Millenium Plaza Park in Lake Oswego
Ithaca Janzen | 05/17/2021 | Lake Oswego

Things To Do: Lake Oswego

Rivers, lakes, history, art and a charming downtown district: Lake Oswego is bursting with things to do! Located on the banks of the Willamette River, it is known for its charming neighborhoods, natural beauty, recreational and cultural amenities and sense of community. Get inspired by some of the activities below, and mix and match to create your perfect day in Lake Oswego. 

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Downtown Lake Oswego is a lively dining and specialty shopping district, with waterfront parks, a performing arts center and renowned outdoor sculpture walk. In the Lake Grove area, a short drive west of the downtown on the city's west end, you'll also find award winning dining, unique shops and easy access to neighboring communities

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The city’s 600 acres of developed park property, undeveloped and natural parks, and open spaces offer something for all outdoor lovers. Explore hiking trails, spend time on a quiet beach, play a round of golf or dust off your mountain bike and tackle the skills park at The Quarry in East Waluga Park. There are many amenities aimed at enrichment for children, including over a dozen playground structures as well as nature play and wildlife viewing areas, ball fields and easily accessible walking trails for families of all ages.


Foothills Park, Pioneer Spirit Sculpture

Waterfront Parks

George Rogers Park along the Willamette River is the perfect place to enjoy nature, no matter your speed. For those seeking adventure, Alder Creek offers a rental location in the park where you can rent SUP, single or double kayaks during the summer months. If you're looking to relax, the park has perfect sandy beaches along the Willamette to set up a picnic. Family-friendly trails wind through the park, and there's also a kids' play area. 

Lake Oswego's newest park is Foothills Park. A short walk from downtown shopping and dining, Foothills Park provides opportunities for wildlife viewing along paths and platforms, as well as an amphitheater where you can catch live music performances during the summer. 

Oswego Heritage House

Heritage Homes and Industry

Did you know that Lake Oswego was once the key supplier of industrial iron for development on the West Coast? You can learn about the important role that Lake Oswego's iron played, as well as see what life was like for iron workers, at the Iron Company Worker's Cottage, an original box frame home turned museum. George Rogers Park is just a short walk from the museum, where the Historic Iron Furnace still stands. Find these and more industrial history along the Oswego Iron Heritage Trail.

The Oswego Heritage House Museum is a very different historical construction example than the simple Iron Worker's Cottage. This Colonial Revival style building was originally constructed as a real estate office in 1928. Now, the elegant building and gardens are open to the public as a museum, showcasing Lake Oswego's history "from the earliest Native American settlement to the 1960's."

For history on the move, take a scenic ride on the historic Willamette Shore Trolley. This trolley itself is a historical replica, and the route that it takes along the steep banks of the Willamette River, through tunnels and neighborhoods of Lake Oswego dates from the 1800s. You can take a ride just for the incredible views and banter with the knowledgeable trolley operators, or you can use the trolley to travel from Lake Oswego to downtown Portland, with a stop at the SW Waterfront that easily connects to the Portland Streetcar for convenient public transportation.

Complement II Glass & Stainless Steel Sculpture

Public Art

Arts and culture abound in Lake Oswego. Open year-round, the award winning Gallery Without Wallsis a unique outdoor sculpture exhibit, containing eighty permanent and loaned works of art by a variety of artists. Enjoy them on your own with a self-guided brochure tour, or take a guided tour. In addition to the Gallery Without Walls, the Arts Council of Lake Oswego hosts their ArtSpace & Gallery, a gallery featuring rotating themed art exhibits in the new City Hall building.

The Festival of the Arts, held each June, is one of the longest running art festivals on the West Coast. The Festival, founded in 1963, presents the creative endeavors of recognized and emerging artists from all disciplines of the art world. Lake Oswego also has a bustling theater scene with many plays on offer year-round by multiple theater companies, including Lakewood Theatre Company.

Visitor Admiring Blooms at Rogerson Clematis Garden

Farm & Garden Beauty

Visit Luscher Farm (a Farmlandia Farm Loop stop) to escape the city and journey to the country. This historic dairy farm with restored barns and original 1920’s farm house is now a 47-acre park with active community gardens, classes, and special events throughout the year.  Also, you can enjoy a wonderful collection of trails through the undulating hills located on the edge of beautiful Lake Oswego. And the ten-panel Hazelia Agricultural Heritage Trail highlights Lake Oswego’s fascinating foundations.

At Luscher Farm you will also find the Rogerson Clematis Garden, which contains the most comprehensive collection of clematis within a public garden in North America. It offers over 900 varieties of clematis! This outstanding garden is open year-round and is free to explore. Many of the unique plant specimens are available for purchase at the garden. Bring a picnic and enjoy there beautifully landscaped grounds outside the historic

Ithaca enjoys camping, hiking, local craft beer or just hanging out at home with her pet hedgehog, Hazel. Her role at Mt. Hood Territory includes coordinating the Tap Trail and Wine Trail and creating inspirational travel content.

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