Flights to Erie
Many travellers know that Lake Erie is one of North America’s Great Lakes, but it’s also the name of a city that sits on the lake’s eastern shore. Erie is the fourth largest city in the state of Pennsylvania and is becoming a popular tourist destination for its outdoor recreation opportunities.
Five miles (8km) outside of town is the Erie International Airport (airport code: ERI), and you can catch a taxi or a bus to get you to and from the city. The airport is not particularly large, but it is served by several major airlines for flights to Erie, the routes for which are quite varied. The Virgin Atlantic flight to Erie travels through London and Philadelphia, but South African Airways goes to Frankfurt and Cleveland. Northwest Airlines also has a different route for its flight to Erie from South Africa, with stops in Amsterdam and Detroit.
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The Tourist Attractions in Erie:
As well as the lake and outdoor recreation Erie does have several other attractions that will interest visitors to this city…
Presque Isle State Park
The Presque Isle State Park is fast becoming Erie’s most popular tourist attraction, visited by over 4 million people each year. The state park is just 4 miles (6.4km) from Erie city and includes a large sweeping peninsula that juts out into Lake Erie, sheltering Presque Isle Bay. With the bay being sheltered this is the perfect place for enjoying water sports and swimming in relative safety, though there are plenty of other activities on offer here too.
Fishing, biking and bird watching are popular pastimes as is hiking; and when you’re exploring the park make sure you look out for the old lighthouses, and the Perry Monument.
If you want to see wildlife in the state park you may have more luck in the Erie Zoo! Formerly called the Erie Zoological Park and Botanical Garden of Northwestern Pennsylvania, this is a relatively small zoo but still has plenty to see. There are over 400 animals in the zoo and over 600 species of plants from around the world in the botanical garden. Kids always enjoy the train that rides through the zoo!
Waldermeer Park and Waterworld
If you’re visiting Erie with children, the Waldermeer Park and Waterworld is another great family attraction. Opened in 1896 this is a classic amusement park which has four roller coasters, plus thrill rides, and 18 water rides. Great for kids and the young at heart!
Erie has a couple of museums, plus historical and cultural attractions to visit too. There is the Erie Art Museum which is home to around 5,000 works of art.
On the lakefront there is the Erie Maritime Museum and the Brig Niagara. The USS Niagara is an early 19th century sailing warship which is great to look at if it’s in port. If you really want to see this do check that it is moored up as it does go to events across the Great Lakes.
Close by to the museum and Niagara is the Bicentennial Tower. This was built as an observation deck in 1996 to mark the bicentenary of the city of Erie, and from its two observation decks you get great views over the city and state park, and of course Lake Erie.
When Should You Visit?:
Erie is renowned for its very snowy winters because of the Great Lakes, producing what’s called Lake Effect Snow. If you want to experience heavy snowfall come to Erie in the winter as this is the 13th snowiest city in the USA! Temperatures are fairly cold in the winter though. In the summer the city is warm and humid. July is the hottest month with an average high of 27C.