If you find yourself in New York City during summer months, and long for a day at the beach, I highly recommend a day trip to Coney Island.
If you decide to take a break from the park or a reign check altogether, make your way to the beach. Bring a blanket for lounging in the sand as you take in the beautiful Atlantic Ocean. Snacks are easily available all up and down the boardwalk. I highly recommend either an ice cream cone at Coney Cones or a knish at Paul's Daughter, both of which are located right along the board walk. If you tired of the beach, take a stroll further down the boardwalk to the pier where you are sure to find some local men fishing.
Take a break from the sunshine, and make your way down to Coney Island Brewery. Once considered the smallest brewery in the United States, Coney Island Brewery which prides itself on specialty brews and limited releases in addition to it's old standby products like the Mermaid Pilsner. The small but mighty brew pub has an exceptional staff: Personable, friendly, and super knowledgeable. We were lucky enough to catch one of the three free daily tours. The young lady that lead our tour absolutely delivered in terms of both personality and knowledge. In fact, she shared with us that she is preparing to take her cicerone exam. Once she passes it she will basically be the beer equivalent to a wine sommelier. The folks at Coney Island Brewery are no joke! They take their beer seriously, but no how to have fun. If you have time after your tour, I recommend that you get a tasting flight so that you have the opportunity to enjoy a few of the specialty brews.
For dinner, make your way back toward the subway entrance for some fabulous New York style pizza at Grimaldi's. I've become a somewhat particular when it comes to pizza, and Grimaldi's absolutely doesn't disappoint. Their spacious restaurant has a brick oven in the center of it, allowing you to see what is being prepared and cooked right in front of you. The paper-thin crust comes out perfectly crisp. There's a plethora of topping choices. I settled on the standard Margarita Pizza, as they folks at Grimaldi's make their mozzarella fresh daily. Truly, why fool with perfection?
Depending on what day you're there, you might be able to take in a baseball game. The Brooklyn Cyclones are a Class A Affilliate of the Mets. Tickets are very inexpensive, at times even as low as $10 for a game. It's a relaxing and inexpensive way to spend your evening.
On game nights, you will find a beautiful fireworks display. The time maybe inconsistent, as it depends on what time the game finishes. I highly recommend staying to take it in before you head to the subway to make your way back.
Day Trip Savers:
- Subway transporation(rather than taking a car)
- Beach (free)
- Boardwalk (free)
- Coney Island Brewery Tour (free)
- Brooklyn Cyclone's baseball game ($10-20 tickets)
- fireworks display (free)
- Grimaldi's for Pizza (moderately priced, but gives you a sit-down experience, and proves less expensive for groups that individual slices).
- Optional: Luna Park
- Snacks on the boardwalk (moderately priced, but clearly packing your own snacks is cheaper).