16 Unique Things To Do In Erie, PA Based on Your Lifestyle

Whether you’re a nature lover, a thrill-seeker, or something else entirely, Erie, Pennsylvania, has what you need for a fun and fulfilling weekend. No matter the season, there’s always something to do or somewhere to go to experience all this city and county has to offer. In this post, Port Farms, a go-to source for family fun, explores Erie’s unique attractions for lifestyles of all kinds.

For Nature Lovers

Hikers, beach-goers, and park sitters alike find joy in Erie’s natural spaces. With over 50 public parks to choose from, you’re sure to find a little slice of greenery that’s perfect for any outdoor activity.

1. Port Farms

Port Farms is an ideal location for outdoor recreation. Spend the day wandering around the flower fields, making your way through the giant corn maze, or racing your friends on the slides. Work up an appetite and then head to our snack stand, or hang in the Beer Garden for a while. We have plenty of activities to keep you and your loved ones entertained all day.

2. Asbury Woods

Located in the heart of Millcreek Township, Asbury Woods boasts over 216 acres of woods available for use year-round. Plus, the five miles of walking and hiking trails are the perfect way to connect with nature without traveling far outside the city.

3. Erie Bluffs State Park

Erie Bluffs State Park is a 587-acre wooded recreation area located on the shores of Lake Erie. The 90-foot bluffs overlooking Lake Erie provide a picturesque view of the water spanning an entire mile of trail distance. Make your way down to Elk Creek for some quality fishing, or sign up for a guided walk to learn more about the Bluff’s plant species and other environmental considerations.

4. Presque Isle State Park

Presque Isle State Park is Pennsylvania’s only “seashore,” with over 3,000 acres of sandy beach set right on Lake Erie. The 13-mile peninsula offers visitors plenty of paved and unpaved trails perfect for hiking, biking, cycling, walking, running, rollerblading, and more. Rent a kayak, fish the lagoons, or jump on a boat for a scenic tour. Residents of Erie and seasonal tourists all enjoy this incredible park.

For Foodies

In recent years, Erie’s food scene has made waves, with some incredible additions to the gourmet scene and easy staples that will keep you wanting more.

5. Pineapple Eddies Southern Bistro

Arguably one of the best dining experiences in Erie, Pineapple Eddie Southern Bistro is a brilliant blend of southern and Caribbean cuisines. You’re sure to be blown away by the entree options, but the pastry case of homemade desserts will have your mouth watering the moment you walk in the door.

6. Bar Ronin

Photo Credit: Bar Ronin

One of the newest restaurants to make it to town, Bar Ronin is a hip, funky spot that gives fine dining a new name. Enjoy the uniquely prepared Japanese cuisine menu in a spacious dining room with graffitied walls, living plants, and neon signage throughout the space. Have a drink from the bar menu and relax in a comfortable atmosphere that’ll make you appreciate modern life in the city.

7. Gem City Dinor

Photo Credit: Gem City Dinor

If breakfast food is more your speed, head to the Gem City Dinor for a delicious homestyle meal. With plate-sized pancakes and a unique assortment of omelets, you don’t want to miss out on this Erie staple.

Fun Fact: “Dinor” isn’t just a misspelled word. It’s a northern Pennsylvania twist on the classic “diner” that keeps things interesting for Erie residents and tourists alike.

8. Waterford Hotel

Located on High Street in Waterford, PA, just minutes away from Port Farms, the Waterford Hotel is a fun, historic restaurant that’s a favorite among the masses. Despite the classy building and decor, the hotel proudly offers a bar-food menu, making it different than most other locations like it.

For Kids

If you’re spending a weekend away with your kids, Erie has plenty of activities and attractions to keep them entertained. Run around the city for a while, and they’ll sleep soundly at the end of the day, giving you the chance to sit back and relax.

9. Port Farms

Port Farms is the ideal spot for a fun day with your children. With mazes, giant slides, pedal cart races, and more, your kids will have lots of options for how to spend the day. And when they get hungry, our snack bar is the perfect place to refuel, with plenty of kid-friendly foods available.

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10. Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park

Photo Credit: Splash Lagoon

Splash Lagoon is Erie’s only indoor waterpark and is open year-round. The temperature-controlled climate will make you feel like you’re hanging on a tropical beach while your kids enjoy over 20 unique slides, pools, and other amenities. Don’t be shy about joining in on the fun. Splash Lagoon has exciting rides and slides for the whole family to enjoy.

11. Erie Zoo

Photo Credit: ErieZoo.org

The Erie Zoo is brimming with over 400 animals and 11 botanical gardens. From big cats to aquatic creatures, this zoo will entertain and educate your kids for hours! When you wrap up your tour, take a ride on the Safariland Train and Wildlife Carousel.

12. ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum

The ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum features a staggering 25 hands-on, engaging exhibitions and various programs for children of all ages. If you have young ones who have a lot of energy, the Children’s Museum has three floors of activities and an outdoor classroom. Is there any better combination than mixing learning opportunities with fun experiences?

For Date Night

Of course, the classic dinner and a movie will never go out of style, but if you’re looking for a unique date night, Erie, PA, has plenty of easy, fun, romantic options for you and your significant other.

13. Bayfront Bar Hop

Photo Credit: UPick6.com

To get some top-notch drinks and delicious food, go for a Bayfront bar hop. You can either make up your own order or head right down the list:

  • Altered State Distillery
  • The Sloppy Duck
  • Pier 6 Rooftop Bar & Restaurant
  • Shoreline Bar and Grille
  • Bay House Oyster Bar & Restaurant
  • Oliver’s Rooftop
  • The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern
  • Rum Runners

And, while you’re milling around, don’t forget to take a trip up to the top of the Bicentennial Tower for breathtaking views of Lake Erie to the north and downtown to the south.

14. Port Farms

Take a walk through the five acres of flower fields, put your heads together to get through the corn maze, or sit by a romantic campfire together. A day at Port Farms is the perfect way for you and your partner to spend quality time enjoying each other’s company.

15. Sunset Drive-In

Photo Credit: ErieReader.com

Load up the car and truck with snacks and blankets and see a mix of classics and new blockbusters at the Sunset Drive-In after your trip to Port Farms. Just remember, it’s cash only, so make sure you drop by an ATM on your way out.

16. Gallery Night

Photo Credit: The Erie Art Museum

Feast your eyes on artwork from Erie artists, sip on a few cocktails, and munch on some finger food during Gallery Night. With nearly two dozen locations to check out, there is something for every couple. The best part is, almost all of the Gallery Night locations are free!

Make Port Farms a Stop on Your Erie Tour

Whether you’re just visiting or an Erie native, know that Erie County has so much to offer! From restaurants and pubs to family farms and water parks, we have it all. When you’re ready to have some fun, head to Port Farms to kickoff vacation or your weekend!