September 20, 2011

Presque Isle State Park

A few weekends ago, we took the kids for a day trip to Lake Erie. We live in PA, so this would be the part of the lake that borders PA. Lake Erie is huge! It is the 4th largest lake in the 5 Great Lakes in the U.S. It is 241 miles long and 57 miles wide at it's widest point. The lake extends to the north where it meets Canada and to the south where it borders Ohio, Pennsylvania, and New the West, Michigan. Fortunately for us, we only live a couple hours south of Erie, so day trips are totally possible. And you know what??? I can't wait to go back!

We visited Presque Isle State Park, which is located on an absolutely beautiful peninsula! Presque Isle is actually French for "almost an island".

Can I tell you....I love Presque Isle State Park! It is absolutely gorgeous! The park is so beautifully maintained. I grew up going there every year for family vacations. My parents, us 6 kids, aunts and uncles, cousins and grandparents would all go for one week every summer.

It was incredibly fun! We would all stay in these quaint little cottages just outside of the park. The cottages are still there and that makes me very happy. Every day, each family would load their kids, laundry baskets full of beach toys, and coolers full of food and head out to one of the 7 beaches on the peninsula.

The memories I have of this place....oh the memories...wonderful! It's one of those memories that makes you feel all warm and fuzzy and nostalgic inside.

There is also a Coast Guard station and 2 lighthouses on Presque Isle. I've only been to one lighthouse which is located on Lighthouse Beach, but the next time I go back, I am definitely scoping out the other.

Just before you get to the park, there are a couple of very fun, very quaint, family diners. Excellent food and great prices.

I loved it! You can also get ice cream there. Yes, we were there twice that day with the kids. Once for lunch, and later after swimming, for ice cream cones.

If you ever get to visit Lake Erie on the PA side, you HAVE to visit Presque Isle State Park and the town of Erie.

There's a number of things that I could go on about...especially the quaint, nostalgic, small amusement park just before you get to the park, called Waldameer.

I grew up riding these rides...the old metal boats in a foot of water that went in a circle....the wooden roller coaster called The Comet. The haunted fun house that my mom insisted I go into...traumatizing me for the rest of my life!! {I just knew we would go in, but we would never come out!} Memories of that amusement park play through my mind like an old 8 millimeter film strip. The cottages, the beaches, and Waldameer are some of the best memories of my life.

I don't know if you will ever find yourself in northwestern PA close to Lake Erie...but if you do, visit Presque Isle State Park and make some sweet sun-kissed memories of your own.