Lake Erie is absolutely beautiful! We chose the Presque Isle Lighthouse side of the beach area because it allowed our dog to join us. Certain areas of the beach do not allow dogs, so I would be sure to ask which area is designated for dogs.
The water is a pretty blue color and surprisingly clear. You can see all the way down to the ground with the rocks and sea glass beneath. Presque Isle is the location of a beautiful lighthouse and you have the opportunity to purchase tickets to view the top. I would caution that you should look up their hours ahead of time. When we were there they tended to close a little earlier than we expected. They have a gift shop that offers a variety of souvenirs such as sweatshirts, t-shirts, lighthouse models and more. They offer a restroom/changing area conveniently located between the gift shop and the beach.
Unlike the Florida beaches, the water at Erie was cooler than we expected. You are allowed to Pattle-board and Kayak if you want! We required our younger children to wear life jackets, but that is up to your personal discretion.