Recent Posts

13 Going on 30-Something! Lets Go to Coney Island

Part of my New York experience is really embracing everything there is about living here. That means that there are plenty of "touristy" things I still haven't done. And while many of these experiences seem somewhat cheesy to many native New Yorkers (kind of like going on one of those Bayside party boats in Miami), I am going to do them anyway!

So, on the brink of my (mid-30 something) birthday, I needed to feel like a complete and utter kid again. Let’s face it; we get so caught up with the daily stresses of life and the responsibilities that come with being an (over-rated) adult, that sometimes we just need a day of roller coaster rides, ice cream cones & a boardwalk.

The concept of carnival rides on a beach always fascinated me. I guess because in Miami, the closest view of water we get on a ferris wheel or roller coaster, is a glimpse of some grimy canal near Tamiami during the Dade County Youth Fair, on the FIU fair grounds. LAME.

I’ve always seen these boardwalk type carnivals near the ocean, but never got to experience one. So, I decided I needed a trip to Coney Island! Unfortunately the day we picked to go wasn’t the best in terms of weather. It was cloudy, gloomy & windy and it rained on and off. But still, off to Coney Island we went.

Getting to Coney Island is easy. From Manhattan, you just take the N, Q, or the R, any of those will take you straight there!

Of course, I wore a super cute romper for my day on Coney Island, but when the wind picked up, I got a little cold, so I had to stop and buy a sweater. I popped into this adorable surf shop “Surf & Stillwell”. They sell (overpriced) mainstream-style Brooklyn-themed apparel and souvenirs. I picked up the cutest grey sweater and we carried on with our day. Food, carnival rides & the ocean-in that order.

We started off at Nathan’s Famous Hot Dogs! Nathan's Famous is a classic American company specializing in hot dogs and also home to the famous hot dog eating competition. The original Nathan's restaurant stands at the corner of Surf and Stillwell Avenues in Coney Island. It’s the first thing you see when you step off the train, and we were pretty hungry.

I ordered the cheese fries & the Chili Cheese Hot Dog with caramelized onions. To be honest, I wasn’t blow away. The hotdog in itself was mediocre, but it was the experience of eating Nathan’s at the original location. Can’t go wrong with cheese fries though, those are always on point.

I do have a recommendation for Nathan’s- they should jump on the “truffle” bandwagon and add some to their fries. That, and perhaps increase the size of those hot dogs! They are tiny!

Among other treats we feasted on were fried Oreo’s (soooooo good), cotton candy (always brings out the kid in me), and funnel cake.

But, no trip to Coney Island is complete without a visit to Williams Candy. They are known for their sweets & treats for over 75 Years! From candy apples to chocolate dipped Oreos, to popcorn, ice cream & fudge, Williams Candy has it all.

But, no trip to Coney Island is complete without a visit to Williams Candy. They are known for their sweets & treats for over 75 Years! From candy apples to chocolate dipped Oreos, to popcorn, ice cream & fudge, Williams Candy has it all.

Above all I had to pop in and try their famous Cashew Caramel Marshmallow Balls. They were so good! But, anyone that knows me knows ice cream is my weakness. So, I couldn’t help but also have some banana ice cream on a cone, covered in sprinkles.

Another surprising treat was finding Coney Smorgasburg. Smorgasburg is an open-air feast! It’s a food market featuring New York City’s best eats, all in one place! They also had amazing art walls, (similar to the Wynwood walls in Miami, except we’re in NY, so it’s automatically cooler)!

Next up was a ride on the famous Coney Island Cyclone! The Cyclone is a historic wooden roller coaster that opened on June 26, 1927. In the early 1970s, the roller coaster was refurbished and in 1988, it was declared a New York City landmark and was placed on the National Register of Historic Places on June 26, 1991.

The Cyclone covers 3,000 feet of track in a minute and fifty seconds and carries 24 passengers, reaching speeds of 60 mph.

Its biggest drop is 85 feet at a descent angle of 58.1 degrees, making the Cyclone the second-steepest wooden roller coaster in the world, and one of the oldest wooden coasters still standing. It was exhilarating to the say the least!

After that, you’d think I’d had enough! But, no, I was then peer pressured into riding the ultimate vomit inducing thrill ride, The Thunderbolt. It’s a two-minute rolling adventure over 2,233 feet of steel track begins with an insane 90-degree vertical drop. It then speeds up to 55 mph over an exhilarating course highlighted by a 100-foot vertical loop.

You are basically strapped in from the waist down through an 80-foot zero-g roll, racing around a 112-degree over-banked track. It’s a mix of drops, corkscrew twists and turns, and even though it’s only two minutes long, it seems like an eternity. But, hey, I had to prove to myself I still had that fearless, careless child-like, daredevil inside of me. And so I did.

Strolling down the boardwalk, I had a strong desire to run out to the shore and dip my feet in the ocean. I mean, after all, I had never wet my toes in New York salt water, and this was my chance. It was beyond cold, murky and not so pretty. OK Miami, you’ve got NY beat on beaches, but any way you look at it, you’re still in NYC, and so we’re still winning on everything else.

So thanks Coney Island, for bringing out the kid in me and for reminding me that sometimes, all you need is a day on the boardwalk, some ice cream & a screaming rollercoaster ride, to feel like a kid again.

Coney Island, Cyclone and Boardwalk: Bucket List- CHECK.

For more information visit:

#NewYork #coneyisland #nyc #adventures #travel #carnival #cyclone #mta #cottoncandy #icecreamcone #nathans #hotdog #friedoreos #girlsgetaways #smorgasburg #artwalls #nycbeaches #boardwalks