Main Content

New in Town? Your Ultimate Guide to Living in Lake Oswego, OR

living in a waterfront home in Lake Oswego, OR

Lake Oswego is widely considered one of the best places to live in Oregon, and with its lush foliage and serene location, it’s also one of the most scenic. There are plenty of sights to see and things to do, and as a new resident (or resident-to-be), you’re spoiled for choice. In this guide, we’ll delve into the lifestyle, culture, and attractions that make living in Lake Oswego so easy and so much fun. Welcome to Lake Oswego!


Before we dive into all the great places and activities you can enjoy in your new home, let’s take a moment just to remind ourselves about the basics that make living in Lake Oswego so great.

The city has multiple highly-rated schools, sprawling natural parks, and an abundance of dining options. Lake Oswego High School is a Blue Ribbon awardee, and two of the highest-ranking schools in the state are located here, too. Several hiking trails can be found in Iron Mountain City Park, and the parks surrounding Willamette River have plenty of exciting water activities. Moving to Lake Oswego means having all bases covered, there are all the important amenities and endless opportunities for adventure.

A quick look at Lake Oswego’s past

From when it was a Native American settlement to the present day, the river and the lake have always been vital to the Lake Oswego story. The Multnomah and Clowewalla tribes were drawn here by the bountiful Willamette River, which provided plenty of fish for food and trading. The arrival of foreign settlers, among them Albert Alonzo Durham would lead to the town of Oswego being founded in 1847.

Soon after came the town’s thriving iron era, marked by the opening of the Oregon Iron Company in 1865. Iron production bolstered the town’s economy for a long time, until 1894 when the economic depression and cheaper import of iron led to its closure.

It was around the 20th century when the town turned from iron to land, developing beautifully designed residential properties along Lake Oswego. The lake became a popular recreational spot, and the city flourished.


If you enjoy living in a place with a mild climate, you’ll love Lake Oswego. Warm summers and cool winters are the norm, and the weather here rarely gets into the extremes. Summer temperatures average from 70 to 87°F, making it the ideal time to explore the outdoors. November through March can see some rain, but in general, Lake Oswego sees less rainfall than other places in Oregon. In other words, Lake Oswego offers all seasons without ever having its residents endure any harsh conditions.


Lake Oswego has its own public school district. It’s the top-rated public school system in Oregon and one of the top in the nation. There are six elementary schools that funnel into two middle schools. From there, students have a choice of enrolling in two high schools. All of the schools are well-resourced and follow the same curriculum, meaning that whichever school they choose, parents are certain of a high-quality education for their children.


Now that we’ve covered the basics, let’s have a look at what leisure looks like in Lake Oswego.

activities in the waters of Oswego Lake and Willamette River

  1. Explore the waters of Oswego Lake and Willamette River
  2. Waterfront homes enhance the quality of life for any homeowner, and if you’re lucky enough to live on the waterfront, you’ll soon discover yourself how life-changing these homes can be.

    However, even if you don’t have a waterfront home in Lake Oswego, you’re still very likely to enjoy the lake and Willamette River. Both are surrounded by bustling parks where neighbors go to enjoy the fresh air, meet up with friends, or catch a movie. The Lake Theater & Cafe is located along the shoreline of Oswego Lake, and, since opening in the 1940s, has been remodeled to include a cafe and bar.

    Offering more opportunities to explore the water are George Rogers Park and Foothills Park, both located along the shores of the Willamette River. The 9-acre Foothills Park includes several well-maintained amenities, including a kayak launch and community pavilion. George Rogers Park is the bigger of the two, and at 28 acres, it features a baseball field, soccer field, and several tennis courts. You’ll also find the trailhead for the Old River Road Trail here.

    From July through August, the Lake Oswego Swim Park opens its doors to all residents of Lake Oswego (you’ll have to show proof of residency to enter). The swim park is perfect for cooling off during the summer months, with several picnic tables and lounge chairs for guests.

  3. Upscale and relaxed dining
  4. fine dining in Lake Oswego, OR

    Living in Lake Oswego means being surrounded by charming scenery, but it also means being close to great dining options. Be sure to stop by La Provence, a boulangerie and patisserie, for your fill of coffee and pain au chocolat alongside other classic French fare. Or celebrate a special occasion at Riccardo’s Ristorante, which serves up traditional Italian favorites and features a relaxing patio for al fresco dining. Nicoletta’s Table and Marketplace is another Italian favorite, just a few minutes away at Lake Place.

    Oswego Grill is widely regarded as one of the best upscale restaurants in town, with a contemporary menu that includes everything from steak to seafood, in addition to a fine selection of wines and cocktails.

    For more casual bites, Lake Oswego Ice Creamery & Restaurant is a classic diner with nostalgic desserts and a menu of old-school comfort food, including some of the best burgers in town.

  5. Spend a day at Springbrook City Park
  6. The Uplands neighborhood has Springbrook City Park, a 52-acre urban nature park where you can spot plenty of native wildlife and vegetation. Take a moment to explore the two miles of park trails and see the variety of flora, which includes red alder and big-leaf maple.

    If you feel like working up a sweat, the Lake Oswego Indoor Tennis Center is just around the corner. The facility has four indoor tennis courts for players of all ages.

