Lovely Lake Oswego
Lush & Elegant with a Continental Flair
Explore the lush landscape of picturesque Lake Oswego, where Lake Oswego homes for sale range from luxury executive estates to First Addition cottages to sophisticated condo’s. The most prestigious suburb of Portland, Lake Oswego centers on a quaint village center with many walkable neighborhoods that have easy access to the fine dining, bakeries, and Lake Oswego Farmers’ Market. The private lake, and the Willamette River add beauty and plenty of opportunities for waterfront living.
Lake Oswego real estate includes some of the most luxurious homes and estates in the Portland Or area. If you’re seeking an executive home, you’ll have a wonderful selection of both historical and new impressive estates in the Lake Oswego and Dunthorpe area. There’s also a great selection of mid-range priced Lake Oswego homes for sale, town homes and condo’s for those drawn to this beautiful town with its resort type atmosphere In 2011, it’s a buyer’s market in Lake Oswego–the perfect time to claim your home. Many homes & condos are within walking distance of Lake Oswego’s village center, where the shops, theatre, arts center, library and dining options are a rea
Located a convenient 15 minutes south of downtown Portland in Clackamas County, Lake Oswego’s beauty is a real draw for people relocating to the Portland area. With its curving streets, tall pines and cedars, and bountiful public gardens, Lake Oswego conveys a sense of relaxed lushness. Indeed, statistically Lake Oswego gets a bit more rain than other areas of Portland, but the resulting greenery is worth it! For a peek at some scenic Lake Oswego locations. please check out my recent Lake Oswego blog and video, where you’ll be introduced to the city, Lake Oswego parks, views of the lake and downtown.
Bordered on the east by the Willamette River, and on the west by Interstate 5, Lake Oswego, with a population of about 36,000, covers a well defined geographic area of 11 square miles. The City of Lake Oswego offers detailed infomation about demographics and activities. A mere 10 minute drive along the Willamette River from Portland’s South Waterfront Neighborhood, Lake Oswego runs seamlessly into West Linn to the South, and is separated from Tigard by Interstate 5.
Downtown Lake Oswego
Downtown Lake Oswego is compact and walkable. While much of downtown includes blocks that were developed years ago, full of little shops, wine tasting rooms, gift shops, coffee houses, and restaurants, movie theatre & arts center, the centerpiece of downtown Lake Oswego was developed in the early 2000′s on the edge of the lake in the style reminiscent of a European village, or perhaps Aspen. Retirees are drawn to Lake Oswego for its beauty, walkable neighborhoods downtown.
Perched just above the private Lake Oswego, the town of Lake Oswego has been significantly renovated during the past 10 years, and much of it today resembles a European village. Millennium Plaza offers fine views over the lake, and is the hub of many community activities from the Lake Oswego Farmer’s Market to concerts in the summer where you can enjoy fireworks over the lake. Foothills Park on the Willamette river also has summer concerts–between the 2 venues you can enjoy free music 3 nights a week in the summer in Lake Oswego. The free Lake Oswego summer concerts normally begin in July and continue through August.
Lake Oswego Restaurants & Dining
Lake Oswego cafes & restaurants with sidewalk dining add to the ambience of the area. Saint Honore French Bakery is a popular spot any time of day, even offering a communal dining table.
Lady Di’s Teahouse offers high tea and sells take-out goodies too. Then there’s several Italian themed restaurants such as Zeppo, Tuccis’s and Ricardo’s.
Other dining venues include wine bars, Mazana’s overlooking the Lake, the Five Spice Restaurant with the best views of the lake from its second story location. Don’t miss The Ice Creamery or Noah’s Bagels. Up in Lake Grove is the best kept “old” Lake Oswego secret–Gubanc’s–sort of a family friendly fern “pub” with delicious and reasonably priced food. A popular French bakery and restaurant has moved locations in Lake Grove, and is currently drawing breakfast/brunch crowds in the center at Bryant Road and Boones Ferry. Homeowners with boating rights, enjoy docking at the the Lake Oswego Lake House Restaurant which is also accessible by foot from State Street.
Lake Oswego Shopping-Some of Portland’s Finest
Of course upscale shopping is available, from national chains like Chico’s to local boutiques, gourmet cooking supplies, fabric stores, and galleries. Business owners promote an active Lake Oswego Chamber of Commerce for the community.
Lake Oswego Neighborhoods:
First Addition–Cottage Heaven & 21 Other Neighborhoods
Surrounding the Lake Oswego downtown village area is an older neighborhood called the First Addition which h as received national recognition for its cottage-style architecture. In 2007, the American Planning Association put First Addition on its list of America’stop ten neighborhoods. Many are drawn to the neighborhoods surrounding downtown because of their “walkability”–an easy stroll for that morning coffee or perhaps to the wine bar in the evening. Some of the older cottages–which were originally weekend get aways for wealthy Portlanders at the turn of the century–have been torn down and replaced with much larger “cottage” style homes with every modern amenity. Lake Oswego’s First Addition has a neighborhood website in conjunction with neighboring Forest Hills for news updates, and a First Addition photo gallery.
