Pennsylvania's Erie Region is aptly named; Erie is its largest city and Lake Erie is its favorite destination. The area claims a population just short of 1 million people with steady increases since the last census.
The Erie Region of Pennsylvania consists of four counties: Crawford County, Erie County, Mercer County and Venango County. It is characterized by its connection to the Great Lakes, and stands in contrast to downstate Pennsylvania. The region specialized in ship-building, shipping, and industry more closely related to the Great Lakes cities of Buffalo and Rochester, rather than the oil refineries in cities like Philadelphia and the steel industry of Pittsburgh. The region has close ties to Great Lakes sports teams, including the Buffalo Bills and Detroit Red Wings. Northwestern Pennsylvania is much like Western New York, in that it is entirely different from the eastern, more coastal half of the state. It is also much colder and snowier with lake-effect snow falling almost every day during the Winter months. Lake-effect snows occur quite often in the winter months; however, they are more of a threat when the wind comes from the northwest, usually after a low pressure system passes through the area.
Great Lakes dialect has a strong presence in northwestern Pennsylvania. One would be hard-pressed to distinguish between those who live in western upstate New York (Rochester, Buffalo) and those who live in Erie. Many O's become A's ("mam" instead of "mom," for example).
The Erie Region is served by Erie International Airport (ERI IATA), as well as the smaller Venango Airport (FKL IATA) in Franklin. The larger airports, Pittsburgh International Airport and Buffalo Niagara International Airport are also viable options, if you don't mind driving for a few hours after your arrival. Some taxis can be found in Erie, but car is the preferred and recommended method of travel for the region.
- Lake Erie During the summer months, Lake Erie is just like any beach along the coast and has its own cultural flair that is sure to add to the experience of going to an inland beach!
- Presque Isle State Park, Peninsula Drive, Erie, PA. A State Park that is open year round with miles of beaches, paved trails and beautiful views. free admission.