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9 Fun Facts About Erie, Pennsylvania You Should Know

By Sarah Hordusky

With long stretches of sandy beaches, an emerging entrepreneurial sector, and oodles of tasty new restaurants and bars, it's no wonder why people love Erie, Pennsylvania. As a real estate agent in Erie, I get to explore different areas of the city and county every day. It's actually what inspired me to pay homage to the uniqueness of the place I get to call home. Whether you're an Erie native or new to the area, I think you'll find these fun facts as fascinating as I did.

  1. Erie is the Fifth Largest City in PA

Erie has a small-yet-big town feel to it, with a population of 94,831 people in the city and 270,876 in the county. Its downtown is teeming with nightlife, new businesses, and fabulous restaurants. And, if city life isn’t your scene, Erie County has dozens of picturesque hiking trails, miles of lakefront views, and an abundance of homes with big, lush yards.

Despite a downturn in population over the last decade, Erie is undergoing a significant transformation, breathing new life into a city that’s chock full of possibilities. The redevelopment and revitalization of Erie’s urban core make it a more appealing place to call home. 

  1. Presque Isle is the Most-Visited State Park in PA

Erie is home to PA's most-visited state park. That's saying a lot considering the state has 124 of them! What's really wild is that none of PA's state parks charge an entrance fee!

If you're into the outdoors, Presque Isle is your go-to place. With beautiful beaches, hiking trails, and lagoons, there is something for everyone. It's why the park is visited by over 5 million people every year.

  1. Erie is the third snowiest city in the Nation

Erie is currently ranked as the 3rd snowiest city in the U.S., with an average snowfall of over 100 inches. So, if you enjoy winter sports, you're in luck. Erie is only 45 minutes from Peek'n Peak Resort, where you can snowboard and ski.

  1. Erie Derives Its Name from the Eriez Indians

The Eriez Indians were indigenous people who lived on the south shores of Lake Erie. They were also known as Cat Nation, which many historians believe refers to raccoons rather than felines. In the mid-17th century, the Iroquois Indians overpowered the Eriez.

  1. Erie Has Many Nicknames

Erie is often referred to as the "Flagship City." This nickname comes from the fact that it was the home port of Oliver Hazard Perry's flagship Niagara, the wooden-hulled ship that helped defeat the British in the Battle of Lake Erie during the War of 1812.

It's also called the "Gem City." Erie is thought to have earned this name for the water's gem-like appearance on sunny days.

  1. It’s Home to One of the Oldest Amusement Parks in the Nation

Erie is home to Waldameer Park and Waterworld. Established in 1895, it’s currently the fourth oldest amusement park in PA and the 11th oldest in the U.S. What started as a popular picnic spot overlooking the lake is now a go-to location for thrill seekers. Today, Waldameer & Water World has over 100 rides, slides, and attractions.

  1. Archaeological Evidence Shows Humans Roamed Erie in 8,000 B.C.E

Erie is home to the Sommerheim Park Archaeological District, a collection of archaeological sites along the lake that revealed artifacts from the Archaic period (8,000-1,000 BCE). Archaeologists found various stone tools and evidence of archaic homes that suggest fishing and hunting people probably located here seasonally. 

Moreover, there is evidence of nomadic hunters exploring Erie during the Paleoindian period between 12,000-10,000 B.C.E, when humans first appeared in North American archeological records.

  1. Erie Could Become a Popular Filming Location

There are some major films and television shows that have been shot using Erie as the backdrop. Perhaps the two most prominent are Cormac McCarthy’s “The Road” and Jack Kerouac’s “On the Road.” Most recently, Paramount Plus filmed scenes for season two of “The Mayor of Kingstown.”

But it's not just Erie's aesthetic that makes it a great place to film. Pennsylvania offers a 20 percent tax credit to productions that spend at least 60 percent of their total budget in the Commonwealth.

  1. Erie’s Cost of Living is Surprisingly Low

Erie’s cost of living is surprisingly affordable for being a waterfront city and county. In fact, it’s 25.4 percent lower than the average city in the U.S.

Unlike many areas in the U.S., it's actually [cheaper to purchase a house] right now than to rent one. The average home price in Erie is $166,311.

Whether You’re Coming or Going

If you're selling your home in Erie, know that, despite recent news of falling national home prices, it’s still a hot seller’s market here. Right now, sellers are still realizing fair-to-above-market sale prices and spending minimal time on market. 

And, if you're a newcomer to the Gem City, know that I'm here to help you find your dream home. With niche neighborhood knowledge and in-depth marketing insights, I'm a skilled negotiator and have an eye for up-and-coming, under-valued locations. 

If you're interested in learning more about me and how I help buyers and sellers, reach out today by visiting my contact page