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The Best Places to Catch an Erie Sunset

Thursday May 25th, 2023

Erie, Pennsylvania is considered by many to have some of the best sunsets in the world.  With the stunning backdrop of Lake Erie and its miles of shoreline, Erie sunsets set the perfect scene for romantic proposals, friendly gatherings, or a place for quiet reflection after a long day. Erie County offers an abundance of Instagram-worthy moments, perfect for capturing breathtaking sunset photos. Prepare to witness the mesmerizing sight of the sun painting the sky in vibrant hues as it gracefully sets below the horizon. To help you discover some prime viewing locations, here are some suggestions to guide your quest.

Beaches and Parks

Presque Isle State Park: Besides its stunning beaches, Presque Isle is best known for its awe-inspiring sunsets.  Framed by beautiful sandy beaches and Lake Erie, Presque Isle is one of the most tranquil places to watch the sun go down. While any spot along the beach can provide a picturesque view, the most photogenic location undoubtedly goes by the fitting name of Sunset Point. Situated between beaches nine and ten, Sunset Point offers an unparalleled vantage point to capture the intense beauty of the setting sun. Other great spots are Lighthouse Beach, Waterworks Beach (Beach 7), and Pettinato Beach (Beach 8).  

Shades Beach Park: It’s a small beach with huge sunset views! In addition to being a great sunset spot, this area also features nature trails, picnic grounds, woodlands, play areas, and a boat launch.  Shades Beach is located north of Route 5 (East Lake Road) in Harborcreek, PA. Find it here.

Avonia Beach Park: Located on the western shores of Lake Erie in Fairview, PA. Avonia Beach Park is a peaceful 3.6-acre park with benches and a charming gazebo that provide the right setting for reflection and sunset gazing. The park also includes a public walkway, a modest beach, and fishing platform. Find it here.

Lake Erie Community Park: Set on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie in Lake City, PA, the Lake Erie Community Park is a 125-acre park with lots of wide open space for you to spread out and enjoy expansive cliff-side sunsets. The park also has benches, picnic shelters, nature trails, baseball fields, a playground, and boat launch. Find it here.

Sunset Sails

The Lettie G. Howard: A sunset sail on the Lettie G. Howard, one of the last surviving wooden Fredonia-style fishing schooners, is a truly memorable experience. Enjoy a leisurely voyage aboard a historic sailing vessel during the enchanting hours of twilight. You’ll have the opportunity to meet and help the crew set some of the larger sails, learn some of Lettie’s unique history and then sit back to watch the sun dip below Presque Isle.

Your Sailing Adventure: Experience a Lake Erie sunset like never before with a sunset cruise aboard Your Sailing Adventure. Sail or motor (as weather permits) into Lake Erie for a two-hour excursion with other guests or reserve the boat for your own private four-hour tour.  All sunset cruises include light snacks, regional wine, and great conversation.

Victorian Princess: See the beauty of Lake Erie and its world-class sunsets aboard the majestic three-level paddlewheel boat, the Victorian Princess. The Victorian Princess offers elegant sunset dinner cruises as well as an elevated “spectacular sunset dinner cruise” which includes dinner, live music, and dancing.

The Lady Kate: Enjoy a 14-mile, 90-minute narrated tour that concludes with the sun setting on Presque Isle Bay. The Lady Kate’s knowledgeable crew will guide you with a tour of the Erie area’s landmarks and maritime history including Erie’s historic lighthouses, Gull Point Nature Preserve, and Presque Isle State Park.

Around Town

Waldameer Park Ferris Wheel: At the pinnacle of Waldameer Park’s Ferris Wheel, you can indulge in breathtaking vistas of both the captivating sunset and the serene expanse of Lake Erie. The giant gondola-style attraction leisurely carries its riders to its maximum height of 100 feet, pausing long enough for you to snap a bunch of photos.

The Shoreline Bar & Grille’s Outdoor Patio: Located at the Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel in Erie’s Bayfront District, the Shoreline Bar & Grille’s full-service outdoor patio is a stylishly comfortable, casual environment where family and friends can gather to enjoy good food, a specialty cocktail and watch an incredible sunset.  

Music to Accompany the World's 3rd Best Sunsets

Engage your senses at sunset (or sunrise!) with VisitErie's curated playlist. 

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