Today, driving along the coast of Lake Erie is like jetting away to an ocean resort. The fresh marine-scented air of this four-county region can be attributed to the many lakes that range in size from small fishing banks to large boating playgrounds. In the past, these many waterways were of great importance in defining history, from the border disputes of the French and Indian War to the naval attacks of the War of 1812 to the paths taken along the Underground Railroad. In Venango County, it was in a small creek that pioneers discovered crude oil.
The northwestern corner of Pennsylvania was a vital route of the Underground Railroad, where escaped slaves found hope and neared the end of their journeys as they reached the shores of Lake Erie and crossed into Canada and New York. The John Brown Farm Museum , former home and tannery of an abolitionist, tells the story of the railroad and life of the times.
Jutting into the Great Lake, Presque Isle State Park is home to the Erie Maritime Museum and the tour of the U.S. Brig Niagara, a working flagship and replica of Commodore Oliver Hazard Perry's 19th century vessel.
Presque Isle is the perfect place for miles around to watch the sunrise. And while you're up, try to catch the big one on a fishing expedition -- on any one of the many excellent lakes in this region. Crawford County alone boasts eight lakes. Later in the day, hit the early sales at the Prime Outlets at Grove City . Scenic Route 6 , one of the most scenic highways in the country, passes through Mercer County, where visitors can stop to view the historic Meadville Market House and stay at a nearby bed and breakfast.
Venango County is the home to America's first oil boomtowns, whose history is told best at the Drake Well Museum in Titusville. Nearby, you can hike, camp and picnic in Oil Creek State Park and ride a scenic railway tour on the Oil Creek and Titusville Railroad.
Find peace in quiet at Victorian Franklin or a Volant hideaway. Delve into the excitement of Erie. Dip into history at the Oil City and Titusville. The four counties that compose the Lake Erie Region are as distinct as they are complete with entertainment and historical importance. Together, Erie, Crawford, Venango and Mercer Counties create a region where visitors flock for fun in the sun, sumptuous wine-tasting and truly historical destinations.