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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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Planing on going to Bend next weekend. Know any good nature places to go to with a nice view?

There are many nature places with great views around here! Some of my favorites are covered in snow at the moment – Tumalo Mountain is one. But Pilot Butte State Park is right in Bend and offers great 360 degree views of the city, mountains, desert and surounds. Up north a bit, Smith Rock State Park is a superbly beautiful natural area with incredible views, also of the mountains and desert as well as the Crooked River. Let me know if you have any other questions or want more info! Have a great time!

We are traveling to Central Oregon in early September from Scotland. We like Country and Western music and traditional jazz – and would like to know if there is a special site to go looking for places.

I am so pleased you’ll be visiting our amazing state. And September is the very best month to do so, in my humble opinion. Here in Central Oregon the skies are a bit clearer and warmer than the rest of the state. And while it can be tricky to find this regions’ roots buried under the growth and culture that has come our way in the last decades, country/western is where we began! You can still wear cowboy boots and find bluegrass and country music in these parts. I suggest you check out one of our ranch-style resorts – Black Butte Ranch, Brasada Ranch, Suttle Lake resort, or Five Pine resort – for an authentic western experience. Have a wonderful time!

Any suggestions on what I should stop and get pics of enroute to LaPine? What is great that direction this time of year?

Smith Rock is stunning, as are Dillon&Benham Falls on the Deschutes. Detour up Century Drive to view the snowy Cascades! Bend’s Drake Park is lovely this time of year. Trees with fall foliage by the river. Good excuse to grab lunch downtown, too.

I’m looking for family friendly bike rides (paved) for my family when I go to Central Oregon later this month. I have an 8 & 10 year old, so nothing too strenuous for the little ones. A reward (read: ice cream & beer) nearby–all the better!

The Old Mill District has some great paved easy biking trails along the Deschutes with great views. They even rent bikes and surreys there. Nothing too long but that might suit your purposes! And there’s plenty of ice cream and beer nearby, as well as a movie theatre.

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Best snowshoeing in Central Oregon? We need to work off the big ol’ dinner we’re gonna eat at Cowboy Dinner Tree over New Year’s.

Hey hey Lady Andrea! There are some amazing trails in Central Oregon Two questions: 1. Where in Central Oregon will you be staying? 2. Over ten miles round trip or under? FYI I am Asit Rathod aka President of Powder for Ask Oregon. Born and raised here in Oregon and love snow so much it has been the only long term relationship in my adult life.

Answered by Asit Rathod, Ask Oregon Snow Sports Expert on January 10th, 2012 - Post Your Answer
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