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Erie County

Your Great Lakes Getaway Awaits in Erie County!

The weather is getting warmer, and Erie County is ready to welcome you for a waterfront getaway! From welcoming back animal friends to casting a line in the sparkling waters of Presque Isle Bay, treat yourself to a healthy dose of springtime sunshine on Erie’s sparkling shores!

Outdoor Recreation

With the spring thaw, it’s time to get outside! 

Presque Isle State Park is Erie County’s most popular attraction, offering seven miles of sandy beaches and more than thirteen miles of flat trails for walking, hiking and biking. Beaches open for the summer on Memorial Day weekend. Before visiting Presque Isle, check out the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) to learn more about Erie’s natural resources and the Park’s history. End the day with an orange twist from Sara’s, a 50s-themed diner at the Park’s entrance.

If you’re an eager angler, cast your line for some springtime fishing in Presque Isle Bay. Whether you fish from shore or boat, you’re almost guaranteed to catch something, as yellow perch, panfish, and crappies are in abundance.

Spring makes its presence known at the Lake Erie Arboretum at Frontier Park with a vibrant display of blooming cherry blossom trees. Walk or bike your way through the park to see this beautiful scene of pink and white flowers. Hike through more than 500 acres of undeveloped, old-growth forest at Erie Bluffs State Park. In addition to its fields of spring wildflowers and breathtaking cliffside views of Lake Erie, you can also take one of several trails that lead down to the Lake Erie shoreline.

As soon as the snow melts, golfers flock to Erie to hit the links at its many sprawling and picturesque courses. For 2023, VisitErie has compiled four value-filled Golf Stay and Play Packages to keep you in the green.  

Dining and Craft Beverages

With crisp, fresh air, the warmth of the sun, and a delicious meal, spring dining at a restaurant can be a revitalizing and enjoyable experience whether you are with friends or family.

Nothing signifies spring’s arrival in Erie more than the annual April 1 opening of Sara’s Restaurant where the funky decor and whimsical photo cut-outs are almost as popular as the food.  Load up on foot-long hot dogs, burgers, curly fries, and milkshakes, before or after a visit to Presque Isle State Park. For a unique dining experience, the Trackside Patio at The Brewerie at Union Station, adjacent to the train tracks, combines delicious food and house-made craft beer in a heated outdoor dining space complete with picnic-style seating, colorful flowers, and bocce courts Bursting with seasonal ingredients such as asparagus, chives, and truffles, The Cork 1794 offers an ever-changing carefully crafted menu of food and drinks. Their flair for creativity and outstanding customer service recently won them a 2023 Open Table Diners’ Choice award.

In the eastern part of Erie County, experience the start of Lake Erie Wine Country, the largest grape-growing region in the United States east of the Rocky Mountains. More than 50 miles of vineyards feature 23 distinct wineries, each open for tastings and snacks to suit any palate. Spring is also the perfect time to explore the flavors of the Lake Erie Ale Trail, and to check out its emerging craft distillery scene.

Family Activities 

Erie’s small size can be beneficial for you and your family, providing a convenient, safe, and affordable experience with a range of family-friendly and budget-friendly activities. If you are accompanied by young children, you can easily navigate the area and manage your time efficiently, allowing you to explore without concern for lengthy travel times. Most of Erie’s attractions, shops, restaurants, and lodging are conveniently located within a short drive of each other.

Many visitor favorites open back up for the season during this time of year. With an intimate-sized footprint, the Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens is designed to give you a more personalized experience without feeling overwhelmed or rushed. With more than 400 animals and 600 species of plants from all over the world, there’s something new for you to discover at every turn. The Erie SeaWolves are back in action this spring at UPMC Park in Downtown Erie and you won’t want to miss a single game. As the AA Minor League Baseball affiliate team of the Detroit Tigers, the SeaWolves bring the excitement of professional baseball to you up close. Forget about watching the game from the nose-bleed section: at UPMC Park, every seat is the best seat in the house!

Erie’s Total Solar Eclipse

Save the date! Erie is in the path of totality for the 2024 Total Solar Eclipse on April 8, 2024. Make your plans early to experience this one-in-a-lifetime event on the shores.

Start Planning Your Next Lake Escape…

In the redesigned 2023 Erie Visitor Guide, you’ll find: 

  • Magazine-style editorial content on Erie’s beaches and waterfront, family fun attractions, dog-friendly Erie, and more. 
  • A complete directory of restaurants, hotels, shopping, and attractions. 
  • Maps of Presque Isle State Park, Erie City and Erie County
Order your free 2023 Erie Visitor Guide here