15 Best Things to Do in Erie, PA

15 Best Things to Do in Erie, PA

Home to the beautiful Lake Erie- Erie has no shortage of sights to see or things to do. This place is to be treasured as it easily ranks in the top 10 beautiful American tourist attractions. The landscape of Erie is diverse as well as gorgeous. You can easily plan your next vacation in Erie! Let us take a look at the top 15 things to do in Erie-

Go hiking at Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park
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Let us first take you to the prime attraction of Erie- Presque Isle State Park. Before you get dumb-struck by its appealing nature, we would like to warn you that this place is extremely gorgeous, and can be an ideal romantic weekend getaway.
Lake Erie has to be the main factor of Presque Isle State Park.

Therefore there are different kinds of activities that you can try out in summer or winter. If you visit in summer, the weather is pleasant, and you can try out hiking or even cycle around the lake. If you want to pursue some water activities, then you might even go scuba diving! There are even boating and fishing options.

However, if you go in winter, the options are completely different. The snow falls and it becomes ice for you. You can even try out skiing in the gorgeous backdrop of Lake Erie.

Revisit history at Erie Maritime Museum

Erie Maritime Museum
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Are you done with the gorgeous natural scenic beauty that Erie has to offer? You can now head over to Erie Maritime Museum. It is like stepping back in history for the Erie Maritime Museum has everything that you ever wanted to see.
Some of the items date back to 1812, and some of them are pretty recent.

The permanent collection is vast and will truly blow your mind away with its diversity. The main object of focus is Lake Erie, and all the news and documents regarding Lake Erie can be found here in the Erie Maritime Museum. You can also find out a lot about the maritime history of the Lake and Town of Erie.

Pay a visit to Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens

Erie Zoo
Pat Noble, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Do you love animals? Come on, let’s go to the Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens. But, it is not just any zoo that you have visited in your life. In the Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens, you can interact with the animals personally. Almost 400 species of wildlife can be seen walking around in the vicinity of the zoo. Not only native animals, but animals from different parts of the world like Africa can be seen here too.

Did you know you can even play with the tame species? However, the best way to enjoy the zoo is to take a ride on a train through the zoo. Do try to visit the botanical garden after you are done with the zoo for it is a beautiful garden filled with colorful plants and flowers.

Catch the scenes from Port Erie Bicentennial Tower

Port Erie Bicentennial Tower
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Want to go up and catch some good views. Erie has the ideal thing for you to climb onto. Port Erie Bicentennial Tower overlooks the entire city of Erie and has some splendid gifts for you.

The scenes from up above are heavenly. You can get to see all of Lake Erie and the downtown part of the town entirely. Imagine a sunset from there. You can see the golden rays turning red and the sun setting on the horizon. The tower was constructed back in 1996 and has a height of almost 187 meters. The glamorous height makes it one of the most tallest and impressive towers in all of Erie.

Explore the ecosystem of Asbury Woods Nature Center

Do you enjoy the outdoors more than looking at different indoor tourist spots? Let us take a look at Asbury Woods Nature Center for you then. Th area is massive for starters and easily gives you access to 205 acres of land.

What do you wanna do in this huge empty spot? Well, it is almost like a wonderland for nature lovers and you can do anything here! There are several wetlands found amid the fields too. Also, this place even has an amphitheater for its tourists. Are you visiting in the winter? Go cross-country skiing in the powdery snow that decorates the gorgeous place.

Appreciate the Erie Art Museum

Erie Art Museum
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Did you think Erie is not a cultural place? Well, think again. In the meantime, we will just introduce you to the gem of the cultural show- Erie Art Museum.
It opened its doors in 1898 but was not known by the same name as it goes by now. People knew this place as The Art Club of Erie.

The permanent collection of the museum is incredible indeed along with some of the displays that are famous all over the world. You can find almost 7000 displays in the exhibits. There are more than 20 shows that are held in the museum per year so you can definitely check out the lively crowd during that time.

Watch some trees at Lake Erie Arboretum

Do you like trees? Wanna see some exotic species? Head over to Lake Erie Arboretum for the place is filled with innumerable exotic species.
The place is an extremely alluring one where many new species have been planted here. The site was constructed in 1998 with a few samples, but now there are almost 250 species. You can find maples, oaks, willows, dogwoods, and even olives here. For flowers, you might come across some pretty tulips.

The winters are pretty here. But, certain events are held especially during the summer season. Also, there are a lot of trails here where you can just go hiking.

