We each have our own favorite places and things we love about the Erie area. Fond memories about that cool place you would go to hang out with your best friend or a special restaurant where your parents used to take you as a kid that you now take your own family. What about the feeling you get when you think about indulging in a tall orange-vanilla twist from Sara’s after a really long day or the excitement of sampling new flights of locally-crafted beer or tasting the various notes of a robust merlot?
Listing all the wonderful attractions, unforgettable restaurants, unique shops and everything else that makes our area great would have you reading for quite some time. So instead we’ll just share a few of our Erie favorite places. We’d be willing to bet they are some of yours too. Hopefully this will inspire you to revisit these places and create new memories. Remember to wear a mask and practice social distancing so we can all stay safe and healthy! #ErieStaycationSummer2020
Presque Isle State Park: HOORAY! The beaches of Presque Isle State Park are open for swimming! Erie’s largest outdoor playground and National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle State Park is waiting for you with its seven miles of sandy surf beaches to stretch out on, fly a kite, swim, fish, try your hand at birding, build a sandcastle, have a picnic or just soak in some rays. For those of you looking for some good old fashioned outdoor exercise, head over to the Yellow Bike Rental Company where you can rent bikes, tandems or surreys and explore the Karl Boyes multi-purpose National Recreation Trail. This paved trail offers beautiful scenic views through wooded areas along Presque Isle Bay. NOTE: Beaches and parking areas will be limited to 50 percent of normal capacity. Possession of a mask is required and recommended to wear when not in the water. Visitors are asked to clean-up after themselves and follow social distancing measures. For additional information on protocols and the Park in general, please visit their web site. Open year-round, daily.
Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park & Resort: Set in a tropical 84 degrees Polynesian atmosphere, Splash Lagoon features the latest and most exciting rides in the water park industry today! Get set to get wet in the largest indoor wave pool in the Eastern United States with fun for kids ages 2 to 92. Guests can enjoy swimming and splashing around in this fantastic watery playground featuring four twisting and turning body slides, a swirling body coaster with speeds of over 40 MPH, a swirling tube coaster, an 80,000 gallon activity pool, adult and kid whirlpools, 5-story Million Dollar Tree House, the FlowRider surf experience, Tree Tops ropes course, arcade, food court and much more! The staff at Splash Lagoon is ready and excited to welcome visitors. For information on their safety and cleaning protocols as well as new improvements made to the park, click here. Open 11 AM – 7 PM (closed Tuesdays & Wednesdays).
Waldameer Park & Water World: Loaded with more than 100 thrilling rides, attractions and family classics, Waldameer is truly a great summer escape from the everyday routine. Fun Fact: Waldameer is the fourth oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania, and the tenth oldest in the United States! The name "Waldameer" can be translated literally as "Woods by the Sea" in German. Its grounds are beautifully landscaped and meticulously clean. Some of the best parts about Waldameer are their commitment to family values, affordable pricing and just about every season they expand the park with new rides, slides and features that keep visitors and locals alike coming back year after year. Make sure you check out some of our faves including the Ravine Flyer II, Whacky Shack, Thunder River and Chaos. Waldameer's regular operating season runs from May through September. For information about Waldameer’s COVID-19 protocols, click here.
Pulakos Chocolates: Have you ever tried a freshly dipped chocolate covered strawberry? How about chocolate covered grapes or bacon? If not, then you MUST make your way to Pulakos Chocolates. With two convenient Erie locations (East 26th & Parade Street or just outside the Millcreek Mall near Red Lobster), Pulakos Chocolates has been serving up sweet, gooey, delicious and downright sinful confections since 1903. Bringing their founder’s recipes to life on marble tables and copper pots, they definitely live up to their promise of “Always Fresh” to their customers. Remember, chocolate is happiness you can eat! Open year-round Monday through Saturday.
Dobbins Landing/Bicentennial Tower: Head on down to the foot of State Street and you will find plenty of fun activities to do. Various restaurants dot Dobbins Landing offering both inside and outside dining options. One of our favorite experiences is taking the leisurely 138’ elevator ride in the elevator to the second level observation deck of the Bicentennial Tower. For those that seek a challenge, try climbing the 210 steps leading up to that level (we’ll stick with the elevator!). The panoramic views of Presque Isle, Presque Isle Bay, Lake Erie and Downtown from atop the Tower are breathtaking. The Bicentennial Tower was built to signify the City’s bicentennial year, 1996. Make sure to check out the first level observation deck which features a beautiful mural painted by internationally known artist, SatOne. The tower is open seven days a week from 11 AM to 7 PM
Consider booking a hotel to complement your Erie Staycation and make a night or two of it! Erie County has plenty of lodging opportunities from first-class hotels to quaint Bed & Breakfasts, family-owned motels, cottages and campgrounds. For a complete list of lodging options, click here.