Many people travel I-84 from Portland to Boise and points beyond. Yet few realize one of the gems they pass by when they don’t stop in Union, south of La Grande, Oregon. Although it is a small town about 10 miles off of the interstate, Union boasts a variety of attractions for visitors. It is an excellent stopover for a relaxed break from driving, free from tourist traps and the accompanying tourists.
What does Union have to offer? Here are four reasons to consider a short trip to this small town full of spots to discover. No matter what draws you to this friendly little town, you will not be disappointed at the hospitality you’ll find.
Golf fans need not despair on their trip to Union. Buffalo Peak Golf Course is located in town and operated by Union County. It is an 18-hole course that presents a unique juxtaposition as the manicured green cuts through the golds of the high desert. The effect is completely unique. The greens fee for 18 holes on a weekday is $27 and $31 for the weekends. Check out the website at Buffalo Peak Golf Course.
Union is also home to a historic 1920s hotel. Sixteen themed rooms await the tired traveler in this gorgeously restored hotel. Rest and unwind, for example, in the Atrium Room, which is filled with verdant plants, soft colors, and comfortable furniture. The rooms can sleep up to six people, and pets are even allowed in some. No televisions or telephones are located in the rooms, though, so be prepared for complete relaxation. Depending on the day of the week and room, rates run from $39 to $119. See the website for more details.
Union is nestled in the Grande Ronde Valley. Imposing mountains, refreshing waters, and peaceful conditions make it an attractive place to visit. Catherine Creek, a burbling little piece of water, runs through the middle of town. Locals try their hand at fishing in the stream, as well as in nearby Peach Pond and Thief Valley Reservoir. Deer are regularly seen munching on the residents’ flowers and bushes, despite their best attempts at keeping them screened off from the wildlife. Keep on the lookout, too, for hawks and eagles.
Union is called the city of Victorian heritage. Take a walking tour of the small town and see for yourself. Various people have purchased the historic homes and renovated them. Main Street is lined with original brick buildings. Enjoy reading the faded painted ads and signs still found on these old stores. Discovering these old buildings calls to mind the excitement of the Oregon Trail pioneers as they reached the area and settled in the fertile valley to begin the area’s history of farming and agriculture.