By: Amanda Narcisi
The seasons go by so fast and for most you cannot find the time to get away for a week let alone one day. How can you do a local escape for one day for less then $200.00? We recently took a trip to Erie to see how quickly it is catching up to Pittsburgh. The answer is faster then you think.
We departed from Pittsburgh after 8AM with a small cooler of water and iced tea with snacks. We filled the tank and headed off. There were no delays heading upland so we reached Presque Isle before noon. We decided to start our day with kayaking in the lagoon. If you travel past beach 8 you can find Presque Isle Canoe and Boat Livery. They have small motor boats as well as kayaks and canoes for fishing or just for the sights. They take your credit card for a small deposit first; this is for insurance and in case you wreck the boat, but they don’t charge up front for the hours. We set out on two kayaks. The water is calm and surrounded by wildlife from frogs and turtles to fish in the seaweed. We spent an hour and a half on the water. I suggest wearing light clothes and the life preserver must be in the boat if not on you.
We decided on lunch after kayaks and we found ourselves at a staple of Erie, Sara’s. As you pass on to Presque Isle you come across a diner with plenty of outdoor seating and a huge outdoor set-up that includes a sculpture of The Simpsons. We both got cheeseburger and fries and onion rings. There are soda machines available as well as bottles for drinks. However the thing that everyone raves about at Sara’s is the ice cream. We shared the turtle sundae complete with caramel, chocolate and pecans over vanilla ice cream.
After we headed to the beach and decided on beach 6. Beach 6 is known by the locals as the nice beach. It was clean and a great temperature for August. We sat for a while and just talked and put our feet in the sand. We ventured into the water which came to our chest and was perfect for just floating and some horseplay.
Around 6 PM we decided to head to the mainland for night life including dinner and a brewery stop. We started with some sightseeing at the Bicentennial Tower. This tower is a few stories high and has an elevator to take you to the best view of the lake. Down past the tower is a fun bar called Rum Runners. There are two versions of the bar: one is called The Cove and the other is Rum Runners and is accessible from the water. We also made one quick stop at Tim Hortons because you cannot get these donuts in Pittsburgh.
After the tower we ventured over to Union Station for The Brewerie. Union Station is an old train station turned to a hall and restaurant. The Brewerie is a brewery with a beer garden that is right next to the train tracks with bocce ball. We had the beer sampler that included ten beers. For food we indulged in the BBQ Nachos that had a heaping stack of pulled pork on top. I had The Train Wreck which was like a club sandwich with french fries and coleslaw. My travel companion had the Beer Battered Fish Sandwich; he said it was a perfect size since it didn’t overpower the bun and make it soggy. We decided against dessert, but the Deep Fried Raspberry Cheesecake came highly recommended.
We ended our day with a trip to Lavery Brewing. This amazing brewery is in the heart of Downtown Erie and has made a made a name for itself all the way here in Pittsburgh. For more about our trip to Lavery Brewing stay tuned!
We drove home that night even though there is many great deals to stay overnight from camping near the beach to discount hotels along Lake Erie. So take a day or three and enjoy a small trip north.