Coney Island and Brighton Beach are in Brooklyn. In addition to those two neighborhoods, this travel guide covers Manhattan Beach, Gravesend, and Sheepshead Bay.
- Coney Island. Ah, the famous Coney Island. The Cyclone, a 1927 roller coaster, is the most famous of the amusement park rides at Coney Island, for good reason: It packs a lot of thrill into a small lot. There is also a great view of Manhattan from the top of the Wonder Wheel (a large ferris wheel). Otherwise, the amusement park is somewhat seedy, which is part of its appeal. The high concentration of public housing projects in the area does make the neighborhood around the amusement park somewhat unsafe. Precaution should be taken if exploring these areas.
- Brighton Beach is home to the largest Russian-speaking community outside of the former USSR. It's unlike any other neighborhood in the city. Mosey on along the famous boardwalk and have a shashlik (shish kebab) with a shot of vodka for lunch.
- Sheepshead Bay is not far from the Coney Island amusement parks. It is a traditionally Italian and Jewish neighborhood and is now populated by many Chinese and Russian immigrants. There are piers along the bay on Emmons Avenue where anyone can cast a line out onto the water for a day of fishing. Includes restaurants along the bay.
- Gravesend was the oldest English settlement in New York. Parts of it are now a Syrian Orthodox Jewish neighborhood, populated by many people in the rug trade who live in lovely houses, many of them very tasteful and worth walking past just to admire the architecture and landscaping, such as for example on Ave. S east of the Kings Highway stop on the F train. There is also a small Chinese neighborhood on Ave. U near the Ave. U Q train station that has some worthwhile Chinese and Vietnamese restaurants and shops. Perhaps fittingly, Gravesend is also home to huge graveyards that are visible from the F subway line.
To get to Coney Island, take the D, F, N, or Q to Coney Island-Stillwell Avenue. On all of these but the Q, keep your eyes peeled for the massive train yard you will pass on the way.
Brighton Beach and Sheepshead Bay are covered by the Q and B (weekdays only).
For Gravesend, take the N to Avenue U.
- 1 Coney Island ( trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave).
- 2 The Coney Island Cyclone ( trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave or trains to W 8th St-NY Aquarium). Opened in 1927, the Coney Island Cyclone or (the Cyclone) is one of the world's oldest and still operating wooden roller coasters and was declared a New York City Landmark on July 2, 1988. It was also placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 26, 1991. Although in 1927 the roller coaster cost only 25 cents to ride, it now costs $10.
- 3 New York Aquarium, Boardwalk and W 8th St (Subway: to W 8th St or to Coney Island–Stillwell Ave). Opens 10AM daily, closing varies by season. Although it looks small, the New York Aquarium is a nice place for children and adults to spend an hour or two. Highlights include a shark tank, a sea lion show, sea cliffs (with penguins, sea otters, and harbor seals), and a conservation hall (rays and eels). >= age 13: M–Th $26.95, F–Su $29.95; >= age 65: M–Th $24.95, F–Su$26.95; ages 3–12: M–Th $22.95, F–Su $24.95; <= age 2: free.
- 4 Jackie Robinson and Pee Wee Reese Monument, Surf Ave at W 19th St (Subway trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave or trains to W 8th St-NY Aquarium). Statue of Jackie Robinson, first African American to play in Major League Baseball in the modern era when he played for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Pee Wee Reese was a strong supporter of his. These two Hall of Fame players were on the Dodgers together from 1947 to 1956.
- 1 Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk (Subway to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave or trains to W 8th St-NY Aquarium). Sandy beach, open to the public. Free.
- 2 Pat Auletta Steeplechase Pier (Subway trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave or trains to W 8th St-NY Aquarium). Daily 6AM - 1AM. Fishing pier with views of the ocean.
- 3 Sheepshead Bay Piers, Emmons Ave between Ocean Ave & E 26th St ( Sheepshead Bay). You can catch a fishing excursion or a dinner cruise from one of the ten piers on the bay.
- 4 Brooklyn Cyclones (Subway trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave or trains to W 8th St-NY Aquarium). New York Mets single-A minor league team, which plays in Coney Island right next to the Boardwalk at MCU Park. They were established to fill the void of Brooklyn's old Major League Baseball team the Dodgers, who left for Los Angeles after the 1957 season.
- Rugby United New York. Rugby union team playing in Major League Rugby, the sport's top level in the US and Canada. RUNY shares MCU Park with the Cyclones.
