12 Best Things to Do in Erie, PA


Although oft-overlooked, Erie is a incredible place to go to and trip with masses to see and do. The largest metropolis in Northwestern Pennsylvania, it lies alongside the Great Lake of the identical title with the beautiful Presque Isle peninsula and its state park sheltering a lot of its waterfront.

Founded in 1795, town occupies a central spot alongside the state’s Lake Erie shoreline with it taking its title from the Native American individuals who as soon as inhabited the realm. Due to its strategic setting, it turned an essential middle of commerce, delivery and trade. As with different unlucky cities in the Rust Belt although, it later suffered many years of decline from deindustrialization with detractors generally derogatively referring to it as ‘Dreary Erie’.

Visitors who do nonetheless make it to the small lakeside metropolis are in for a pleasing shock on the sheer quantity of issues to do in Eire. Besides all its gorgeous surroundings and views, Bay City boasts every little thing from amusement parks and mega-malls to casinos, zoos and top-class live shows.

12. Erie Insurance Arena

Erie Insurance Arena

The principal place in city to catch a live performance, present or sporting occasion, the atmospheric Erie Insurance Arena lies in the center of downtown. The house of the Ontario Hockey League’s Erie Otters, its packed schedule of occasions means there’s all the time one thing entertaining happening.

Completed in 1983, the smallish stadium kinds an essential a part of the Erie Civic Center Complex Plaza. From all its comfortable seats and luxurious suites, spectators can take pleasure in glorious views of the stage, courtroom or ice rink with concession stands dotted right here and there.

Aside from watching the minor league group shoot across the ice, you can too see live shows by big-name acts corresponding to The Beach Boys, Cher and Rod Stewart. Superbly performed reveals like Disney on Ice and WWE wrestling occasions have additionally been held on the multi-purpose area as have native commencement ceremonies and group occasions.

11. Millcreek Mall

Millcreek Mall

If as an alternative of an thrilling present you’re wanting to store till you drop, huge Millcreek Mall is unquestionably the very best place to go. Set only a quick drive southwest of the middle, its sprawling web site has all types of engaging retailers and eateries to cease by.

Since opening in 1975, the advanced has grown and grown with the mall now impressively counted among the many ten largest in the nation. In whole, greater than 170 malls, brand-name trend retailers and eating places will be discovered each on-site and in the encompassing neighborhood. These embody not simply Macy’s and JCPenney however H&M, Forever 21 and Footlocker too.

As such, guests can store for every little thing from footwear and garments to equipment, jewelry and residential items earlier than sitting for a chew to eat or drink at its vigorous meals courtroom.

10. Presque Isle Downs & Casino

Presque Isle Downs

Also situated on the southern outskirts of Erie is the Presque Isle Downs & Casino. Here visitors can watch thrilling thoroughbred horse races and reside reveals with enjoyable slot machines and desk video games on supply.

Owned and operated by the notorious Churchill Downs, its oval observe first began internet hosting races again in 2007. While watching the horses pound their approach across the mile-long course is an exhilarating expertise, others come for its stand-up comedy nights and live shows or the scrumptious eating.

Its different principal enchantment although is the colossal on line casino which is provided with over 1,500 slot machines and dozens of various desk video games. With so many video games, occasions and races to select from, Presque Isle Downs & Casino definitely makes for an awesome afternoon or night out.

9. Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park

Lake Erie Arboretum

A picturesque place to amble round, scenic Lake Erie Arboretum lies inside Frontier Park, simply inland from the lake. Very fashionable with locals and vacationers alike, it’s a great place to chill out, unwind and immerse your self in nature.

Now house to roughly 250 forms of bushes from all around the globe, it was established in 1998 to present people and households with a secure out of doors area to train and luxuriate in. Besides seeing the previous Scarlet Oaks, Gingkos and Maples, you possibly can hike and bike alongside the paths, sled down hills or try to discover your approach out of its labyrinth.

After having explored its fairly paths and beautiful grounds, you may make use of the playgrounds, taking part in fields and picnic areas which can be discovered in Frontier Park.

8. Asbury Woods

Asbury Woods

Another idyllic space to hit up is the big Asbury Woods which boasts numerous pretty landscapes, surroundings and nature. Despite its proximity to Erie International Airport, the old-growth forest may be very calm and quiet with tantalizing trails weaving their approach right here and there.

Once coated by an historical saltwater ocean, it now encompasses flower-filled meadows, wetlands and woodlands. More than 5 miles of tranquil trails and boardwalks take you thru its verdant undergrowth with incredible fauna and flora on present wherever you go.

In its excellent nature middle, you possibly can be taught all in regards to the area’s wealthy geological historical past and the varied indigenous peoples who as soon as inhabited the realm. Aside from listening to in regards to the animals and crops that populate the woods and seeing historical archaeological findings, you can too attend a few of its nature applications and summer season camps.

7. Bicentennial Tower

Bicentennial Tower

For the very best views possible over Lake Erie, be certain to head to the very prime of the Bicentennial Tower. Perched proper on the finish of Dobbins Landing alongside the lakefront, its lofty commentary decks lie only a stone’s throw from lots of Erie’s different principal points of interest.

