Skip to Main Content

VisitErie Blog

Goodell Poppy Arbor 1024x768

Stop and Smell the Roses! Public Gardens of Erie County

Thursday Jul 16th, 2020

During these new times, many of us have discovered or re-discovered The Great Outdoors.  One of our favorite outdoor activities is getting out and exploring the beautiful public gardens located throughout Erie County.  Take some time to enjoy Mother Nature’s spectacular colors found in her various flowers, shrubs and trees. Strolling through these gardens can also be a great means of reflection and relaxation; providing a sense of peace and calm. All gardens mentioned in this blog are taking the necessary steps to keep visitors and staff safe.  Remember to wear your mask and practice social distancing at all times.  For additional information about how each garden is operating during the COVID-19 pandemic, please visit their individual web sites located in this blog. 

Here are our top picks of Erie County public gardens.

Asbury Woods Nature Center

Asbury Woods provides all members of the community with meaningful environmental, educational and recreational experiences that inspire a greater sense of environmental awareness, sustainability and stewardship.  Asbury Woods features 205 acres of preserved property which includes native species, old-growth forests, landscaped gardens, wetlands, boardwalk trails and dirt trails. The Andrew J. Conner Nature Center at Asbury Woods (re-opening mid-August) is the cornerstone of the educational programming, providing animal exhibits, a touch-and-learn Discovery Classroom and free public access.  The Greenway Trail at Asbury Woods consists of adjacent tracts of land which provides a network of trails connecting Browns Farm and the Nature Center.  The Greenway Trail provides ample recreational opportunities for hiking, running, biking, skiing, snowshoeing and wading in Walnut Creek.  Trail users will find peaceful spots to rest and relax to take in the serene vistas.

Carrie T Watson Garden by Bruce Dunton

Erie Zoo & Botanical Gardens

While the majority of visitors to the Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens come to see the animals, many are surprised and impressed by the numerous gardens throughout the Zoo. Some gardens help create an environment for the animals similar to their natural habitat. Others are special gardens that display certain groups of plants or a particular garden theme. As you explore the Zoo grounds observing the animals, also take time to appreciate the various gardens and many varieties of plants in bloom throughout the season. Plants can provide not only food, shade, and shelter for the animals but their colors, textures and fragrance provide sensory delights for the visitors. The spring gardens start to come alive with tulips and flowering shrubs and trees. The summer landscape provides brilliant, colorful displays of perennials and annuals. Tropical plants provide yet another layer of drama adding a lush, dramatic feel to the landscape.  If you need help identifying the various plants in the zoo gardens, their horticultural staff created a guide "Exploring the Gardens by the Numbers". You can grab a copy online

BotanicalGarden 1

Goodell Gardens and Homestead

Just a short drive from downtown Erie is Goodell Gardens & Homestead; an accredited arboretum, public garden, and community gathering place in beautiful Edinboro, PA. Goodell Gardens & Homestead was created at the behest of Carrie and Margaret Goodell, the sole remaining heirs to the Goodell family in Edinboro, Pennsylvania. Upon their passing, the Goodell sisters arranged for the institution of a small endowment intended to afford the start-up capital necessary to begin implementing the stated wish that their farm be developed as a public garden. From their Welcome Garden filled with roses and herbs, to the Heritage Garden with native plants and beautiful shrubs and trees, to the Pollinator-Friendly Demonstration Garden filled with nectar-rich and host plants, the Gardens at Goodell are truly something special. When you visit, you’ll see rare & extirpated specimen, gardens designed to demonstrate gardening for pollinators and how to use the square-foot method to grow vegetables. Visit the State Champion Paper Birch, and enjoy the Goodell sisters’ extensive collection of Rhododendron. There are many beautiful things to look at and chances are, you’ll learn something too.

Goodell Gardens2

Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF)

The Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park (LEAF) is a tree museum located within Frontier Park in the City of Erie. LEAF is home to over 1,000 trees, a collection that grows in interest and diversity each year.  Many of the trees in the arboretum have been sponsored and will display a plaque bearing the Latin and common name of the tree.  LEAF seeks to create a greater awareness of the importance of trees to our lives by creating educational opportunities and outdoor experiences for the community. LEAF has transformed Frontier Park into a hub for community activity with a variety of educational offerings and outdoor experiences for all ages. Explore the arboretum's beauty during each season. Stroll along their pathways, sit in the virtual tree gazebo, walk amid shade, flowering and evergreen trees, and enjoy the beauty that is Cascade Creek. 

LEAF Trees

Partner Spotlight

ad port farms

Holidays at Port Farms

Experience the holidays at Port Farms November 26th through December 23rd. The farm features horse-drawn carriage & sleigh rides, Santa's Workshop with holiday activities, surprise visits from Santa, live music, pick your own Christmas trees, holiday decor, and more. The farm will be open Wednesday - Sunday. Create lasting memories with your family and friends at Port Farms!

Learn More

partner mazza vineyards

Mazza Vineyards and the South Shore Wine Company

Local wine is great for holiday entertaining, plus it makes a great gift! Stop by to try (and pick up) award-winning wines at Mazza Vineyards and the historic South Shore Wine Company, both located in North East, PA.

Learn More

millcreek mall

Millcreek Mall

A destination for shopping, dining and entertainment.
Experience it all!

Learn More

spotlgiht the cove

The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern

Join us today! The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern is sure to give you an unforgettable and care-free dining experience. Enjoy a nautical atmosphere with a beautiful view of Presque Isle Bay.

Learn More

dobbins landing

Dobbins Landing

Located on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, the Port of Erie has been promoting industrial, commercial, and recreational opportunities on the waters of Lake Erie since 1959.

Learn More

u pick 6 spotlight

U Pick 6 Craft Beer Pubs & Restaurants

Erie’s own local craft beer pubs are a must-visit! With 4 great locations, just pick one that’s convenient for you! A casual, family friendly dining experience with something for everyone! To view our menu, check out what’s on tap, or get to directions to our pubs, learn more now!”

Learn More

erie reginal chambers

Erie Regional Chamber and Growth Partnership

The Erie Regional Chamber is leading Erie’s economic evolution through awareness, advocacy, and access to the people, education, and information integral to elevating regional success and economic growth. Become a member today and join us in championing a vibrant and sustainable regional economy.

Learn More

1 v3

Creation Station

The Creation Station is an unique arts and crafts studio where kids can create and have fun!
Book your birthday party, register for a ladies night out or stop in during open Craft days and choose a project from the project board.

Learn More


UPMC Hamot - See What Makes Us Different

UPMC Hamot is a 423-bed hospital in Erie, PA, offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services, and serves as a regional referral hub and Level II Trauma Center.

Learn More

spotlight Erei Airport

Direct Daily Flights to Charlotte, Chicago, and Washington, D.C.

Erie International Airport is serviced by American Airlines and United Airlines with daily flights to Charlotte, Chicago, and Washington D.C. with connecting flights to the east coast, west coast, and international destinations. Book your flight today at or

Learn More

the cork

The Cork 1794

The Cork 1794 is the perfect spot for a date night or special occasion! Indoor and outside seating available with amazing food.

Learn More

bayfront grille

Outdoor Dining at the Bayfront Grille

The Bayfront Grille Restaurant at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel is excited to announce that our Bayside Patio is open for Lunch and Dinner. Please check Open Table for reservations or contact the restaurant directly at 814-454-2005.

Learn More