Coney Island is a symbol of American popular culture and an escaping place from the summer heat in New York City, although the beaches are currently not a natural feature - sand has been redeposited on the beaches via beach nourishment since 1922-1923.
Coney Island started to become a resort area after 1829 and Between about 1880 and World War II, it was the largest amusement area in the United States with three major amusement parks: Luna Park, Dreamland, and Steeplechase Park. Since the 1920s, all property north of the boardwalk and south of Surf Avenue was zoned for amusement and recreational use only. Luna Park closed in 1946 after a series of fires and the street gang problems of the 1950s spilled into Coney Island and the local economy was particularly damaged by the 1964 closing of Steeplechase Park.
After some revitalization, the reopening of the Luna Park on middle of 2010 and the first new roller coasters to be built at Coney Island in eighty years were opened as part of efforts to reverse the decline of the amusement area. Coney Island has been featured in many films, television shows, cartoons, theatrical plays and it hosts many events including the famous Nathan's Hot Dog Eating Contest and the Coney Island Mermaid Parade.
It’s indeed a pretty interesting place and a must visit place. Just remember, the parks and rides are closed during winter.