This city, which is Pennsylvania’s gateway to the Great Lakes waterways, also offers plenty to do onshore with parks, museums and active entertainment.
The bustling city of Erie lies on the shorefront of Lake Erie and is Pennsylvania’s port to North America’s Great Lakes.
Enjoy the beautiful outdoor areas of Presque Isle State Park. It will be easy to see why this is one of Pennsylvania’s most popular parks. Located on a peninsula that begins just outside downtown Erie, the park continues for several miles. Relax in the sun or enjoy the water at one of the many sandy beaches that dot the shoreline. Use one of the launches or docks as a starting point for fishing or boating on the lake. Hike or bike along the park’s well-maintained miles of paths.
Erie is home to several museums. Step aboard a wooden-hulled flagship at the Erie Maritime Museum and U.S. Brig Niagara, where you can experience the 19th-century warship firsthand. Investigate thousands of pieces of art on display downtown at the Erie Art Museum. The expERIEnce Children’s Museum in the heart of downtown Erie offers a fun education and entertainment experience, with hands‐on exhibits in a “please touch” environment that teaches children and adults the natural sciences, social studies, arts and more.
Regardless of the season, Erie has attractions to entertain visitors of all ages. Put on your swimsuit and head to Splash Lagoon, an indoor water park filled with slides, wave pools and a variety of games and rides. Enjoy a day at the races, with or without gambling, at Presque Isle Downs and Casino, which regularly hosts summertime horse races. Stop in downtown Erie to browse the shops or try the popular local food: a Smith’s hot dog.
Fly into Erie International Airport or drive from Pittsburgh, Cleveland or Buffalo, all about 2 hours away by car. As Pennsylvania's only Great Lakes port, Erie makes a great jumping off point to charter a fishing boat or cruise around the water. For more information on events and attractions in the area, see details on the official VisitErie website.