Looking for things to do in Erie, PA? If so, keep reading!
Are you looking for fun things to do in Erie, PA? There are loads of great options for things to do in Erie, PA, and we think you’ll be pleasantly surprised by how many options there are to keep you busy in Erie, PA!
Why is Erie, PA, a great place to visit?
Well, being located right on Lake Erie, and right by the Presque Isle State Park, there are so many things to do in Erie, PA for nature lovers and people who adore the great outdoors.
The peninsula has beautiful beaches, walking trails and views to enjoy – but the fun doesn’t stop there. Because Erie, PA, is such a great location (and enjoys plenty of visitors) you can expect to find lots of great things to do in Erie, PA.
So whether you’re in Erie, PA for a weekend, or a full vacation – you’re bound to find something to enjoy on this list of things to do in Erie, PA!
So, let’s get into it!
Fun things to do in Erie, PA!
Presque Isle State Park
First on our list of things to do in Erie, PA, it’s the Presque Isle State Park. This is the perfect place to visit if you love the Great Outdoors. If you decide to head to Erie, PA, during the summer, then you will absolutely want to head on a hike here.
With so many incredible trails, you can hike to your heart’s content! Just pack plenty of sustenance to keep you going throughout the day! Oh, and if you’re visiting during the winter months, you can even go skiing as the snow begins to fall. It’s beautiful – trust us! This is such a great choice for things to do in Erie, PA.
Erie Zoo is next on our list of things to do in Erie, PA. At the Erie Zoo, you’ll be able to see some of the world’s most stunning animals. This zoo is located near the downtown area of Erie, and it’s the perfect pitstop for those travelling with kids.
Believe it or not, this wonderful zoo has been operating since the 1920s, and it is home to over 400 species. So, whether you fancy getting up-close and personal with lions or orangutans, you should be able to find them here! If you’re looking for things to do in Erie, PA with a family or kids, this is a classic choice.
Erie Maritime Museum
We love the Erie Maritime Museum, and it’s next on our list of things to do in Erie, PA. The Maritime Museum showcases Erie’s maritime history beautifully. Not only does this museum take you through Lake Erie’s maritime importance, but it has a bunch of exhibits that take visitors through the dramatic history of the Battle of Lake Erie in 1813.
One of the most interesting parts of the Erie Maritime Museum is the display of a section of the Lawrence – seriously, it’s incredibly cool to see this reconstructed! It’s such a great choice for the best things to do in Erie, PA.
The Bicentennial Tower is next on our list of things to do in Erie, PA. This building towers over downtown Erie, and it’s by far one of the top 15 things to do in Erie, PA. As you’d probably expect, this awesome tower was built to celebrate the city’s bicentennial in 1996!
Read more East Coast travel inspiration: Top 15 things to do in Saratoga Springs, NY
What makes this such a special spot is the fact that you can see incredible views of Lake Erie, Presque Isle State Park, and the whole of downtown Erie. So, if you’re looking to see Erie from a birds-eye view, then be sure to stop by the magnificent Bicentennial Tower! We know you’ll love visiting, and it’s a great choice for the best things to do in Erie, PA.
Lady Kate Boat Tour
If you’re looking for exciting things to do in Erie, PA, then a Lady Kate Boat Tour is perfect. This boat sets out from Presque Isle State Park and will take you along the best parts of Erie’s beaches and lakes. What’s more, you’ll also learn plenty about the area from a fully trained tour guide!
However, the best part about these boats tours is just how relaxing they are. Sometimes, sightseeing can be a little tiring – so what better way to see the city than on a chilled-out boat? This is another perfect choice for things to do in Erie, PA on a beautiful day!
Lake Erie Ale Trail
Next up on oour list of the best things to do in Erie, PA, it’s the Lake Erie Ale Trail. Do you love beer? We certainly do! One of the top things to do in Erie, PA if you’re a beer fan is the Lake Erie Ale Trail. Featuring the best beers from Erie’s breweries, this trail might just reveal your new favorite beer!
The beers on offer cover small breweries and much larger ones, so you’ll find hidden gems stashed amongst those more well-known brews. If you’re looking for fun and unique things to do in Erie, PA – this is it!
