9 Reasons Why I Wish I Visited Erie Pennsylvania Sooner

I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: 9 Reasons Why I Wish I Visited Erie Pennsylvania Sooner

Growing up in the Niagara area, a trip to the United States was not uncommon. Whether it was for a hockey game or a girls shopping trip, a trip across the border was a great change in scenery. However, these trips were to New York State, not any further. Despite being able to see our southern neighbours on a clear beach day along Lake Erie, it wasn’t until recently that I made the trip while en route to Pittsburgh. After just a few hours in Erie Pennsylvania, I couldn’t believe it had taken me 27 years to visit! Don’t make the same mistake I did – and here are 9 reasons why you should plan a trip to Erie sooner rather than later!

I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: 9 Reasons to Visit Erie Pennsylvania

Reason 1: Location, Location, Location

Nestled on the shores of Lake Erie, it’s a great getaway from the hustle and bustle of the city. Only a 2.5 hour drive from my home town of St Catharines, it’s actually a little sad I’ve never made it across the lake to Erie. I’ve visited MontrΓ©al and Ottawa multiple times and they’re 3x the distance away! Just because there’s a border between us, it never registered on my radar.

Reason 2: The City is Walkable

I don’t know about you, but a walkable city is a big bonus in my books. You can walk from the heart of downtown to the waterfront in 15 minutes. Although it is a little uphill at times, that just means you’ll be earning your dinner & drinks!

I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: 9 Reasons to Visit Erie Pennsylvania

Reason 3: Escaping to Nature is Easy

A short drive from downtown Erie is Presque Isle State Park. This 3,200 acre peninsula offers a number of recreational activities. From biking to boating to just relaxing on the sandy shores, there’s something for everyone. Presque Isle also offers winter activities like cross-country skiing and snowshoeing in the colder months. A must visit when in town, be sure to leave a few hours during your trip to fully enjoy the natural beauty Presque Isle has to offer!

Reason 4: The Gorgeous Sunsets

Everyone loves a good sunset, and Erie has some amazing ones! Take some time to enjoy the beautiful shoreline. I suggest grabbing a chair and enjoying the colours from Liberty Park, or head on into Presque Isle and relax on its sandy beaches.

I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: 9 Reasons to VIsit Erie Pennsylvania

Reason 5: A Hop, Skip & Jump from Lake Erie’s Wine Country

Erie Pennsylvania is perfect for a girls weekend as the area offers over 20 unique wineries. Located just a 15min drive away between Erie, PA & Silver Creek, NY, the area offers an amazing variety of vintages. Pick a few wineries and make your own wine tour, or enjoy one of their events like the North East Wine Festival happening Sept 22-24, 2017! No matter what you do, be sure to enjoy responsibly.

I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: 9 Reasons To Visit Erie Pennsylvania

Reason 6: Plenty of Great Eats

From the shores of Presque Isle Bay to the heart of downtown, there’s a restaurant that will tickle your fancy. Enjoy the sunshine on tropical-themed patios like Rum Runners Cove for a true summer experience or head into town and grab a bite. Oh, and be sure to indulge in an orange vanilla swirl from Sara’s – you’ll regret it if you don’t!

Reason 7: Erie Pennsylvania is the Center of Lake Erie’s Ale Trail

Stretching from Westfield, NY to Meadville & Titusville, PA, Erie Pennsylvania is in the heart of great craft beer. While some are scattered through neighbouring cities, there are a few you can make a small beer crawl out of. Be sure to stop at Voodoo Brewery’s downtown Erie location as it’s full of character – and great beer of course!

I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: 9 Reasons to Visit Erie Pennsylvania

Reason 8: You Won’t Break the Bank

Your wallet will thank you while on vacation in Erie. The town offers plenty of great frugal excursions. Waldameers Family Fun Park is free to enter, you only pay for the rides & entertainment you use! There’s also the Tom Ridge Environmental Center that’s free to enter and offers many great exhibits for all ages. Lastly, there are no taxes on clothing and apparel. Yes, you read that correctly – none of those awful extra charges while indulging in some retail therapy!

Reason 9: It’s a Great Destination for Families

While I don’t have any children of my own, I wished I was a kid again while exploring Erie. It’s a perfect weekend getaway for families! There’s the previously mentioned Waldameer Family Fun Park, that has rides and water slides which are great for young families. There’s also Splash Lagoon which was voted 2015’s Best Indoor Waterpark by USA Today’s Readers’ Choice!

I've Been Bit! A Travel Blog :: 9 Reasons to Visit Erie Pennsylvania

Erie Pennsylvania is the perfect place for a romantic getaway or a girls weekend. While my time in Erie was shorter than I would have liked, it just means I’ll have to return! What destinations have you been to that you wish you visited sooner? Have you visited Erie before? I’d love to see your travel photos, so be sure to use #IveBeenBitTravel on your Instagram pictures!