- 5 Adventurer’s Park - Family Entertainment Center, 1824 Shore Pkwy ( , B6), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. 11AM–9PM (see website for operating days). This amusement park for younger children is in the Gravesend neighborhood. Attractions and rides include bumper cars, ferris wheel, roller coaster, fun slide, merry-go-round, tea cups, tilt-a-whirl, go karts, mini golf, and others. $4/ticket for most attractions, volume discounts available; P.O.P. (pay one price) $29 for unlimited attractions (with some exclusions) noon–3PM or 4–7PM.
- 6 Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park, 3059 W 12th St ( ), ☏ . Apr, May, Sep, Oct: opens noon on weekends only; Jun to Labor Day: opens noon daily; closing times vary according to weather conditions. The Wonder Wheel itself is the main attraction here. Choose the swinging cars for an extra thrill. There are numerous other adult and kiddie rides.
- 7 Luna Park, 1000 Surf Avenue, info@LunaParkNYC.com. Named after the original 1903 Luna Park, this amusement park is bringing thrills to Brooklyn.
- 1 , 402 Brighton Beach Ave (between Brighton 4th and Brighton 5th Sts; Subway: trains to Brighton Beach), ☏ . M-Sa 10AM-7PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Trinkets from Russia and elsewhere in the world.
- 2 Lola Star, Coney Island Boardwalk between W 12th St and Stillwell (Subway: trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave). M-Th 11AM-7PM, F 11AM-10PM, Sa Su 10AM-9PM. Boutique and souvenir shop on the boardwalk.
- 3 Mosvideofilm, 421 Brighton Beach Ave (between Brighton 4th and Brighton 5th Sts; Subway: trains to Brighton Beach), ☏ . Russian films, books, music, and more.
- 4 Saint-Petersburg Trade & Publishing House, 230 Brighton Beach Ave (at Brighton 1st Rd; Subway: train to Ocean Pkwy), ☏ . Russian books, CDs, DVDs, and more.
Coney Island is a varied neighborhood of old pizzerias, Nathan's Original hotdog stand and newer Russian restaurants and others. Brighton Beach is a huge Russian neighborhood, with immigrants from other parts of the former Soviet Union, too. You can find all kinds of Russian gourmet shops, bars and restaurants in that neighborhood. If you have Russian friends, ask them which restaurants are good at the moment, as these things tend to be very changeable. Sheepshead Bay is a traditionally Italian neighborhood, and also Jewish. It's historically been a place to go for seafood, although Lundy's, its most famous seafood restaurant, closed some time ago.
- 1 John's Deli, 2438 Stillwell Ave (between Harway Ave and Bay 50th St; Subway: train to Bay 50th St), ☏ . Great roast beef heroes.
- 2 Kashkar Cafe, 1141 Brighton Beach Ave, toll-free: . M–Th 10AM–10PM, F 10AM–11PM, Sa Su 10AM–11:45PM. Really flavorful, inexpensive Uyghur food, big portions, friendly service. The personnel are observant Muslims, so no alcoholic drinks; consider washing your meal down with ayran (yogurt drink) or green tea. Appetizers: $2.50-10.50, kebabs are mostly $3.50-4.00 per skewer, fish dishes: $6.50-9.95, soups: $6.00, salads: $7.00-7.50.
- 3 L & B Spumoni Gardens, 2725 86th St (between W 10th and W 11th Sts; to Avenue U or 86th St-Gravesend, or to 25th Ave), ☏ , email@example.com. Noon-11PM daily. Consistently rated by many as one of the best pizzerias in the city. Talk to any Brooklynite and they will tell you to get an "L & B Square".
- 4 Nathan's Famous, 1310 Surf Ave (at Stillwell Ave; to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave), ☏ . Daily 10AM–10PM. Nathan's original location, opened in 1916, offers great hot dogs, fries, grilled chicken, etc. Prices are somewhat high, with a hot dog costing $3.25. On July 4th, they host their world-famous hot dog eating contest.
- 5 Randazzo's Clam Bar, 2017 Emmons Ave, ☏ . 11:00AM-11:00PM. This is a classic Italian-American seafood specialist right across the street from the water in Sheepshead Bay, in operation since 1932. It's consistently good, the portions are large, and the atmosphere is informal and convivial. The marinara sauce comes in mild, medium and hot varieties. Clams: $9.00 (half dozen)-20.95, other seafood mains mostly in the 20s, pasta: $12.95-$29.95 for a full order.
- 6 Tatiana Restaurant, 3152 Brighton 6th St ( Brighton Beach), ☏ , firstname.lastname@example.org. M–Th 11AM–10PM, F–Su 11AM–11PM. This Russian restaurant has beach-view tables on the boardwalk. There's a Vegas-style floor show. Tatiana's Grill is a few doors down.
