Lake Oswego, Oregon

Known for it’s focus on public education, walking and biking trails, parks along the lake and river, Lake Oswego, Oregon is a great place for families.

Annual school rankings consistently list the Lake Oswego School District (LOSD) as the best in the state and among the best in the nation. The LOSD was No. 1 last year and is on top again as the best of 156 districts in all of Oregon. The district is also listed as No. 578 out of 10,574 districts in the United States (top 5%).

Besides the school system, Lake Oswego is known for its parks, public golf course and meandering picturesque river. This pleasant retreat is community focused, and in the spring of 1991, the city constructed a recreational loop system of pathways around the community. There are now seven walks in the loop system and each loop is designed to connect neighborhoods with schools, parks and commercial centers. The system was established to enable residents to travel safely by foot, bicycle or in-line skates. The community also has three short trails ranging from 1.63 miles to 2.27 miles. Recently completed is the Lake Oswego portion of an extensive system of trails and paths in the Stafford Basin.

While visiting Lake Oswego, enjoy some of the homegrown and locally owned restaurants. Some favorites include Baird’s On B, Tucci, Clarke’s, Babica Hen, Lake Theater & Cafe, and Jefé. A Lake Oswego staple, Baird's on B, serves up a wide variety of contemporary, northwest American fare with an emphasis on local and seasonal products. Smaller plates include: crab cakes, fish & chips, cioppino, and mac & cheese. Entrée house favorites are the grilled king salmon, top sirloin, roasted half chicken, and the house burger or portobello sandwich. Baird's wine list represents top wineries from Oregon, California and Washington, six local beers are always on tap. Start your day at the center of the community, Chuck’s Place. They are serving up coffee, breakfast and lunch, all right in downtown on 2nd and B Ave.

Oswego Lake is a limited access lake, with several easements and parks. Easements provide access to property owners in the City of Lake Oswego who have special deeded lake access privileges.  Eligibility for lake access privileges to use Oswego Lake are determined by references to historical documents, including the express granting of lake access privileges by Oregon Iron and Steel Company in recorded, real property instruments.  Lake access privileges cannot be sold, purchased or transferred. The City of Lake Oswego Swim Park is open to all Lake Oswego residents.The Lake Grove Swim Park is open to those residents who live within the boundaries of the old Lake Grove School District and is operated by the Lake Oswego School District.  

For some history, visit the Oswego Iron Heritage Trail, a tour route that guides walkers along pathways to seven sites associated with Oregon’s pioneer iron industry. The trail offers a unique way of looking at the landscape through the eyes of those who mined its ore, cut its timber, and harnessed its water power for the purpose of smelting iron. Colorful interpretive signs at each site give a glimpse of mining and iron making in nineteenth century Oswego.

Art is also important to the community of Lake Oswego and The Arts Council of Lake Oswego works to ensure the arts are an integral part of life. They facilitate the placement and preservation of public art in Lake Oswego, raise the appreciation for visual arts among the people of diverse backgrounds, provide access to art exhibits and offer educational programs and docent tours. The Gallery Without Walls showcases outdoor sculpture on the streets in town and every year, the public gets to vote to keep one of the outdoor sculptures via The Annual People’s Choice Awards.

When staying in Lake Oswego, The Lakeshore Inn is conveniently located in downtown and is the only hotel on the lake. The hotel is surrounded by beautiful parks and you can stroll to Lake View Village for fabulous restaurants and wonderful shopping. Also, make sure to visit Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market, Tryon Creek State Park, George Rogers Park, Willamette Shore Trolley, and Foothills Park. The Farmers' Market has the region's finest products and boasts an average of over 80 vendors each week. Delight in finding a wide variety of superior produce, meats, nuts, cheeses, artisan breads, jams, jellies, baked goods, fresh seafood, nursery items, hot foods and more!  The Market also features live music and a Kids' Corner for youngsters.  

The architecture in Lake Oswego narrates its history. In 1910, Paul C. Murphy arrived in Portland as the vice president and general sales manager of the Ladd Estate Company. Murphy's vision was to convert the thousands of acres that remained after the cessation of Oregon Iron & Steel Company to residential use. Murphy believed that good architectural design would build a good community.  He encouraged the use of the best architects of the time: Richard Sundeleaf, Charles Ertz, Roscoe Hemenway, Van Evera Bailey and Morris Whitehouse.



  • Topics:
  • Travel
  • Location:
  • Portland, OR, USA

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