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North pier at sunset

Ten Reasons to Love Erie

Tuesday Feb 6th, 2024

As Pennsylvania’s only city on the Great Lakes, the Erie region has an undeniable charm with distinct qualities that set it apart from other destinations. Here are ten compelling reasons why Erie deserves an abundance of love and affection.

  1. The Beaches

    The natural beauty of Presque Isle State Park can be experienced year-round, and in the summertime, the beaches are its star attraction. Presque Isle, a National Natural Landmark, is a peninsula that curves into Lake Erie and features seven miles of sandy surf beaches, providing visitors with the only surf swimming in Pennsylvania.

  2. Local Flavors

    Erie boasts a variety of food and beverage items that are produced right here in the region. Your checklist should include a perfectly grilled Smith hot dog from Sara’s, decadent sponge candy at Pulakos Chocolates or Romolo Chocolates, and Erie’s signature “Greek sauce” smothered over omelets, fries, or burgers at The Lawrence Park Dinor. Round out your experience with a fried pepperoni ball and house-pressed cider from Luminary Distilling, Eatery, Fuhrman’s Cider. The region is brimming with locally crafted beverages from Lake Erie Wine Country, the Lake Erie Ale Trail, and six exceptional craft distilleries that pair perfectly with any meal.

  3. A Welcoming Spirit

    Erie’s residents pride themselves on a strong sense of community, creating a welcoming atmosphere for everyone. It is a region of diverse cultures, where individual talents, skills, and perspectives are celebrated, supported, recognized., and protected. An Erie County ordinance affords individuals reasonable access to any public property, recognizing civil rights based on race, color, religion, sexual orientation, and disabilities to name a few. Read the full ordinance here.

  4. Booming Growth and Revitalization

    Erie is in the midst of a remarkable era of renaissance. Thanks to the city’s location along the shores of Lake Erie and a surge of innovative redevelopment, rebuilding, and rebranding, the area is transforming into a vibrant community. If you haven’t been to Erie in recent years, many parts are unrecognizable, especially Downtown and along the Bayfront. New structures and restored buildings with modern settings are found throughout, featuring businesses such as the Flagship City Food Hall, Hampton Inn & Suites Erie Bayfront Hotel, Oliver’s Rooftop Restaurant, the Shops at 5th and State, Bricks American Steakhouse, and numerous commercial and residential opportunities. Additional development is on the way in 2024 with plans that include more retail, dining, attractions, and residential space.

  5. World-Class Sunsets

    With the stunning backdrop of Lake Erie, Erie is considered to have some of the best sunsets in the world. Filling the sky with brilliant colors, an Erie sunset is truly unforgettable. Some of the best places to catch an amazing sunset are at Sunset Point at Presque Isle State Park, Shades Beach in Harborcreek, and Liberty Park on Presque Isle Bay. Find additional sunset locations here.

  6. Affordability

    The cost of living in Erie is reasonable, compared to larger metropolitan cities such as Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, making it an attractive place to live, work, and play. This extends to housing, transportation, parking, and even recreational activities including festivals and events, many of which are free to enjoy such as Discover Presque Isle, CelebrateErie, and the Edinboro Art and Music Festival.

  7. Less Traffic

    Erie’s manageable size and well-planned infrastructure not only result in less traffic but also contribute to shorter commute times, making travel effortless. For example, visitors looking to spend the day at Presque Isle State Park, do some shopping at the Millcreek Mall and end the day with dinner and a show in Downtown Erie, will find that navigating from place to place is a breeze, affording them more time to enjoy the area’s attractions versus time spent in traffic.

  8. The Change of Seasons

    The Erie region shows off its natural beauty across all four seasons, creating a dynamic and ever-changing environment. From the vibrant fall colors in the vineyards of Lake Erie Wine Country, snow-covered hills at Mount Pleasant of Edinboro, blossoming flowers and trees at Goodell Gardens, and the warmth of the summer sun at Presque Isle State Park, Erie’s distinct four seasons depict an indescribable tapestry that is best experienced first-hand.

  9. Rich History

    Erie’s rich historical background offers a captivating glimpse into the past through two prominent museums. The Erie Maritime Museum tells the riveting tale of Erie’s pivotal role in the War of 1812 and the Battle of Lake Erie while the Hagen History Center introduces Erie’s founding families through the compelling “The Story of Us” exhibit.

  10. Hidden Gems

    Beyond Erie’s well-known attractions is a treasure trove of often missed attractions and experiences waiting to be discovered and explored such as the Performing Artist Collective Alliance, a progressive theater that produces avant-garde performances, and ACTIONTOYMAN, a treasure trove of nostalgic novelties for all ages. Read more about Erie’s hidden gems here.

BONUS REASON!

On Monday, April 8, 2024 Erie will be in the path of totality for a total solar eclipse. For nearly four minutes, the afternoon sky will go dark as the moon passes between the sun and the Earth. Erie is the only major city in Pennsylvania to experience this once-in-a-lifetime event! Read more here.

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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Exclusive Tourism Rewards

If you live more than 50 miles from Millcreek Mall, stop by the Customer Service Center to register. You’ll receive a Guest Rewards Tourism Program Luggage Tag. Scanning the QR Code on it will reveal special offers from participating mall merchants. If you spend $200 or more that day, take your receipts back to the Customer Service Center and you’ll get a FREE $20 Mall Gift Card. You get rewarded just for shopping!

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Dobbins Landing Spring 2022 EB 2

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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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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Oliver’s Beer Garden

This summer, head over to Oliver's Beer Garden for endless fun and live music entertainment. Enjoy live performances every Wednesday through Sunday night throughout the season!

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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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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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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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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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The Cove Bay-Side Restaurant & Tavern

Set sail for an inspiring dining experience! Enjoy a unique casual dining experience on Erie's Bayfront. The Cove's nautically inspired decor and an unbelievable view of Presque Isle Bay will have you feeling the venturous spirit of those who live their lives on the sea.

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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!

One stop convenience.

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

One stop convenience.

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

Award-Winning Compassionate Care

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

Ante-up, Erie.

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

Soak in the fun!

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

Just for fun!

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