Coney Island and Brighton Beach is 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-kebob) with a shot of vodka for lunch.
Sheepshead Bay is located near the Coney Island amusement parks and is a neighborhood populated with many Chinese and Russian immigrants. There are piers along the bay on Emmons Avenue where anyone can pay a small fee to be taken out for for a day of fishing. Includes restaurants along the Bay and the famous El Greco diner.
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).
New York Aquarium, Boardwalk and W 8th St (Subway: F/Q trains to W 8th St or N/D trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave), . 10AM-4:30PM daily. $14.95 adults, $11.95 seniors 65+, $10.95 children 3-12, free for children under 3.
Brooklyn Cyclones, . New York Mets single-A minor league team, which plays in Coney Island right next to the Boardwalk. 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.
Mermaid Spa Banya, . Authentic Russian Sauna (Banya) right near the end of the boardwalk. Full of locals, mostly Russians, but pay a visit as well. Food is great, saunas are top notch. Definitely worth a visit! You come out feeling like a new person.$30/day.
Kalinka Gifts, 402 Brighton Beach Ave (between Brighton 4th and Brighton 5th Sts; Subway: B/Q trains to Brighton Beach), ☎ +1 718 743-4546, . M-Sa 10AM-7PM, Su 11AM-6PM. Trinkets from Russia and elsewhere in the world.
Lola Star, Coney Island Boardwalk between W 12th St and Stillwell (Subway: D/F/N/Q trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave), . M-Th 11AM-7PM, F 11AM-10PM, Sa-Su 10AM-9PM (closed during winter). Boutique and souvenir shop on the boardwalk.
Mosvideofilm, 421 Brighton Beach Ave (between Brighton 4th and Brighton 5th Sts; Subway: B/Q trains to Brighton Beach), ☎ +1 347 673-8548, . Russian films, books, music, and more.
Saint-Petersburg Trade & Publishing House, 230 Brighton Beach Ave (at Brighton 1st Rd; Subway: Q train to Ocean Pkwy), ☎ +1 718 368-4128, . Russian books, CDs, DVDs, and more.
John's Deli, 2438 Stillwell Ave (between Harway Ave and Bay 50th St; Subway: D train to Bay 50th St), ☎ +1 718 714-4377. Great roast beef heroes.
L & B Spumoni Gardens, 2725 86th St (between W 10th and W 11th Sts; Subway: N train to Avenue U or 86th St-Gravesend, or D train to 25th Ave), ☎ +1 718 449-1230 (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".
Nathan's Original, Surf Ave at Stillwell Ave (Subway: D/F/N/Q trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave). Opened in 1905, this store offers great hot dogs, fries, grilled chicken, etc. Prices are somewhat high, with a hot dog costing $3.25
Taci's Beyti, 1955 Coney Island Ave (at Avenue P; Subway: B/Q trains to Kings Hwy), ☎ +1 718 627-5750. Noon-11PM daily. Well-priced, fantastic Turkish restaurant located in Gravesend. Fast service; BYOB. Worth the trip, and a good opportunity to explore other areas of Brooklyn if you're staying in the Slope or the Heights.
Totonno's, 1524 Neptune Ave (between W 15th and W 16th Sts; Subway: D/F/N/Q trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave), ☎ +1 718 372-8606, . M-Sa 11AM-11PM. A family brick oven pizzeria that's been continually operating since 1905. The crust is one of the very best around - thin, crisp, and charred with a sweet sauce. Whole pies only, no slices. Only walking distance away from the Coney Island boardwalk. Cash only.
Brooklyn Public Library (Brighton Beach branch), 16 Brighton First Rd (at Brighton Beach Ave; Subway: Q train to Ocean Pkwy or B train to Brighton Beach), ☎ +1 718 946-2917, . 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: D/F/N/Q trains to Coney Island-Stillwell Ave), ☎ +1 718 265-3220, . 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: F train to Avenue X or N train to 86th St-Gravesend), ☎ +1 718 382-5792, . 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: N train to Kings Hwy or D/M trains to Bay Pkwy), ☎ +1 718-234-7208, . 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: B/Q trains to Neck Rd), ☎ +1 718 382-5924, . 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: B/Q trains to Sheepshead Bay, then transfer to B36 bus to Nostrand Ave and Avenue X, or 2/5 trains to Flatbush Ave-Brooklyn College, then transfer to B44 bus to Nostrand Ave and Avenue X), ☎ +1 718 368-1709, . 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: B/Q trains to Kings Hwy), ☎ +1 718 375-3037, . 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: B/Q trains to Sheepshead Bay), ☎ +1 718 368-1815, . 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: D train to 25th Ave), ☎ +1 718 265-3443, . M 1PM-8PM, Tu-W 10AM-6PM, Th 1PM-8PM, F 10AM-6PM, Sa 10AM-5PM.