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Coney Island is practically synonymous with the sounds, smells, and sights of a New York City summer: hot dogs and ice cream, suntan lotion, roller coasters, excited crowds, and weathered old men fishing.

Named Konijn Eiland (Rabbit Island) by the Dutch for its wild rabbit population, the Coney Island peninsula has a boardwalk, a 2½-mile-long beach, amusement parks, and the New York Aquarium, still partially closed after sustaining damage from Hurricane Sandy. Nathan's Famous (1310 Surf Ave.) is the quintessential hot dog spot.

Among the other entertainments out here are the freakish attractions at Coney Island Circus Sideshow and the heart-stopping plunge of the granddaddy of all roller coasters—the Cyclone. The minor-league baseball team, the Cyclones, plays at MCU Park, where music concerts are held in summer. The area's banner day is during the raucous Mermaid Parade, held in June. A fireworks display lights up the sky Friday night from late June through Labor Day.