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Great Ways to Get Out on the Water in Erie, PA

Wednesday Jun 12th, 2024

The sparkling waters of Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay provide the perfect setting for you to get out and enjoy being on the water. Leave the confines of land behind and bask in the sheer joy of spending time on the water. From thrilling jet ski rides to leisurely sunset sails, there is something for every water enthusiast to enjoy in the Erie region. Main photo by Your Sailing Adventure.

Kayak Lagoons Credit C Ricchuiti

Pontoon Lagoon Tours at Presque Isle State Park
Free, one-hour interpretive pontoon boat rides through Misery Bay and Presque Isle’s lagoons are available on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays from May 26 to September 10 at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. It’s a great way to get up close to the lagoon’s inhabitants and plant species such as turtles, water lilies, waterfowl, and beavers. Along the way, a park naturalist provides fun facts about the wetland habitat. Rides are first come first served. In-person sign-ups begin 15 minutes before the start time at the pontoon boat station. Each ride can seat up to 16 people.

 

Watercraft Rentals
No need to pack and haul your own gear! There are several locations in Erie County where you can rent various watercraft. Photo credit: C. Ricchuiti

  • Port Erie Sports, located on the city side of Presque Isle Bay, offers a selection of motorized boats, pontoons, jet skis, stand-up paddleboards, and kayaks. Note that Jet skis are first come, first served.
  • Hidden Harbor Water Rentals,off lower East State Street in Erie’s Bayfront District features 22’ or 24’ pontoon boats for rent with optional one and two-person towable water tube add-ons.
  • Presque Isle Canoe & Boat Liveryat Presque Isle State Park just past Perry Monument, has an extensive list of rentals including canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, row boats, motorized boats, pontoons, and a 14’ Helm fishing boat.
  • Edinboro Lake Resort offers 20’ or 24’ pontoon boats, canoes, and kayaks to explore the tranquil waters of Edinboro Lake. New to Edinboro Lake is the addition of a 24/7, eight-kayak library on Lakeside Drive. Simply scan the Rent.Fun app to your smartphone, pay, and check out a kayak. Rates are hourly and include life vests and paddles.
Niagara 2013 from EMM

Lettie G. Howard Tall Ship Sails   
Sail the waters of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie aboard the historic Lettie G. Howard tall ship for an unforgettable, step-back-in-time experience. The Lettie is a wooden Fredonia schooner built in 1893 and is the sole surviving example of a George Banks fishing schooner, a vessel that was designed to take dories and fishermen out to Georges Bank, a large elevated area of the sea floor near Cape Cod, Massachusetts. During your sail, you’ll meet the crew, learn a little about the Lettie’s history, and even help the crew set some of the larger sails. Day and sunset sail dates and times vary throughout the summer months. Please check the website for availability. Tours depart from the foot of State Street.

The Lady Kate Narrated Tours
Docked at Perry Monument inside Presque Isle State Park, the Lady Kate embarks on regular sightseeing and sunset cruises from May 18 to September 28. The tour is a 90-minute fully narrated educational excursion around Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie (weather permitting), highlighting Erie’s rich maritime history and points of interest including the Battle of Lake Erie and the War of 1812, the Gull Point ecosystem, Erie’s lighthouses, and the Bayfront District. 

Charter Fishing
Erie’s fishing charters provide great opportunities to not only see the city and Presque Isle from the water but also to experience some of the best fishing in Pennsylvania. Both Tight Lines Sport Fishing and GypsyLyn Fishing Charters offer fishing charter trips for perch, walleye, trout, and steelhead.  They can accommodate various-sized groups as well as fishing gear, bait, and coolers. Pennsylvania fishing licenses with a Lake Erie stamp are required. To learn more, click here. Whether you catch many fish or none at all, it’s still a fun venture on Lake Erie!

Victorian Princess provided by Vict Princess WEB v2

Scallywags Pirate Adventures 
Spending time aboard the Scallywags pirate ship promises a swashbuckling good time! Guests can choose between a family-friendly adventure or an adults-only wobbly pirate voyage! The Pirate Adventure family fun cruise is a 90-minute fully scripted interactive show complete with ship-to-ship water cannon battles, pirate tattoos, and a share of the treasure (if you and the crew can find it!).  The Wobbly Pirate happy hour cruise is a one-of-a-kind happy hour experience filled with drinks, DJ music, dancing, and pirate shenanigans. Tours run from May 18 to September 28 and depart from the foot of State Street near the Sheraton Hotel parking garage. 

Your Sailing Adventure – The Sotto Voce
Witnessing Erie’s world-class sunsets from the deck of the luxurious 33’ sailboat, the Sotto Voce (loosely translated as “quiet voice”), is truly a magical experience. This 33’ Beneteau yacht is designed for optimal sailing comfort, promising a serene sail on Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie. In addition to sunset cruises, the Sotto Voce offers daytime cruises, Sommelier and Sail, Cigar and Sunsets, and Sunrise/Sound Bath trips, romance and relaxation packages. Sailing lessons are also available. Find the Sotto Voce moored at Wolverine Marina on lower State Street. Sails take place from Memorial Day Weekend to September 30.

The Victorian Princess
Taking a cruise aboard the Victorian Princess three-level paddlewheel boat is a seamless blend of timeless charm and modern style. The gentle rhythm of the paddlewheel sets a soothing scene as you glide effortlessly across Presque Isle Bay. The Victorian Princess features sunset and moonlight cruises, sightseeing tours, lunch and early bird dinners, themed outings, and Sunday brunch throughout its sailing season. Tours run from May 19 to October 27 and depart from the foot of State Street. 

Partner Spotlight

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Ante-up, Erie.

Find true action with slots, table games, sports book, and horse racing.

Soak in the fun!

Experience 84 degrees all year at one of the top water parks in the country.

Award-Winning Compassionate Care

Voted Erie’s Choice Best Hospital for eight years in a row

Just for fun!

Experience family summer fun on more than 100 great rides, slides and attractions at Waldameer!

One stop convenience.

Fill your tank, pick up fresh food from local brands, and a six-pack to go in 40 regional locations.

Just for fun!

Experience family summer fun on more than 100 great rides, slides and attractions at Waldameer!

One stop convenience.

Fill your tank, pick up fresh food from local brands, and a six-pack to go in 40 regional locations.

Award-Winning Compassionate Care

Voted Erie’s Choice Best Hospital for eight years in a row

Ante-up, Erie.

Find true action with slots, table games, sports book, and horse racing.

Soak in the fun!

Experience 84 degrees all year at one of the top water parks in the country.