beeing not far from the sea in Brighton/UK let me think again about the maybe 2nd most magical place on earth - Coney Island/NYC.
I've been there firstly with sweet 17 (with my bro' - as a kinda 18 Birthday gift;)) and visited this gorgeous place again back last march '14 by myself with 20 (almost 21)!;)
It's just a inspiring, positive and vintage place and highly recommend to visit - if you're from NYC, the US or even a european travel addicted person like me - it's worth!;)
Actually I would say after the bad hurricane Coney Island has unfortunately lost a bit 50s and 40s flair - due to, that many vintage and retro shops were not re-build again. There are many new retro kinda shops BUT if compare back in 2010 and 2014 - it has changed a bit.
This was such a romantic place - a shame that I was all by myself;)!
PLEASE excuse ma' frozen non-makeup pale face - I've been there in March (and it was freakin' cold outside - in fact it was one of the coldest since 100 years! read this article or the 2013-2014 North American Cold Wave if you don't believe).
Here some highly recommended spots on Coney Island:
Coney Island Beach & Boardwalk (hopefully the wooden boardwalk will stay - this would be a shame to remove it! - actual article about Coney Island Boardwalk in the New York Post)
Nathan's Famous (good ol' hotdogs - non vegetarian so much more for meat lovers BUT worth to visit as well as vegetarian to feel the good ol' american spirit)
Carvel Ice Cream (the true and classic american home-style ice cream paradise)
Coney's Coneys (another highquality artisan ice cream shop right on Coney Island beach walk)
Coney Island Beach Shop (if you need the perfect gift for yourself, family or friends and loves - go there straight ahead!;))
Lola Star (funky bright fashion/accessoires brand located in Brooklyn as well as on Beach & Boardwalk!;))
Did you've ever been on Coney Island?! Even if there are not all shops like in 2010 there's still a special time - you can really feel like it must have been in the good ol' times!;)