It's a long drive to the Atlantic Ocean from Pittsburgh, but our state does have a beautiful "seashore" just over two hours away. Presque Isle State Park, a 3,200-acre sandy peninsula which juts way out into Lake Erie, offers swimming, boating, fishing and seven miles of guarded, sandy beaches. For those looking for a different sort of adventure, Presque Isle also offers 21 miles of recreational and hiking trails, 10 of which are paved. Scuba diving is even permitted in the park - just stop by the Park Office to register and learn the regulations.
Swimming & Sunbathing: For families with young children, Beaches 1, 6, 7 and 11 are perhaps the best, with fairly shallow swimming areas, picnic tables, grills, and changing facilities. Beach 7 is also handicapped accessible with a boardwalk down to the water's edge. If you're looking for a bit more surf, or a wider beach with room for volleyball or kite flying, then try Beach 9 or Budney Beach. Beaches 6, 8, 10 and 11 feature concession stands.
Boating: Four launch areas are available at Presque Isle State Park for both non-powered and registered powered boats. If you don't have a boat of your own, a number of powered and non-powered craft, including kayaks, canoes, small moterboats and pontoon boats, are available from a rental concession area on the park's southeast shore, just past Perry Monument. Or you can take a scenic boat tour from one of several providers that operate on the peninsula.