Pennsylvania's Erie Region is aptly named; Erie is its largest city and Lake Erie is its favorite destination. The area claims a population just short of 1 million people with steady increases since the last census.
- Crawford County
- Erie County
- Mercer County
- Venango County
The Erie Region of Pennsylvania, characterized by its connection to the Great Lakes, stands in contrast to downstate Pennsylvania. The region specialized in ship-building, shipping, and industry more closely related to the Great Lakes cities of Buffalo and Rochester, rather than the oil refineries in cities like Philadelphia and the steel industry of Pittsburgh. The region has close ties to Great Lakes sports teams, including the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Red Wings. Northwestern Pennsylvania is much like Western New York, in that it is entirely different from the eastern, more coastal half of the state. It is also much colder and snowier with lake-effect snow falling almost every day during the Winter months. Lake-effect snows occur quite often in the winter months; however, they are more of a threat when the wind comes from the northwest, usually after a low pressure system passes through the area.
Great Lakes dialect has a strong presence in northwestern Pennsylvania. One would be hard-pressed to distinguish between those who live in western upstate New York (Rochester, Buffalo) and those who live in Erie. Many O's become A's ("mam" instead of "mom," for example).
The Erie Region is served by Erie International Airport, as well as the smaller Venango Airport in Franklin. The larger airports, Pittsburgh International Airport and Buffalo-Niagara International Airport are also viable options, if you don't mind driving for a few hours after your arrival. Some taxis can be found in Erie, but car is the preferred and recommended method of travel for the region.
- Lake Erie During the summer months, Lake Erie is just like any beach along the coast and has its own cultural flair that is sure to add to the experience of going to an inland beach!
- Presque Isle State Park, Penninsula Drive, Erie, PA. A State Park that is open year round with miles of beaches, paved trails and beautiful views. free admission.
- Tom Ridge Environmental Center, 301 Peninsula Drive, Suite 1 Erie, PA 16505-2042, ☎ 814-833-7424., . The TREC center is open 10 a.m. to 6 p.m., seven days a week.. The Tom Ridge Environmental Center (TREC) is an educational center at heart, dedicated to teaching visitors about the unique 3,200 acres of Presque Isle and the many different forms of life that inhabit the peninsula. TREC also serves as a center for research, contributing to conservation efforts and promoting environmental awareness, helping to preserve the unparalleled beauty of Presque Isle, the site of Pennsylvania’s only seashore. While some facilities along the Great Lakes offer environmental education and others do research, none offer research, education and visitor services in one place, making TREC a unique destination for learning, wonder and fun. We’re open year-round and offer free admission to our interactive exhibits, glass-enclosed tower, and orientation movie. Learn about the history of Presque Isle and how you can contribute to keeping it pristine and beautiful. Free.
- Waldameer Park and Water World, 220 Penninsula Drive, Erie, PA (I-79 to West 12th, take Penninsula Drive North), ☎ 814-835-7435, . vary. Family oriented amusement and water slide park free admission. (42 05 N,-80 10 W)
- Presque Isle Downs & Casino, 8199 Perry Highway Erie, PA 16509 (From Buffalo, NY I-90 West to Exit 27 • Make a left off the exit • Entrance to Presque Isle Downs is on the left. From Cleveland, OH I-90 East to Exit 27 • Make a right off the exit • Entrance to Presque Isle Downs is on the left. From Pittsburgh, PA I-79 North to I-90 East • Exit 27 Make a right off the exit • Entrance to Presque Isle Downs is on the left. From Youngstown, OH Route 11 North to I-90 East. Take exit 27 • Make a right off the exit • Entrance to Presque Isle Downs is on the left.), ☎ 1-866-ERIE-FUN, . Casino opened 24/7. Live horse Racing Seasonal.. Free Admission..
- Nunzi's Place, 2330 E 38th St, Erie, PA 16510 (I-90 State Street Exit North to 38th Street, then 2 miles east), ☎ (814) 825-2940. Family owned Italian restarant with a huge menu filled with pizza, pasta, salads and sandwhiches at very reasonable prices.