Ok, Erie, let's get down to business! It's the middle of July, which means our summer is half over! Sure we could trek down to Pittsburgh or up to Buffalo to hit up their summer scene, but I want to challenge you guys to make the most of our Erie summer!
So often, when I tell people I'm from Erie, they never have anything nice to say. "Oh, dreary Erie, right? HAHAHA" "Wow, little Detroit, bet you lock your car all the time, huh? LOLZ!". Ugh. Some of that is an outdated view from when Erie was transitioning from manufacturing to touristry, but truly, some of us comes from us! We tend to focus on the isolated crime, drugs, or other issues instead of seeing the great things about Erie.
Now, I'm not saying that our issues aren't, well, an issue, and don't need to be addressed, but part of that is our attitude about our own city. Like the kid in school from the wrong side of the tracks, we have some low self-confidence right now. We're afraid to say where we live for fear that no one will ask us to the dance. But Erie is great! The more we get out there and enjoy everything our region has to offer, the more we can grow Erie's confidence and be the catalyst for great change. With a little help from my friends, I've made a list of the best ways to make the most of your Erie summer! Check it out and get out there! I can't wait to see what you'll do this week!
1. Presque Isle- Ok, this one's pretty obvious. We have a state park RIGHT HERE. We have a beautiful beach RIGHT HERE! Yet, I can't tell you the last time I was there. I always think of dragging the kids, their gear, snacks, drinks towels, etc. But even if you're not a hardcore beach-goer, you can still make the most of Presque Isle! Here are some great ways to make the most of it!
-Weeknight date night: grab Chinese take-out and head to the beach to watch the sunset while you chow down on your General Tso's. Feeling full? Take a walk on the cool sand before dusk.
-Take an early morning walk or bike ride. Listen to the birds, watch the fishermen, and get your zen on before tackling the day.
-Feeling adventurous? Rent a kayak, paddle board, or jet ski to cruise around the bay! It's a great break from the ordinary! To further feed your inner adrenaline-junkie, you can always hit up Waldameer for some roller coaster thrills. There's nothing more exciting than that first hill of the Ravine Flyer II!
2. The Music scene- Erie has some AMAZINGLY talented people! No matter which genre you prefer, Erie has some great opportunities for free, live music during the summer! Into classical? check out The Erie Philharmonic's Summer Concert Series. Jazz? of course the Erie Art Museum's Jazz and Blues Festival is the place to be. Some of the other great options are 8 Great Tuesdays, and much more. You can also find free live music at most restaurants and bars. We have such a great variety of free concerts with bonuses like wine, chocolate, and art, there's no need to say the b-word (bored) this summer!
3. The art and culture: Erie's art scene ROCKS! The Erie Art Musuem constantly has new shows and events to check out, so dress up and take a trip downtown for dinner and a walk through the museum! We also have so many small galleries to visit! Kada Gallery is a great stop while you're checking out the Colony Plaza, Glass Growers Gallery is the BEST place to get a unique gift, and Urraro Art Gallery is an awesome place to check out up-and-coming artists. Got kids? The Erie Children's Museum is a GREAT way to get out and play! When was the last time you checked out Erie's gallery scene? Of course, we can't forget about Shakespeare Summer Nights and the awesome performances at the Erie Playhouse!
4. The nature- Erie is in SUCH a great location to see the best of Mid-Atlantic nature! From Presque Isle to Wintergreen Gorge, all of the local creeks, Buttermilk Fall in NY, the trails at Asbury Woods, we have so many great places to get out of the house and get our feet in some grass! Even visiting Frontier Park for an hour is a great way to relax after a busy day.
I could go on and on and on about the great things to do in Erie. I haven't even touched the great local restaurants like The Freezerie, Cloud 9, and Sara's, but that's for you to explore!
Thanks to my friends Heidi, Lisa, Kelli, Brianna, Elaine, Jennifer, Jane, Samantha, Debra, Becky, Rachel, Holly, Julie, and Kelly for their help compiling this list!
No more dreary Erie! We have so much to do, every day should be packed with activities! What are you going to do first? Hit up the drive-in? Find some new stuff at Duran's? Did I forget anything? Comment and let us know what you'll be doing in Erie! You never know who you'll convince to get out and enjoy everything our great city has to offer!