Let me tell you a little bit about one of my FAVORITE cities: ERIE PENNSYLVANIA. If you've ever had the pleasure of visiting this city on the bay, I would bet that you share my feelings of fondness for it. Recently, a few friends and I ventured to Erie for a yearly ski trip at Peek N Peak Ski Resort. Peek N Peak is technically in Western New York, but it's within a 25 minute drive of Erie. It is just one of the several adventurous activities one can enjoy in greater Erie. Yes it was January and YES there were about 13 inches of snow on the ground...but that's just part of the excitement of the snow belt areas of the rust belt. My boyfriend thought he would be impaled by a 5 foot long (and growing) icicle, yet thought nothing about standing below them and taking about 15,000 pictures. I guess we just don't grow'em like that in Cincinnati...
A few summers back I had the pleasure of renting a bike (albeit, bright yellow) and riding with friends and family along Presque Isle, the state park located on a peninsula that shields the city from harsh Lake Erie wind and waves, creating a large sheltered bay. The park is spectacular and is hopping with life on a warm summer day. Fishermen, boaters, sun bathers, houseboaters, volleyball enthusiasts all juxtaposed and enjoying the outdoors. After the bike ride we just HAD to eat at Sally's Diner, which is a Presque Isle staple...it has DELICIOUS burgers and ice cream treats. And it is soo cute and retro...seriously, check out the pic.
At the entrance to the state park and across the street from Sally's Diner is Waldameer Water World. It has over 75 rides, slides and attractions according to its website...and let me tell you, the site of the Ravine Flyer II rollercoaster crossing over the entrance to Presque Isle makes my stomach churn with excitement. And...nearly brand new is the Tom Ridge Environmental Center which is a certified LEED silver education center focusing on the preservation of Presque Isle.
Erie boasts a nice downtown core which includes Gannon University, a convention center...several banks, pubs, restaurants and a museum on Lake Erie history...mostly focused upon Oliver Hazard Perry's naval battle which occured near Sandusky...but Oliver docked his fleet in Erie. Also downtown is a Children's museum and a maritime studies center. History and maritime enthusiasts alike can surely spend an entire weekend here buffing up on Lake Erie facts. Oh and out-of-staters make sure you enjoy some the much-covitted Yuengling while in Erie. Supporting Great Lakes brewery will also fair well with the Erie crowd.
Erie has a collection of BEAUTIFUL homes and neighborhoods. Many different churches and places of worship dot the community. There seems to be a school/university on every corner. One thing to note are the small neighborhood parks and the mature neighborhoods with character...many of which have tree-lined boulevards.
Here's a rundown of activities:
Skiing (Snow and Ski)
Take a Class at Mercyhurst, Edinboro, Gannon or Penn State Erie
I can go on and on about Erie...and plan on visiting again and learning something new. Feel free to check it out for yourself on the internet superhighway or with a short road trip. There are multitudes of exciting things to do in Erie...from tasting local wines to enjoying local music...just make sure you plan on spending some time outside...as most activities seem to be outdoors...just be prepared for Erie's notoriously extreme weather changes.
Check out this site before your trip: http://www.visiteriepa.com/