Things to do in La Grande,Oregon

Things to do in La Grande Oregon

Mount Emily towers over Grande Ronde Valley and the town of La Grande, the center of the region in northeast Oregon. The city carries historical significance for being on the Oregon Trail that leadsthousands of settlers from the MissouriRiver to valleys in Oregon.

The best time to visit La Grande is from May to October, when you can take advantage of warm and mostly dry weather. However, bear in mind, most visitors come in the summer season so that you could experience some crowds.

If you’re coming from abroad, you will need travel authorization. For people from Visa Waiver Program countries, there is an easy online application process for ESTA Visa. You can also ask for an ESTA USA transit Visa if you’re going through the US to another country.  The administration needs around three days to process the application, and with valid ESTA, you have two years to travel to the US restaurants.

Things to do in La Grande

A small town in the Grande Ronde Valley is an excellent hub for exploring the surrounding Blue Mountains and the valley. One of the premier ways to explore the scenic countryside is on the Grande tour route, 80 miles driving course that will take you from two to four hours depending on the stops. You will see prominent mountain peaks and numerous farms and ranches along the way.

Birnie Park, along the way, is the location of the camp pioneers on the Oregon trail used before going over the Blue Mountains. Going further north will bring you to Grande Ronde River, a Snake River tributary. The river goes through some desert canyons accessible only on water, and it’s ideal for rafting and canoeing.

Open your windows while driving to experience the scent of mint, one of the prevailing cultures in Oregon. In small-town Cove, you can visit the Ascension Chapel builtin 1869 and go on a smaller loop through Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. In the wintertime, you can explore ski and snowmobile paths from Catherine Summit.

Hot Lake Springs are among the biggest La Grande and the valley attractions. The spa was built in the 1920s, and the mineral waters with hot springs still attract plenty of visitors.

Ladd Marsh Wildlife Area is another stop on the valley road loop, or you can visit it regardless. A 308 acre of preserved land for numerous bird species and other animals. You can go on a nature trail or auto tour. The best view of the area is on the Foothill Road Viewpoint. Wildlife is abundant, and you can see white-tailed deer, coyotes, black bears, cougar, elks, eagles, and numerous others. Bird lovers will be in for a treat with dozens of species to observe. The best time to visit is in May and early June when the area has the most birds.

If you visit La Grande in winter, only 20 miles in the Umatilla National Forest, you can find Meacham Divide Nordic skiing area with 15 miles of trails. You can also visit Mt. Emily Sno Park.

In winter, anglers also come in big numbers to try their luck on Wallowa, Umatilla, and Imnaha rivers.

When you return to La Grande, you can explore Eastern Oregon Fire Museum or Think Link Kids Museum. Then, take your time on Hells Canyon Scenic Byway and drive for six hours if you want another road tour. The tour goes through Oregon Trail’s historic sites, and it follows the Snake River and one of the deepest canyons in the US.

La Grande restaurants

After sightseeing and exploring, you can explore La Grande downtown and grab a meal in one of many restaurants and food joints. La Fiesta is a known Mexican restaurant and lounge. Side a Brewing offers classic American cuisine, and it’s a Brew Pub with a wide selection of beers.

You can find a quick bite with Mediterranean meals in YiaYia Nikki’s. In addition, ten Depot Street offers steaks, ribs, and other varied American meals.

Shopping in La Grande,Oregon

You won’t find luxurious boutiques and high-end shopping in La Grande, but there are great outdoor and winter gear outfit stores in Blue Mountain Outfitters. Bugs & Butterflies is for fishers and anglers, and Craigs Antiques is an antique and art shop.

La Grande also has a bustling farmers market with a wide selection of fresh products from all around the valley.

Before booking accommodation or flight and dedicating part of your journey to scenic East Oregon, ensure you got the ESTA permit. Then, go to the online ESTA checker with your unique number and login credentials and see the status. This is also useful if you’re not sure when ESTA Visa will expire.

Bottom line

La Grande is an excellent hub for exploring majestic mountains, Oregon Trail historic sites, and the Grande Ronde Valley. With quality accommodation and numerous restaurants, you can find all that you need for your visit.

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