Best Beaches in Erie, PA- Presque Isle State Park Edition

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Renowned for its incredible natural beauty, the city of Erie is the gateway to Lake Erie. The one and only port in all of Pennsylvania, this charming city is like no other.

From gorgeous vistas to lush sandy beaches, let’s look at what you’ll find at the best of the best beaches in Erie, PA.

Exploring Presque Isle State Park

All of the best Beaches in Erie, PA are located in Presque Isle State Park and it’s the perfect place to start your journey.

Presque Isle State Park
Presque Isle State Park

Recently voted as one of the most beautiful freshwater beaches in the United States, the shores of this pristine park are officially no longer one of Pennsylvania’s best-kept secrets. 

This National Natural Landmark wraps around Lake Erie and offers seven miles of sandy surf beaches.

There are a total of nine public swimming beaches around the park that are open to the public. 

Before You Go – Be aware that you can only swim on marked beaches. Wild beaches are not guarded and can be dangerous. Keep reading below for a complete list of all the beaches where swimming is allowed. 

Beach Number One 

The first beach that you’ll find in Presque Isle State Park is the aptly named Beach Number One. You will find this long sand just inside the entrance to the park.

From marathons to live concerts, there are regular events at this popular beach. 

While it’s a good place to swim, you might consider bringing along water shoes because there are rocks near the shore.

Be sure to bring along drinks and any snacks for the day. Beyond the bathroom facilities and a reservable pavilion, there are no amenities here.

Beach Number Three or Barracks Beach

Not far from Beach Number One, you’ll find the beach known both as Barracks Beach and Beach Three.

Like Beach One, this spot has bathroom facilities along with a pavilion (which is not reservable). 

You’ll find a small parking lot, which does sometimes fill up, near the Stull Interpretive Center not far from the entrance of the park. 

Beach Number Six or Lyons Beach

This is one of the most active beaches in Presque Isle State Park.

You’ll find a lot of young people running around the beach here along with a few volleyball leagues that practice and hold tournaments here. 

Whether you want to grab a volleyball court or refuel at the beachfront snack bar, this place has all of the essential amenities. 

Lake Erie
Lake Erie

Beach Number Seven or Waterworks Beach

When it comes to family-friendly shores, this quaint part of Presque Isle State Park is one of the Best Beaches in Erie PA. They are sheltered near the beach so it’s easy to get tucked away to get some shade. 

There are picnic tables and barbeques that are available on a first come first serve basis so be sure to arrive early, especially during the busy summer months, to nab a post for yourself. 

best Beaches in Erie, PA are located in Presque Isle State Park
Presque Isle State Park beach

Beach Number Seven, also known as Waterworks Beach, is one of the Best Beaches in Erie PA for anyone with limited mobility.

There is a wheelchair ramp right down to the water and you can also get a specialized beach wheelchair from the Public Safety Building located at NMaahc Number Six (or, if you’re lucky, you might find that there are already some wheelchairs here. 

Beach Number Eight or Pettinato Beach 

Beach Number Eight is another one of the fully accessible beaches.

You can also get a beach wheelchair from the Public Safety Building anytime and there is a ramp that will take you directly down to the beach. 

Beach Number Eight, aka Pettinato Beach, is also fully equipped with changing rooms and bathrooms as well as a few places to get food and drinks.

Erie Lake ice
Erie Lake in the winter

Mill Road Beaches

In Presque Isle State Park, you’ll find the collection of beaches that makes up Mill Road Beaches. If you are looking for tranquil, unspoiled beaches. This is the spot for you.

This quiet slice of shoreline sees few visitors and is an excellent place to disconnect. 

Short Jetty, Goddard, Walk Stone Jetty, Saw Mill, and Ainsworth make up this charming collection of beaches.

Plan plenty of time to wander around and take pics, then make your way over to the shady picnic spots. 

Keep In Mind -The Mill Road Beaches are not swimming beaches, so avoid getting in the water here. There are no lifeguards, and the area can be unsafe.

Beach Number Nine or Pine Tree  

Just off the trail that winds through Presque Isle State Park Edition, you’ll find Beach Number Nine. This is the perfect pitstop when you’re hiking or biking through the park.

There are charcoal grills here and shaded picnic spots. When it comes to relaxing, quiet spots for a picnic, this is one of your best picks. 

Beach Number Nine, or Pine Tree Beach, as it’s often called, is just beside the famous Sunset Point.

It’s well worth planning your day around being here just as sunset to take a look at your schedule to make it happen. 

Beach Number 10 or Budny Beach 

Another perfect picnic spot, Beach Number 10 has everything that you need for an excellent day out.

You can unwind on the beach, or check out the local kite runners and windsurfers.

On a windy day, the skies come alive with color here. On top of kids running around with their new kites, you’ll also see some impressive shows. 

When you are ready to get active, you can head away from Beach Number 10, or Budny Beach, and start down the mile-and-a-half trail.

This picture trail starts on the east side of the trail and will walk you through some of the great highlights of the park. 

Travel Tip – As you are walking down the trail, be aware the park and the surrounding areas are protected. To keep the park well preserved, it is crucial to always stay on the trail. 

Beach Number 11 or Kohler Beach

This huge sandy beach has ample shelter and calms shallow waters that are ideal for swimmers of all ages.

Next to Beach Number 11, or Kohler Beach, you’ll find changing areas, bathrooms, playgrounds, picnic areas, pavilions, as well as spots to grab food and drinks. 

What to Know Before You Go 

Feeling inspired to explore Presque Isle State Park and the best beaches in Erie, PA? These beautiful beaches are open every day of the year from 5:00 am to sunset.

Where to Stay in Erie, PA

You’ll be spoiled for choice when it comes to accommodations across Erie.

For an epic view of the Great Lakes, however, you can’t beat Courtyard by Marriott Erie Bayfront.

With a prime location just beside Erie Maritime Museum, this is an ideal base for exploring the heart of the city and beyond.


When it comes to the best beach in Erie, PA, you can make a beeline directly to Presque Isle State Park to experience some of the best beaches in the entire Great Lakes region! 

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