Walkable Erie must-visits

Freshman year of college can make one feel an awful lot like a rat in a maze. The repetitive humdrum of going to class, eating and sleeping can feel constricting. But it doesn’t have to. Especially when you go to school in a city that has things to do.

We all went on college visits to those schools that our parents loved because they were quaint and picturesque. Green rolling hills and cornfields may be easy on the eyes, but they really don’t offer much in the way of entertainment – unless cow tipping is your thing.

If there is one thing you need to know as you begin your journey at Gannon University, it’s this: Erie is a pretty darn fun place to live. Don’t be like a lot of Gannon students and wait until your junior or senior year to realize this. Start taking advantage of all the things this eclectic city has to offer as soon as you set foot on campus and get your bearings.

Being situated near the bayfront of Lake Erie is one of the defining features of Gannon, but there’s more to it than just a nice view. A 10-minute walk down State Street will land you at Dobbins Landing, a pier where you can play mini golf, grab an ice cream cone or climb the steps of the lighthouse.

Dobbins Landing is also home to a couple restaurants, The Cove and Smuggler’s Wharf, that are perfect for lunch or dinner outings. Both places have menus that would appeal to seafood lovers and foodies just looking to grab a burger and fries.

For those of you who come from cities where attending professional sports games is a ritual, fear not. Although Erie doesn’t boast the rosters of major league teams like Cleveland or Pittsburgh, several competitive minor league teams play at venues close enough to hoof it to, and the ticket prices won’t burn a hole in your wallets.

The BayHawks, Erie’s NBA Developmental League basketball team, play from November to April at the Tullio Arena, located on French and Eighth streets. Tullio is also home to the Erie Otters, the city’s major junior ice hockey team.

During the spring and summer months, you can check out the minor league baseball team, the Erie SeaWolves, at Jerry Uht Park. Summer SeaWolves games feature several events, including Buck Nights, where hot dogs and other concession items can be purchased for $1.

The city also has a distinct flare for the arts. Ten-minute walks from campus can land you at either the Erie Art Museum, Warner Theatre or the Erie Playhouse.

The Erie Art Museum offers free general admission on Wednesdays and hosts a number of classes and performances throughout the year for a fee.

Warner Theatre is home to the Erie Philharmonic, the Lake Erie Ballet and the Erie Civic Music Association. On average, the theatre hosts at least 150 events per year, including the Eerie Horror Film Festival, which has been thrilling patrons since 2004.

The Erie Playhouse holds shows year round, with “Les Miserables,” “Disney’s The Little Mermaid” and “The Sound of Music” slated for the fall performances from September to November.

Although most of you will not yet be old enough to enjoy the State Street bar scene on the weekends, there are plenty of other ways you can steep yourself in the Erie nightlife until reaching the big 2-1.

Several hookah cafés provide the opportunity to meet new people in a relaxed, cultural atmosphere, and there are plenty of diverse restaurants that foster fun, friendly environments.

One of the favorite hotspots is Molly Brannigan’s Irish Pub, located on State Street between Fourth and Fifth streets. With 45-cent wings every Monday and traditional Irish fare 24/7, the pub draws in students and locals alike.

Another local gem is the Brewerie at Union Station, a restaurant that has made its home in the shell of an old train station. Located on 14th and State streets, the Brewerie offers specials throughout the week, including two for one wings on Wednesdays, $2 burgers on Thursdays and live, local music all weekend long.

Did you get a chance to catch your breath? No? Good. Because with all of the features Erie offers to not only its visitors and residents, but its students as well, the last thing you should feel is limited. If there are ever any dull moments, you’re doing it wrong.

 

CHRISTINE PEFFER

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