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With its sandy beaches, gently rolling waves and breezy boardwalk, Coney Island feels a world away from frenzied Manhattan, but there’s still action aplenty on this peninsula thanks to its exciting amusement park.
A beachfront area in southern Brooklyn, Coney Island was home to several competing amusement parks during its pre-war heyday. It was popular with hard-working New Yorkers who relished the opportunity to escape the stifling Manhattan heat on weekends.
After World War II, the parks fell out of favor with visitors, who occupied themselves with films and Broadway shows in Manhattan, and the island suffered from neglect. Today, as the area continues to be redeveloped, visitors and thrill-seekers come in droves to try the modern theme park rides at the iconic Luna Park, which was reopened after extensive renovations in 2010, and soak up the island’s grand history.
A 45- to 60-minute subway ride from Manhattan, Coney Island is at its most lively during the sticky summer months, and many attractions only operate from April to October, including special events like outdoor concerts, film screenings and Friday night fireworks on the beach. The island is still worth a visit in winter, though, if only to see the Coney Island Polar Bear Club, a group of brave men and women who take to the icy January waters bare-chested or in only a swimsuit, invoking wild cheers from onlookers. Coney Island’s food vendors are on hand year-round to serve up nostalgia — think classic cotton candy, old-fashioned hot dogs and traditional New York-style pizza.
While the infamous Thunderbolt rollercoaster — immortalized in countless postcard pictures and the Woody Allen classic movie “Annie Hall” — has been laid to rest. Today’s Luna Park is amusement park heaven, with 19 fabulous rides. Among them is the Cyclone, originally built in 1927 and one of the world’s oldest wooden rollercoasters still in use. Try your luck on the bumper cars, take a spin on a pretty carousel or scoop a prize or two in the lively game arcade.
Coney Island’s re-emergence as a modern amusement destination makes it an entertaining day trip for tourists. The best way to get here is by subway from any part of Manhattan.
Located at the corner of East 45th Street and Madison Avenue, the Roosevelt Hotel, New York City, provides ready access to shopping, as well as Broadway theaters, 3 blocks away.
New York's Grande Dame, the Art Deco-style Waldorf Astoria New York offers a desirable Midtown location 2 blocks from Rockefeller Center and 4 blocks from the Broadway Theater District. Times Square, Central Park, Grand Central, and the shops on Fifth Avenue are among the nearby attractions.
This Manhattan hotel is in the Midtown West neighborhood, 0.8 mile from Times Square and within one-half mile of the New Amsterdam Theater and Madame Tussauds Wax Museum.
The budget-friendly Salisbury Hotel hotel offers a prime Midtown location just 2 blocks from Central Park and within walking distance of Times Square and Broadway theaters. Opened in 1931, this Neo-Gothic-style hotel is next door to the famed Russian Tea Room, a half-block from Carnegie Hall, and 7 blocks from Radio City Music Hall.
This Theater District hotel is at the corner of West 45th Street and Eighth Avenue, 1 block west of Times Square and 6 blocks west of Rockefeller Center.
This New York City hotel located on Seventh Avenue at 33rd Street is across from Madison Square Garden and Penn Station.
This New York hotel is in the center of all the action, located in the cluster of Broadway theaters. The center of Times Square is 2 blocks away, and Rockefeller Center is a 3-block walk.
This luxury New York hotel boasts a prime location on the city's East Side adjacent to Grand Central Station. Times Square, Broadway theaters, Central Park, Bryant Park, and Fifth Avenue's world-class shopping are within walking distance.