Erie, Pennsylvania is named after the Erie Indian tribe and Lake Erie. The community of nearly 100,000 people is situated in the northwestern corner of the state. The city got its start as a busy port, especially as settlers arrived and started to ship goods through the Great Lakes to the Atlantic coast. Erie rapidly grew when the railroad came through and became even larger when several steel foundries were built. Today, Erie is an emerging leader in biofuels and plastics. Recreational use of the lake draws in many visitors and residents who enjoy spending time in the water. The city is also known as the home port of Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship Niagara. After the movers have unloaded your belongings and you have gotten settled in, you may feel ready to explore the lake's shores and get to know the city. The following list of fun places to visit in Erie, PA will help you get familiarized with the place you now call home.
If you are seeking thrills and action, then a visit to Waldameer is in order. This outdoor water and amusement park delivers plenty of excitement with a 500,000-gallon wave pool, an endless river, an enclosed tube slide, a speed slide, a free fall slide, and many more attractions. There is a separate kiddie play area for toddlers to enjoy. The amusement park rides include classics such as bumper cars, three roller coasters, a water coaster ride, spinning swing rides, and more. You can also try out the drop tower, vortex ride, or Ferris wheel. Waldameer also features 17 food stands to satisfy your appetite. On weekend evenings, you can watch a family-friendly movie while floating in one of the pools or relaxing on a lounge chair. There are midway games, an arcade, and several gift shops to round out your visit. (Photo Credit: https://waldameer.com)
Presque Isle State Park
When you want to explore the natural beauty of Erie, PA, Presque Isle State Park is an excellent place to start. Bow fishing is permitted in the park, and you might catch species such as perch, bass, walleye, trout, catfish, and steelhead. If fishing is not your thing, you can also boat or kayak on the lake. Presque Isle State Park also features great places to go birding, with resident waterfowl and migrating birds visiting in April and September. You can tour the lighthouse and learn about its importance and function over the years. Beaches are open from Memorial Day through Labor Day. There is plenty of sand to build sand castles, or you can just spread out a towel or blanket and relax in the sun. Presque Isle State Park also has 15 groomed and marked trails, ranging in length from 0.14 miles to 1.78 miles.
When you are searching for a great indoor pool and adventure center, look no further than Splash Lagoon. This indoor water park and recreational facility features nine water slides, a lazy river, and a 200,000-gallon wave pool. There are hot tubs and saunas for the adults to relax in and a separate small, shallow pool for young kids to splash in. A tree ropes course provides you with the opportunity to get out of the water and try out your climbing skills. Splash Lagoon also contains an arcade and laser tag area, on-site lodging, and amenities such as three snack bars and a gift shop. The attached restaurant and bar also includes a bowling alley. If you forget anything, the sundries shop contains toiletries and supplies as well as swim trunks and bathing suits. You can even reserve areas for a birthday party or corporate event at Splash Lagoon.
The Erie Zoo features North American animals such as river otters and mole rats. You can also see animals from around the world, such as Amur tigers and leopards, African lions, reticulated giraffes, wallabies, two-toed sloths, and red pandas. Erie Zoo is also home to many gardens, some of which are used to grow the greens, fruits, and vegetables that the animals eat. While visiting Erie Zoo, you can also attend an educational program or participate in one of their special events. The Erie Zoo closes during the winter months and reopens each year on March 1.
Erie Maritime Museum
The Erie Maritime Museum educates visitors on all of the details of Erie's history as it relates to Lake Erie. The tour begins with the Battle of Lake Erie on September 10, 1813, and continues to the present day. The exhibits on display at the Erie Maritime Museum include historical artifacts such as steam generators and coal ovens used on early shipping barges and tugboats. You can sit back and watch some dramatic videos about the brave sailors who worked on and captained the ships. While visiting the museum, you can also learn about the three lighthouses of Erie, discover the secrets of the USS Michigan/Wolverine, and view maritime art. There is also a large exhibit of ship models with intricate details such as miniature ropes and life preservers. The Erie Maritime Museum is also home to many educational resources about the plants and animals of the Great Lakes, conservation of natural resources, shipping barges, and how the lakes are used.
Presque Isle Downs & Casino
Try your chances and press your luck at Presque Isle Downs & Casino. Practice your poker face or try out the roulette wheel in the gaming areas. There are also hundreds of slot machines and more than 50 scratch kiosks. The horse and harness racing programs will add to the excitement of your visit. Presque Isle Downs & Casino also provides patrons with nightly entertainment and shows. If you are enjoying the races and games, you can stay for dinner or a midnight snack at one of the three full-service restaurants. There is also a 24/7 bar and grill that serves breakfast and other fare at any time of the day or night. Presque Isle Downs & Casino offers lodging and special events rooms if you are hosting a party.
Asbury Woods is a family-friendly nature center and park. The indoor Nature Center facility regularly hosts educational programs and a resource library. There is Brown’s Farm Barn, where you can check out the cows and calves and other farm animals. The Little Woods play area provides kids with the opportunity to climb, swing, and observe the natural world around them. Asbury Woods is also home to 205 acres of forests, streams, ponds, and fields. There are 4.5 miles of groomed trails, ranging in length from 0.33 miles to 2.3 miles. You can walk, ski, or snowshoe the trails. Skis and snowshoes are available for rent at the nature center.
When you want to take in the view of the entire Erie area, you should visit and climb Bicentennial Tower. Measuring 187 feet from the ground to the tip of the flagpole, it offers panoramic views of the city and lake. You have to climb 210 steps to reach the upper observation deck. The second observation deck is 138 feet high. Bicentennial Tower also features a gift, souvenir and concessions stand.
The Erie Playhouse is one of the nation's oldest and largest community theaters. It presents Broadway hits such as “The Lion King” and “A Chorus Line.” You can also attend one of the comedy shows or entertainment performances that are featured at the playhouse. The Erie Playhouse is also home to a popular youth theater program that puts on plays featuring kid actors who often perform roles in many of the theater's other productions. The Erie Playhouse measures more than 12,000 square feet in size, seats 464 guests, and has a proscenium-style stage. (Photo Credit: http://www.erieplayhouse.org)
Experience Children’s Museum
The Experience Children’s Museum provides children and families of all ages with the opportunity to experience hands-on and interactive exhibits about building things, history, and nature. It features a Discovery Floor where kids can learn about nature, practice math, and develop language skills. The Creativity Floor features an open art studio where kids can paint, feel the tactile wall, or experiment with the light boxes. The museum has an Explore Floor, Imagination Floor, and a gift shop. There also is a separate area where children under the age of 3 can climb, build, and explore.Moving your household from one city to another is certain to be an exciting and challenging time. With professional assistance from the staff at Allied Van Lines, you won’t have to worry about transporting your belongings to your new home or apartment. With the time that you save, you will be able to enjoy visiting some of these attractions in your new city. Each destination on this list is an adventure, and you will be able to learn more about the people and places in your new neighborhood.