Most of us pick summer as our favorite season. Loads of events and festivals, outdoor excursions, reunions, parties and celebrations, plenty of sun and plenty of FUN! But sometimes Mother Nature turns up the heat and humidity that make you feel as though you’re walking on the surface of the sun with a wet blanket wrapped around your body. Luckily Erie County has plenty of options for you to cool off during the dog days of summer. Here are some of our favorite ways to beat the heat! #ExperienceAwesome
Presque Isle State Park – Celebrating its 100-year anniversary in 2021 and named one of the “15 Best Affordable Beach Destinations in America” by Reader’s Digest, Presque Isle State Park is a water lover’s playground! Seven miles of sandy beaches and the clear waters of Lake Erie provide visitors with the only surf swimming within Pennsylvania. The best part about Presque Isle is, with seven miles of beaches, there is plenty of room to spread out. Splash around in the water, or dip your toes in between sunbathing stints, it’s refreshing either way. For you adventurous types, there's water skiing, jet skiing, surfing and paddle boarding. Generally the water temperature averages between 65-75 degrees during the summer months. Presque Isle beaches are open daily unless otherwise posted. The regular hours for guarded beaches are 12:00 P.M. - 7:30 P.M.
Edinboro Lake – Located approximately 15 minutes south of Erie in the college town of Edinboro, sits a peaceful 245-acre lake that’s a perfect, quiet getaway. Edinboro Lake includes a guarded swimming/beach area (Pat Crawford Beach), two free public boat launches with public parking and a fishing pier designed for disabled persons. The lake is unlimited horsepower rated, allowing for water skiing and the use of personal watercraft. Fishing is also a popular pastime, with the local species including large and smallmouth bass, muskie, pan fish, and walleye. A section of trout stream water below the Edinboro dam is designated fishing for 12 year olds and under, as well as disabled individuals.
Waldameer Park & Water World - Waldameer Amusement Park & Water World is a family-owned and family-friendly park, celebrating 125 years of thrills, rides, slides and all around fun! When it comes to satisfying your thirst for wet and wild fun…Water World at Waldameer has just the ticket for you! Here’s just a small sample of some of the ways you can expect to get wet:
- Battle of Lake Erie – This family water complex pays homage to the Battle of Lake Erie and the War of 1812 featuring 103 water attractions including seven slides and a 400-gallon tipping bucket!
- Giant Wave Pool – Holding almost 500,000 gallons and accommodating up to 1,000 people, this wave pool is the largest in the tri-state area. 4’ high waves and zero-depth entry, it is guaranteed to cool you off on hot summer days.
- Kidz Zone – Perfect for the kiddos, this area has 8 colorful slides and a Spray Zone where 30 interactive water jets and fountains are ready to get you soaked.
- Rally Racer – Race your friends on this unique set of six slides where each slide loops into rally sections before ending in a photo finish.
Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park & Resort – The always fun, always 84 degrees Polynesian-themed Water Park was once again recognized as one of America’s top indoor water parks by USA Today Readers’ Choice! Splash Lagoon is the perfect place to escape to when it’s not only hot and humid but rainy as well. The park is so large (over 80,000 square feet!) it feels as though you really have traveled to a tropical island flooded with watery adventures. Splash Lagoon features seven water slides, multiple pools, three hot tubs, a 12-level interactive Tiki Tree House with tipping bucket, the Aqua Tumbler and a 200,000-gallon Wild Waters Wave Pool, the largest indoor wave pool in the eastern United States. Their newest attraction is The FlowRider indoor surf machine – Hang Ten Dudes!
Port Erie Sports –Located on the shores of Presque Isle Bay along the Bayfront Parkway, Port Erie Sports offers an awesome selection of water rentals: boats, jet skis, pontoons, kayaks and paddle boards. Rentals are by the hour with boats that can accommodate parties up to 13 people. Port Erie Sports is the perfect option for those who don’t own their own watercraft and are looking to set sail on the open waters of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie. Open 9 AM to sundown daily (weather permitting). To view their frequently asked questions, click here.
Hidden Harbor Water Rentals – Located just off of State Street on East Dobbins Landing, Hidden Harbor Water Rentals isn’t really a secret anymore! Cruise the waters of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie in style when you rent one of their 22’ or 24’ pontoon boats; great for small or large parties and if that’s not enough, you can also rent a towable water tube! Open seven days a week 9 AM to 6 PM from June 14 – September 6, 2021 (weather permitting). Click here for reservation policies.
YMCA Camp Sherwin Spray and Play Park - Tucked among the trees and the shores of Lake Erie just a few miles west of Erie in the town of Girard is YMCA Camp Sherwin, a public outdoor recreation and camping center. Not your typical camp, Camp Sherwin boasts a fun-filled 900 square foot Spray and Play park starring a whimsical custom-built 4 piece Snake! Families can also splash around on a Square Hoop, Mister Bar Hoop, Three Bucket Dump, Extra Large Umbrella, Fire Hydrant, Spray Bumps and a Mist Stick. Plus the camp adds a new feature to their water park every year with new water play above ground features, giving generations of families a safe place to gather! In addition to the splash pad, Camp Sherwin has a heated life-guarded pool with aqua climb rock wall, canoes and paddle boat rentals and a stocked catch-and-release fishing pond.
Cool Pools! – Whether you are from out-of-town or just a few minutes away, why not pack up the kids, grab your friends and family and book an overnight stay at a local hotel? Many of them have indoor or outdoor pools! Click here for a list of Erie County lodging options. Here are two pools that are definitely worth taking a dip:
- Courtyard Bayfront Hotel – If you haven’t seen the Courtyard’s infinity pool or been lucky enough to actually go in it, then you don’t know what you’re missing. Located on the 2nd floor of the hotel (and by the way they also have an indoor pool too!) the infinity pool has expansive views of Presque Isle Bay and you may even catch a glimpse or two of the Scallywags Pirate Adventures, Lettie G. Howard schooner or the grand Victorian Princess cruising by. You’ll be hard-pressed to get out of this pool on a warm summer’s day.
- Holiday Inn Express & Suites North East Splash Pad – Only a few minutes away in the town of North East off of I-90, this hotel has an incredible indoor pool! Complete with water slides, children’s pool, whirlpool and splash features, we dare you to try and tear your kids (young and old) away.
Don’t forget if you can’t make it to the beaches at Presque Isle State Park you can always head to smaller beaches still located on Lake Erie including Shades Beach in Harborcreek PA and Freeport Beach in North East PA.