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Bicentennial Tower sunset SnapsbySean

Unwind and Explore - Five Ways to Spend a Spring Day on Erie’s Waterfront

Wednesday Mar 1st, 2023

Now that longer days and warmer temperatures are approaching, it’s time to seize the moment and embrace the season by trying out some favorite springtime activities. Here are some top suggestions for making the most of Erie’s stunning waterfront this spring!

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Bicentennial Tower and "Flotsam" mural. Photo credit Lake Effect Aerial

Experience New Heights

One of the area’s most recognizable landmarks, the Bicentennial Tower, is open year-round and offers birds-eye views of Downtown Erie, Presque Isle State Park, Lake Erie, and on clear days, even Canada! You can access the 138-foot top-level observation deck via stairs or elevator. From the top deck you can view a unique perspective of the abstract mural entitled “Flotsam”. It is painted on the entire second-level observation deck and was created by internationally-known artist SatOne.

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Colorful beach glass finds from Presque Isle

Dig for Hidden Treasure

Bring a keen eye to scour the sandy beaches of Presque Isle State Park and uncover beach glass in various shades of blue, green, brown, white, or maybe even rare red or orange. Jennifer Reed, owner and metalsmith artist at Relish Inc. hints that the best beach glass can be found at Beach 1, located near the entrance to the Park. These sparkly, colorful gems are great for making crafts such as jewelry or picture frames.

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The Bayfront Grille patio. Photo by @bayfrontgrille

Indulge in a Meal with a View

Whether you choose to dine indoors or out, the stunning views of Presque Isle Bay will make your meal an unforgettable experience at The Bayfront Grille. Enjoy a leisurely breakfast, lunch, or dinner at this award-winning waterfront restaurant. The Bayfront Grille’s menu boasts a delightful blend of sophisticated American cuisine with signature dishes including corn and crab chowder, chorizo breakfast bowl, and sirloin burger with truffle fries.

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The U.S. Brig Niagara

Discover Erie’s Maritime Heritage

Step inside the Erie Maritime Museum where Erie's significant role in the War of 1812 and its pivotal contribution to shaping the history of Pennsylvania comes to life. The museum’s main attraction is the awe-inspiring U.S. Brig Niagara, a floating museum and sail training vessel moored right outside the museum. In the warmer months, visitors have the unique opportunity to embark on day and sunset sails aboard the Niagara and the Lettie G. Howard schooner, both of which offer an unforgettable experience.

The Victorian Princess

Cruise Presque Isle Bay

Celebrate life's special moments with loved ones while enjoying the picturesque beauty of Presque Isle Bay aboard the Victorian Princess. This three-level Victorian-style paddleboat has been sailing the waters since 1998, earning her the title of "Grand Dame". From May to October guests can choose from an array of cruise options, including sunset, sightseeing, dining, and themed party cruises.

Partner Spotlight

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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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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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AHN Saint Vincent- Award-Winning Medical Care

AHN Saint Vincent has been here from the beginning, providing award-winning inpatient and outpatient medical care. Need express care? We’ve conveniently placed AHN facilities on the west and east side of Erie, just walk-in! AHN Saint Vincent is not only recognized locally (Erie’s Choice- Best Hospital) but nation-wide, so you can expect high-quality care, greater safety, and better results.

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Country Fair

We proudly opened our doors in Erie in 1965. A lot has changed between now and then, but our mission remains the same – offer fresh food, from our favorite local brands, at a convenient location. In one stop, you can fill up your gas tank and grab breakfast, lunch, groceries and a bottle of wine or a 6-pack to go. We look forward to serving you and your family during your trip to Erie!

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Fall Events at Peek'n Peak

Join us at Peek'n Peak Resort for a Fall adventure you won't want to miss! From the 35th Annual Fall Fest on October 14-15 and 21-22 to the epic German Beer Fest known as the Wurst Party Ever on November 4 and the hilarious Medieval Feast Dinner Theater on November 10-12 & 17-19, there's something for everyone! Check out our full event schedule and secure your tickets now at

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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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Outdoor Dining at the Bayfront Grille

The Bayfront Grille Restaurant at the Sheraton Erie Bayfront Hotel is a relaxed hotel eatery offering American fare all day in a scenic setting with a patio & bay views. Experience a fresh take on casual dining, from breakfast to dinner, with creative menu selections and regional cuisine in our waterfront restaurant. Please check Open Table for reservations or contact the restaurant directly at 814-454-2005.

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Winter at Port Farms

Whether you’re searching for the perfect Christmas tree or a place to experience a magical horse-drawn sleigh ride, plan a trip to Port Farms! Join us at Santa’s Workshop every weekend for visits with Santa, live music, crafts, cookie decorating, and holiday food & drinks! We also offer cut-your-own trees, pre-cut trees, freshly made wreaths, holiday décor, and other great gifts throughout the week. Activities are a la carte. Plan an enchanting Christmas experience at Port Farms today! Plus, check out our new brewery, Poverty Knob Farmhouse Ales!

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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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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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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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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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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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