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How to Stay Cool This Summer in Erie PA

Tuesday Aug 1st, 2023

Beat the heat this summer and cool off in Erie, PA! With miles of pristine sandy beaches, exhilarating water parks, invigorating splash pads, and a plethora of other options that will truly embrace your love for aquatic activities, the Erie area is brimming with refreshing options.

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BEACHES

With miles of Lake Erie shoreline, the Erie region has several great beach locations for you to stretch out and relax. Erie’s top beach attraction is Presque Isle State Park, a designated National Natural Landmark featuring seven miles of sandy beaches and the only surf swimming in Pennsylvania.  The cool, refreshing waters of Lake Erie make Presque Isle the perfect place to take a dip. Presque Isle-guarded beaches are open daily from Memorial Day through Labor Day.  When you arrive, be sure to check the sign located just past the park’s main gate that indicates what beaches are open for swimming that day and the safety notice regarding beach status flags. These flags, colored to indicate varying levels of safety are posted on lifeguard chairs to inform beachgoers of any hazards such as winds, waves, and currents.  Complete information on all of Presque Isle’s beaches can be found here.

The Pat Crawford Beach at Edinboro Lake is a picturesque, guarded swimming beach area that is open from Memorial Day to Labor Day.  Edinboro Lake also features two free public boat launches, a playground, a picnic area, and an ADA-accessible fishing pier. On the eastern shores of Lake Erie in Harborcreek, PA, Shades Beach is a popular spot for families because of its shallow waters and has great vantage points for watching one of Erie’s famous sunsets. There are also hiking trails, play areas, horseshoe courts, a boat launch, and picnic grounds. Learn more about Erie County beaches here.  

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WATER PARKS

This summer, the newest attraction at Waldameer Park & Water World (pictured above, photo by Gibbens Creative) is making a big splash! The Rocket Blast is a thrilling combination of a water slide and roller coaster with more than 800 feet of flying saucer turns and uphill watery blasts. Water World also boasts The Battle of Lake Erie family complex featuring an oversized replica of Erie’s Flagship Brig Niagara and a 400-gallon tipping bucket. The park’s Kidz Zone is exclusively for children 54” and under and is equipped with playful ground sprays, dancing fountains, and eight colorful slides. If the weather is inclement due to extreme heat or thunderstorms, head inside to Splash Lagoon Indoor Water Park & Resort.  The Polynesian-inspired attraction provides all the fun and thrills of an outdoor water park, inside a controlled tropical environment and consistently ranks among “USA Today Readers’ Choice” for top indoor water parks. Some of Splash Lagoon’s attractions are the Big Kahuna, Hurricane Hole, and Maui Wowie slides, the Tiki Tree House, FlowRider surf machine, and a 200,000-gallon Wild Waters Wave Pool, the largest indoor wave pool in the eastern United States.

BayviewPark SplashPad2 credit City of Erie contributed photo

SPLASH PADS/SPRAY PARKS

Chill out at the Bayview Park Splash Pad in Erie’s West Bayfront District, (pictured above contributed photo: City of Erie) overlooking Presque Isle Bay. The city-run water attraction uses various sprinklers, a tipping bucket, and other spritzing surprises to delight all ages. The splash pad is open daily during the summer months (weather permitting) and is ADA-accessible. Just west of Erie in Girard, PA is the YMCA Camp Sherwin Spray and Play Park, a public outdoor recreation and camping center. The splash pad area includes a whimsical four-piece spraying snake, multiple watery hoops, and a tipping bucket. Camp Sherwin also has a heated pool with an aqua climb rock wall. 

Kayak Lagoons Credit C Ricchuiti

WATERCRAFT RENTALS

If you don’t have your own watercraft to get out on Lake Erie or Presque Isle Bay, no worries!  There are several places with a variety of rental options to get you playing on the water in no time. Port Erie Sports offers a selection of boats, jet skis, pontoons, kayaks, and paddleboard rentals.  They are open daily from Memorial Day to Labor Day 9 a.m. to sundown. Hidden Harbor Water Rentals features 22’ or 24’ pontoon boats for rent with optional towable water tubes to help crank up the fun! Hidden Harbor Rentals is open daily from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. from June to September. At Presque Isle State Park, you can rent aqua-cycle water trikes at the Yellow Bike Rental Company or any number of watercraft from rowboats and motorboats to canoes and kayaks at Presque Isle Boat Rental (pictured above, photo by C. Ricchuiti). Yellow Bike is open daily from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. and Presque Isle Boat Rental is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 8 p.m., Saturday and Sunday from 6:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. If you prefer to own your own equipment, The Isle Surf and Skate Shop specializes in all things board sports and the beach, with rent and retail options for surfboards and paddle boards. The Isle is open Wednesdays through Saturdays from Noon to 6 p.m.

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COOL POOLS

Turn your visit into an overnight getaway and enjoy a dip in one of the many indoor or outdoor pools found at local hotels, motels, and campgrounds. With incredible views of Presque Isle Bay, the Courtyard Erie Bayfront Hotel’s outdoor infinity pool located on the second floor of the hotel is by far one of Erie’s coolest pools. At the Holiday Inn Express & Suites North East, their indoor pool outshines your standard hotel pool. This unique pool features a splash pad, a 32’ water slide, water sprayers, tipping buckets, and a whirlpool. Both the Courtyard and Holiday Inn Express pool area are ADA-accessible. For a complete list of lodging options with swimming pools, click here and look for the pool symbol.

