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Things To Do in Erie, Pennsylvania: Fun and Exciting Tourist Destinations in The City

Looking for a fun and exciting place to visit? Look no further than Erie Pennsylvania! This wonderful town is teeming with things to do and see, making it the perfect tourist destination. From its beautiful waterfront views to its fascinating history, there is something for everyone in Erie.

Erie Pennsylvania is located on the shores of Lake Erie, making it a perfect spot for those who love to be outdoors. Visitors can enjoy plenty of activities such as swimming, fishing, hiking, and more. The town is also home to several museums and historical sites, which are perfect for those who enjoy learning about new things. 

Erie, Pennsylvania, has a lot to offer visitors of all ages, including families, retirees, college students, and retirees. There are a plethora of activities to choose from while visiting Erie, Pennsylvania. The following places are top spots to go sightseeing and have a good time.

Take a Boat Cruise on the Presque Isle State Park

This park is a popular destination for visitors since it allows easy access to a boat ride on Lake Erie.

Located on a 3,200-acre peninsula, the State Park has a marina, hiking and biking paths, and multiple bathing beaches. The picturesque, romantic shoreline that juts into Lake Erie is ideal for water sports, fishing, boating, biking, hiking, and inline skating. With a range of water activities such as water skiing, diving, and canoeing available, visitors to the marina will never be short of things to do.

Presque Isle State Park

Visitors may enjoy cross-country skiing, skating, and iceboating on the park’s pathways in the winter. Ornithologists go to the park because of the large number of birds that migrate through the area. Depending on the time of year you come, there are a variety of activities that you may participate in.

Summer is a great time to visit because of the nice weather and the opportunity to go hiking or biking around the lake.

Erie County Historical Society: A Great Place to Start Your Research

Erie County Historical Society is a vast organization that is impossible to see everything in one sitting. Located within the Watson Curtze Mansion, the museum displays the lovely mansion and what life was like in Erie, Pennsylvania, in the past. There are several exhibits that cover a wide range of themes from local history to the War of 1812 to local toy manufacturing.

Erie County Historical Society

The Hagen History Center, the White House, and the Yellow House are all part of the complex that is the Hagen House.

To learn more about the city’s history, visit this site. As if that wasn’t enough, you can peruse ancient newspaper clippings and photos.

Explore the Heritage at the Erie City Museum

The Erie Maritime Museum is a trip down memory lane. To promote the nautical history and culture of the Greater Erie area, Erie Maritime Museum serves as a community meeting place. This encompasses both civilian and military endeavors, such as research and development.

The museum’s collection includes artifacts dating as far back as 1812, as well as more current works. There is a lot of variety in the permanent collection, which will leave you in awe. A large part of the museum’s attention is on Lake Erie and its connection to the sea in the city.

Erie City Museum

The contributions of Pennsylvania to the marine industry are an essential aspect of the museum’s mission. In addition, the museum’s mission is to raise public awareness of the Great Lakes’ environmental management.

U.S. Brig Niagara serves as the museum’s major display and is a real tall ship that served as Pennsylvania’s flag ship for many years.

In this museum, in addition to the Battle of Lake Erie, there are many more events that will be of interest to visitors, all of which are presented in depth via demonstrations, displays, movies, and more. For history enthusiasts, the Erie Maritime Museum is one of the most enjoyable things to do in Erie.

Explore the Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens

The Erie Zoo is unlike any other zoo you’ve ever visited. As many as 400 creatures from all around the globe, including warthogs, cheetahs and others, are on display for visitors to see and possibly touch.

As soon as you’ve gotten your fill of the Erie Zoo, walk over to the Botanical Garden across the street for more free activities in Erie.

Erie Zoo and Botanical Gardens

A wide variety of animals may be seen roaming the streets, and visitors are encouraged to get up and personal with some of them. The zoo has creatures from all around the globe, not only those endemic to the area. Riding the zoo train is the greatest way to view everything.

The botanical garden, located after you’ve seen the zoo, is a stunning space brimming with vibrant plants and flowers.

