City Spotlight: Lakeport, Lake County CA
October 11, 2019
A quaint town on the west shore of Clear Lake, Lakeport is the county seat and cosmopolitan center of Lake County, California. Though only home to around 5000 residents, its historic downtown hosts a bevy of great restaurants, locally-owned shops, civic buildings, and public spaces.
Lakeport Library Park
Library Park is a community hub for Lakeport residents and visitors. The grassy park offers up lovely public space for picnicking and taking in the lake views, and a connected playground lets the little one blow off some steam.
With public shore access and free boat launches, Library Park is a portal to the fishing and watersports of Clear Lake. Its free summer concert series brings together diverse artists from reggae, country, zydeco, R&B, and swing to name a few.
Overlooking the park is its namesake – the Carnegie Library. Now used to house city offices, the beautiful library was built with a grant from philanthropist and steel tycoon Andrew Carnegie in 1918.
Historic Courthouse Museum
Another wonderful free activity in Lake County is a trip to the Lakeport Courthouse Museum. The pioneer era building houses a robust collection of artifacts from early European settlement and local Native American tribes. Standouts in the collection include a chair that crossed the Oregon Trail, a saber-toothed cat skull, and stunning specimens of Pomo basketry.
Earth science is on view too with exhibits on the area’s geology, and a display of regional gems and minerals. Our favorite is the Lake County diamond, a volcanic glass gemstone that can be found in the surrounding hills (or purchased from the gift shop if you’re looking for a sure bet).
Shopping and Dining
Downtown Lakeport is one of the county’s most walkable neighborhoods. Just blocks from the lake and cultural hotspots, you can find amazing food and plenty of mom and pops shops. Browse antiques and used books, and follow the scent of artisanal cosmetics, incense, and soaps. Find a gift for the cycling enthusiast in your life or grab some last-minute gear for your day on the lake from one of Lakeport’s sport-centric shops.
For lunch, we recommend al fresco dining at Park Place or Juicy’s Pizza, and for a hip waitstaff, later hours, and trendy pub grub swing by The Yard. If you’re peckish between meals, treat yourself to a little something from one of Main Street’s many cafes, bakeries, and ice cream shops.