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What should we do and see in Central Oregon in September?

Hi! You’re in for a treat. Central Oregon in September is so beautiful.

I have several recommendations for you. Don’t miss the High Desert Museum, which presents natural and cultural history and also has live animals on site. For hiking, try Smith Rock State Park, the Deschutes River Trail, or the Cascade Lakes region. Tumalo Falls is near Bend and easy to access. The Newberry National Monument offers cool volcanic history and views as well as a waterfall, Paulina Falls.

Take a stroll through Sisters - a fun little town with Western flair. Many events take place in Sisters in September, too. There is a ton of great dining in the area – try the Old Mill District or downtown in Bend for starters.

What else do you want to know? Have a great time!

We are staying in Klamath Falls at the end of April. What are some fun day trips we can take from here?

Oh, wow, you are in for a treat! Klamath Falls is a beautiful area with lots to see.

Bird watching and boating are popular on its many waterways. There is also a fantastic geological destination south at Lava Beds National Monument. Try fishing or rafting with Roe Outfitters.

If you are up for a two hour drive north, you’ll catch awesome views of the Cascade Mountains along the way and end up in Bend, the biggest city in Central and Eastern Oregon, where culture, dining, and lots more recreation abounds. Hit the High Desert Museum while you’re up north.

Drive just over 60 miles west of Klamath Falls and end up in Ashland, home of the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival and more great dining, culture and wonderful outdoor opportunities. Absolutely don’t miss the opportunity to drive up to Crater Lake; you’ll have to come in from the south to Rim Village – the only visitors center accessible by car in the winter. Can I answer any other specific questions? Enjoy your trip!

Where are some places to stay near Bend that offer horseback riding?

Hello! Lucky you, there are some beautiful places near Bend to ride horses! Here are my top faves:
Black Butte Ranch (large family friendly resort outside of Sisters with incredible views of the Cascade Range and Black Butte)
Brasada Ranch  (upscale resort near Prineville with luxury touches and also incredible Cascade and high desert views)
Sunriver  (very large resort and community south of Bend on the Deschutes River with tons of amenities)
Please let me know if you need more info! Have fun!

Where is a good lakeside cabin that is dog-friendly and has good fishing?

Elk Lake Resort (www.elklakeresort.net)  might be a good destination for you. Cabins allow pets, though not sure about the “run free” part. There is a beach, however, on the other side of Elk Lake that I know allows dogs off-leash. It’s called Little Fawn. Fishing is popular on the lake, as well as sailing, stand-up-paddle boarding and the like. Only other caveat is that until the Cascade Lakes Highway is plowed of snow, which typically happens around Memorial Day or later, you can’t get there except for on skis or in a snowcat! But for a summer destination, this one is great. You might also check out Paulina Lake Resort and Odell Lake Resort. Have fun!

My husband and I are planning a trip to Bend in August. We have a 14 month-old and would like to hike somewhere that isn’t too difficult and has some safe swimming holes. Any suggestions?

A great hiking option, relatively flat, is the Deschutes River Trail, which runs right through Bend. The trail system is awesome!  People do swim at McKay Park, but it’s not really safe or a swimming  hole, necessarily. If you want that, I’d head up to Elk Lake. Especially in August, the water is warm and definitely safe – try the South Beach for a shallow hole. There is a lot of hiking up there, but it’s more mountainous. Have a wonderful trip!

My fiance and I are planning on spending our honeymoon in the Bend area. We would like to see as much as we can in 5 days. We would like to see the coast or tidepools, or maybe go on some hikes. What are some great spots to visit for a young active couple on a budget? What is the best way to organize our trip so that we can get the most out of it?

I take it you haven’t been here before? I’ll tell you my top five highlights for the Bend area: The High Desert Museum, the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, The Deschutes River Trail, Downtown Bend and Mirror Pond, and The Old Mill District on the Deschutes River. I would devote a day to driving the mountains (Cascade Lakes) and a couple of days to exploring town. Maybe catch a concert at the Les Schwab Amphitheater? Maybe head north 45 minutes and spend a day at Smith Rock  State Park – it’s spectacular. If you want tidepools and the coast, you’ll need to drive four hours west. Well worth it, but your call if you want to take the time. Enjoy!

