Why Erie, PA is the Perfect Summer Destination

Erie, Pennsylvania, has a growing list of summer attractions. From sandy beaches and wild roller coasters to bayfront bars and renowned breweries, there is something in Erie for everyone.

Whether you’re looking to splash, sip, or shop, you can do it all here and for a fraction of the cost of most lakeside cities. If you’re pursuing the perfect summer destination for you and your family, let Port Farms show you why Erie is the place to be.

Everyone Loves Erie Summers

Before digging into a list of must-dos, let’s look at Erie City and Erie County. First, Erie is a core element of Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region, along with Crawford, Mercer, and Venango Counties.

Visitors spent more than $1.7 billion in Pennsylvania’s Great Lakes Region in 2019, a 1.6% increase from 2018 and a new record high. In Erie specifically, the tourism industry brought in over $1 billion. If you’re curious about what puts Erie at the top of the Great Lakes Region and makes it a go-to destination, then this list will surely satisfy you.

Photo Credit: Visit Erie

1. The Sunsets are Stunning

Erie’s sunsets are exquisite. Mix the vivid spectrum of colors with the beautiful foreground of a serene lake, and you have a breathtaking sight to behold.

Whether you’re looking to brighten up your Instagram feed or just want to soak up the moment for yourself, finding a patch of shoreline to witness the sunset is your best bet. A few locations that give you a front-row seat include:

  • Presque Isle State Park (Sunset Point)
  • Waldammer Park (top of the Ferris wheel)
  • Shares Beach Park
  • Freeport Beach
  • Avonia Beach Park
  • Boat Tours (Victorian Princess, Scallywags, etc.)
Photo Credit: Erie Ale Works

2. The Beverage Selection is Unrivaled

The Erie region has a rich history of brewing beer, winemaking, and distilling. If you’re looking for something cool to sip on this summer, you can follow the Lake Erie Ale Trail or go off the beaten path. Here are a few locations you should consider depending on your taste:

Beer Wine Liquor
Erie Ale Works Cloud 9 Wine Bar & Restaurant Altered State Distillery
Twisted Elk Brewery Mazza Vineyards Luminary Cocktails & Bottle Shop
Lavery Brewing Company Presque Isle Wine Cellars Erie Distillery
Nostrovia Brewing Company Lakeview Wine Cellars Luminary Distilling, Fuhrman’s Cider
Riverside Brewing Co. Penn Shore Winery and Vineyards Room 33
Voodoo Brewery Arundel Cellars
Photo Credit: Erie Reader

3. There are so Many FREE Concerts & Events

Erie has an astonishing number of FREE events. The best part is, they’re happening nearly every day and night of the week. So, no matter when you’re here, there is always a reason to get out there and enjoy some entertainment. Here are a few resources that’ll help you decide what concerts and events you might want to attend.

Of course, that still leaves plenty of options to choose from, so here are a few recommendations to get you started:

  • Perry Square Concert Series
  • Perry Square Yoga
  • Music Concert Series: Highmark Art After Dark
  • Discover Presque Isle
  • Sunset Music Series
Photo Credit: Visit Erie

4. The Food is Incredible

Whether you’ve got a hankering for Southern comfort food, Mexican, Thai, Middle Eastern, Italian, Mediterranean, Barbecue, Nepalese, or classic American pub food, you’re in for a treat. Not only is the food delicious, but you’ll often get to visit some off-the-beaten-path areas of Erie City and Erie County when dining at these restaurants.

If you’re on the hunt for some good grub, simply pull up Google Maps. You’ll quickly come to find that there are bars and restaurants everywhere!

5. The Outdoor Activities are Nearly Endless

Hike. Walk. Run. Climb. Swim. It’s all possible in Erie, PA. This lakeside city and county has over 50 public parks, a one-of-a-kind peninsula, and various countryside destinations.

If you’re looking for outdoor adventures for all ages, Port Farms is an excellent place to start. Between their blossoming flower fields, giant corn maze, and a huge list of other attractions, it’ll become one of your favorite Erie County destinations.

The trails in this area are also breathtaking. If hiking is your go-to activity, be sure to visit:

  • Gull Point Trail
  • Scott Park
  • Wintergreen Gorge
  • Asbury Park
  • Six Mile Creek Park
  • Erie Bluffs State Park

Of course, if you’re interested in just catching some rays, drive down to the Presque Isle and find your perfect plot of sand. With 13 beaches, we’re confident you’ll find a serene spot to kick back and relax.

6. It Has a Bustling Nightlife

Erie is wonderful year-round, but the city comes alive in the summer. Enjoy high-quality cocktails, a fantastic view, and delectable cuisine by treating yourself to one or more of the many Bayfront restaurants and bars. A few of these waterside staples include:

  • The Sloppy Duck
  • Pier 6 Rooftop Bar & Restaurant
  • Shoreline Bar and Grille
  • Bay House Oyster Bar & Restaurant
  • Oliver’s Rooftop
  • Rum Runners

If you’re still out and about, head up State Street for even more nightlife options. From dance clubs to traditional pubs, you can find it on the main drag.

Port Farms: An Erie Staple

Since 1897, Port Farms has been an Erie County Staple. Today, the Farm hosts a range of events, including an emerging summer staple: Flower Festival! During this unique event, you can immerse yourself in five acres of vibrant sunflowers and zinnias. If you’re interested in learning more about Port Farms and our many attractions, visit our contact page and be sure to pick up a season pass!