Erected in 1996 to have a good time the Bay City’s bicentennial, it towers 187 ft in peak with two giant viewing decks lining the hanging metal construction. From these, you possibly can gaze out over the shimmering waters of the lake and Long Point off in the space or the shore and metropolis beneath.

At evening, the tower is delightfully lit up and stands out majestically in opposition to the darkish sky and infinite lake behind it.

6. Erie Zoo

Erie Zoo

Home to an unimaginable menagerie of unique animals, the ever-popular Erie Zoo will be discovered simply to the south of downtown. Tucked away inside Glenwood Park, its spacious enclosures and displays home all types of creatures each giant and small from all around the globe.

Since being based in 1930, it has expanded significantly with about 400 animals and amphibians, bugs, birds and reptiles now inhabiting the zoo. In themed areas corresponding to Safariland and Wild Asia, visitors can due to this fact see every little thing from rhinos and cheetahs to gorillas, tigers and orangutans.

In addition to watching reside feeding classes and nature reveals, there’s additionally a playground, carousel and practice trip across the grounds for guests to take pleasure in. Its adjoining botanic gardens and greenhouse even have phenomenal shows of crops, flowers, bushes and shrubs to stroll round.

5. Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Offering an enchanting look into the historical past, nature and geology of Presque Isle is the terrific Tom Ridge Environmental Center. Well price visiting both earlier than or after exploring the state park, the massive advanced is located on the entrance to the peninsula, proper subsequent to Waldameer & Water World.

Packed with fascinating and interactive displays on the realm’s setting, its state-of-the-art middle was first opened to the general public in 2006. While some sections cowl its fauna and flora, others as an alternative deal with the human historical past of the Great Lakes.

As properly as perusing all of the well-done shows and watching its orientation film, you can too head up the 75 ft tall commentary tower. From up excessive, you possibly can bask in breathtaking panoramas over the lake and its gorgeous shoreline earlier than you.

4. Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort

Splash Lagoon

A enjoyable and family-friendly place to go to, Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort lies simply previous Millcreek Mall on the best way out of city. Besides boasting the biggest indoor wave pool in the Eastern United States, it has numerous swirling water slides and effervescent scorching tubs for you to take pleasure in.

One of the biggest indoor water parks in the nation, the Polynesian-themed swimming pools and their steamy environment now sprawl throughout an enormous space. Alongside all of the wild and moist slides is a soothing lazy river to float alongside whereas a four-storey Tiki exercise treehouse and kids’s play space additionally overlook the swimming pools.

To prime all of it off, the large resort additionally has thrilling arcades, lazer tag arenas and ropes programs for younger and previous alike to check out. For those that need to splash about for even longer, three resorts are linked to the water park with a grill, sport’s bar and mini bowling additionally being on supply.

3. Erie Maritime Museum

Erie Maritime Museum

A should for these in studying in regards to the historical past of the realm, the magnificent Erie Maritime Museum lies alongside town’s waterfront. Long one in every of Erie’s principal vacationer points of interest, its galleries are filled with spectacular artifacts and displays whereas a full-size reproduction of a historic ship is docked exterior.

Located subsequent to Dobbins Landing and Bicentennial Tower, its sizeable assortment occupies what was as soon as the Penelec Front Street Station. While its interactive shows and dramatic video clips cowl centuries of town’s wealthy maritime historical past, many deal with the fierce Battle of Lake Erie throughout the War of 1812.

Although studying in regards to the battle and seeing cannons definitely is fascinating stuff, the museum’s undoubted spotlight has to be exploring the US Brig Niagara exterior. A contemporary recreation of the 1813 flagship, its large white sails make for fairly the sight when billowing in the stiff breeze.

2. Waldameer & Water World


With greater than 100 hair-raising rides, slides and rollercoasters crammed into its grounds, it’s no marvel Waldameer & Water World is such a preferred draw. Lying on the base of Presque Isle, the enjoyable, family-oriented amusement park ensures visitors a good time with all its engaging points of interest, reveals and swimming pools.

What began out in 1896 as a small firm picnic space has since morphed into an unlimited park that draws 1000’s of individuals annually. While there are classics just like the dodgems, flying swings and Ferris wheel to take pleasure in, thrillseekers in explicit will need to strive the spinning Chaos and Ravine Flyer II rollercoaster.

After all its exhilarating rides, you possibly can cool off and have but extra enjoyable in Water World, which is filled with water slides, lazy rivers and wave swimming pools. Food stands and present shops are additionally scattered about with arcades and reside leisure solely including to its enchantment.

1. Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park

Arching gracefully out into Lake Erie is the sandy peninsula of Presque Isle State Park; each one of many metropolis and state’s prime points of interest. As properly as stupendous surroundings and nature, it has a wealth of epic out of doors actions for guests to take pleasure in.

Formed millennia in the past over the last ice age, its lengthy, slim landmass shelters the attractive bay of the identical title which makes up a lot of Erie’s waterfront. While greater than eleven miles of pristine seashores and dunes line its shores, lagoons, forests and marshes can be spied on the peninsula.

The delightfully various habitats make the park a deal with to discover with climbing, biking and watersports all being fashionable. Other than canoeing, water snowboarding and scuba diving in its waters, you possibly can all the time simply merely lounge on a seashore and take in the fabulous surroundings and views throughout you.

Map of Things to Do in Erie, PA

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