- 7 Totonno's, 1524 Neptune Ave (between W 15th and W 16th Sts; Subway: trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave), ☏ . M-Sa 11AM-11PM. A family pizzeria that's been continually operating since 1905. The crust produced in their coal-fired oven is one of the very best around - thin, crisp, and charred with a sweet sauce. Whole pies only, no slices. A few blocks from the Coney Island boardwalk. Cash only.
There are Russian bars in Brighton Beach. The more expensive ones tend to be right on the Boardwalk, and they also offer full meals and sometimes a floor show. However, you may be able to get some inexpensive vodka and good homey Russian food a few blocks from the beach. Or hey, just grab a beer like many New Yorkers do, but keep in mind that if you openly drink alcohol outside, you can get a summons, which is why convenience stores normally sell beer in paper bags.
- 1 Coney Island Brewery, 1904 Surf Ave (in MCU Park), ☏ . F-Su noon-6PM, closed M-Th. Brewery offering about twelve beers, an outdoor patio, and food.
- 2 Wheeler's Restaurant, 1705 Sheepshead Bay Rd, ☏ . 11:30AM–11:30PM daily. Wheeler's has creditable food, with a fairly extensive menu and many mains below $20, but it's also a sports bar with a good and well-priced drink selection, including some excellent whiskeys, and friendly bartenders and clientele. Look for their bar hours to be extended again as the pandemic ebbs.
- 1 Best Western Brooklyn-Coney Island Inn, 2632 W 13th St ( Coney Island–Stillwell Ave). Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Wi-Fi, free breakfast, free parking. $134-196.
- 2 Best Western Plus Brooklyn Bay Hotel, 3003 Emmons Ave ( Brighton Beach to B4). Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Wi-Fi, free breakfast. $159-417.
- 3 Comfort Inn, 3218 Emmons Ave ( Brighton Beach to B4), ☏ . Check-in: 2PM, check-out: 11AM. Free Wi-Fi, free breakfast, fitness center. $133-322.
- 4 Sleep Inn Coney Island, 2586 Stillwell Ave ( Coney Island–Stillwell Ave), ☏ . Check-in: 3PM, check-out: 11AM. Free full breakfast, free WiFi, free daily newspaper, free coffee and free parking (first come, first serve basis).
- Brooklyn Public Library (Brighton Beach branch), 16 Brighton First Rd (at Brighton Beach Ave; Subway: train to Ocean Pkwy or train to Brighton Beach), ☏ . M 10AM-6PM, Tu 1PM-8PM, W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Coney Island branch), 1901 Mermaid Ave (at W 19th St; Subway: trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave), ☏ . M Tu 10AM-6PM, W 1PM-8PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Gravesend branch), 303 Avenue X (at W 2nd St; Subway: train to Avenue X or N train to 86th St-Gravesend), ☏ . M 10AM-6PM, Tu 1PM-8PM, W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Highlawn branch), 1664 W 13th St (at Kings Hwy; Subway: train to Kings Hwy or trains to Bay Pkwy), ☏ . M Tu 10AM-6PM, W 1PM-8PM, Th 1PM-6PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Homecrest branch), 2525 Coney Island Ave (between Avenue V and Gravesend Neck Rd; Subway: trains to Neck Rd), ☏ . M 1PM-8PM, Tu W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Kings Bay branch), 3650 Nostrand Ave (between Avenues W and X; Subway: trains to Sheepshead Bay, then transfer to B36 bus to Nostrand Ave and Avenue X, or trains to Flatbush Ave-Brooklyn College, then transfer to B44 bus to Nostrand Ave and Avenue X), ☏ . M Tu 10AM-6PM, W Th 1PM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Kings Highway branch), 2115 Ocean Ave (at Kings Hwy; Subway: trains to Kings Hwy), ☏ . M 10AM-6PM, Tu-Th 10AM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-6PM, Su 1PM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Sheepshead Bay branch), 2636 E 14th St (between Sheepshead Bay Rd and Shore Pkwy; Subway: trains to Sheepshead Bay), ☏ . M Tu 10AM-6PM, W Th 1PM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
- Brooklyn Public Library (Ulmer Park branch), 2602 Bath Ave (at 26th Ave; Subway: train to 25th Ave), ☏ . M 1PM-8PM, Tu W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.
|Routes through Coney Island and Brighton Beach|
|Downtown Brooklyn ← Flatbush ←||N S||→ END|
|Downtown Brooklyn ← Southwest Brooklyn ←||N S||→ END|