Coney Island (kō´nē), beach resort, amusement center, and neighborhood of S Brooklyn borough of New York City, SE N.Y., on the Atlantic Ocean. The tidal creek that once separated the island from the mainland has been filled in, making the area a peninsula. A seaside resort from the middle of the 19th cent., rail service made it an extremely popular resort, attracting up to a million visitors on hot summer days. The beach, the 2-mi (3.2-km) boardwalk, the New York Aquarium, and the many notable eating places were other attractions. Although it remains a popular attraction, Coney Island has declined considerably since its heyday in the 1920s and 30s. Since the 1950s, high-rise apartments have replaced much of the amusement area.
See J. Kasson, Amusing the Million (1970), and W. Register, The Kid of Coney Island: Fred Thompson and the Rise of American Amusements (2001).