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Living in La Grande Oregon - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Twin Lake Near La Grande Oregon

What is Living in La Grande Oregon Like?

La Grande, Oregon, located in Union County, is home to approximately 13,000 people. The city offers a unique blend of small-town charm and natural beauty, making it a desirable place to live and visit. Nestled between the Wallowa Mountains and the Blue Mountains, La Grande has magnificent scenery, abundant wildlife, historic sites, and an excess of outdoor adventure. It also boasts uncrowded camping, hiking, backpacking, Nordic and alpine skiing for those that visit. La Grande is close to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest. This national forest is over 2 million acres and includes all or parts of the Eagle Cap Wilderness, Hells Canyon, Monument Rock, and North Fork John Day wilderness areas. There are 60 campgrounds and more than 1,700 miles of trails. There are also opportunities for snowmobiling, mountain biking, camping, picnicking, swimming, boating, and water skiing in the mountains, trails, and lakes in the national forest. Fishermen can try catching some of the 13 species of fish, including trout, steelhead, and salmon, in the many rivers and lakes. Or, try some hair-raising white water rafting on the Grande Ronde River. The Best of La Grande includes a historic downtown area, vibrant local shops, and residential neighborhoods with stunning views of the surrounding natural beauty.     
One of the main attractions in La Grande, Oregon, is the Eastern Oregon University campus, which offers a variety of cultural and educational opportunities. The campus is home to art galleries, theaters, and a museum, providing visitors with a chance to explore the local arts scene. Another attraction in the area is the Mount Emily Recreation Area, which offers hiking and biking trails, camping sites, and scenic viewpoints. La Grande also has several parks, including Riverside Park and Pioneer Park, which offer playgrounds, sports fields, and picnic areas, making it an excellent destination for outdoor recreation.    
There are several large employers in and around La Grande, Oregon, including Eastern Oregon University, which is a major educational institution in the area, and Grande Ronde Hospital, which provides healthcare services to the community.     
The cost of living in La Grande, Oregon, is lower than the national average, making it an affordable option for those looking to live in Eastern Oregon. Today, the average home value in La Grande stands around $275,000, and you'll find the average cost for a one-bedroom apartment in La Grande is around $850 a month. There are a variety of housing options available for La Grande residents to choose from, including single-family homes, townhomes, and apartments.     
If you're looking for a small town with easy access to bigger cities, a charming downtown, good schools, and plenty of outdoor activities, La Grande, Oregon, would be the perfect place for you! Keep reading to learn more about living in La Grande, Oregon, including info on its neighborhoods, schools, cost of living, and some pros and cons of living in La Grande. This information should help you determine whether living in La Grande, Oregon, is the right choice for you.     

Are You Considering Buying a Home in La Grande Oregon?

Would you like to buy a home in La Grande, Oregon? Let our team of trusted professionals help you buy or/and sell a home in the La Grande area. To connect with a local expert/real estate professional in La Grande, Oregon, to help you navigate your home buying journey, CLICK HERETo start receiving emails with homes that match your criteria, CLICK HERE and sign up for Listing Alert. With a little info on what, where, and how much, you'll get newly listed homes matching your criteria sent to your inbox as they hit the market. This can give you a big leg up in your home search.

The first step in the home-buying process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Todd Davidson is an experienced mortgage broker and can help you get the best financing option for your home purchase. Not quite ready yet? Todd can help you put together a plan to get you there. Whether you're thinking a few months or a year or more if you want to buy a home, reach out to Todd and he can help. CLICK HERE to email Todd and set up a call to get the process started or just call at 971-275-2465. 

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Todd Davidson

Mortgage Broker

What is the Cost of Living in La Grande Oregon?

If you're having thoughts about moving to La Grande, Oregon, or any place, the cost of living would definitely be a big factor in your decision-making. I calculated the REAL cost of living in La Grande, Oregon, by factoring in today's costs for housing (rent and own), utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities to live. If you were to live in La Grande, Oregon, and rent, you would need to make $38,000 a year. To live in La Grande, Oregon, and buy a home, you would need to make $56,000 a year. Rental amount is based on current low end cost of studio or one bedroom, purchase is based on recent low end sales of a three bedroom and monthly payment with 20% down. 

