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Overview

The second smallest of the Great Lakes and the city that anchors its southeast shore are full of pleasant surprises. This is an excellent area for families to explore, and a destination that remains pleasantly free of crowds. In addition to boating, fishing, swimming and other outdoor recreation on the lake and in Presque Isle State Park, northwest Pennsylvania provides an unusually friendly home to grape growing: it has the best wineries in the state.

The city of Erie's charms extend to an old-fashioned amusement park, Waldameer, with a water park and world-class wooden roller coaster. In the surrounding countryside, Amish ...

The second smallest of the Great Lakes and the city that anchors its southeast shore are full of pleasant surprises. This is an excellent area for families to explore, and a destination that remains pleasantly free of crowds. In addition to boating, fishing, swimming and other outdoor recreation on the lake and in Presque Isle State Park, northwest Pennsylvania provides an unusually friendly home to grape growing: it has the best wineries in the state.

The city of Erie's charms extend to an old-fashioned amusement park, Waldameer, with a water park and world-class wooden roller coaster. In the surrounding countryside, Amish farms and dense patches of forest are interspersed with quaint villages: Titusville is home to the Drake Well Museum, site of the first oil well in the US; Victorian Franklin sports a mind-boggling collection of antique coin-operated music machines. Not far to the east, broad Allegheny National Forest expands recreation options for campers, hunters, anglers, and boaters.

Joanne Miller
About the Expert

Joanne Miller is the author of several Moon guidebooks, including Pennsylvania Handbook, Chesapeake Bay Handbook, and Maryland/Delaware Handbook.

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Joanne Miller for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Autumn is especially lovely in this area; the wine crush is in September, and the colors of the turning leaves in the vineyards and trees are spectacular. Come during the late spring or early summer if traveling with children, as the amusement park and some boat rides operate only until Labor Day.