Schaefer’s Auto Art
Are you looking for one of the most unique things to do in Erie, PA? Well, Schaefer’s Auto Art is the perfect solution. Even if you’re into art, you’ve probably never seen anything quite like this place before. This is a really unique choice for things to do in Erie, PA – and it’s a real stand-out choice!
At Schaefer’s Auto Art, you’ll see various vehicles totally transformed into works of art with customized names. It’s difficult to describe all the art on offer here, so you’ll just have to see it to believe it! But trust us, it’s amazing and you’ll love it.
Waldameer Amusement Park
If you’re travelling with the family, then be sure to add Waldameer Amusement Park to your list of things to do in Erie, PA! This awesome amusement park is right next to Presque Isle State Park, so it’s a perfect add-on to a day of hiking and biking.
Though the main draw of Waldameer is its attractions rollercoasters, there are great shows on offer throughout the year too! Oh – and did we mention that this amusement park is free to enter?
You just need to purchase an all-day ride pass or pay separately for rides that you wish to go on. However, if you just fancy walking around the area, you can do that free of charge. This is another great choice for things to do in Erie, PA.
Erie Art Museum
If you’re looking for things to do in Erie, PA for art lovers – then this is a great choice. The Erie Art Museum is quite small, but it certainly packs a punch. The museum has been around since 1898, and it’s probably the best place to visit in Erie for art fanatics.
Despite being a small building, the Erie Art Museum packs in over 8000 objects and pieces of art for visitors to explore. If you happen to live near Erie, be sure to catch some of the visiting exhibitions that pass through each year! We know you’ll love this choice for things to do in Erie, PA.
ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum
The Erie ExERIEnce Children’s Museum is one of the top things to do in Erie, PA, as it’s just so well thought out. The activities and exhibitions at this museum are designed to engage children and encourage creative play.
So, if you are travelling with tykes that need some gentle encouragement or struggle with letting their imaginations run wild, then this is a great item to pop on your to-do list. To be honest, we think this place is worth a visit for the pun in its name alone! This is such a lovely choice for things to do in Erie, PA!
Spend the day on Lake Erie
Next on our list of things to do in Erie, PA, it’s (obviously) spending time in and around the lake. You can boat on the lake, sail on the lake, swim in the lake, paddleboard, kayak – you name it! There are so many ways to enjoy the beautiful Erie Lake in the heart of Erie PA.
On a summer’s day, there isn’t much that is better, than just taking a picnic down to the lake, and enjoying all the fun water activities and fun things to do in Erie, that can be found by the lake!
Hagan History Center
If you’re a history buff, then you’ll absolutely want to add the Hagan History Center to your list of things to do in Erie, PA. Not only is the architecture of the building incredible (just look at those stunning vaulted ceilings and stained-glass windows!), but it holds some of the area’s best history too.
The Hagan History Center is by far the best spot In Erie to learn more about what life was like in Pennsylvania in the past. Covering everything from Erie’s industry to the war of the early 1800s, the Hagan History Center is the perfect place in which to wile away an afternoon. Another fantastic and educational option for things to do in Erie, PA.
Hooch & Blotto’s
Next on our list of things to do in Erie, PA, it’s Hooch & Blotto’s. Hooch & Blotto’s is a must-visit in Erie PA, and it’s a great place for hanging out as a group or for a special occasion (like a birthday!).
Why is it great? Well, it’s a bowling alley, with a great restaurant attached! They also have two 120″ projector screens and 70″ and 80″ flatscreen TV’s for game days too!
Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk
Next on our list of the best things to do in Erie, PA, it’s the Downtown Erie Sculpture Walk. This is a relatively new addition to our list of things to do in Erie, PA, and it’s great fun!
This outdoor art exhibition is a year-round outdoor exhibition, featuring 15 sculptures (located in Downtown Erie and the Bayfront). The sculptures represent the amazing artwork of 13 different artists from all around the USA! You can wander through at your own pace. It’s even more enjoyable on a sunny day!
