One of the great things about traveling through eastern Oregon is discovering the great small towns that dot the wide open landscape. Far away from any nearby metropolitan areas these small towns are far removed from the suburbs, and are often the civic and economic hub for large surrounding areas and offer visitors a chance to connect with the local culture of the region.
Baker City is one of our favorite small towns here in Baker County, although with a population of nearly 10,000 people it is a pretty large town by Eastern Oregon standards. As a regional hub for much of Baker County and at the intersection of three Oregon Scenic Byways, Baker City’s main street is a testament to the community’s desire to preserve it’s gold rush heritage and foster new entrepreneurs.
For nearly 30 years the local community has been investing in the ongoing preservation and revitalization of the historic downtown which includes more than 100 buildings on the National Register of Historic Places. Today, downtown Baker City is a bustling historic district with a burgeoning local art scene, a bounty of local restaurants and outdoor cafe’s, a myriad of small retail shops and the site of numerous special events and festivals throughout the year.
This May, Baker City’s Main Street was recognized by the National Life Group when they chose to feature Baker City as the Oregon Main Street for their Main Streets Across America, a “celebration of streets in each of the 50 states and the District of Columbia that reflect strong ‘main street values’, play a central role in the communities in which they are located and have great stories to tell”.
Baker City is also a finalist for Budget Travel Magazine’s 11th annual Coolest Small Town In America contest. Baker City is currently in 1st place and you can cast your vote for Baker City through June 6th, by clicking on the photo.
Now that you’re inspired to visit Baker City, check out some of the upcoming Baker City events and festivals on our calendar of events and come see us this summer.