Catch Spectacular Views from the Bicentennial Tower’s Top Deck

Port Erie Bicentennial Tower is a great place to take pictures in Lake Erie’s natural beauty while also exercising your mind and body.

Located near Port Erie, the Bicentennial Tower was erected in 1996 to mark Erie’s bicentennial year. The tower is located in Erie’s downtown district and is the state’s tallest building by a significant margin.

The two observation decks of the tower allow tourists to see the city from a new viewpoint, one of which is 138 feet high and the other is 17 feet high.

Bicentennial Tower's Top Deck

On clear days, visitors may see 27 miles into Ontario, Canada, from the top of the tower, which is available to the public every day.

Views of the city and its environs may be had from the tower’s observation deck. A gift store on-site sells a range of mementos for visitors to take back to their hotels.

Explore Nature Wonders at the Asbury Woods Nature Center

More than 205 acres of forests, streams, farms, and marshes provide amazing opportunities for free outdoor recreation near Asbury, Erie.

Asbury Woods offers an abundance of free activities, including hiking, fishing, bicycling, cross-country skiing, jogging, craft workshops, a native plants garden, a picnic pavilion, animal exhibitions, and the Little Woods Nature Play area for children.

Asbury Woods Nature Center

Adults like the Otto Behrend Celebration Garden are located on the premises. On the grounds is an amphitheater that accommodates different events, seminars, and other activities.

The majority of activities offered in this region are appropriate for children. It broadens their understanding of flora, animals, and outdoor safety, which develops their social skills as they engage with other children their age.

Like Erie, other Pennsylvania cities offer tourist destinations and fun places too. Check out Williamsport, PA for enjoyable things to do during your visit.

Enjoy the Erie Art Museum’s exhibits

For art and history enthusiasts, the Erie Art Museum is one of the city’s most popular tourist destinations. It was originally founded in 1898 as the Erie Art Club. 

The museum’s site has moved throughout the years since its founding, but it is presently housed inside the downtown Discovery Square Corporation, which has several stores, galleries, and museums.

Erie Art Museum's exhibits

This art museum has some of the most exquisite art collections in Erie, Pennsylvania, and the state as a whole. Over 8,000 extraordinary works of art and artifacts are on display at the Erie Art Museum, featuring Tibetan paintings, Indian bronzes, American pottery, and modern baskets, among many others.

The museum organizes around twenty touring exhibits each year and showcases exquisite works of art that will appeal to the whole family. There are about 7,000 artifacts in the exhibitions. Each year, the museum has more than twenty exhibitions, so you can certainly join the bustling throng during your visit.

Forest Park’s Lake Erie Arboretum

This Park is on a mission to increase public awareness of the value of trees to the environment and to our neighborhood. At the Arboretum at Frontier, there are more than 250 types of trees on exhibit, providing visitors with the opportunity to acquire a great deal of valuable information.

Forest Park's Lake Erie Arboretum

Among the tree species on show in this 1998-established park are Russian Olive, Ginkgo, Dogwood, Scarlet Oak, Honey Locust Maple, and Douglas Fir. Visitors have access to more than just educational and tree-viewing materials.

Visitors may explore and enjoy the Arboretum at Frontier’s many bike routes, sledding slopes, and labyrinths throughout the summer. During the spring, there is also a virtual tree gazebo experience that will wow the whole family.

If environmental reasons are important to you, the Lake Erie Arboretum is a fantastic place to visit.  This is one of the enjoyable things to do in Erie that is yet instructive.

Have Fun at Waldameer & Water World

Waldameer Park & Water World, once known as Hoffman’s Grove and a favorite picnic site for residents, has grown into a massive water park with more than a hundred rides, attractions, slides, and other fun things to do.

A Merry-Go-Round, the Drop Tower, and XScream Drop Tower are just few of the attractions that Water World has to offer throughout the summer months.

