Exploring Erie? Here Are the Best Things to Do in Erie, PA: A Guide to the Top Tourist Attractions around Lake Erie

If you’re looking for things to do in Erie, PA, you’ll find no shortage of activities and attractions. From Presque Isle State Park to the Erie Zoo, there’s something for everyone in this charming city on the shores of Lake Erie.

things to do in erie pa

In this guide, we’ll take a look at some of the best tourist attractions in Erie. Whether you’re a history buff or a nature lover, there’s sure to be something that piques your interest!

Start from Downtown Erie

Downtown Erie is the heart of the city. It’s where you’ll find the best shopping, dining and entertainment. Here are some suggestions of things to do in Downtown Erie:

  • Shop at the Liberty Park Mall or one of the other local boutiques;
  • dine at one of the many restaurants, including Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro, Plymouth Tavern or Mi Scuzi;
  • take in a show at the Warner Theatre;
  • enjoy a day at Presque Isle State Park.

There are plenty of things to do in Downtown Erie, so be sure to check them out during your visit!

Outdoorsy Things to Do in Erie, PA

As mentioned, one of the most popular things to do in Erie is to visit Presque Isle State Park. This beautiful state park is situated on a peninsula and offers miles of hiking trails, scenic views, and opportunities for wildlife watching. If you’re looking for a place to relax and enjoy the outdoors, Presque Isle State Park is the perfect spot.

Sunbathing at the Beach

If you’re looking to spend some time at the beach in Erie, PA, we recommend Presque Isle State Park or Bayfront Parkway. Both of these beaches offer beautiful views of the lake and plenty of opportunities to enjoy the water, like boating or kayaking. There are a few things to keep in mind if you’re planning to visit either of these beaches. First, be sure to bring plenty of sunscreen and water. The sun can be quite intense, even on cloudy days. Second, there might not be lifeguards on duty, so swimming is at your own risk. Finally, please remember to clean up after yourself and respect the natural habitat of the animals that call these beaches home. Great Lakes, here you come!

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Kids Attractions

Another top things to do in Erie, PA is the Erie Zoo. The zoo is home to more than 400 animals, including lions, tigers, giraffes, and bears. In addition to animal exhibits, the zoo also has a playground, a carousel, and a train that visitors can ride. The Erie Zoo is a great option for families with children or anyone who loves animals. Admission is only $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and free for children under two. The zoo also has a number of educational programs that are perfect for kids of all ages.

Indoor Fun for Families

Splash Lagoon is a great place to cool off on a hot summer day. The lazy river is perfect for floating and relaxing, and the wave pool is perfect for swimming and playing. There are also several water slides that are perfect for sliding and splashing around. The park also has a number of restaurants and shops that are perfect for grabbing a bite or shopping for souvenirs. Splash Lagoon is open all year, but gets very busy in April. Be sure to check it out next time you’re in Erie!

Shopping Mall

For a taste of local culture, be sure to visit the Millcreek Mall. This large shopping mall is home to more than 200 stores, including department stores, boutiques, and restaurants. The mall also has a movie theater and an indoor water park. If you are looking for museums and cultural things to do in Erie, PA, move on to the next section.

Erie County for Art and History Buffs

If you’re interested in history, you’ll want to check out the Erie Maritime Museum. The museum is located on the site of the former U.S. Brig Niagara and tells the story of Erie’s role in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812. The museum also has a variety of exhibits on maritime history and culture. Admission is only $7 for adults, $5 for seniors and students, and $3 for children. The museum has many interactive exhibits that are perfect for kids too.

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Erie Art Museum

The Erie Art Museum is one of the top attractions in Erie, PA. It’s a great place to see amazing art pieces from all around the world. Admission is only $10 for adults, $8 for seniors and students, and free for children 16 and under. Art pieces include paintings, sculptures, and photographs.

Racing & Gambling

Presque Isle Downs is a racetrack in Erie, PA. It’s owned and operated by Eldorado Resorts. The track offers harness racing and thoroughbred racing. The track has a one-mile oval racetrack with a seven-furlong chute. There is also a turf course that is one mile long with a five-furlong chute. The turf course is used for thoroughbred racing only.

Visitors can also enjoy the casino, hotel, and restaurants on site. The main gambling areas are the Sportsbook, Poker Room, and Casino floor. The Sportsbook offers betting on all major horse races as well as greyhound racing.

Things for Eco and Environment Fans

The Tom Ridge Environmental Center in Erie, PA is a great place to visit if you want to learn more about the environment and how to protect it. The center has exhibits on various aspects of the environment, including water resources, air quality, and land management. They also have outdoor exhibits where you can learn about things like wetlands and wildlife.

The center also offers educational programs for people of all ages. You can attend workshops on things like composting and recycling, or take a guided tour of the center’s exhibits. There are also plenty of opportunities for outdoor recreation at the Tom Ridge Environmental Center, including hiking and bird watching.

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Whether you’re looking for things to do indoors or outdoors, Erie has something for everyone. With its convenient location on Lake Erie and its variety of attractions, Erie is the perfect destination for a weekend getaway or a longer vacation. So what are you waiting for? Since we have covered the best things to do in Erie PA, start planning your trip today! In the winter, take advantage of the snow and go skiing or snowboarding at Peek’n Peak Resort. Or, if you’re looking for things to do indoors, visit the Millcreek Mall or see a movie at the theater. No matter what time of year you visit, there’s always a fun thing to do!

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