Cost of Living

Living in La Grande Oregon Tips/Info/Blog Posts

Helpful Tips for Moving to Oregon and Buying a Home







Top Neighborhoods in La Grande Oregon

Welcome to La Grande, Oregon, a picturesque city nestled in the stunning landscapes of Union County. La Grande boasts a variety of neighborhoods, each with its own distinctive charm and allure, making it a wonderful place to call home. Below is information on six amazing neighborhoods in La Grande, Oregon:

  1. Downtown La Grande: Downtown La Grande is the heart of the city, offering a mix of historical and modern architecture. This neighborhood primarily consists of older homes with unique character and charming streets. You'll find a mix of single-family homes, townhomes, and some apartments. Residents enjoy the convenience of being within walking distance of numerous local businesses, boutiques, and restaurants. The neighborhood is home to Max Square, a popular community gathering spot, and several parks for relaxation and recreation. The Eastern Oregon University campus is also nearby, contributing to the area's vibrant atmosphere.

  2. South Side: The South Side neighborhood in La Grande is known for its family-friendly environment and close-knit community. Housing options here mainly consist of single-family homes with spacious yards, making it an ideal location for families looking for a quieter residential area. Parks like Pioneer Park offer green spaces and recreational facilities. The South Side also boasts several local eateries and shops, providing residents convenient access to everyday amenities.

  3. Grande Ronde Valley: The Grande Ronde Valley is a picturesque neighborhood surrounded by the breathtaking landscapes of the Blue Mountains. Housing options in this area range from larger single-family homes to some townhomes and condos with stunning views. Nature enthusiasts will find plenty of opportunities for outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, and camping. The neighborhood's proximity to the Wallowa-Whitman National Forest and Wallowa Lake State Park adds to its allure.

  4. Island City: Located just northeast of La Grande, Island City is a charming residential area offering a mix of housing options. This neighborhood features a blend of single-family homes and some townhomes, providing diverse living choices. Island City Park is a notable attraction, with playgrounds and sports facilities for residents. The community exudes a serene and suburban atmosphere while conveniently close to La Grande's amenities and businesses.

  5. Jefferson Ave Area: The Jefferson Ave Area is a historical neighborhood with many charming homes dating back to the early 20th century. This area mainly comprises single-family homes, including some beautifully restored Victorian houses. The neighborhood's tree-lined streets and well-preserved architecture create a delightful atmosphere. Residents here have easy access to Pioneer Park, offering an ideal spot for picnics and outdoor gatherings.

  6. North Side: The North Side neighborhood is another well-established residential area in La Grande. Here, you'll find a mix of housing options, including single-family homes and some townhomes. The neighborhood is known for its peaceful ambiance and friendly community spirit. North Side Park provides a green space for recreational activities and family outings. Additionally, this neighborhood is conveniently located near grocery stores, local restaurants, and other businesses, making daily errands a breeze.

If moving to La Grande, Oregon, and you'd like to buy a home in one of these fabulous neighborhoods, CLICK HERE to sign up for LISTING ALERT to be the first to know when a home matching your criteria gets listed for sale in La Grande, Oregon. To connect with a local realtor, CLICK HERE. One of the most important decisions you'll make when moving to La Grande, Oregon, is picking an experienced realtor who can help you get the house you want at the best price. At living in Oregon, we work with the best realtors throughout the state and can help you get the right realtor to make your move and home purchase as easy as possible.

Grande Ronde Valley viewed from Indian Point overlook near La Grande, Oregon

Living in La Grande Oregon Pros & Cons

Living in La Grande Oregon Pros

  1. Scenic Beauty: La Grande is surrounded by breathtaking natural beauty, with the majestic Blue Mountains and picturesque Grande Ronde Valley offering plenty of outdoor recreational opportunities.

