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Spring in Erie

Spring in Erie, PA

Say farewell to any winter doldrums and embrace the arrival of spring! It's a time when nature awakens, flowers bloom, the weather gets warmer, and the days are longer, making it the perfect time to enjoy outdoor activities and events. Whether it’s reuniting with Zoo animal friends or casting a line in the sparkling waters of Presque Isle Bay, treat yourself to a refreshing dose of springtime sunshine on Erie’s picturesque shores!

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Family Activities

Erie’s small size can be beneficial for you and your family, providing a convenient, safe, and affordable experience with many of family-forward and budget-friendly activities. No need to worry about too much time spent in the car - Erie County roadways are generally free of congestion, and attractions are within short driving distance.

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. New exhibits in 2024 include a new River Otter enclosure and Red Panda exhibit. The 2023 Eastern League Champion 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, every seat is the best seat in the house! Inside the Tom Ridge Environmental Center (affectionately referred to as “TREC”), you'll find two floors of exhibits where guests can learn about the history and inhabitants of Presque Isle State Park, as well as take in panoramic views of Lake Erie from a 75-foot observation tower. The free facility is open year-round. After a renovation in 2023, the expERIEnce Children's Museum in downtown Erie is better than ever. The three-story facility features exhibits that pay homage to the region, including the second-largest interactive water table in the country, as well as "My Town," a kid-sized neighborhood with hands-on experiences including taking orders at a restaurant and changing the oil in a car. 

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Outdoor Recreation

In Erie, outdoor fun is taken seriously. Throughout the year, Presque Isle State Park provides miles of scenic trails, beaches, and awe-inspiring views for you to enjoy. During the spring season, expect to be greeted with newly budding foliage and as you explore the park, keep an eye out for a few of its animal inhabitants emerging from their winter hiding places. Presque Isle State Park is known for its outstanding hiking, biking, birdwatching, and fishing. You can even bring your furry friend along with you! 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. Nature and recreation come together seamlessly at Asbury Woods where visitors can explore more than five miles of winding trails set among 216 acres of lush fields, forests, and wetlands. Asbury Woods Nature Center has interactive educational programs complete with animal exhibits. In Western Erie County, 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. (Pictured: Cyclist at Presque Isle State Park, North Pier Light by @quid_dicis on Instagram)

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Dining

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 represents 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 Sara’s signature foot-long hot dogs, burgers, curly fries, and milkshakes, before or after a visit to Presque Isle State Park. For a unique dining experience with beautiful views of Erie’s Bayfront and Presque Isle Bay, the Bay House Oyster Bar and Restaurant, serves up delicious lunch, dinner, and Sunday brunch paired perfectly with Erie’s world-class sunsets. Lucky Louie's Beer and Wieners' spacious outdoor seating area is perfect for spring, featuring picnic tables for patrons to soak up the spring sunshine while enjoying a cold beverage and a meticulously crafted hot dog. Their extensive craft beer selection, and eclectic wiener menu features more than 25 hot dog creations including the Nacho Average Wiener, the eight-legged, kid-friendly Octo-dog and the spring seasonal Bratty German Kid beer brat dog. (Pictured: Lucky Louie's Beer and Weiners by @happylifeblogspot on Instagram)

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Festivals and Events

Spring is here, and there are lots of celebrations and events to enjoy! Starting with Erie’s largest tourism event in recent memory – the Total Solar Eclipse! On Monday April 8, for nearly four minutes, the skies over Erie will turn dark as the moon passes between the sun and the Earth in a spectacular celestial event! Events and celebrations of the eclipse are occurring all throughout Erie County, and you can find them all here. The annual Erie Home and Garden Expo fills the Bayfront Convention Center March 22-24 with more than 150 vendors showcasing a range of home-improvement projects. On April 13, the Erie Craft Beer Fest inside The Brewerie at Union Station is the perfect setting for beer enthusiasts to sample a variety of locally crafted beer. Enjoy three days of grassroots arts, music, and workshops at the Edinboro Art and Music Festival May 17-19 celebrating the unique spirit of Appalachian culture. Finally, the Troika Russian Festival returns for its 14th year, kicking off Erie's famous ethnic festival season from May 24-26 on the beautiful grounds at The Church of the Nativity featuring authentic Russian music, food, entertainment, and the popular Lake Effect Ice Bar.

Check out the full calendar of events and start planning your springtime fun.

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Arts and Entertainment

Spring sparks creativity and illuminates Erie's arts and entertainment landscape. Laughter fills the air, specifically at The National Comedy Center (pictured) in nearby Jamestown, NY, and Kellar’s Magic and Comedy Club in Downtown Erie. The National Comedy Center offers an unprecedented visitor experience using state-of-the-art technology, interactivity and personalization to create the first true 21st Century museum environment, showcasing the progression of comedy throughout history and artifacts from comedy legends. Kellar’s features prominent names in magic and comedy performing live on stage. View the creative talents from a variety of regional artists during the Erie Art Museum’s 101st Annual Spring Show, on exhibit from March 15 through August 9. Round up your family and friends for an exciting gaming experience that will test your puzzle-solving skills within the immersive walls of Escape Game Erie, 5 Wits, and Covert Escape Game.

Erie, PA Trip Ideas

An Erie getaway lets you go with the flow. Gather inspiration for things to do on your next trip to Erie below, or by clicking here

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Dog-Friendly Erie

The weather is warmer, and your four-legged friends need to stretch their legs. Get them outside on the shores of Lake Erie at these suggested spots.

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Eclipse Weekend Itinerary

Pack up the family and get away to Erie for the weekend of the Great American Eclipse. This four-day itinerary will show you the way around Erie County while experiencing the greatest show above Earth.

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Best Brunches in Erie

No weekend is complete without a hearty, flavorful brunch among friends and family. 

Partner Spotlight

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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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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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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 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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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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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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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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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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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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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.

One stop convenience.

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

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.

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!

Ante-up, Erie.

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

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