by nycgo.com staff
Photo: Julienne Schaer
The ups and downs of the 87-year-old Cyclone roller coaster are a fitting metaphor for the Coney Island experience lately—every year seems to bring big changes to the quirky beachfront amusement district, but a visit there is always entertaining. The latest addition is the Thunderbolt, a new coaster named after a ride that was shut down back in 1982. These days, classic Boardwalk institutions like Ruby's Bar and Grill, Deno's Wonder Wheel Amusement Park and Nathan's Famous operate next to shiny thrill-ride tract Luna Park, whose Scream Zone twists, turns, drops and spins patrons into a state of pure bliss (or at least bliss with a splash of queasiness). Other area attractions include MCU Park, the gorgeous home of Mets minor-league affiliate the Brooklyn Cyclones (who play from June through early September), and the New York Aquarium, which features a menagerie of aquatic life including walruses, penguins and cownose rays. Also worth visiting on Brooklyn’s south shore is famed Russian enclave Brighton Beach, just a short stroll away on the Boardwalk. For even more things to do in the waterfront neighborhood, check out our "Must-See Coney Island" guide.