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Painted Hills

Living History in Baker City

Written by Oregon Media

Living History in Baker City

Baker City is home to one of the largest and most well-preserved historic districts in Oregon.

Once known throughout the West as the “Metropolis of Eastern Oregon” and the “Queen City of the Inland Empire,” the living history in Baker City is no joke. A series of gold-mining booms in the late 1800s inundated the fair city with capital, and the quality of the 100-plus downtown structures on the National Historic Register reflect that influx. Take a self-guided architectural tour with stops at these charming businesses along the way.

Downtown Tour

On the heels of a rich history was built a thriving present.

Barley Brown’s Beer 

Restaurant interior in Baker City A legendary craft brewery, Barley Brown’s beer competition medal holdings have reached triple digits. The taproom and brewpub both serve tasty food and more beers than you have fingers and toes to count them on. Start with the Pallet Jack IPA, which tops many “best” lists.

Lone Pine Café

Always bustling, this brick-lined eatery is about as citified as it gets around here: Vinyl records crackle and the smell of artisan-roasted coffee fills the air. Ingredients are quality and mostly farm fresh. The homemade German rye bread is worth writing home about. Try the BELT, a BLT with egg on housemade bread.

Geiser Grand Hotel

The fully restored grande dame of Baker City’s glitzy past is the cornerstone of downtown. Hotel details include a three-story cupola, ornate stained-glass ceilings, cavernous wine cellars, Victorian-style suites and upscale cuisine. Sign up for a guided tour on the weekends.

Copper Belt wines in Baker City Copper Belt Winery

Drink wine and shore up bragging rights, too. Tell your wine aficionado friends that you’ve tasted wine from the only winery on the Oregon side of the Snake River Valley AVA. Copper Belt Winery’s tasting room is on Main Street and there’s always beer on tap if wine tasting isn’t for you.

Peterson’s Gallery & Chocolatier

Who wouldn’t want to check out art from Pacific Northwest artists while enjoying handmade truffles, ganache and drinking chocolate? Peterson’s light-filled gallery of upscale art and gourmet chocolate provides a true sensory delight.