If you’ve heard of Erie, Pennsylvania, you’ve probably heard the terms “Dreary Erie” and “one of the snowiest cities.” But there is more to Erie than cold weather.
Being the only part of Pennsylvania that touches Lake Erie, the city offers a great lake escape (pun intended) for the summer.
As an “Erie-ite” I am biased towards summers here spending a lot of time at local parks, beaches and on the Ravine Flyer II. Erie is an especially great place to visit for people who love to watch sunsets. We were even voted third best sunsets in the world (depending on who you ask).
Presque Isle State Park
“Presque Isle” is a french geographical term meaning “almost Island,” which is exactly what Presque Isle State Park is. Located on the shore of Lake Erie, Presque Isle has multiple beaches, water sports, fishing, boat tours, wildlife and it even hosts a few festivals.
One of the best parts about visiting the lake to swim is not having to worry about sharks, jellyfish or other potential saltwater hazards.
Being over 127 years old, Waldameer Park is one of the oldest amusement parks in both Pennsylvania and the United States. Admission to the park is free, but you do have to pay if you want to ride any roller coasters or water slides.
Some of its most notable attractions include The Whacky Shack, the last one in operation built by Bill Tracy, and The Ravine Flyer II, the seventh best wooden coaster in the world that happens to run over a 4-lane highway.
For all the food lovers out there (myself included), Erie has a great display of local restaurants all over the county. Some great waterfront dining options include Bayfront Grille, Oliver’s Beer Garden and Sloppy Duck Saloon. These are just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to dining in Erie.
Great American Book Sale
This is a book sale that book lovers and avid readers gush over when it happens in Erie County. This event usually occurs in July, is organized by Friends of the Erie County Public Library and boasts almost 80,000 books and media for sale.
Celebrate Erie is a festival that acknowledges the music, art, culture, food, family and businesses in the area for a three-day festival to bring the city together. This celebration typically takes place in mid-August.
One of the biggest attractions of this celebration is the free music concerts, with some past headliners being X Ambassadors, Jimmie Allen, and Dan + Shay. The music district also incorporates a lot of local musical talent throughout the festival as opening acts.
Tall Ships Festival
A maritime celebration, the Tall Ships Festival typically takes place towards the end of August. The event has live entertainment, food, family activities and tours of the historical tall ships that played an important role in Erie’s history.
If you are looking for a Great Lakes vacation this summer, Erie is a good place to consider. With clean beaches, local shops, unique restaurants, festivals and activities for people of any age, Erie, Pennsylvania is a great place to explore.