  2. Outdoor Activities: The area provides a plethora of outdoor activities, including hiking, fishing, camping, skiing, and mountain biking, making it a paradise for nature enthusiasts.

  3. Mild Climate: La Grande enjoys a relatively mild climate with four distinct seasons, making it pleasant throughout the year and offering a variety of seasonal activities.

  4. Affordable Housing: Compared to larger cities, La Grande offers more affordable housing options, making it a great choice for first-time homebuyers or those looking to invest in real estate.

  5. Community Spirit: La Grande is known for its tight-knit community and friendly atmosphere, where people come together to support local events and businesses.

  6. Arts and Culture: Despite its small size, La Grande has a thriving arts and culture scene, with galleries, theaters, and community events that showcase local talent.

  7. Educational Opportunities: Home to Eastern Oregon University, La Grande provides access to quality education and cultural experiences for residents of all ages.

  8. Low Crime Rate: La Grande boasts a relatively low crime rate, creating a safe and secure environment for its residents.

  9. Close-Knit Neighborhoods: Each neighborhood in La Grande has its unique charm and offers a sense of community, making it easy to connect with neighbors and build lasting friendships.

  10. Access to Services: Despite its smaller size, La Grande has a variety of amenities, including hospitals, schools, shopping centers, and restaurants, ensuring that residents have access to essential services.

Living in La Grande Oregon Cons

  1. Limited Job Opportunities: La Grande's job market may be limited, especially in specific industries, leading some residents to seek employment opportunities elsewhere.

  2. Remote Location: The city's distance from major urban centers can result in longer travel times for particular services or cultural experiences.

  3. Harsh Winters: La Grande experiences cold winters with significant snowfall, which may be a drawback for those who prefer milder climates.

  4. Healthcare Access: Although the city has healthcare facilities, access to specialized medical services may require travel to larger cities.

  5. Limited Entertainment Options: La Grande's smaller size means fewer entertainment venues and nightlife options, which may not appeal to everyone.

  6. Retail Variety: The retail scene might not offer as much variety as larger cities, leading some residents to shop online or travel to nearby towns for specific items.

  7. Limited Dining Choices: While there are restaurants in La Grande, the culinary diversity might be less than what one would find in more urban areas.

  8. High Utility Costs: Some areas in La Grande may experience higher utility costs, particularly during the colder months when heating expenses can increase.

  9. Slow Pace of Life: The quieter lifestyle may not suit those accustomed to a faster-paced urban environment.

  10. Limited Professional Services: Some specialized professional services may not be readily available within the city, requiring trips to nearby areas.

Mount Haris Near La Grande Oregon

FAQs About Living in La Grande Oregon

What is La Grande Oregon known for?

La Grande, Oregon, is most known for its annual Eastern Oregon Livestock Show, which takes place every July and celebrates the rich agricultural heritage of the region. The show attracts visitors from all over the state and features various events and activities such as livestock exhibits, rodeo competitions, carnival rides, and a parade. The vibrant displays of livestock and the bustling atmosphere have become an iconic symbol of La Grande and the surrounding area.

What cities and attractions is La Grande close to?

La Grande, Oregon, is located in Union County, part of the northeastern part of the state. The city is approximately 260 miles east of Portland and 50 miles west of the Idaho border. La Grande is close to several other cities in the area, including Baker City, about 70 miles to the southeast, and Pendleton, about 50 miles to the northeast. The city is also within easy driving distance of other popular destinations in the region, such as the Wallowa Mountains, Hells Canyon National Recreation Area, and the Blue Mountains. La Grande's central location in Union County makes it an excellent starting point for exploring the surrounding natural beauty and nearby cities.

What is the weather like in La Grande Oregon?

