Take a dip in the new Lakeside pool at Black Butte Ranch, the newest of five pools at the resort, with stunning views of the sunset over the Cascades.
Cruising the Deschutes River by stand-up paddleboard is a rejuvenating way to spend an afternoon.
One of Central Oregon's newest resorts, Tetherow offers incredible views of the landscape, including Powell Butte and the Ochoco Mountains to the east.
The Deschutes River Trail, in the heart of Bend, offers miles of trails for mountain biking and hiking. (Photo by Tyler Roemer)
Breakfast with a view is easy at Black Butte Ranch, a favorite family resort getaway for more than 40 years.
Cyclists love to ride the Old McKenzie Highway during a limited window of time before the lanes are plowed for cars in June. (Photo by Russ Roca /
The Clubhouse at Pronghorn Resort includes a wine tower, panoramic views, a fine-dining restaurant, lounge and men's and women's spas.
Crux Fermentation Project in Bend is a popular spot on a sunny day. Pets on leash are welcome, and the sunsets from the lawn are spectacular. (Courtesy of Crux)

Adventure is different for everyone, and in Central Oregon, you can find your own — from lava flows, desert terrain and mountain lakes to breweries, shopping and luxury resorts. You truly are in the center of it all.

Our very best days are about balance. When it comes to vacation, there’s nothing better than combining outdoor adventure, exploration of the area and a relaxing stay at a luxury lodging. Central Oregon is an ideal spot to do this: an outdoor playground that surrounds a culturally vibrant scene, filled with all the comforts of home.


Sunriver and a day on the Deschutes

Sunriver makes it easy to get on the water. The luxury Sunriver Resort, south of Bend, sits along one of the most scenic and accessible 5-mile stretches of the Deschutes River. The river here is slow moving and passes green meadows and forests of ponderosa pine. From the water, you’ll likely see birds of prey flying overhead or fish jumping. The resort rents a variety of vessels for a river tour, from inflatable rafts and kayaks to inner tubes and stand-up paddleboards.

After your scenic day of river play, visit the The Cove at Sunriver, a walk-in infinity-style pool with cabana rentals and views of the wide-open Central Oregon skies. Have dinner at Carson’s American Kitchen, offering French-inspired American dining overlooking the Meadows Golf Course, with the Cascade Range in the background. In June 2017, their distinguished Crosswater Club will host the 2017 PGA Professional National Championship. After dinner, enjoy a night at one of the lodge’s many accommodations, from rental houses to condominiums to luxurious suites at the Lodge. In the morning, top off your stay with a decadent spa treatment at Sage Springs Club and Spa, where many treatment products are made from local crops like lavender from Cascade Lavender Farms.


Tetherow and single-track mountain biking

Tetherow is one of Central Oregon’s newer resorts, set in an unrivaled location on the west side of Bend. Find your day of adventure on the seat of a mountain bike on the miles of well-maintained singletrack trails accessible right from the resort. Take a leisurely jaunt along the edge of the forest or climb miles through challenging terrain to Mt. Bachelor. Return to the resort and breathtaking views of the Tetherow Golf Club course, and Powell Butte and the Ochoco Mountains to the east.

Choose from a room at the hotel or a vacation rental home, which has a hot tub, fire pit, five bedrooms and plenty of room for your entire party. Take a dip in the resort’s new pool, followed by a bleu diamond burger and hard-to-find local craft brew on tap at The Row, the resort’s pub-style dining option. Craving more outdoor activity the next morning? Take a round at the golf course, a visually striking par-72 layout designed by award-winning architect David McLay Kidd.


Black Butte Ranch and cycling the Old McKenzie Highway

At the base of Black Butte, with views of Mt. Washington and the Three Sisters, Black Butte Ranch has been a favorite family resort getaway for more than 40 years. The Ranch is also near some of Oregon’s most scenic destinations, including the McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway, which winds over the Cascades through ancient lava beds and lush forests. While it’s closed due to snow in the winter, crews plow one lane of snow by May or June each year, allowing cyclists to enjoy the spectacular route car-free for a short window of time.

Head back to the Ranch for a dinner at the Lodge Restaurant, an iconic dining destination offering regional Northwest cuisine, or the new Lakeside Bistro, which offers more casual dining overlooking the meadows, mountains and Phalarope Lake. Tuck into a house or condo for the night but don’t miss a dip in the Lakeside pool, the newest and most luxurious of the Ranch’s five pool complexes, with a 16-person hot tub, poolside bar and stunning views of the sunset over the Cascades. Golfers will enjoy the two stunning scenic and challenging 18-hole courses, Big Meadow and Glaze Meadow.


Pronghorn and a craft brew tour

Pronghorn is a Tuscan dream in a gorgeous high-desert landscape. Situated east of Bend, Pronghorn overlooks both wide-open sagebrush plains and the expanse of the Cascade Range. From the Clubhouse, take in views of all nine surrounding mountain peaks as well as several breathtaking holes on the famed Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio golf courses. Play a round of golf in the morning and spend the afternoon touring some of Central Oregon’s better-known craft breweries.

Begin at Deschutes Brewery & Public House, Bend’s oldest and most famous brewery. Next explore 10 Barrel Brewing Company and Crux Fermentation Project, both known for great beer, food and outdoor spaces. End your beer tour at Worthy Brewing Co., where its one-of-a-kind Hopservatory tower will soon offer telescope tours of the night sky. Return to Pronghorn for a nightcap at Chanterelle, the fine dining restaurant that offers regional Northwest cuisine. Then retreat to your comfy lodging — one of the four-bedroom homes or a suite in the new Huntington Lodge hotel, under construction and set to open in fall 2017.

about author Kim Cooper Findling

Kim Cooper Findling grew up on the Oregon Coast and became a Central Oregon girl in the mid-90s, taking in the sunny skies and never looking back (except a few wistful glances at the ocean). She is the editor of “Cascade Journal” and the author of “Bend, Oregon Daycations: Day Trips for Curious Travelers,” "Day Trips From Portland: Getaway Ideas for the Local Traveler” and “Chance of Sun: An Oregon Memoir.” Catch her around the state sampling microbrews, hiking river trails, walking beaches, and hanging out with her family.

Flag as Incorrect

Is any of the information on this page incorrect?

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

Share your thoughts Comments

Have something to say? Your Comment

  1. Your comment will be the first one for this story. Some might think of this as a lot of pressure, but as a trail blazer you recognize that someone has to be first. Your fellow travelers appreciate your opinion, so thanks in advance!

Win a Pendleton Blanket


Subscribe to the Travel Oregon email newsletter and be entered to win a commemorative Crater Lake Pendleton Blanket.

Click here for terms and conditions.

You're almost there!
Click the link in the email we just sent you to confirm your subscription.

Hmm, something went wrong, please try later.