We will be staying in Newport in mid-September and would like suggestions for a scenic route to drive to Mt. Hood. We would like to see some of the scenic sights in Central Oregon along the way. Is the Three Sisters area too far off the path?

Well, seeing the Sisters on the way to Mt. Hood isn’t exactly the direct route, but if you are up for a leisurely driving tour of the state, it’s a lovely way to go! From Newport you can head east over the Cascades, seeing many lovely sights along the way. From Bend, head north on Hwy 97 to Mt. Hood. The whole endeavor will take you seven hours +, so if you have time, you might consider staying over a night (maybe in Bend?). You can see the Cascades from parts of I-5 (assuming you took a more direct route from Newport to Hood), but it isn’t nearly the same as seeing those peaks up close.

We are planning a trip to Oregon. We will spend a week on the coast, I believe near Newport. Then we plan to move inland. Which location would be best – Welches or Bend?

Hello! I am not going to make any claims about “better” because I truly love this entire state, but Central Oregon is a great destination! Bend offers incredible recreation, great microbrews, fine and casual dining, shopping, resorts, hiking, biking, boating, golf, a great natural and cultural history museum, swimming, etc etc! We are just over the Cascade Range on the Deschutes River, so mountain and river views are standard fare around here.

My wife and I will be in the Bend area and would like help in locating four top golf courses to play as well as lodging suggestions. We look forward to hearing from you and appreciate your time. – John P.

Depending on your handicap and energy level, you can actually play 36 holes a day in Central Oregon….there is just that much golf to be had. As far as top courses, I would recommend you consider the following:

  1. Crosswater Golf Club located at Sunriver Resort. If you are a resort guest, you can have access to this top quality course and you’ll love it. There are several tee boxes so depending on your level of play, you can make it as challenging as you like.  Crosswater has hosted several NCAA, PGA Tour and USGA amateur events.  The course is reopening after an extensive renovation the end of May so your timing to play the course is perfect.
  2. Brasada Canyons Golf Club at the Brasada Ranch Resort is also a fun course to play. It is located just outside  of the airport area in Powell Butte.  It is a Peter Jacobson design. The best part of playing this course are the views. Really spectacular views that follow you through out the 18 holes of play. Zach Swafford is the head pro and he and his team will take great care of you.
  3. Black Butte Ranch has two classic designed golf courses that in so many ways give you that authentic central Oregon golf experience.  The Ranch is  located in Sisters.  The property has two courses, Big Meadows and Glaze Meadows…… tree lined and small greens.  it may remind you of playing Donald Ross designed courses if you have traveled east to do just that.  Jeff Fought, little brother to PGA Tour winner and course designer, John Fought, is the director of golf.  They are super people there and will take great care of your every golf need.
  4. Pronghorn Golf Club – Nicklaus  course – Pronghorn is a semi-private facility again not too far from the Redmond airport.  The course may be most remembered for its manicured greens and  over sized clubhouse.  This course design is pure Nicklaus…..knowing  his pattern for risk reward temptation in the hole designs.  You will love playing this course for so many reasons including the very friendly staff, the views and the 19th hole patio area.

All four places I have recommended do provide overnight stay accommodations including all the amenities and restaurants. You really can’t loose if you choose to stay at anyone of these properties so depending on how much golf you want to play, you’re in a good spot. Finally, I would invite you to check out the Central Oregon Golf Trail and Visit Central Oregon for more information on courses in the area.

Answered by Noel Lucky, Ask Oregon Golf Expert on April 19th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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What is the best time of the year to golf?

As far as best timing for golf in Oregon, the summer through early fall is generally reliable. But often the state of Oregon and the Portland area gets a bad wrap about being raining because that is usually the thought associated with the area. That is just not the case. There are many sun filled days through out the year. I particularly love the golf experience in the early fall. The trees with their colors and the smell of nature and its beauty wraps around your mind as you track around the course.  Really a fantastic experience.

One of the most reliable areas to travel for golf with assurance of super weather is Central and Southern Oregon. Central Oregon has over 30 some courses with a wide variety of designs and price points for greens fees. And, it is filled with sunny days.  Southern Oregon too has a super collection of courses and more reliable weather in and around the Medford area.

Answered by Noel Lucky, Ask Oregon Golf Expert on April 19th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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