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6.20.2017

The Beach Life in Erie

The beach life, and Pennsylvania, are two things that do not get thought of at the same time. Erie is the place that puts these two things together, with its miles of beautiful coastline along PA's maritime border with Canada. 
The entire coastline of Lake Erie is beautiful to explore, especially in the area of Presque Isle. Lighthouses and sandy beaches line the coastline, leading towards countless recreational opportunities. There are many excellent places to go out for a swim, sightsee, or simply sit down and take in the beauty. To us, the Erie region is a little slice of heaven and it is one of our favorite places to visit in the state. 
The Erie North Harbor Light, sitting at the juncture of Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie on Presque Isle Peninsula in Presque Isle State Park.
The city of Erie itself hosts dozens of city parks, including Chautauqua Park, a beautiful little park that sits on a bluff overlooking Lake Erie. This quiet location is quite beautiful and a perfect place to hold a picnic and just take in the views. 
Our next stop takes us to Shades Beach Park in Harborcreek Township, just up the coastline from the city of Erie. 
This quiet beach serves as an excellent place to relax. It is located at the mouth of Eight Mile Creek, one of the tributaries that the steelhead trout run up from the lake. In addition to the beach, the park has a boat launch, woodland trails, playgrounds, and picnic areas.
The entire coastline all the way into New York has tremendous views and public beaches, providing tremendous views of Lake Erie. Naturally, the boat life goes hand in hand with the beach life, and you will find many marinas up and down the coastline.

Heading westward from Presque Isle State Park is something that is not often done by visitors, and understandably so, considering how many awesome things that can be done there. Now we head out westward along the shores of Lake Erie from Presque Isle State Park to Erie Bluffs State Park. Along here there are multiple marinas that are popular for people into boating. The protected inlets offer a great place for boat launches and protection for those out on the lake. Additionally, they are often at the headwaters for the different creeks that pour into the lake. In steelhead trout season, these creek heads are the place to be for fishermen. The steelhead trout runs from Lake Erie into its watersheds are known as some of the best game fishing that the state has to offer.
A view of Presque Isle's peninsula from the western side. The first boat launch provides an excellent view.

The shoreline in this area can be categorized as rolling hills, small gorges, and little glacial kettles that create beautiful wetland and field areas.
The boat launch at Erie Bluffs State Park. This secluded area is beautifully wooded and a prime example of what the coastline looked like prior to human development. It is an excellent spot to have a picnic, launch a boat, fish, hike, sightsee, or to just simply relax. 
The soils along the coastline of the lake are perfect for growing all sorts of different berries. As soon as strawberry season hits, there will be berries in season all the way through to grape season in the fall. There is nothing like hitting up a roadside stand and picking up some fresh strawberries, raspberries, blueberries, and especially the best that the region has to offer with cherries and grapes. Late June through July marks cherry season in Erie, and their cherries are absolutely delicious. Come fall, be sure to drive through the area's vineyards and the grape smell will be so strong that it will get into your car vents. Pick up some fresh grapes and you will be in heaven. 
Now heading back to Presque Isle State Park....
When you get out to the furthest points of the Peninsula at Presque Isle, you usually find steady and straight winds that are perfect for flying kites. You often see dozens of people flying elaborate kites. This location is highly sought out for kite flying because of the quality of wind in this area. The ridges and mountains of the state don't lend themselves well towards kite flying. That makes this area out on Lake Erie a favorite for kite fliers. 

The sheer size of the peninsula creates a huge and unique habitat for many different species within lagoons, ponds, and wetlands. We will cover this more in an upcoming article.
Other popular activities along the shoreline include bicycling the adjacent trail, something we highly recommend, fishing, and more. These are in addition to the typical awesome things you can do at the beach, including sunbathing, swimming, grilling at the picnic tables, riding the surf, and taking in the sights and sounds of the shore. 
The beaches here are a slice of heaven.
Having grown up in the eastern part of the state, heading to the shore was always a highlight of our summer. What trip to the shore is not complete without some boardwalk style rides and delicious food? Two family institutions are famous for their greatness right at the entrance to Presque Isle State Park, Waldameer Amusement Park and Sara's Restaurant. 
Waldameer offers a number of great rides including Ravine Flyer II, one of the best wooden roller coasters on the planet, and a full and expanding waterpark. 
Sara's Diner makes fantastic burgers, hot dogs, ice cream, shakes, and more. 
The lighthouses and dunes are amazing to see.
There is nothing like taking in a sunset on the beaches in Erie. 

The shores of Lake Erie in the Erie region are absolutely incredible and we highly recommend spending as much time there as you can. 



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