School is out and summer is upon us, time to lay back, relax and be on my own schedule…NOT this Mama!! With three kids very active into their sports we have already filled most of our summer calendar with Tournament Baseball, Jr. Golf, AAU and 3-on-3 Basketball. Don’t get me wrong, I LOVE having my children so involved but when and where can we still get some family time away? My husband and I decided to put on the brakes last weekend and took a quick trip up to Erie, PA. Only 2 hours from Pittsburgh, it’s literally a straight shot on I-79; Head North on 79 and you are there! This was exactly what we needed to kick off our summer!
We stayed right on the water at the Courtyard by Marriott Erie Bayfront Hotel. This hotel is absolutely breathtaking! The hotel is located on the Sassafras Pier overlooking Lake Erie’s Presque Isle Bay which makes it so convenient to get to the many attractions, events and restaurants in Erie! The outdoor infinity pool makes you feel like you’re on an exotic island while the inside pool and hot tub are great for those moments when some weather may not cooperate.
After a quick dip in the pool we were off to our first adventure Escape Game Erie. Recently, our two older children have really enjoyed these time-bound immersive adventures so no doubt we were excited to experience one as a family. Escape Room Erie offers a variety of game themes. Most intriguing for us was the “Escape the Niagara.” This theme is an Erie specific adventure involving the Flagship NIAGARA. Although we just fell shy from escaping, we absolutely will be headed back to try our luck at another challenge.
Our wild adventure led to a very hungry family so we headed to The Cove, located on the Bayfront which was conveniently within walking distance from our hotel. The atmosphere was fun, the food was delicious and the sunset was beautiful!
Arising from a well rested night we enjoyed a delicious breakfast including a specialty made beverage with Starbucks® coffee, American breakfasts, bagels, pastries and more from the hotel’s The Bistro.
We started our day at Hidden Harbor Water Rentals to enjoy a four-hour cruise aboard a 24’ pontoon boat complete with towing rope and tubing features. Our kids had never been on a boat before and Presque Isle Bay and Lake Erie were perfect for this first time experience. We had plenty of room to spread out and relax as we sailed the beautiful waters, fished and went tubing. This special family time was filled with so much laughter and fun that we can’t wait to do it again!
Our afternoon adventure took us to the ever famous Waldameer & Water World Park. Waldameer has provided family fun for 125+ years. This local, family-owned park offers over 100 exciting attractions and is always working on enhancing their ride and water features. In fact, opening soon is the Rocket Blast Water Coaster consisting of a combination of water slide and roller coaster! Waldameer really has a lot to offer every age group. A few of my teens favorites were Chaos, The Ravine Flyer II and XScream, my nine year old loved the Music Express, Flying Swings and the Comet, while the entire family enjoyed the Giant Wave Pool, the Rally Racer (mom definitely did not win) and the Heated Relaxing Pool! There is definitely something for everyone to love!
As our day was coming to an end, we decided to head back to our hotel to enjoy some more of the amazing amenities our hotel had to offer. The kids were able to throw some baseball and football on the spacious lawn, enjoy some snacks and drinks on the patio all while mom and dad were able to enjoy a refreshing cocktail themselves at the Shoreline Bar and Grille. Cheers to a memorial day!
Sunday morning came and we were sad to see it be our last day prior to heading home to our crazy schedules. We enjoyed a little more fishing time off the piers right outside our hotel and then began packing. Before hitting the road we had to make one last stop for lunch at the Edinboro Lake Resort Sunset Grill in Edinboro, PA. Once again, great service and great food. It was the perfect casual dining environment to complete a perfect getaway weekend!
The drive was easy, the scenery was amazing making us feel like we were miles and miles away from home. We were so pleased to experience such welcoming customer service at every venue. Everyone was so helpful and we were always greeted with smiles. With the drive taking approximately 2 hours from the Pittsburgh Area to Erie, PA we can honestly say this destination is a convenient trip whether it be a family vacation, date weekend or girls getaway. We look forward to returning to Erie in August to explore all the other activity options available. The kids are already talking about this great ending to our summer break!
Learn More about Erie, PA and start planning your next trip at VisitErie.com