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La Grande Trip Ideas

For adventuring in Eastern Oregon, there’s no better base camp than La Grande. Surrounded by natural beauty, it’s a thriving community for the arts, outdoor rec, and local eateries.

When you arrive in La Grande, take an opportunity to refuel. JaxDog Cafe & Books serves sweet and savory homemade fare, like fresh cardamom rolls and house made soups. The same care for the menu goes into the curated selection of books, perfect for snagging a vacation read.

 

Before heading out for hiking, biking or more, Blue Mountain Outfitters and Mountain Works Bicycles serve as incredible resources. Stock up on any gear you accidentally forgot or need to tune up and benefit from the staff’s rich knowledge of the surrounding sites and local tips.

 

Mt. Emily Recreation Area is the answer for your outdoor fix. Previously private timber land, this park opened in 2008 with 85+ miles of trails and nearly 2,700 feet of elevation change, in the Grande Ronde Valley and Blue Mountains. Open year-round and pet-friendly, you’re free to run, ride, camp, cross-country ski and more.

 

Check in at The Landing Hotel when you’re ready to freshen up and unwind. The Landing is a charming, boutique hotel offering a handful of spacious rooms and intimate spaces to gather, including a roomy community balcony and highly-rated restaurant on the floor level. Or experience The Lodge at Hot Lake that overlooks the reservoir supplying its spa and soaking pools with spring water. This Northeastern Oregon destination has been newly renovated to receive guests.

 

In the morning, stroll down to Brother Bear Cafe and take in the shop windows and small town charm of La Grande. With both a breakfast menu and grab-and-go options from the case, this cafe is known for incredible breakfast burritos, their berry cinnamon rolls, Nutella muffins and more.

 

Continue exploring at Art Center East a touchstone for regional artists, that features classes in pottery, watercolors, and macrame. The space includes a rotating art gallery and hosts free events for the public. Also visit The Potter’s House and Birddog Glass & Boylan Studios to experience the craftsmanship of stoneware and glassblowing respectively. Explore the vast collection of crafts and goods found at Marketplace Underground. In the style of a European village wander past storefronts and experience events in this unique downtown (and underground) locale.

 

Ready for refreshment? Side A Brewing’s craft tap list and fried chicken sandwich bring out locals and visitors alike, especially as a popular stop on the Eastern Oregon Brews Byway. A hidden gem with a menu worth seeking out, Thai Fresh Gardens offers fresh, healthy and vegetarian-friendly options that bring diners back again and again.

 

Finally, a classic American tradition available during the summer season – the La Grande Drive-In! A single screen set outdoors where moviegoers can set their car stereo to play the audio and enjoy an evening of cinema under the stars.

@thestolenword - side a brewing

Where to Eat and Drink

JaxDog Cafe & Books
1305 Adams Ave, La Grande, OR 97850 •  (541) 624-5888

Brother Bear Cafe
1009 Adams Ave, La Grande, OR 97850 •  (971) 806-9651

Side A Brewing
1219 Washington Ave, La Grande, OR 97850 •  (541) 605-0163

Thai Fresh Gardens
1101 Washington Ave, La Grande, OR 97850 •  (541) 663-0700

What to Do

Blue Mountain Outfitters:
1124 Adams Ave, La Grande, OR 97850  •  (541) 624-3113

Mt. Emily Recreation Area:
63571 Owsley Canyon Rd, La Grande, OR 97850

Art Center East:
1006 Penn Ave, La Grande, OR 97850  •  (541) 624-2800

The Potter’s House:
1601 6th St, La Grande, OR 97850  •  (541) 910-0550

Boylan Studios:
702 Adams Ave, La Grande, OR 97850  •  (541) 910-3510

La Grande Drive-In:
404 20th St, La Grande, OR 97850  •  (541) 963-3866

@seanlerner - MERA
@thelandinghotel

Where to Stay

The Landing Hotel
1501 Adams Ave, La Grande, OR 97850 •  (541) 663-1501

The Lodge at Hot Lake
66172 OR-203, La Grande, OR 97850 •  (541) 963-4685

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