Thank you to VisitErie for hosting me as I explored more of their beautiful town. All reviews and opinions are my own.

What are you waiting for? Pin this and visit Erie already!


  1. Liz

    August 1, 2017

    Hey next time can you bring me some pho from Happy Cow aka pho dau bo? I used to take regular trips to St. Catharines just for a bowl of it. Haven’t in a long time. I’m glad you like our town.

    • Lindz author

      August 1, 2017

      Pho Dau Bo is excellent! I haven’t been to the St Catharines location in a while but luckily there’s one in Kitchener where I live now. If they’d let me across the border with it, I’d totally bring you a bowl! Thanks for the comment πŸ™‚

  2. Kimberly

    August 1, 2017

    We go to Erie a few times a year, just to unwind. It is a little over 2 hours from where we live …Love it there. We have been to St. Catherine’s also on our way to Niagara Falls a beautiful city! A festival was going on there. So clean and nice!

    • Lindz author

      August 2, 2017

      Erie’s a great spot to unwind! While my time there was an absolute whirlwind, I’d love to take a weekend and relax. I’m glad to hear you enjoyed both St Catharines and Niagara Falls! 😊

  3. Andrew

    August 2, 2017

    Great photos! Thanks for visiting Erie. πŸ‘

    • Lindz author

      August 2, 2017

      Thanks Andrew! Glad you enjoyed them! 😊

  4. Chuck Joy

    August 2, 2017

    Nice job. You got location, food, beach. You missed the entertainment: music, theatre, film, poetry. Art. There’s a Children’s Museum. That’s why we say Lucky To Live In Erie!

    • Lindz author

      August 2, 2017

      Unfortunately I didn’t have time to experience all of these things in my first visit, but all the more reason to return! Thank you for your comment 😊

  5. Jen Dillon

    August 3, 2017

    We also have Wintergreen Gorge Trails, Asbury Woods Trails, MiLB Team Affiliate of the Detroit Tigers, Erie SeaWolves games are always fun, the Erie Otters hockey team, development league team for the NBA. Sporting events nearly all year round. We also tend to get some big headliners at our comedy club, have a motorcycle week called Roar on the Shore, and have heritage festivals throughout the summer and early fall. Presque Isle is filled with beaches, trails, kayaking, and so much more. Erie is also known for our Smith’s hot dogs, ox roast, and multiple home made chocolate sponge candy! (Give it a try, sounds funny but it’s sooooo good!) πŸ™‚

    • Lindz author

      August 3, 2017

      The more I hear about Erie, the more I MUST return! Erie is definitely a year-round destination… and the sponge candy sounds delightful! Thanks for sharing 😊

  6. Tracie

    August 3, 2017

    Love this article! Ioved back after 30 years in NYC area and couldn’t be happier. Erie is all you mentioned and so much more. When you are back, make sure you try Stefanelli’s sponge candy, Smiths hot dogs, Urbaniak’s Ox roast, Sontheimer’s German bakery and look for pepperoni balls for a few special local treats. Visit an Otters game, lots of skiing in the winter. And check out our museum for some local history. Erie has so much to offer!!!

    • Lindz author

      August 3, 2017

      I’d love to return to Erie in the winter. I’m a true Canadian in that I love the snow, so some skiing or snowshoeing in the winter sounds wonderful! I’ll have to indulge in the local culinary scene – my mouth is already watering from your comment! Thanks for sharing!

  7. Holly Ferruggia

    August 3, 2017

    Hi Lindsay,

    We’d love to have you come back and visit for the WineFest! Let us know if you’ll have time to come down and we’ll get you a tasting pass to enjoy the weekend πŸ™‚ We’ll get you set up with some fresh brewed coffee and a hike along 20 mile creek while you’re here!

    North East WineFest Coordinator

    • Lindz author

      August 3, 2017

      Hi Holly – this all sounds amazing! I’d love to return! I’ll send you an email in the near future and I’m sure we can coordinate something 😊 Thank you for the invite!

  8. Paul Tate

    August 3, 2017

    I grew up in Erie and live most of my life there. 15 years ago I moved south to Georgia but Erie will always be home. You review brought back some great memories. I’m going back this summer for my 50th high school reunion. Can’t wait to visit.

  9. Tracy

    August 4, 2017

    If you enjoy cross country skiing and snowshoeing, please consider an excursion to Wilderness Lodge near Wattsburg for miles of trails through pine tree forests that are spectacular after a snowfall. Wilderness is only 25 miles southeast of Erie and often receives more snow because of its altitude!

  10. Loretta Widen

    August 5, 2017

    This looks like such a fun vacation! I’ve only been to NYC, but we’ll consider this next time we head out that way. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Jackson

    March 20, 2019

    We love it here! It definitely is a great place for families to travel to. Also, you’re right! You will no break the bank here!

    • Lindz author

      March 23, 2019

      Erie sure is fantastic for both families and solo travellers like myself!

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