Have some fun with water at Waldameer Park and Water World

Enough with sightseeing, are you ready to have some fun now? Want to go back to your youthful days? Waldameer Park and Water World will make you feel young once again.

What was once nothing more than a popular spot for a picnic, now happens to be one of the most entertaining parts of Erie town. The spot was called Hoffman’s Grove but is now an attraction spot for kids and adults as well. There are a lot of options to choose from as there are more than 100 rides in this park.
On the other hand, the Water World is another cool place to hang out if you are into water rides. However, the entire theme park belongs to a family.

Walk around Downtown Erie

Erie Downtown
AndreCarrotflower, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you are an experienced tourist, you might know this for a fact that the downtown of any spot is supposed to be the best in that area. This is true in the case of Erie too or the downtown part is truly magnificent.

Downtown Erie is truly phenomenal with a lot of naturally beautiful scenes. Boutiques, shops, and restaurants are found in plenty here. Also, the sunsets here are pretty as a picture, so don’t miss out on one if you are roaming around. The entire downtown is pedestrian-friendly and is filled with sights to gorge on. Do look around, eat a few bites, and enjoy.

Explore the Historical Society of Erie

The Historical Society of Erie is not a single place that can be explored in an hour but is actually the combination of three different significant houses of history- the Hagen History Center, the White House, and the Yellow House.
You can find a lot of information related to the old town here. Other than that, you will get your hand on old photographs and newspaper cuttings as well.

Shop a bit at Millcreek Mall

Are you done with nature and sightseeing? Does your shopaholic mind want to go shopping for a bit? Don’t worry, we have got your back. Millcreek Mall has the solution to your shopping problem. Come on, we will tell you more once we get there.
There are plenty of shops at the mall from which you can shop to your heart’s content. Almost 180 boutiques and branded shops are present with a wide variety of items. There are also some departmental stores inside.
The best part about shopping from here is its tax system. The mall has no tax on clothing. Meaning you can buy as many clothes as you want without having to pay extra taxes! Dive in!

Taste chocolate at Pulakos factory

Have you ever watched the movie- Charlie and the Chocolate Factory? Wanted to be in a world like that? Erie has heard your wishes and made them come true for you. But, you have to visit the Pulakos Chocolate Factory to live in the world of your dreams.

The first candy of the factory dates back to almost 1889. But, the owner did not start the company in Erie right away. He gradually made his way here and started making organic home-made delicious chocolates. It grew popular in no time and today it is among one of the biggest ones in the States.
The ingredients are still sourced locally and some delicious things are produced here. The French Truffles are specially well-renowned.

Catch a game at Jerry Uht Park

Jerry Uht Park
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Are you a sports freak? Want to catch a good game in a lively stadium? After all, live matches give off a different type of positive vibes. Erie did not have a positive history when it came to sports before 1995. But, after the construction of Jerry Uht Park, it became quite important in the field of sports.

Did you know that there is an option for private viewing here? There is also a beer garden. Imagine watching a hot game with a chilled beer in your very own private lounge. There are also several stands from where you can watch the game.

Enjoy nature at Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Tom Ridge Environmental Center
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Are you interested in the wonders of biology? Tom Ridge Environmental Center is a wonderland. Come, let us explore this Presque Isle and all the wonders of it. To begin with, Presque Isle encompasses an area of more than 3,200 acres. And, there are a lot of unique lifeforms that inhabit the Presque Isle. Did you know you can even interact with origami birds here? You can even get a chance to see a flying saucer. The place is interactive and has a learning center inside which we are gonna explore.

Tom Ridge Environmental Center comprises four floors that are filled up with different exhibits. It will make your jaw drop in the air to show how many kinds of species can live in the same peninsula. It will also create awareness inside you that these cute animals must be protected at all costs.

Check your luck at Presque Isle Downs and Casino

Presque Isle Downs and Casino
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Are you into gambling? It doesn’t matter if you a serial gambler or just someone trying out their lucks for Presque Isle Downs and Casino has something for everyone. However, the casino is diverse and is something you will not regret entering. Being one of the most popular casinos of Erie- Presque Isle Downs and Casino lives up to its hype. Want to bet on horse-racing?

There is also a race track here! Try out your hand at Wheel of Fortune if you don’t wanna gamble with races. Featuring more than 1700 games, Presque Isle Downs and Casino will blow your mind away when it comes to slots. The poker room along with the blackjack table is quite impressive too.

This brings an end to our Erie trip. As you can see the Erie scenes are quite gorgeous and deserve your time and attention. Do visit this place the next time you are on your way to Pennsylvania.