In 1974 Lake Oswego created a master city plan which encouraged the formation of neighborhood associations. These are not the same as homeowner associations. Today, there are 22 formal Lake Oswego neighborhood associations registered with the city. Some have websites, others are less formal. Each neighborhood has its own flavor and demographics, but all are interesting.
Lake Oswego Outdoor Gallery–Rotating works of Public Art
In addition to the beautiful plantings in the meridians of the roads, Lake Oswego has an active foundation that purchases and displays public art and sculpture. These displays can be rotating as the committee finalizes its selection. By 2009, there were more than 60 works of art scattered around Lake Oswego, with many centered in the downtown area, what the Lake Oswego Arts Council refers to as their “Gallery Without Walls”.
Lake Oswego Arts & Theatre Center
The Lakewood Center for the Arts offers classes, a juried art show each summer, and a lively updated theatre with community productions. The Lakewood Theatre Company is the oldest in the Portland area with a full schedule along with classes for children and adults. The award-winning Lake Oswego Library is centrally located near the downtown area, and currently looking for a new location with more space. To get a sense of the history of Lake Oswego, do stop by the Oswego Heritage Center.
Lake Oswego Parks & Outdoor Activities
Initially home to the Clackamas Indians, who were later resettled on the Grand Ronde Reservation to the southwest, and named
after Oswego, New York, the Oswego area was the site of the first iron smelting plant on the West Coast beginning in the mid 1860′s. Eventually employing nearly 300 people, by the turn of the century, it was no longer a viable business. Today lovely George Rogers Park on the Willamette River commemorates the site of the iron smelter.
Another lovely Lake Oswego park on the river is the newer Foothills Park with great views along the Willamette River. An amphitheater makes it the perfect spot to enjoy Wednesday evening free Sounds of Summer concerts, where you can bring your own food or purchase food there.
For a different type of outdoor experience, visit Lake Oswego’s city-owned Luscher Farm, a preserved historical farm and surrounding areas purchased by the city during the 1990′s. There you’ll find community gardens, historic buildings, clematis gardens, classes in gardening and more.
If golf is your game, the public Lake Oswego Golf Course and Practice range offers a beautiful 18 hole golf course and lighted practice range on Stafford Road. There’s a full pro-shop, the Blue Coyote Cafe. This lovely course includes views of Mt Adams and Mt. St. Helen. Serious golfers may want to explore the private “members only” beautiful Oswego Lake Club .
Tennis is also popular as shown by the hectic race to reserve the indoor tennis courts at the Lake Oswego Tennis Center where there is league play as well as classes. The planned community of Mountain Park in Lake Oswego also has a large tennis facility known as the Mountain Park Racquet Club.
Lake Oswego History
Originally the home of an iron ore smelter with a ferry landing to transport the raw materials, real estate development became a primary industry in Lake Oswego in the early 20th century, and a country club was built to draw people to the area. Country cottages were built near downtown, and early 19th & 20th century Portlanders spent their weekends in the casual cabins/cottages. In 1960, Lake Grove was incorporated into Oswego, which then became “Lake” Oswego for the first time.
By the 1880′s, a rail road line connected Lake Oswego to Portland, and eventually it was electrified. The Willamette Shore Trolley has provided a 45 minute ride into Portland on weekends, but in the summer of 2011, it closed due to right of way and equipment issues. There were plans to extend Portland’s light rail or streetcar system along that right of way to Lake Oswego but the citizens voted it down in 2012. Some have suggested using a ferry system between Portland and Lake Oswego, while others believe that the current Macadam Avenue that connects Portland and Lake Oswego is more than adequate for future traffic.
Lake Oswego Real Estate Market
Today Lake Oswego draws diverse home buyers seeking a wide variety of homes. Property for sale in Lake Oswego includes small condo’s, newer townhomes in the downtown area, established family friendly neighborhoods such as Westlake and Palisades, lake front estates, and even an island estate. Lake Oswego & neighboring West Linn combine to have the highest median home price of any Portland areas. In February 2013 , for example, the median price for Lake Oswego/West Linn homes for the year 2013 to date, was $372,000, and the average price was $451,900.
Relocating to Lake Oswego?
Many families are drawn to the area by the excellent Lake Oswego public schools. If you’re considering moving to Lake Oswego because of the schools, it’s important to check verify the status of specific schools. As Lake Oswego has faced budget issues, some consolidation of schools was proposed.
If you would like to retire to Lake Oswego, you’ll be sure to appreciate the beauty and the resort-type atmosphere in the village of Lake Oswego and seek out condos or homes within walking distance to the bakeries and shops. Commuters like the easy commute to downtown Portland via Macadam or I-5. If you’d like to see any Lake Oswego real estate, please give me a call at 503-516-8066! I’d love to be your exclusive buyer’s agent, representing your interests, not the seller’s. As a Lake Oswego real estate agent, I offer relocation services that include orienting you to the area and the schools, helping you find a temporary rental if necessary, and previewing homes on your behalf to save you time.