly romantic B&B Carousel, first built in 1906. There are also games, a White Castle Express, Nathan's Hotdogs, and other dining options.

So if you're craving an amusement park day, hop on the subway and head to Luna Park. You can thank us later.


5. Ruby's Bar & Grill (1213 Riegelmann Boardwalk)

ines_kozmicblues Eating the funnel cake at ruby's #rubysbar #rubysconeyisland #rubysbarandgrill #coneyisland #brooklyn

Ruby's Bar & Grill has been through the gauntlet.

They were on the brink of eviction in 2010 and pulled through, only to have their power snuffed out by Hurricane Sandy in 2012. But that didn't stop them, and their unmitigated perseverance says all you need to know about this dive bar.


And if it doesn't, does the fact that they've been around since 1934 make you want to visit? How about the fact that it's the last place in Coney Island where you can still walk under the boardwalk?

Did that still not convince you? Does their amazing menu do the trick? Thought it would.

6. Coney Island Reggae on the Boardwalk (Boardwalk and 21st Street)

djbabymatt #coneyislandreggae #strictly #vinyl #foundation πŸ”ŠπŸŽΆπŸ”ŠπŸŽΆπŸ”ŠπŸŽΆπŸ”ŠπŸŽΆπŸ”ŠπŸŽΆπŸ”ŠπŸŽΆπŸ”ŠπŸŽΆ

Since it was founded in 2010, Coney Island Reggae has shone as one of the highlights of summer in NYC.

This free, inclusive community event is a glorious celebration of what refers to as "Jamaica's gift to the world," reggae music.

Past years' festivals have featured the likes of reggae superstars like Luciano, Johnny Osbourne, Willi Williams, and Brigadier Jerry.

Taking place on the Coney Island Boardwalk, the event charges no admission and so relies completely on donations to occur.

If you donate here, you'll get CDs from VP Records, Shanachie Records, and DKR (Digikiller/Deeper Knowledge), and according to, "the more you give, the more you get."

7. B&B Carousel (Boardwalk West)

leongsengchee Sunset at Coney Island. Despite living nearby this was actually my first time here, and only because of mashable meet up at nyaquarium. The group had an after party drinking session, but since I didn't drink I wandered off alone to get a sunset shot. Managed to get this just as the golden hour was ending. I kinda like the festivities and noise here and I spotted a few locations that has sunrise photography potential. Will have to come by when sun rise hours aren't so insanely early. #coneyisland #coney #sunrise #sunrise_sunsets_aroundworld #landscape #landscape_lovers #landscapes #dawn #sunrise_and_sunsets #fujifilm #lightroom

Yes, yes, we know the B&B Carousel is part of Luna Park, which is already on this list.

But based on its history and reverence, the B&B Carousel deserves to be its own number. Nevermind the fact that it's completely gorgeous, the sheer antiquity of this ferris wheel is astounding.


It was first built in 1906 and remained a quintessential fixture in Brooklyn amusement parks until well into the 1930s. According to the New York Times, it was almost dismantled in 2005, when the city stepped in and paid $1.8 million to buy the intact merry-go-round.

It reopened in 2013, after painstaking reparations, and today you can ride it and be instantly transported back to yesteryear.

Hint: it's a great date spot. Sitting on the top of this carousel while the sun is setting is probably the epitome of romance, so bring your crush here and kiss him or her next weekend.

Talk About a Throwback: Ever Wondered What Coney Island Looked Like in 1940?

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