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Things To Do In Erie

Located in the northeastern corner of Pennsylvania, Erie is a vibrant, lakeside town with a wide variety of popular attractions for both tourists and locals. Some of the top destinations include an up-and-coming downtown area, several local museums, and an abundance of forested hiking trails. Keep reading for more ideas about fun things to do in Erie.

Because of Erie’s diverse city and natural landscape, there is plenty to do. Whether you are interested in art, nature, or the outdoors, here are some of the best things to do in Erie:

  • Presque Isle, a state park with access, to hiking, fishing, and boat rentals
  • Waldameer Park & Water World, an outdoor water park with rides for the whole family
  • Tom Ridge Environmental Center, a natural history museum that focuses on Lake Erie
  • Ashbury Woods, a nature preserve with old-growth forest and lush hiking trails
  • Erie Maritime Museum, an educational center with exhibits on the War of 1812 and the history of Lake Erie

Erie’s proximity to the Great Lakes makes it easy to find inexpensive activities without breaking the bank. While a visit to McClelland Park or Ashbury Woods is always free, here are a few more affordable things to do in Erie:

  • Ice Cream at Sara’s, a 1950s style eatery on the Erie peninsula
  • Wintergreen Gorge, a hike with spectacular views of a forested creek
  • Presque Isle, a state park with free admission on the first Sunday of the month
  • Bicentennial Tower, an observational tower with free admission on the first Sunday of the month
  • Liberty Park, an outdoor recreational area with live music on Tuesday nights during the summer

With great food, live music, and a rich history, Erie has plenty of attractions for both visitors and locals alike. Some of the most popular activities include the city’s historic landmarks and fun, summer festivals. Make the most of your time in Erie with the following attractions:

  • Erie Land Lighthouse, the first lighthouse on the Great Lakes
  • Watson-Curtze Mansion, a historic home built in the late 1800s
  • Thurston Classic, a June festival with hot air balloons, live music, and fair food
  • State Road Covered Bridge, a historic landmark and photo opportunity
  • Mid Summer Wine Festival, an event held in mid-July that features classic cars, food vendors, and wine tasting

On any given day, Eric offers many fun things to do. From its delicious food scene, abundance of hiking trails, and local shopping, it’s easy to spend a day soaking in all this city has to offer.

Exciting activities near Erie include:

  • The Breakfast Place, a place to grab American home cooking
  • Erie Bluffs State Park, a place to hike the Great Lakes shoreline
  • The Shops at the Colony, which includes 35 locally owned and operated stores
  • Tinseltown USA, Erie Cinemark movie theater
  • Ember + Forge, a local favorite with coffee and pastries

The fun in Erie doesn’t end when the sun goes down. This city offers many things to do for adults whether you are interested in local breweries, fun dining, or dance clubs.

Nighttime activities near Erie include:

  • Mi Scuzi, A trattoria featuring authentic italian dishes and fine wine
  • The Industrial Revolution Brewing Company, which has some of the best beer in town
  • Resolution Nightclub, a favorite dance spot for locals
  • Jr’s Last Laugh Comedy Club, a comedy club with great food
  • Sherlock’s, a top spot for drinks and live music

Whether you are an Erie local in need of a staycation or visiting from out of town, you’re guaranteed to have tons of things to do this weekend.

Weekend activities near Erie include:

  • Dave’s Diner, the best place to start the day in Downtown Erie
  • Karl Boyes Trail, a paved 13.5 mile hiking circuit in Presque Isle State Park
  • Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, a place to treat yourself with a night on the water
  • UPMC Park , a local stadium where you can catch an Erie Seawolves game
  • Erie Food Tours, a way to eat, drink, and learn about Erie’s local history

Erie is a family friendly city bursting with things for kids to do. Go on a pirate adventure, visit the children’s museum, or check out the local amusement parks.

Things to do with kids in Erie include:

  • Conneaut Lake Park, a place with roller coasters, rides, and other attractions
  • Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park Resort, which is perfect for a rainy day
  • Experience Children’s Museum, a center for entertainment and education for all ages
  • USS Niagara, where you can sail this historic ship and explore the museum
  • Scallywags Pirate Adventures, a place to hear tales about Lake Erie and buried treasure

Erie is a city full of romantic things to do, whether you’re looking to impress a first date or plan an anniversary. From fine dining to high-end cocktail bars, here are some of the top romantic things to do in Erie.

Date night ideas near Erie include:

  • Colao’s Restaurant, a family-owned italian restaurant with a cozy atmosphere
  • Plymouth Tavern, which offers casual dining in a historic brick building
  • Victoria Princess, a dining cruise on beautiful Lake Erie
  • Lakeview on the Lake, a place to spend a night at a lakefront resort
  • South Beach Resort, where you can book a couples package at the spa

Erie is the perfect city to enjoy with friends as it offers many group activities. No matter what you’re in the mood for, Erie is full of fun group things to do.

Things to do with your friends near Erie include:

  • Five & 20 Pint Night, where you can enjoy half off pints every Thursday on the patio
  • Art classes at the The Lake Erie Arboretum are offered weekly
  • Summer block parties featuring live music, food, drinks, and dancing
  • Take a group historical walking tour
  • Get tickets to an upcoming performance at Erie Philharmonic

If you are looking to have a low-key day inside, Erie offers many indoor activities that will fit the bill. Sample local tea, relax at the resort, take a stroll through the art museum, and more.

Eric things to do indoors include:

  • Enjoying a sampling at Tea Time Tuesdays at Chicory Hill Herbs
  • Trying Alexander’s Spa in the Woods, an indoor spa located at the Woodlands Resort
  • Erie Art Museum, 15 exhibits of historical and contemporary art
  • Erie Planetarium at Penn State Behrend, offering public shows year round
  • Millcreek Mall, a shopping mall complex with retail, dining, and more

Erie is a city brimming with things to do outdoors due to natural beauty and sightseeing opportunities. From lush forests to gorgeous lakeshore, there are always plenty of things to do outdoors.

Things to do outdoors in Erie include:

  • Take a walk amongst 250 varieties of trees at Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier
  • Explore local shops and historical landmarks in Downtown Erie
  • Spending an afternoon surrounded by nearly 400 animals and 11 natural gardens at Erie Zoo
  • Enjoying an all levels class on the shore of Lake Erie at Plasha Beyond Beginners Yoga
  • Exploring Lake Erie Beach Park, the perfect place to get outside during the summer

While hiking and historical landmarks are some of Erie’s best attractions, there are many things to do that fly under the radar. Here are a few of the best activities in Erie you may not have heard of.

Must-see places near Erie include:

  • Warner Theatre, a 1931 historical theatre was commissioned by the Warner Bros
  • Erie Playhouse, one of the top ten community theaters in the nation
  • Pulakos Chocolate, which has delicious, handmade candies and factory tours
  • Candlelight Ghost Walks, where you can learn about Erie’s paranormal history
  • Schaefer’s Auto Art, which has recycled art created with old car parts