My husband, TJ, grew up in Edinboro, PA where his favorite spot to kayak, fish and swim in the summer was Edinboro Lake. Edinboro, also known as the ‘Boro, is in Northwestern PA and is as close to the Ohio border as it is to the New York State line. It had been almost 17 years since TJ, a native to this state, re-visited his roots. So we decided to return with our 6-month-old son, to revisit some nostalgic locations and see what new spots had popped up. One of our favorite discoveries was Edinboro Lake Resort.
The property, on the east side of the lake, was once an RV park but now features rustic lakefront cabins, relaxed dining with live music and opportunities to rent boats. I loved the perk of waking up on the water and being able to fish or jump in your kayak just off the dock. The log cabins come in one or two bedrooms versions and I love how even the one bedroom cabins can accommodate a family of six with a queen bed, twin bunks and a carpeted sleeping loft for kids. The two bedroom cabins can accommodate up to eight people with a queen master bedroom, a twin over full bunk bedroom and a pull out queen sleeper sofa. Linens and towels are included for up to four people, as are everything you’ll need in the kitchen, but you will need to bring your own toiletries, soap, firewood, coffee and if you have more than four people sleeping bags. Also note that just because the interior look is rustic, the amenities are modern, and you can expect WiFi and flat screen TVs.
In the morning you can enjoy time on non-motorized boats – i.e. SUP boards and kayaks which are complimentary for guests, so you don’t have to worry about renting by the hour. TJ had a great time taking Everett out in the kayak, bonding the way TJ and his father had when he was a young boy. If you’re traveling with an infant, however, like we were, you’ll need to bring an infant life vest as the resort only includes adult and child life jackets in the boats. You can also rent pontoon boats for a fee that can fit up to 11 people. Anyone coming into town with their own boat should know there are dock rental options as well.
I also loved the Sunset Grill, which is the onsite restaurant, for meals. At night they have live music, which was a great way to end the day, watching the sunset behind the water. Finally, Edinboro Lake Resort is a summer sanctuary for the Purple Martin. This bird species migrates here every summer to nest and have their young, and the hotel has worked with the Purple Martin Conservation Association to construct specialized housing for the nesting families. It’s a nice sustainable give-back feature that made me like this place even more.
Other spots to check out include TJ’s favorite restaurant growing up: John Wildwood’s Pizzeria (open since 1979), which is still cooking pies made to order. The price is also right for families, with slices costing just $1.50 — or order the entire pie for just under $10. Afterwards, head to Dairy Supreme, a classic ice cream stand that TJ also frequented growing up. TJ’s go to is always the twist cone, but me being the indecisive one with a sweet tooth just had to sample a few baby cones, including pomegranate and my all time favorite flavor, vanilla.
We also checked out Flip Cafe, after the Edinboro Lake Resort’s friendly staff recommended it to us for breakfast. It opened after TJ moved, and has fast become one of the most popular spots in town. The wait was completely worth it— we absolutely loved the playful décor, quick service and of course the food. For something on the sweeter side, try menu items like the peanut butter pancakes or Creme Brulee Oatmeal. For a savory breakfast try the BBQ Pork Omelette or Caprese Omelette if you are looking for lighter fare. Regardless, trying the toast (Cinnamon Raisin was our favorite) is a must!