The Erie area provides the perfect setting for a host of water-based activities. Regardless of whether you own a boat or not, there are numerous ways to immerse yourself in some outdoor fun. From leisurely sunset cruises on a historic vessel to thrilling pirate-themed adventures, fishing expeditions, or basking in the sheer joy of being out on the water, the Erie region has something for everyone. Main photo by Your Sailing Adventure
Step back in time on a Tall Ship
Sail aboard the Lettie G. Howard and the U.S. Brig Niagara for an unforgettable, step-back-in-time experience. A designated historical landmark, the Lettie G. Howard is a wooden Fredonia schooner built in 1893 and is the sole surviving example of a George Banks fishing schooner. The U.S. Brig Niagara is a replica of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry’s ship from the Battle of Lake Erie in the War of 1812. As part of your journey, you’ll experience the art of seamanship and have the chance to participate in hands-on sailing exercises. The Lettie G. sets sail from the foot of State Street and the Niagara is docked in the harbor behind the Erie Maritime Museum.
Pontoon Lagoon Tours at Presque Isle State Park
Enjoy a free, one-hour interpretive pontoon boat ride through Misery Bay and Presque Isle’s lagoons. See the plants and animals that live in this wetland habitat and learn its history. Rides are Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, May 26 through September 10 at 9 a.m., 10:30 a.m., and 12:30 p.m. In-person sign-ups begin 15 minutes prior to the start time at the pontoon boat station and are first-come, first-served. Each ride can seat up to 16 people.
Learn Erie’s maritime history on The Lady Kate
Docked near the Perry Monument at Presque Isle State Park, the Lady Kate takes its passengers on a 90-minute fully narrated educational tour around Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie (weather permitting). The fact-filled 14-mile excursion highlights Erie’s rich maritime history including the Battle of Lake Erie, the War of 1812, Misery Bay, Gull Point, and Erie’s lighthouses.
Become an official buccaneer on Scallywags Pirate Adventures
Whether you opt for a family-friendly adventure or an adults-only wobbly pirate cruise, spending time aboard the Scallywags promises a swashbuckling good time! The family voyage includes an interactive voyage complete with water cannons and sword fights and the adult happy hour cruise is filled with drinks, dancing, and the beautiful scenery of Presque Isle Bay. Tours depart from the foot of State Street near the Sheraton Hotel parking garage.
Cruise onboard the Victorian Princess paddlewheel boat
Reserve your spot aboard the Victorian Princess, an authentic multi-level paddlewheel boat, for a leisurely one or two-hour tour on Presque Isle Bay. Throughout its sailing season, the Victorian Princess offers a variety of cruises including Sunday brunch, sunset and moonlight cruises, sightseeing tours, and themed parties. Tours depart from the foot of State Street.
Sunset sailing with Your Sailing Adventure
Make great memories while watching one of Erie’s world-class sunsets from the deck of a luxurious 33’ sailboat, the Sotto Voce. Enjoy a relaxing evening of pleasant conversations, light snacks, and spectacular views. The Sotto Voce is docked in Wolverine Marina near the foot of State Street.
Hook the Catch of the Day
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. 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.
Rent your own fun!
The Erie area has options to rent your own watercraft for a few hours or the entire day. Port Erie Sports offers a wide selection of boats, jet skis, pontoons, kayaks, and paddleboard rentals. Hidden Harbor Water Rentals features 22’ or 24’ pontoon boats for rent with optional towable water tubes. Presque Isle Canoe & Boat Livery at Presque Isle State Park has an extensive list of rentals including canoes, kayaks, paddle boards, row boats, motor boats, and pontoons. Relax on the tranquil waters of Edinboro Lake in Edinboro PA aboard a 24’ double-deck pontoon available at Edinboro Lake Resort. They also rent single or double canoes or kayaks for exploring the surrounding waters on a more intimate level.