If you’re looking to do a spot of shopping whilst in Erie, then the Millcreek Mall is probably where you should head to! This is a great option for those looking for easy things to do in Erie, PA. Who doesn’t love a bit of shopping? If the weather is bad, then this is a great suggestion!
Erie Land Light
Next on our list of things to do in Erie, PA, it’s this historical spot called the Erie Land Light. This lovely lighthouse isn’t open to the public, but you can get solid views of it from the small park nearby.
If you were wondering how this lighthouse came to be, it was commissioned in 1810 to bring greater light to the area and help with navigation on the Great Lakes. Ah, we love a good bit of history. This is a really interesting option for things to do in Erie, PA.
Burch Farms Country Market
The Burch Farms Country Market is next on our list of things to do in Erie PA. This is located just a short drive out of town, but if you want to shop fresh fruit and vegetables and soak in the ‘small town’ atmosphere – then Burch Farms Country Market is going to be a lovely way to spend a few hours!
It’s definitely a great choice for things to do in Erie, PA, and a great way to stock up for your trip too!
Asbury Woods low ropes course
Next on our list of things to do in Erie PA, it’s the Asbury Woods low ropes course. If you feel like getting active and spending some time outdoors during your trip to Erie, PA – then we think you’ll love this outdoor ropes course. This is a great activity for kids and adults alike!
Kellar’s: A Modern Magic & Comedy Club
If you’re looking for one of the more unique things to do in Erie PA, then you’re going to love Kellar’s: A Modern Magic & Comedy Club.
As the name implies, this awesome nightlife venue is a mix of both magic and comedy – so you can’t go wrong! You’ll find regular live performances, and it’s such great fun!
Tom Ridge Environmental Center
The Tom Ridge Environmental Center is our next choice for things to do in Erie, PA. It is a great place to visit in Erie. Though you may not consider yourself the next Greta Thunberg, it’s always interesting to learn more about environmental conservation – we promise!
At the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, you can learn all about plant life, ecosystems, and much more. Don’t forget to catch the 45-minute IMAX movie that plays throughout the day. It’s genuinely worth the price of admission. You’ll love this option for things to do in Erie, PA.
Ashbury Woods Nature Center
Ashbury Woods Nature Center is next on our list of things to do in Erie, PA. If you’re looking for the best hiking trails in Erie, PA, then you’ll find them at Ashbury Woods Nature Center. As well as the 4.5 miles of great hiking on offer at Ashbury Woods Nature Center, you’ll also find plenty of live animal habitats to explore here.
Keep an eye out for the turtle pond and live honeybee exhibit – we think that they’re the most amazing ones on site and are not to be missed.
Next on our list of things to do in Erie, PA, it’s visiting Port Erie. If you love spending time by the water, then Port Erie is somewhere you should definitely spend some time. You’ll find some interesting history down at Port Erie, as well as the Lampe Marina!
Learn to fish
When you’re right by such a scenic lake, it’d be such a shame not to try out fishing! Zenarii Kayak Rentals & Youth Fishing Lessons will happily rent the equipment to you (if you didn’t bring any with you) and they also do lessons too! So if you’re trying fishing for the first time, this is such a brilliant location to learn!
Presque Isle Downs and Casino
The final item on our list of things to do in Erie, PA is Presque Isle Downs and Casino. Now, you may not be the gambling type, but the atmosphere in the place is totally electric.
With more than 1700 games on offer, you’re sure to find something that you’re willing to stake a couple of dollars on! And hey, it’s not just a casino – it’s home to an incredible racetrack too. Talk about multifaceted! This is a really fun choice for things to do in Erie, PA!
And here are some great places to eat in Erie too!
Because after you’ve finished making your way through all these fun things to do in Erie PA, you might need to refuel! So, we’ve put some of our favorite restaurant recommendations below for you to take a look at!
- The Cove – A Bayside restaurant with great water views!
- Harbor House – Casual craft beer and pizza and tacos!
- Bayfront Grille at the Sheraton Hotel – Fancy dining with a beautiful view.
- Calamari’s Squid Row – As the name suggests – they do amazing calamari!
- Donatos Pizza – Because you always need a pizza place!
- Firebirds Wood Fired Grill – Classic dishes and great steak!