Lakeport, the county seat, is the oldest of Lake County’s two cities. Incorporated in 1888, the city retains its rural charm while offering conveniences found in larger cities. A diverse collection of restaurants, coffee shops, and bars is located in the downtown area – just a block from Clear Lake, as well as specialty stores, a bakery, bookstores, and art galleries. Artwork by local artists is displayed in government offices and many of the local businesses as part of the “Art in Public Places” program.
The Lake County Historic Courthouse Museum is located in central downtown – a block east of the newer courthouse currently in operation – and served as the county courthouse from 1871 to 1968. The first courthouse in California to be placed on the National Register of Historic Places in 1970, the museum now features a permanent display of Pomo artifacts and recreated historic rooms – including an old courtroom – as well as rotating exhibits of stone tools, pioneer rifles, geological timelines, and photographs of the area’s popular resorts and spas at the turn of the century.
On the shoreline lies popular Library Park, named after Carnegie Library, which was in operation between 1917 and 1986 and was the county’s main library. Families swim on the beach, launch boats from the park’s docks, and picnic in the park, or walk a block or two to one of many nearby restaurants.
Other facilities include Mendocino Community College, Lampson Field Airport two miles south, and the Lake County Fairgrounds, where events are held year-round.