  7. Sample local wines at Oswego Hills
  8. If you’ve got a few hours to spare on a weekend, head to Oswego Hills Vineyard and Winery, less than four miles from Lake Oswego. Oswego Hills is a charming family-owned winery that features exquisite views from its hilltop location. The winery has a variety of classic homegrown wines for guests to sample, including merlot, pinot noir, and tempranillo. The winery is open on Saturdays and Sundays from noon until 5 p.m.

  9. Discover the best places to shop
  10. Whether you’re casually looking for that special something that catches your eye or stocking up on the week’s necessities, Lake Oswego has great options when it comes to shopping.

    Lake View Village, one of the city’s most popular mixed-use developments, spans 100,000 square feet and includes everything from restaurants to national brand stores. It’s also just steps from the Millennium Plaza Park, which hosts the weekly farmers market.

    For groceries and home needs, Oswego Village in Downtown is perfect. Whole Foods, True Value, and a variety of dining establishments can be found here, in addition to several local retailers.

  11. Visit the local farmers market
  12. Lake Oswego farmers market

    The Lake Oswego farmers market is a community staple, featuring a lineup of local vendors, live performers, and activities for the whole family to enjoy. From May through October, people from all over the city gather at Millennium Park to sample the finest produce in the region. Here, you can stock up on artisan baked goods, fresh seafood, meats, nuts, and dairy products, as well as handcrafted items.

    Lake Grove also hosts its own market on the first Sunday of each month, from September to November. There’s local food, produce, and crafts, as well as fall-themed events for families and pets.

  13. Walk, jog, or hike around Lake Oswego
  14. The Oswego Lake Loop is a popular trail that loops around the namesake lake, covering a total of seven miles. It’s also one of the most easily accessible trails in the city, so expect to run into a few of your neighbors if you plan on going for a jog or a walk.

    For something a bit more challenging, pay a visit to the local Iron Mountain City Park, a 51-acre facility where you’ll find the Iron Mountain Trails. These trails offer a hike of about 1.7 miles, which takes approximately 45 minutes to finish.

    The Tryon Creek Triple Bridge Loop is another challenging yet scenic hike, covering the outer area of Tryon Creek just north of Lake Oswego. This 3.4-mile trail takes about an hour and a half to complete and has many excellent spots for birdwatching.

  15. Learn more about Lake Oswego’s history
  16. Operated by the Lake Oswego Preservation Society, the local History Center & Museum is home to various artifacts, photographs, documents, and exhibits that preserve Lake Oswego’s fascinating past.

    The museum is also known as the Iron Workers Museum since it is located in the city’s oldest house, an 1880s cottage where workers from the iron era resided.

    For another immersive experience, the Oswego Iron Heritage Trail offers a guided tour of the seven historic sites related to the city’s Iron industry. Preserved furnaces, iron mines, and parts of the railroads used for transporting ore can be found along this trail.

  17. Get acquainted with the Lake Oswego arts scene
  18. Living in Lake Oswego is a cultural experience. Explore Gallery Without Walls, a public art exhibition that features a collection of sculptures that places pieces throughout different parts of downtown. Be sure to catch the walking tour organized by the Lake Oswego Arts Council.

    Lakewood Center for the Arts, also known as the Lakewood Theater Company, is dedicated to nurturing a love for the arts and theater within the community. It hosts the annual Lake Oswego Festival of the Arts, various arts programs, and several on-stage productions.

    If you’re looking to get lost in a book, the Lake Oswego Public Library has a sea of titles in many different genres and fields to choose from. While it’s relatively easy to download a copy to your Kindle or other device, there’s still something immensely satisfying about turning the pages of a real book, especially by the lake. Another reason to visit is that children can join storytime sessions regularly hosted by the library.

  19. Pay a visit to the Rogerson Clematis Garden
  20. Located in the heart of Luscher Farm, the Rogerson Clematis Garden is a collection of more than 1,800 clematis plants – the only accredited collection in North America. The garden offers guided tours for those who want an in-depth look at different species of clematis. Currently, there are 16 clematis species in bloom, but there may be new varieties once the season changes.

These attractions are just a few of the things to see and do in Lake Oswego, there’s plenty more for you to discover.


Lake Oswego is a lovely neighborhood with a tight-knit community, but being new in town can sometimes be a worry. Will you get along and fit in with your neighbors? How long will it take for the kids to adapt, settle in, and make friends? To help ease you into life in Lake Oswego, here are some recommendations:

  • Explore public spaces. Take some time to explore the nearby amenities, be it parks, restaurants, or coffee shops. This will help you get to know the neighborhood and even discover your new favorite spots.
  • Introduce yourself to neighbors. Don’t be shy about introducing yourself to your neighbors – a friendly hello or wave will often go a long way in establishing connections.
  • Join community groups online and offline. Facebook groups, Nextdoor, and community centers often have groups for various interests and hobbies. Find one that aligns with your interests and connect with like-minded neighbors.
  • Volunteer your time. Of course, it is completely up to you how you’d like to engage with your community and to what degree. However, if you’re someone who loves to volunteer, giving back is a great way to meet people and learn about community needs. Take a look at Lake Oswego volunteer opportunities here.


If you are not yet part of the vibrant Lake Oswego community but are interested in exploring your options here, reach out to Adrian Olmstead, a real estate expert and top producer at Cascade Hasson Sotheby’s. With years of experience under his belt, Adrian is more than equipped to help you find your ideal home in this beautiful part of the world.

Let Adrian help you navigate the Lake Oswego market. For inquiries, contact Adrian Olmstead at 503.449.9580 or send us an email here.

Get In Touch

Contact Us

    Skip to content