Above Image: Reflections on Oswego Lake by Francie Manning. Courtesy of City of Lake Oswego, Local Government
If you’ve never been to our neighboring town of Lake Oswego Oregon, you’re missing out. Come here and you’ll discover a community full of personality with it’s own distinct flavor. Lake Oswego’s artsy vibe along with it’s beautiful walkable lakefront business district, unique boutiques, restaurants, and entertainment options make it among the most desirable places to visit in Oregon’s Clackamas County.
Since this little mecca of awesomeness so close to our hotel, we asked some local experts for some recommendations to help our guests explore and experience the area for themselves!
After filling up on your complimentary hot breakfast here at The Grand Hotel at Bridgeport, grab a ride and head up the road (just over 5 miles) to Downtown Lake Oswego for a morning of exploring Lake View Village, one of Lake Oswego’s premiere shopping districts in the heart of their downtown. This is a perfect place for a nice stroll through the downtown area and along Oswego Lake. On a clear day, you’ll be treated to some spectacular views of the lake and Mount Hood.
This is a great time to do some “people watching” at Millennium Plaza Park, a lovely local gathering place with fantastic views of the lake and shops. Many events take place here including the Saturday Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market, Thursday Movies in the Park during July and August, and Sunday Moonlight & Music concerts.
After your morning stroll, treat yourself to a cup of coffee and irresistible pastry (or other sweet treat) at St. Honoré Boulangerie before hitting the specialty shops like Sur la Table, Chico’s, and Pendleton to name a few.
Casual Lunch & Trolley Ride
Take a break from shopping in the chic array of shops and boutiques for lunch at a local spot like Manzana Rotisserie Grill or Holy Taco, which can be found in Lake View Village. Both of these popular restaurants have a fun and relaxing atmosphere and are reasonably priced. Beat the lunch crowd and chances are you can find a great spot inside or outside overlooking the water.
After lunch, head across the street to catch a ride on the Willamette Shore Trolley! This scenic 10.5-mile round-trip ride runs along the shore of the Willamette River from Lake Oswego to Bancroft Street in SW Portland and features spectacular views plus several unique railroad attractions. The Willamette Shore Trolley departs from the depot at 311 N. State Street on Fridays, Saturdays, and Sundays through the summer. Winter excursions are also offered. For trolley schedules plus more information, call 503-697-7436 or visit wst.oregontrolley.com. The round-trip ride will take about 90 minutes.
Next up: a visit to the famous Kyra’s Bake Shop. Your visit to Lake Oswego is not complete without this experience! Founder Kyra Bussanich is the only four-time winner of Food Network’s Cupcake Wars. Not only are their treats absolutely delicious, they are 100% gluten-free and now offers grain free, low carb Paleo desserts. Indulgence without the guilt, what’s not to love?
Afternoon Art Walk
Head to the Arts Council of Lake Oswego and the rest of the afternoon exploring Lake Oswego’s unique art & culture. 510 Museum & ARTspace (generally open Tues-Fri, 11 AM – 4 PM and by appointment) is the only dedicated visual arts gallery space in the City of Lake Oswego. The Museum hosts approximately ten rotating monthly exhibitions each year, each with a First Friday reception open to the public. The Arts Council of Lake Oswego also operates Gallery Without Walls, a wonderful public exhibit featuring outdoor sculptures and public art. We recommend booking a docent led tour in advance. For just a small donation per person, a local art expert will lead you through an hour long journey of this spectacular downtown rotating exhibition.
You can also download the Lake Oswego Art Walk app (LO Art) and take the tour on your own!
If you plan to stay for the evening, there are a number of nightlife options that range from casual to upscale. If possible, order tickets to a theatre performance at Lakewood Center For the Arts, a thriving performing arts center now in their 65th season! If that’s not an option, Lake Theater & Cafe is a great venue offering 2 theaters for films & music, a casual restaurant & bar in addition to an lakeside patio. Movie buffs can choose from foreign,independent, classic and current blockbuster movies.
If you’re getting dinner before the show, there is no shortage of fabulous restaurants to choose from. If you’re staying in the downtown area, check out the chic & stylish spots like Baird’s On B – Bar & Grill, Tucci Restaurant, Clarke’s Restaurant Bar and Five Spice Seafood + Wine Bar. There are also a number of casual local burger and pizza places to choose from. Yelp is a good resource to scope out the best place for you to grab a bite! Make sure you call the restaurants ahead of time and ask if they take dinner reservations, Lake Oswego is a hot spot for tourists during the summer season!