Grape Arbor Bed and Breakfast

Neighborhood of fine mansions on a shady street in summer.

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Things to Do on Vacation at Lake Erie in Pennsylvania

Drinking, Eating and Having Fun

Let us help you find the hidden gems that our diverse area has to offer! Grape Arbor Bed and Breakfast in North East, PA is convenient to the wineries on the Lake Erie Wine Trail, Presque Isle State Park, Chautauqua Institute, and everything in between.

With its turn-of-the-century buildings, shops, restaurants, and parks, our town has been designated a National Historic Landmark District. Harvest festivals, Gibson days, and many other special events dot the calendar all year long. See www.nechamber.org for a schedule.

North East is nestled in wine country among the fragrant vineyards that hug the southern shore of Lake Erie. Relax and visit the many antique shops in the general vicinity, ride your bike along the Seaway Trail, have a well-paced game of golf, or experience the excitement of NASCAR racing locally at the Lake Erie Speedway.

Lake Erie is a vast natural resource and offers exceptional opportunities for sailing, fishing, swimming, beach combing, and picnicking. The town of North East has a public marina that is merely three miles from the Grape Arbor Bed and Breakfast.

Penn State-Behrend, Gannon University, Mercyhurst and Lake Erie College of Osteopathic Medicine are four local universities and colleges within easy driving distance of your home away from home. North East is home to a historic campus extension of Mercyhurst – within walking distance of the inn.

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Purple and red grapes clustered on a green vine.

Tour Lake Erie Wine Country

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There are nine wineries in the same town as the inn, and another 16 are just a short drive across the border in New York.  All of the wineries welcome tastings; let us help you find the perfect one for your tastes.

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There are more than 30,000 acres of contiguous vineyards! The wineries in the area produce wines that range from very dry to sweet.

The four categories include fruity Labruscas, French-American, European vinifera; and dessert, ice and specialty wines. Our publication of the “Insider’s Guide to Lake Erie wineries” can help you plan your itinerary no matter what your preferences are.

If wine is not your thing, some of the wineries also produce craft beers, juices, and most have interesting gift shops.

Expansive view of wide water with a boat at sunset

Visit Presque Isle State Park

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Presque Isle State Park is the perfect place to enjoy the wonder of Lake Erie. It was ranked #1 freshwater beach in North America! Hike, bike, swim, or take one of the many boat tours available for visitors. Presque Isle is an easy 20-minute drive from the inn.

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Presque Isle State Park is a sandy peninsula jutting out into Lake Erie. It is a National Natural Landmark and a favorite spot for migrating birds. It contains many different habitats for endangered species. The Park has 12 beaches as well as paved and unpaved trails for hiking and biking.

No matter the season, the views and events are fabulous.

Grilled scallps on a bed of lettuce salad.

Where to Dine During your Visit

There are so many choices for where to dine during your visit!  It may depend on your schedule for the day–are you in New York visiting wineries, soaking up the sun at Presque Isle or enjoying the facilities here at the inn?

Because of the number of choices we have put together a dining guide.

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Of course, we are always here to help with the choices, and we have a basketful of menus to show you specific menu items. So whether you want a casual meal within walking distance, dinner on the waterfront, or the perfect spot for a celebration, we know the place!

Huge white mansion set on green lawn with trees.

Learn and Play at Chautauqua Institute

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Just a 30-minute drive from the inn, nestled on the shores of Lake Chautauqua, New York is a 750-acre Victorian gated community. Chautauqua offers nationally acclaimed artists in concerts, lectures and master classes for nine weeks during the summer months. All of these events are open to the public.

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There is something for everyone in the summer programs. They include theater, music of all different genres, opera, writing sessions, sailing lessons and themed lectures.

The atmosphere is one of a relaxed summer vacation with limited vehicles allowed inside the gates (ample parking outside), tree-lined streets, gorgeous gardens and Victorian buildings.

Black and white photo of five ladies in 1940s clothing examining a silver platter.

Cultural Venues and Theater

What are your interests?  We can steer you to one of the historical or maritime museums both large and small within an easy drive, or if you enjoy theater and the arts in the evening, there are a variety of performance venues available. Read further for a list of our many local offerings.

Always keep your eyes out for our monthly newsletters, blogs and social posts with up to date events for you.

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Museums

  • There is a tall ship makes its home Erie, the Brig Niagara, and right next to its dock is the Erie Maritime Museum with information about everything to do with fishing and Erie’s history on the water.
  • When you are on Presque Isle, visit the Tom Ridge Environmental Center and learn about the formation and history of this unique ecological formation.  There is also an IMAX theater.
  • In downtown Erie, visit the Erie Art Museum for its changing collections, and gallery nights.
  • Venturing in the other direction, in Jamestown NY, they have two large attractions honoring the birthplace of Lucille Ball—the Lucille Ball Museum and the recently completed National Comedy Center
  • Locally there is a Train Museum, Historical Museum and the McClurg Museum, all of which have limited schedules…check with us!

Theater

If you love Theater as I do, there are usually performances happening at the following local theaters:

Sailboat on the blue water with waves and sun.

High Octane Activities for the Adventurous

Looking for something a little different? Maybe something get your heartrate up a bit or just uses parts of your brain that are getting a bit dusty? We have them!

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Here is a list of different, but fun activities, all within a 30-minute drive.

  • Ax Throwing and Hiking at Panama Rocks – not at each other, but learn to throw aces at a target. While you are there, have fun exploring up to 60-foot rock formations surrounded by ancient trees.
  • Take a Ride on a Tall Ship – the Brig Niagara
  • Find Your Way Out of an Escape Room
  • Take a Food Tour!
  • Zipline through the Aerial Adventure Course at Peek N’ Peek.
Flight of several kinds of beer and ale.

Erie Ale Trail

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If wine is not your thing, not to worry! Check out the many microbreweries in our local area. There are ten local craft breweries ready for your tasting pleasure, all within a half-hour drive or less, with four more on the outskirts and just a bit longer drive. Like your beer hoppy? Prefer a stout? Chances are the person pouring your draft has a direct hand in its creation. Many of the breweries have either snacks or a full menu for dining. Can’t decide? Fill a growler and bring it back to the inn. We can fix snacks for you here.

Green rail through autumn trees next to a body of water.

Spring and Summer Fun

When the days grow long, the list of things to do grows even longer! The tri-state region offers an abundance of outdoor and leisure activities all-year-long! Keep an eye out for our postings about the local fairs, festivals, and outdoor concerts. Read more for our best ongoing recommendations, and as always, ask us for advice!

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  • Bicycling: Our local bike shop is less than two blocks away and has both short and more adventurous planned journeys. (Lake Country Bike). Additional bicycling adventures can be found at Chautauqua
  • Tour Presque Isle by rental, on boat, surrey, bicycle, or canoe!
  • Lake Erie fishing: You can either charter a boat or fish from the shore for all types of fish.
  • Golfing: Try one of the many golf courses in our region.
  • Horseback Riding Trail Rides: Available if booked in advance at Eden Farms (814-725-2996) and Double Dab Stables (716-736-4418)
  • Take a Lake Erie River Boat Cruise on the Victorian Princess or the Chautauqua Belle. While in Chautauqua, check out Bemis Point.
  • Kayaking on Lake Erie and Chautauqua. Kayaks available for rent through Evergreen Outfitters, or bring your own and we can direct you to our favorite
  • Seeking a spiritual experience? Encounter Lily Dale, self-titled “the world’s largest center for science, philosophy, and religion of Spiritualism.” Fees vary, mediums should be scheduled in advance.
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