Waldameer & Water World

It’s a safe bet that the kids will put this on their list of places to visit when the weather is hot. In addition to carnival-style games, food trucks and booths, live music, and other enjoyable activities, the park will include a variety of additional activities.

Families go to Water World in the summer, and you should, too. There is something for every age group and interest group here, thanks to the abundance of things to do and see.

Since Waldameer is a family-run business, there’s no need to worry about not finding anything for the whole family. Waldameer has a variety of rides, attractions, and food vendors to make sure that guests get a complete adventure park experience.

The Museum of the Lakeshore Railway

In the former New York Railroad Passenger Depot, Lake Shore Railway Museum is a must-see while in Erie. In addition to a wide variety of steam-powered locomotives and artifacts, this railway museum is supported solely by the generosity of its visitors.

Since its inception in 1956, this amazing museum has been a major part of the local culture. At addition to the numerous locomotives on show in this museum, there are a number of other educational objects.

Shop for a memento at one of the museum gift shops, where you may choose from an array of caps, coffee mugs, and T-shirts among many other options.

The Museum of the Lakeshore Railway

The museum’s finances and administration are also supported in part by sales from the museum’s gift shop. In addition, the Lake Shore Railway Museum conducts a variety of fascinating events throughout the year, sometimes in conjunction with the Historical Society.

Check out their events calendar so you can plan a trip to an event of your choosing. This is a great addition to your list of things to do in Erie. A bonus of visiting this museum is the opportunity to observe contemporary trains in action on the nearby operational trail lines.

Visit the Warner Theatre

There are many reasons to visit the Warner Theatre, including its architectural splendors and its role in the history of the performing arts.

You’ve never experienced anything like it before in a theater. To commemorate the venue’s opening year, it was decorated with a bronze ticket booth, gold-gilded grand foyer, lavish tapestries, and French gold-backed mirrors in 1931.

Warner Theatre

Aside from the Erie Philharmonic, Erie Ballet, and the Erie Broadway Series, the Warner Theater hosts more than 150 great events each year. Visitors may choose from any of these fantastic productions or any of the other 150 events that take place here.

With its crystal chandeliers, art deco décor, and marble entrance, the theater is brought to life by its Vaudeville heritage. If you’re fortunate, you’ll be able to see a performance while you’re there.

Survey Tom Ridge Environmental Center

There are several entertainment options in Erie, PA, but the Tom Ridge Environmental Center is definitely a sight to see. This instructional center, which is 6,500 square feet, provides visitors with information about plants, trees, and much more.

Additionally, there are more than 75 handcrafted whirligigs on display at the site. Attractions include an IMAX cinema with a 45-minute film and an exhibit on the environment.

Tom Ridge Environmental Center

Visit the nature gift store before you leave the Tom Ridge Environmental Center to buy a memento or a few pamphlets to remember your visit.

A large-screen movie theater with a selection of films is available for an extra fee at the center if you’re searching for something to do on a wet day.

Visit the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum with the Kids

Visit the ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum in Erie if you’re seeking family-friendly activities in the area.

This museum is located in downtown Erie’s historic cultural district. Artworks from youngsters from Erie and around the United States are on exhibit.

The museum offers a wide variety of educational activities for children of all ages, including hands-on experiments and interactive exhibits.

ExpERIEnce Children's Museum

There are over 50 interactive exhibits for kids to explore, including ones on history, culture, and arithmetic, which are all intertwined. Outside, children may relax and unwind after a long day of studying.

When it comes to learning and enjoyment, ExpERIEnce Children’s Museum is the best location for youngsters to be inspired, creative, and let their imaginations run wild. Bring your kids and get them involved in a variety of educational activities, from painting to arithmetic.


One of the top locations in the United States to visit, Erie has a lot to offer visitors. There are several things to do here for both adults and children.

When planning your next trip to Erie, make a list of activities to do and see. In addition to the spectacular sunsets, there are parks, museums, and bustling entertainment onshore, as well as several beaches. Relax on the beach and enjoy the beautiful surroundings while taking in the ocean’s vibrant hues.

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