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Coney Island, a must-see in New York City

 Coney Island, a must-see in New York City

Coney Island, a must-see in New York City

If you've never been to New York City, you can't claim to have been unless you walk to the infamous Coney Island boardwalks. First of all, it's important to understand that Coney Island is only open seasonally, so plan your trip accordingly. The second thing that is important to understand about Coney Island is that it is not a centrally owned operation.

The vast majority of the attractions at Coney Island close immediately or very shortly after Labor Day. The beach and boardwalk are open to the public year-round, sometimes they are simply more secluded than others. Nathan's Hot Dogs and the New York Aquarium remain open after the summer season ends and operate most days of the year. The Coney Island Museum is open on weekends from 12:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m. year-round. During the summer season, when tourism is high along the boardwalk, the two main theme parks - Astroland and Deno's Wonder Wheel Park - sponsor fireworks shows on Fridays at 9:30.

Coney Island's amusement parks are only part of the attraction, but they work to draw many people to this unique entertainment venue every year. Astroland amusement park is the largest amusement park in New York City. The Cyclone is the most famous ride in this particular park and this is a ride that is well known to roller coaster enthusiasts from all over the world. It is a wooden roller coaster that offers quite a thrilling ride. Other cool rides in this park include Astroflume, The Break Dancer, Astroland Carousel, The Swings, Top Spin, Dante's Inferno, Power Surge and Astro Tower. For the little ones, there is a very good selection of kiddie rides that will keep them entertained while the older kids enjoy some of the more thrilling attractions. If you are looking for a day of good food and lots of fun in the sun, Astroland is a great place to be.

Deno's Wonder Wheel Park is most famous for its Wonder Wheel. The cars on this magnificent ride are red, white and blue (pretty patriotic of them, right?) With red and blue cards swinging and white cars parked. The Spook-A-Rama is another popular, if not terrifying, ride offered at Deno's Wonder Wheel Park. If you need an injection of thrills and spills, try the Super Shot, but only if you're 52" or taller, or the Thunderbolt, which has a 48" height requirement. And what day at Coney Island wouldn't be complete without trying the bumper cars? There are also plenty of rides for the little ones to choose from on their excursion.

For something a little quieter than the thrills and chills at the amusement parks, Coney Island is also home to the New York Aquarium at Coney Island. This is a great way to learn about marine life and enjoy watching your children observe fascinating sea creatures they probably wouldn't otherwise see. There are over 8,000 animals represented at the New York Aquarium. Not only is it a fascinating adventure in itself, but you won't have to sacrifice your hairstyle to enjoy it.

Also worth a look is the Coney Island Museum. At the museum you'll find relics of old attractions and memorabilia from yesteryear, as well as incredible views of the attractions available today. The admission price is quite affordable at 99 cents and is a fun place to visit and get out of the sun for a while. No trip to Coney Island is really complete without at least one stop at the Museum. Plus, these might be the cleanest restrooms on the island. Coney Island is one of the highlights of a visit to New York. If you can schedule your trip to New York when the parks are open and the boardwalk is crowded, I recommend spending a weekend night on the boardwalk.