Partner Spotlight

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Tia Book Cellar

Tia Book Cellar is an independent bookstore offering new and bargain books, unique gifts, puzzles, and games for all interests and ages. Located across from Gibson Park in North East, their brand embodies the local business model and the local grape heritage. Tia's believes that "there is always … local, an alternative, and a story." They look forward to helping you discover your next read or gift here.

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mazza spotlight

Mazza Vineyards and the South Shore Wine Company

The Mazza family welcomes you to explore 3 unique locations in Lake Erie Wine Country. Sip and savor award-winning wines at Mazza Vineyards and the historic South Shore Wine Company, both located in North East, PA, and be sure to visit their combination winery, distillery and brewery, Mazza Chautauqua Cellars/Five & 20 Spirits and Brewing, in nearby Westfield, NY.

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The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern

The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern is sure to give you an unforgettable and care-free dining experience. Enjoy a nautical atmosphere with a beautiful view of Presque Isle Bay.

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Dobbins Landing

Located on the southeast shore of Lake Erie, the Port of Erie has been promoting industrial, commercial, and recreational opportunities on the waters of Lake Erie since 1959.

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Poverty Knob Farmhouse Ales

Stop by Port Farms to check out the newest addition, Poverty Knob Farmhouse Ales. We offer hand-crafted beers and delicious sharable food year-round. The brewery is family and dog friendly with both indoor and outdoor spaces. We offer games, music and entertainment for all ages!

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UPMC Hamot - See What Makes Us Different

UPMC Hamot is a 458-bed hospital in Erie, Pennsylvania, offering a full complement of inpatient and outpatient services. The hospital serves as a regional referral hub and is the only accredited trauma center in the region.

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814 Photo

Showcasing the incredible year round beauty of the City of Erie and its surrounding areas, commonly referred to as its area code "the 814". Explore some of Erie County's most breathtaking landscape photography.

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ASCEND Erie - Climbing | Fitness | Yoga

NOW OPEN! ASCEND fosters a community-centered climbing, fitness, and yoga experience by serving individuals and groups of all ages, backgrounds and abilities. Located in Downtown Erie, ASCEND welcomes Erie visitors to stop in and give climbing a try!

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The Cork 1794

Open for Lunch and Dinner. Get ready for an experience like no other. An atmosphere where uncommon style, comfort and service seamlessly meld. Where food and beverages are expertly crafted to be beautiful, satisfying and truly special. A place that makes every day feel like a reason to celebrate.

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Two45 Waterfront Grille Now Open!

Savor an exquisite waterfront dining experience at Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel, where culinary excellence meets panoramic views. This signature restaurant invites you to indulge in a delectable journey with a menu showcasing locally sourced ingredients and global inspirations while overlooking the serene waters of Lake Erie.

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Millcreek Mall

The Millcreek Mall features more than 160 stores, restaurants, and fun for the whole family on Upper Peach Street, Erie’s most popular shopping district! Shopping in Erie means no sales tax on clothing or shoes. Choose from a variety of hotels located on the Mall property and just minutes away at the intersection of Peach Street and Interstate 90.

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u pick 6 spotlight

U Pick 6 Craft Beer Pubs & Restaurants

Erie’s own local craft beer pubs are a must-visit! With 4 great locations, just pick one that’s convenient for you! A casual, family friendly dining experience with something for everyone! To view our menu, check out what’s on tap, or get to directions to our pubs, learn more now!”

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Erie Events

Erie Events manages a four facility entertainment complex that includes the Warner Theatre, Erie Insurance Arena, Bayfront Convention Center and UPMC Park. These four venues host a variety of events that include world-class entertainment, family friendly shows and sporting events.

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Farmhouse Retreat

Your “Home Away from Home” short term rental sleeps 8 and is in a great location close to Erie Sports Center, Splash Lagoon, shopping and restaurants, as well as Steelhead Fishing. This restored 1881 Farmhouse is located on 10 private acres. Reminisce about bygone days when life was slower and simpler. With a long driveway and large yard, kick back by the firepit, watch wildlife or enjoy a beautiful Erie sunset from the back patio.

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Ante-up, Erie.

Find true action with slots, table games, sports book, and horse racing.

Just for fun!

Experience family summer fun on more than 100 great rides, slides and attractions at Waldameer!

Award-Winning Compassionate Care

Voted Erie’s Choice Best Hospital for eight years in a row

One stop convenience.

Fill your tank, pick up fresh food from local brands, and a six-pack to go in 40 regional locations.

Soak in the fun!

Experience 84 degrees all year at one of the top water parks in the country.

Ante-up, Erie.

Find true action with slots, table games, sports book, and horse racing.

Award-Winning Compassionate Care

Voted Erie’s Choice Best Hospital for eight years in a row

Just for fun!

Experience family summer fun on more than 100 great rides, slides and attractions at Waldameer!

Soak in the fun!

Experience 84 degrees all year at one of the top water parks in the country.

One stop convenience.

Fill your tank, pick up fresh food from local brands, and a six-pack to go in 40 regional locations.