Erie offers great local attractions to students

We spend at least four of our years in Erie, Pa., working on our undergraduate degree. Whether we notice it or not, this city has a lot to offer in terms of amusement. School keeps us pretty busy between classes, studying and extracurricular activities – there’s not much time to stop and smell the roses.

But what’s the point of living in a city for four years of your life if you never get to see the things that make it great?

I recently had a conversation with a fellow Gannon senior who had never even seen Presque Isle. I was shocked because one of the key reasons I came to school here was because I could go to a beach in the summer and make it a point to go at least twice a school year.

It’s become tradition that my family comes up visit on Labor Day and we hit up Beach 10 for an all-day PI adventure, complete with picnic.

I must admit, I have never experienced probably the most famous attraction in Erie. I’ve never seen the inside of Splash Lagoon. I know, I know, it’s the winterless wonderland. However, things in Erie that are below I-90 just seem like they’re in a different state.

It just seems so far away and I’ve got to change my attitude on that because I’m definitely missing out.

It’s hard to say what life has in store for us post-graduation. We should take advantage of these local attractions while we can.

Some things are just a stroll down the street. If you take a walk down Sixth Street, you’ll run into the Watson-Curtze mansion that has been preserved to look like it did when it was built in 1891.

If you haven’t walked down State Street to Port Erie Bicentennial Tower, you need to. During the day, you can walk the whole way up to the top of the tower for an amazing view.

Looking for something wet, wild and wonderful? Check out Waldameer. People drive up hours to Waldameer for a day of fun rides and coasters when we have it in our back yard.

Not all universities have this kind of access. Speaking as an Indiana, Pa., native I can say there’s not much going on at IUP, except maybe the county fair.

Don’t get me wrong, tractor pulls can be exciting but they are neither wet, wild nor wonderful.

If the winterless wonderland of Splash Lagoon is too much dough to dish out, visit the Tom Ridge Environmental Center. It’s all about nature and Erie history with beautiful exhibits to peruse. Oh, and then there’s the view.

In the north tower of the TREC, you can look out over Presque Isle for a breathtaking perspective and it’s all free.

Just before Fall Break, there are always plenty of tests and papers to contend with and the time you have to spare seems to be shrinking, but there will be a time when you need to de-stress and have fun.

Keep these attractions in mind. Make sure you check them off your list before your four years at Gannon fly by.



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