Monday reached a steamy 70 degrees – a little preview of the sweltering summer to come.
Winter is always a little depressing because of the shorter daylight and chilly weather. Summer on the other hand is just as beautiful as winter is bleak.
Among the warm weather there are a few key things I look forward to each summer in Erie.
My inaugural summer activity is stretching my legs to Frontier Park. It’s a two mile path from my apartment on campus to the swings at the park.
Later in the season, the Schuster Theatre puts on a bit of Shakespeare in the park there. Last year I saw my friends play Romeo and Juliet in the Amphitheatre.
Across the street is Romolo’s in case you need to keep your blood sugar levels up with some sponge candy.
The opening of Sara’s Diner truly marks the start of summer for me. It’s a quick ride down Peninsula Drive to get a Smith’s hot dog and some onion rings.
Fair warning: once you have consumed a Smith’s natural casing weiner, you will never again be able to eat any other brand of frankfurter.
The Tom Ridge Environmental Center is a completely underrated feature of Erie. The tower of that building also has a pretty amazing view of the bay.
If you make it that far west, bring a bike or some running shoes because the view from the main inlet trail on Presque Isle is breathtaking.
It takes a while for the water to warm up, but the beach is good to get some sun or feel the sand between your toes starting as soon as the clouds break. An entire afternoon could be spent meandering the lighthouses on the peninsula.
And if you’re not looking for a leisurely walk, they offer Segway tours. Feel free to find your inner mall cop and cruise along the trails of the Isle.
Only recently did I discover a new Erie favorite. Whippy Dip ice cream has new flavors every day as well as the magically delicious pepperoni ball. The ice cream shop is located adjacent to the Erie cemetery so you can enjoy your treat and walk among the oldest residents of the city.
Of all things, I look forward to the music events the most. Eight Great Tuesdays offers a new concert on the Bayfront each week. Most people try to wiggle their way into the Pepsi amphitheater, but I like to take a short walk to Front Street where there are benches on a trail that overlook the bay.
Sitting there, you’ll see just about as much as you would at the concert and you won’t be deafened by the decibel of bass coming from the amps. It’s perfect for another one of my favorite things about summer: picnics. The bands are normally pretty good, too. There are acts from the tri-state area that come to spend their Tuesday night in Erie.
Each Wednesday there’s some kind of musical entertainment happening at Presque Isle and on Thursdays there’s a block party downtown.
Who needs the weekend? Erie parties all week long.
Before you go home or off to an internship for the summer or heaven forbid go and find a real job, make sure to check out some of the beautiful and exciting things Erie has to offer.