There’s just nothing quite like a summer in Erie. From the free outdoor festivals and live music to the calming waters and sandy beaches, Erie is the perfect location for an easy, breezy getaway. Though summertime is Erie’s most active season, the attractions below are Erie’s must-see spots while the weather is warm.
Designated as a National Natural Landmark, Presque Isle is a 3,200 acre peninsula that curves into Lake Erie and features seven miles of sandy surf beaches, providing visitors with the only surf swimming within the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. It is the perfect summer getaway and best of all, parking and admission is free! Presque Isle State Park was recently named one of the “15 Best Affordable Beach Destinations in America” by Reader’s Digest. Presque Isle beaches are open daily from Memorial Day Weekend to Labor Day, unless otherwise posted, and are guarded from noon - 7:30 p.m.
No trip to Presque Isle is complete without making a stop at Sara’s! A seasonal staple and must-stop summer spot for visitors and residents, Sara’s is only 100 yards outside of the entrance to Presque Isle. The 50’s-style diner has been serving up all-American fare for more than 40 years, and is famous for their foot-long Smith hot dogs (made right here in Erie!), milkshakes, orange/vanilla twist cones, burgers, and curly fries! Dine at their many indoor and outdoor picnic tables or get your meal to go using one of two drive-through lanes.
A popular summertime spot is Erie’s Bayfront District, set between Downtown Erie and Presque Isle Bay. There are many ways here to spend a family outing or a romantic date night. Explore the Erie Maritime Museum where Erie’s very own Tall Ship, U.S. Brig Niagara is berthed. Get a bird’s –eye-view of the area from atop the 138’ Bicentennial Tower or take a leisurely stroll along the Bayfront Promenade. Pack a picnic lunch and soak up the sun at Liberty Park or walk to the foot of State Street to watch the boats and fishermen.
You just can’t top dinner with a view in Erie! Several waterfront restaurants offer dining by rooftop or right along the water’s edge. Set the scene for a romantic date night with dinner at Oliver’s Rooftop Restaurant or enjoy a meal under the lush flowering canopy at Smugglers Wharf. Pull up a chair for live music and a good meal on the Edinboro Lake Resort’s Sunset Grill’s spacious outdoor patio. Sip on your favorite cocktail, savor a delicious meal or relax and catch one of Erie’s world-class sunsets.
Waldameer is the fourth oldest amusement park in Pennsylvania and the tenth oldest in the nation, with classic vibes and updated features, packed with fun and excitement for the young and young at heart. The multi-generational family-owned park features thrilling slides and rides, traditional midway games and refreshment centers all set among beautifully landscaped grounds and picnic groves. Parking and admission to Waldameer are free! Don’t miss out on breathtaking views of Lake Erie from atop Waldameer’s gondola-style Ferris Wheel or the highest hill of the Ravine Flyer II roller coaster. Cool off from a hot summer day at Water World where you can float down the Endless River, plunge down the Liquid Lightning slide or splash around at the Battle of Lake Erie water complex. Waldameer is open May through Labor Day.
The Erie SeaWolves are the AA Minor League Baseball affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, playing April through September at UPMC Park in Downtown Erie. The newly renovated ballpark features a new main entrance, party deck, picnic garden, club level suites and a kids fun zone. The SeaWolves event staff provides onsite catering and event services for planning corporate functions and private parties. Over the course of their many seasons in Erie, the boys of summer have entertained more than five million people. Some of the Major League Baseball stars who have come up through the SeaWolves organization include Justin Verlander, Curtis Granderson, Eugenio Suarez, Nick Castellanos, and Andrew Miller.
Throughout the summer months, live music fills Erie County’s streets, parks and beaches! Pick your favorite spot on the Highmark Amphitheater at Liberty Park’s grassy hill for 8 Great Tuesdays. Expect to hear a variety of music styles each week paired with gorgeous views overlooking Presque Isle Bay and Erie’s world-class sunsets. Speaking of sunsets, Beach 11 at Presque Isle State Park is the perfect backdrop for the UPMC Sunset Music Series taking place Wednesday evenings in June and July (dates vary). The family-friendly atmosphere invites attendees to splash around in the water while enjoying live local music. The Erie Downtown Partnership hosts live concerts in downtown parks all summer long. In August, Erie’s Blues and Jazz Fest celebrates art and music from national, regional, local blues and jazz entertainment set among the beautiful trees and lush landscape of Frontier Park. During CelebrateErie, live music from local, regional and national entertainers can be found across several stages. For a complete listing of summer festivals, visit our online calendar here.
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.
Bring your family to Port Farms this summer, fall and winter! Port Farms is a fun-filled family destination located in Waterford, PA (30 minutes outside of Erie). The farm features many activities for all ages including a NEW Flower Festival, animal exhibits, slides, pedal carts, wagon rides, 8-acre corn maze, jumping pillows, pumpkin picking, Christmas tree picking, visiting with Santa, and much more. Options for wedding venues, corporate events, birthday parties, and school field trips are also available. To learn more, purchase tickets, or book an event visit www.portfarms.com.
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.
A destination for shopping, dining and entertainment.
Experience it all!
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.
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!”
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.
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.
Direct Daily Flights to Charlotte and Chicago.
Erie International Airport is serviced by American Airlines and United Airlines with daily flights to Charlotte and Chicago with connections across the country and around the world. Book your flight today at www.aa.com or www.united.com
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.
The Cork 1794 is the perfect spot for a date night or special occasion! Indoor and outside seating available with amazing food.
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