Diver's World, Northwest Pennsylvania's only NAUI Worldwide Pro Platinum Dive Center, offers sub-aquatic explorers state-of-the-art training and instruction in the safe confines of an on-site, heated pool. Owner Linda Huston and her brigade of divemasters boil down 90 years of combined underwater wayfaring into each scuba lesson. The Try Scuba Lesson functions as a gateway course, allowing nautical neophytes to learn the ropes, then gear up, sink down, and rise again to the safe, less exciting surface. Held concurrently with the center's more extensive diving courses, this fins-on lesson requires students to bring both a bathing suit and towel, with the remaining equipment provided.
Since 1913, the Erie Philharmonic has been on a melody-driven mission to enrich its surrounding communities with live concerts and stirring performances. Tchaikovsky's symphony begins by spotlighting one of America's most successful composers, Christopher Theofanidis, as he conducts "Rainbow Body," an evocative movement inspired by medieval mystic Hildegard of Bingen and her propensity to lead chants at high-school football games. Next, guitarist Ana Vidovic continues her drag race to the top of the classical genre by cramming the swaying, syncopated rhythms of a Spanish concerto into open ears. Pathétique closes the evening with a spirited rendition of Tchaikovsky's final symphonic piece. Fueled by the juxtaposition of varying emotions, Pathétique tows listeners to the top of triumphant crests, only to yank them back into the darkened valleys of personal upheaval and frustration over uncertain weather forecasts.
The Boardwalk Complex is the jewel of Erie nightlife, boasting four diverse venues in one location. The laid-back Boardwalk Bar plays host to casual hangouts with dartboards, jukeboxes, and flat-screen TVs, while the luxurious Dream Ultra Lounge swanks up the evening with sleek leather sofas, a mahogany bar, and an upper-crust dress code that keeps sandal-wearing gladiators in the arena where they belong. The Dream Nightclub proffers state-of-the-art dance space with a luminous bar, kaleidoscopic light show, and scorching music video projections. Venerate the sun gods of summer as you bask in the tiki torch glow of Coconut Joe’s outdoor deck and chow down on goodies from the grill. Your VIP entrance rushes you to the ruckus with expedited entry and covers two slices of toasty pizza and two drinks from standard domestic bottles and well liquor.
Although Lavery Brewing Company is relatively small on the brewery scale, it makes big, flavorful beers in small batches that are carefully handcrafted by its brewers. Founded by husband-and-wife team Jason and Nicole Lavery back in 2009, the 10-barrel brewery takes pride in the attention to detail that such a small operation not only allows for but demands. In addition to a roster of seasonal beers, the lineup of brews available year-round includes two IPAs, an imperial red ale, and a black saison.
Vermont Tavern silences boisterous stomachs with platters laden with hearty pub grub. Lubricate rusty jaw hinges with starters such as sausage-stuffed poblano peppers, a gardeny basket filled with mildly spiced italian sausage and topped with homemade marinara and shredded parmesan cheese ($8.50). Main events such as the Ox Roast sandwich, a kaiser roll loaded with slow-roasted beef ($7.95), satisfy meaty cravings, and comforting helpings of V.T. mac 'n' cheese snuggle tongues in a bed of pasta, marinated chicken, and creamy sauce ($11.95). Circle-savoring patrons may sample the Margaretta Villa pizza, which tops hand-flung dough with fresh basil pesto sauce, roasted roma tomatoes, and fresh buffalo mozzarella, quenching appetites and doubling as a disk in the event of an impromptu ultimate Frisbee match ($9.95). In addition to satisfying eats, Vermont Tavern acts as a conductor for an electric atmosphere, hosting live music and energetic events.
Helmed by parapsychologist and expert raconteur Captain Bob Gossman, Eerie Erie’s array of supernatural safaris usher intrepid guests through the city’s haunted environs. Assemble up to 30 close-knit confreres for a private tour, or bond with stouthearted strangers over startled leaps into each other’s arms. Spine-chilling tales of uncanny events on and around Dobbins Landing are recounted en route during the two-hour, one-mile Eerie Bayfront ghost walk, where maritime materializations have been known to scare the pants off humans and dungaree-clad fish alike. Glimpse affluent apparitions along the path of Eerie Millionaire’s Row ghost walk, a two-hour, one-mile jaunt through lost cemeteries, a mysterious convent, and haunted apartment buildings where monocled phantoms partake in genteel parlor games. Groupon holders opting for the nonprivate tour can also partake in the New Moon, Full Moon, or Summer Solstice ghost walks. Check Eerie Erie’s website for tour dates and departure times.