Living in La Grande, Oregon, you can expect mild weather throughout the year. In the winter months, the average high temperatures range from 35°F to 40°F, and the average low temperatures range from 20°F to 25°F. The city occasionally experiences heavy snowfall during the winter, with an average of 20 inches of snowfall annually. Summers in La Grande are warm, with average high temperatures ranging from 75°F to 80°F and occasional hot spells in the 90s. The city receives around 15 inches of rain yearly, with most precipitation occurring in the spring and winter months.

Does La Grande have good public schools?

Students in La Grande, Oregon, attend public school in the La Grande School District, which serves the city of La Grande and some surrounding areas. For school year 2022-23, ranks the La Grande School District #52 out of 197 school districts in Oregon, giving it an overall B- rating. The district is dedicated to providing a comprehensive education, including arts and athletics, and offers a wide range of programs to cater to students with different interests and needs. The district boasts a diverse student population and strong partnerships with local organizations and businesses. Families residing in La Grande, Oregon, can have confidence in the public school system's ability to provide their children with a high-quality education.

Is La Grande Oregon safe?

Living in La Grande, Oregon, you'll find it a pretty safe place. Property crime rates in La Grande are lower than the national average, and violent crime rates are significantly lower than the national average. states La Grande has a crime rate lower than 65% of all US cities. Living in La Grande, Oregon, you should feel very safe.

What is there to do living in La Grande Oregon?

Living in La Grande, Oregon, you will always have things to do. The city is surrounded by natural beauty, including the Grande Ronde River and the Blue Mountains, offering ample opportunities for hiking, biking, and fishing. La Grande boasts several parks, including Pioneer Park and Riverside Park, which feature playgrounds, picnic areas, and scenic walking trails. The city hosts several annual events, including the Eastern Oregon Film Festival, which showcases independent films, and the Union County Fair, offering carnival rides, live music, and agricultural exhibits. If you're looking for a day trip, La Grande is located near attractions like Wallowa Lake State Park and the Elkhorn Mountains. Whether you enjoy outdoor activities or cultural experiences, there is always something to do in La Grande, Oregon.

Who are the large employers in La Grande?

If living in La Grande, Oregon, some of the top employers include Grande Ronde Hospital, which employs over 700 workers, Eastern Oregon University, which employs over 500 people, and the La Grande School District, which employs over 400 people. Other notable employers in La Grande include Boise Cascade, Oregon Trail Electric Cooperative, and various agricultural companies. With a diverse range of employers, residents of La Grande can find opportunities in healthcare, education, manufacturing, and more.

How is the healthcare in La Grande Oregon?

Living in La Grande, Oregon, puts you near the Grande Ronde Hospital, which is a level III trauma center and has 48 beds. This hospital would likely be able to provide you with most of your medical needs. If looking for a specialist and can't find them in the La Grande area, you're around 170 miles from Saint Alphonsus Regional Medical Center, and St. Luke's Boise Medical Center, both in Boise, Idaho, and both much larger hospitals that would give you better access to specialists.

I want to relocate to La Grande, Oregon.  How do I make it happen?

You've come to the right spot if you're considering relocating to La Grande, Oregon. There's some good information on this website about moving to La Grande, Oregon, and living in La Grande, Oregon, We've also assembled a a good group of professionals, locals, and recent Oregon transplants in our Facebook Group > Moving to Oregon, to help answer any questions you might have. They can fill you in on what living in La Grande, Oregon, is like and give you some good information on moving to La Grande, Oregon. If you're looking to buy a home in La Grande, getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be your first step. For Mortgage Info, contact me. I would love to tell you more about what living in La Grande, Oregon, is like and help with your mortgage if you decide to purchase a home.


If you're thinking of relocating to La Grande, Oregon, you'll find the community atmosphere is warm and welcoming, and there are plenty of amenities and beautiful scenery surrounding you. Living in La Grande, Oregon, has something for everyone, so don't miss out on the chance to call it home.

For FAQs about moving to Oregon or living in Oregon, check out my blog, 31 FAQs About Living in Oregon. For more information about living in Oregon, check out the homepage of LIVING IN OREGON.

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