Summer experiences in Erie


Olivia Buckel

From Presque Isle State Park to the Erie Zoo, the summer months in Erie, Pa., are full of activities for both tourists and locals. As the month of May begins, many of the notable experiences and restaurants that Erie offers for the spring and summer seasons are beginning to open up. This article encompasses six experiences and restaurants that are opening up for the season that are perfect for a worthwhile summer spent in Erie.

First on the list of activities is Erie’s most famous attraction: Presque Isle State Park. This is a 3,200-acre peninsula that stretches into Lake Erie. There are over 12 miles of sandy beaches and miles of open water that can be used for many recreational activities. These include: boating, swimming, fishing, tanning, hiking, biking, and many more. On top of this, Presque Isle sunsets are some of the best in the world, especially on the coastline. Presque Isle is also a favorite spot for many kinds of migrating birds due to its unique habitats, so bird-watchers can absolutely enjoy Presque Isle as well. There is truly something for everyone.

Just 100 yards from Presque Isle is Sara’s Restaurant. This is a 50’s-style diner that sells American fare and ice cream. It is a perfect spot to grab a meal after a day spent at the beach, and the ice cream is a great way to cool down from the warm weather. Sara’s opened on April 1, and hundreds of Erie locals have already visited.

On the open waters of both Lake Erie and Presque Isle Bay, Presque Isle Boat Tours offers a 90-minute fully narrated tour of Erie’s historical sites. These sites include: Erie’s historic lighthouses, Gull Point Nature Preserve, ships, beaches, wildlife, and many more. The Lady Kate is a notable boat that is used for this tour, and the price for adults is only $16 per person. Customers can also choose to book a Sunset Cruise to watch one of Erie’s famous sunsets from the open water. These tours are all encompassing, and learning the history of Lake Erie is fascinating. These tours open May 21.

A short drive away from the beaches of Presque Isle is Waldameer & Water World. This is an amusement park and water park, and it is the tenth oldest amusement park in the nation. It has over one hundred rides and attractions, including the award-winning Ravine Flyer II. Water World has a five hundred thousand gallon Wave Pool, and dozens of other slides. Erie residents are highly anticipating when the park will officially open for the season in early May.

For something a little more tame, The Erie Zoo is a zoological park with 15 acres of land. The Erie Zoo is home to over 400 animals which represent 100 different species. Some of these animals include: African lions, Amur tigers, Bornean orangutans, Jaguars, and many more. To get into the zoo, the price for adults is only $10 per person, and the price for kids is only $6 per person. The Erie Zoo also offers educational classes for children and adults that teach students all about the animals and exhibits that are offered at the zoo. These classes are very popular and fill up quickly. The Erie Zoo opened their grounds on March 1, and their season goes until Nov. 30.

Finally, a more unique spot in Erie is called The Freezerie. This is an independently owned ice cream parlor located on West Ridge Road. All of the ice cream is made from scratch, and this parlor in particular has a wide range of flavors. These include: sea salt, nu-v swirl, white tiger, the Joe, and many more. The Freezerie is on its eleventh season this year, and it opened for the season on April 1. The owners are always friendly, and the service is quick and efficient.

Overall, the spring and summer seasons are when Erie truly thrives. The list of activities that Erie offers is seemingly endless, and there are still so many that were not even mentioned on this list. There are lots of exciting opportunities to look forward to this upcoming summer, especially down at Presque Isle. The excitement has already begun.