Erie’s warm summer temperatures and soothing waters provide numerous reasons to escape the worries of everyday life. One of the best ways to do that is to spend a day at one of Erie’s sandy beaches!
Recently designated as the best freshwater beach in the country by USA Today 10Best Reader's Choice, Presque Isle State Park is a National Natural Landmark that curves into Lake Erie. The peninsula features seven miles of sandy surf beaches, providing visitors with the only surf swimming within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Presque Isle provides the perfect summer getaway and some of the most spectacular sunsets in the country! Swimming is permitted on guarded beaches, which are numbered and marked throughout the park. Presque Isle’s beaches are open year-round and are popular spots for kite flying, watching world-class sunsets, or picnics.
Click here for frequently asked questions about Presque Isle State Park.
The beaches of Presque Isle are open for swimming from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day, from 12 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. unless otherwise posted. Please refer to the signs at the entrance of the park for daily updated information. Beach opening and conditions are subject to change.
Presque Isle Express
Your free ride around Presque Isle State Park begins in downtown Erie! The EMTA will offer free rides to Presque Isle State Park on Wednesdays and Saturdays from June 10 to August 26, departing from French Street at 7th, and making a loop around Presque Isle State Park. Bus stops include the Tom Ridge Environmental Center and Presque Isle beaches.
Presque Isle State Park is open every day of the year, from 5 a.m. to sunset, unless otherwise noted. Day-use areas close at dusk. After sunset, only tenants and people engaged in evening driving are allowed in the park. There is no parking permitted after sundown.
May 1, 2023 - September 30, 2023 Hours
Presque Isle State Park is open to visitors for recreational purposes from 5 a.m. to 11 p.m. Park restrooms will open when the main gates open at 5 a.m. and close at sunset. Visitors are permitted to take an evening drive around the park; however, please allow enough time to be off the park by 11 p.m.
The cooler is packed and the sunblock is on.. all that's left is the perfect playlist! Park your chair at Beach 8 and let this playlist accompany your Presque Isle Beach Day. Check out all of VisitErie's playlists here.
Life's a beach when you visit Erie, Pa. Gather ideas for your next escape to our beaches here.
Erie's sunsets are among the best in the world. Relax and watch the sun go down over the lake at one of these spectacular sunset spots.
A trip to Presque Isle State Park is a trip in and of itself. Here are seven recommendations for spending a summer day at Presque Isle.
On the shores of Lake Erie, Shades Beach is located at 7000 E. Lake Road in the town of Harborcreek. This sandy beach is a popular spot for families because of its shallow Lake Erie waters, and it’s a great gathering spot to watch Erie’s famous sunsets on the Lake. There are trails, woodlands, play areas, horseshoe courts, a beach area, boat launch and picnic grounds including two picnic complexes with full kitchens and restrooms.
Known as a quiet beach area without all the crowds, Avonia Beach Park is a small 3.6-acre park situated along the western shores of Lake Erie in Fairview, PA. This quaint park has benches and a charming gazebo that provide just the right setting for peaceful sunset gazing. Avonia Beach Park also has a public walkway, small sandy beach area and a fishing platform.
Freeport Beach is a small community beach located in the quaint town of North East in eastern Erie County. The rocky coastline is a haven for visitors searching for beach glass and using metal detectors. The beach has picnic areas, a playground, washrooms, volleyball nets and a snack bar. It is guarded from 10 a.m. to sunset every day from June 4 to Labor Day. (Pictured left)
Located approximately 15 minutes south of Erie in the college town of Edinboro, Pat Crawford Beach sits on Edinboro Lake, a peaceful 245-acre lake that’s a perfect, quiet getaway. The beach is open for swimming Memorial Day to Labor Day and is guarded from noon to 4 p.m. An adjacent playground and picnic area provides plenty of space to unwind and relax. two free public boat launches with public parking and a handicapped accessible fishing pier. The lake is unlimited horsepower rated, allowing for water skiing and the use of personal watercraft.
The Erie County Department of Health works with the managers at all area beaches to ensure that the public is aware of the current swimming status. Every Sunday and Monday for Presque Isle beaches and every Monday for Freeport Beach, from Memorial Day weekend to mid-September, water samples are collected and analyzed from 36 total sites. The Erie County Health Department wants everyone who visits Erie to enjoy its beaches and be able to make informed decisions based on the current swimming status for themselves, their families and their pets.
Q: What are Presque Isle's hours?
A: Presque Isle State Park is open year-round from 5 a.m. to sunset. Beaches are guarded and open for swimming from 12 p.m. - 7:15 p.m. Memorial Day to Labor Day.
Q: Does Presque Isle charge admission?
A: Admission and parking at Presque Isle State Park are free.
Q: Are the beaches dog-friendly?
A: Yes! On guarded beaches, leashed dogs are permitted in the tree line. On unguarded beaches, leashed dogs are invited to enjoy the water. For a list of popular dog-friendly beaches, and more information on dog-friendly attractions in Erie, click here.
Q: Are there handicapped-accessible beaches in Erie?
A: Yes! ADA-accessible restrooms, picnic tables, fishing areas, swimming areas, and parking spaces have been designated throughout Presque Isle State Park. For ADA-accessible swimming, check out Beach #8 (Pettinato Beach) for the best water access. You can read more information on beach wheelchairs at Presque Isle State Park here.
Q: Does the park allow alcohol?
A: Alcohol is not permitted on any part of the park.
Q: Does the park allow smoking on the beaches?
A: Smoking is prohibited on several Presque Isle State Park beaches. For visitors who smoke and still want to use the beach, designated areas adjacent to the beach are provided.
Q: Can I grill at the park?
A: Presque Isle has a number of picnic facilities, tables and grills located throughout the park, including the beaches. Just remember to clean up after yourself and do your part to keep the park beautiful.
Q: What beaches are best for families with young children?
A: Beach 11 due to its shallow waters. Beach 11 also has a playground and concession area.
Q: Can you camp overnight at the beach?
A: Camping or any type of overnight is not permitted at Presque Isle
Stop by Port Farms to check out the newest addition, Poverty Knob Farmhouse Ales. We offer hand-crafted beers and delicious sharable food year-round. The brewery is family and dog friendly with both indoor and outdoor spaces. We offer games, music and entertainment for all ages!
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The Mazza family welcomes you to explore 3 unique locations in Lake Erie Wine Country. Sip and savor award-winning wines at Mazza Vineyards and the historic South Shore Wine Company, both located in North East, PA, and be sure to visit their combination winery, distillery and brewery, Mazza Chautauqua Cellars/Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing, in nearby Westfield, NY.
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.
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!”
UPMC Hamot is a 458-bed hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services. The hospital serves as a regional referral hub and is the only accredited trauma center in the region.
NOW OPEN! ASCEND fosters a community-centered climbing, fitness, and yoga experience by serving individuals and groups of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Located in Downtown Erie, ASCEND welcomes Erie visitors to stop in and give climbing a try!
The Millcreek Mall features more than 160 stores, restaurants, and fun for the whole family on Upper Peach Street, Erie’s most popular shopping district! Shopping in Erie means no sales tax on clothing or shoes. Choose from a variety of hotels located on the Mall property and just minutes away at the intersection of Peach Street and Interstate 90.
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.
Chances are, you are planning your trip to Erie. Why not download your free guide that's been put together right here, by those who know the region the best!