5 Things to Do in La Grande, OR

Things to Do in La Grande OR

Le Grande is a city found in Union County in Oregon. According to a 2020 census, the city is currently home to 13,026 people. 

It was first brought into the country in 1865 and was originally called “Brownsville” until it was discovered that name had already been taken in Linn county. The population then chose to name the city after a French Settler named Charles Dause, who was known for using the phrase “Le Grande.”

Early on, the city went through exceptional growth thanks to its abundance of gold mines and its ability to maintain an agricultural base. Though the population has remained small, it still hosts many attractions that can give you a home-style feeling when you come through.

1. Wallowa Lake

The one thing about small cities is they can often have the best views and the best landscapes. The landscape is usually why more people do not claim the city as their home, but for those who do, it is a sight to be seen. Wallowa Lake is one of those sites that will leave your jaws hanging when you witness it.

The hills in the background provide the perfect scenery for what is already a beautiful blue lake. It is not a south beach, but it is something better; it is a small, intimate location where you and your family can bring a picnic basket or go fishing and just be surrounded by beautiful scenes. Or it could make the perfect landscape for pictures. 

Big beaches are fun from time to time, but to have the ability to escape the big crowds and people trying to sell you something on every corner is something that can not be replaced. So take the family out to this location or take your significant other.

Take a seat on the sand and lay witness to the beauty of Wallowa Lake, and like mentioned before, make sure to take a picture so you can post it on Facebook and show friends and family what they are missing. It could be one of the most relaxing experiences you have ever had in your life, and it could easily be the best moment of the whole trip. 

2. Blue Mountain Outfitters

Small cities provide a perspective on fashion that you will not find anywhere else. Even more beneficial, they will provide you with friendly, affordable clothing you can not find anywhere else—blue mountain outfitters. As we briefly mentioned in the previous location, this section of Oregon is filled with hills, trails, and different adventures to get into. Well, some people may not always be prepared when they come into these types of areas, and blue mountain outfitter is there to make sure whoever walks in their doors walks out with the proper materials.

The store also does stop with the appropriate apparel. They also provide books on trails and survival that could be crucial to have if you plan on camping in what could be considered the “Wild West,” and it does stop there.

They also provide authentic clothing unrelated to survival or camping; you can find your new fashion trend in this little store and save a buck. Some people think it’s about Versace or Gucci, but the trick is that you can find nice long-lasting clothing in the smallest of shops in the cities.

3. Le Grande Drive-in

Le Grande OR Drive-in Movie Theatre

Some of the younger generations may not know what these are, but the nostalgia may be there for those in the older generations. Movie theaters now are air-conditioned, retractable seats, locations that some take to distract from the actual movie experience. In the past, these were the thing, drive-in existed, and Le Grande hopes to keep that tradition alive. 

The unique thing about drive-ins is not only the intimate feeling of pulling up in a car and either sitting inside or choosing to sit on the hood, but more importantly, the lower prices.

This drive-through will make you never want to go to another conventional theater again. Of course, this theater may not provide the same luxuries as a typical movie theater. Still, it allows not only to enjoy the movie without the distractions of a person crying in the background, but it also allows for a little close quality time with the family, and even more importantly, in a community that only has close to 13,000 people in, there is quite possible not going to be any lines.

So buy yourself some popcorn, get some Mike and Ike, and enjoy whatever is the latest movie to come out without the hassle of today’s movie theater experience.

4. The Longbranch Bar & Eats

The Longbranch Bar & Eats

After a long day of going on adventures, watching movies, and climbing mountains, it sometimes feels good to get a load off and grab a drink. The Longbranch Bar and Ears aims to accomplish that goal for its customers. This location has been operating for many years and serves the community with its high-quality food and drinks.

It was initially the hang-out spot for railroaders who came into the areas looking for some relief, and now it has transitioned into a community icon. You will indeed feel the small city vibes when you walk in. They do not try to impress with their decor and make up for that in the food. Instead, they want to build this relaxing environment where you will spend more time focusing on the food and drinks than the distractions on the wall. 

They even provide a moment for you to connect with the local population. Once you talk to a person who lives in the city’s home, they can show you other things and make the city feel like home, getting the tourist designation from around your name and changing it to your neighbor.

If you are looking to enjoy a Bloody Mary and gravy and biscuits, look no further than the Longbranch Bar and Eat; with its exceptional customer service and many years of operations, it is more than likely to leave you satisfied and wanting more. 

5. Antiques on Adams

Antiques on Adams Le Grande OR

Sometimes a vacation can be a distant memory, especially when you go to many places. It becomes essential to grab a souvenir to remind you of your adventures in a specific location, and Antiques on Adams aims to provide you with that memorabilia. A small location with a lot of stuff.

They do not just offer souvenirs, but they sell jewelry and furniture, but seeing as how bringing furniture back here could be an obstacle, it would be best to go to the vintage clothes or the other assortment of things they have to offer.

In stores like this, you are bound to find something that screams Le Grande so that every time you look in its direction, it makes you smile because it makes you think of all the memories associated with Le Grande.

Walk into this all-encompassing store and get lost in all of the choices they provide to you. If you can not find something here, then you can not find something anywhere.


The old saying is, “The best things come in small packages.” Le Grande is not the most prominent place in the world, but what it lacks in population size, it makes up for with scenery and memorable moments.

Some people go on vacations and do the things that everyone else does, and you just become another member of the millions of people who have done the same thing. Still, when you go somewhere that no one really frequents and build memories there, it can be the memories that truly last a lifetime.

Trees, hills, and trails surround this city, so it could just as quickly be an adventure vacation or a relaxing experience you use to recharge from the daily struggle we all go through. 

Looking for small cities is always the place to go because you can find the most intimate of attractions that allow you to get closer to your family and the people. People in small cities have this welcoming home-style about them that you can not find in a big city. They will treat you like a neighbor because most like you are their neighbor. It is one of those moments that makes you realize not all people are bad.

Le Grande can not only provide a relaxing experience with beautiful things to look at, but also it can give you a new vision of the life you never once thought was possible. So forget Miami and New York and check out Le Grande, OR. It will surely be an experience you will not forget.