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Where should we stop in between Mill City and Bend?

Glad you are visiting Oregon! The route between Mill City and Bend is fairly remote and mountainous. There aren’t a whole lot of towns in between – but two spring to mind that you could check out. Sisters is just 30 minutes from Bend. It’s a charming western-themed town with some good shopping and restaurants….

What’s the best hiking trail near Madras?

I suggest the 7-mile Tam-a-láu Trail loop hike near Lake Billy Chinook. It features a mile-long climb to the top of a lava plateau called the Peninsula, which separates the Deschutes River and Crooked River arms of Lake Billy Chinook. Hikers are treated to bird’s-eye views of the reservoir and the dramatic cliffs and plateaus that line…

Where should our family go for a Christmas getaway near Bend?

Hello! It’s hard to say about the weather for sure, but there’s a good chance it’ll be cold in Central Oregon. Still, there are plenty of great places to visit. The High Desert Museum is great for families. The resorts Black Butte Ranch and Sunriver are also good choices. You can still walk the river…

Where should we go stargazing near Bend?

Hi Jason, welcome to Bend! There are two actual observatories, one in Sunriver and one at Pine Mountain east of town. Aside from that, I’d suggest getting away from the lights of town. Smith Rock would be a good choice, or head up Cascade Lakes Highway to Mt. Bachelor or one of the Cascade Lakes. Brasada…

What should we do in Bend if we only have one day?

There is much to be discovered in Bend. If you only have a day, here are my suggestions. Walk a bit of the Deschutes River Trail, in town. Visit a few of our famous breweries – I suggest Crux, Bend Brewing Co. and Worthy. Walk through Drake Park (the leaves should be changing, and beautiful,…

What are the must-do trails south of Bend?

Definitely check out the Green Lakes Trail on Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. It’s popular, but for a good reason — it’s a very scenic and a great trail. The more ambitious climb would be South Sister, an accessible but challenging hike. In Newberry, don’t miss the Obsidian Trail. There’s also a short hike to the Paulina…

What are the best places for water sports near Bend?

You’re in luck. There are great rafting and water sports options around here. The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway offers many lakes for flatwater kayaking and boating. The Deschutes River offers kayaking and slow-rafting right in town, or sign up for a white water raft trip with Sun Country Tours, on the river southwest of town. Also in…

What are the best lakes to wakeboard near Bend in June?

I’d say the most popular place for wakeboarding in Central Oregon is Lake Billy Chinook. It’s strikingly beautiful and large. Three rivers come together and are dammed into a fantastic waterway for boating. Another popular spot is Cultus Lake. Both Billy Chinook and Cultus are about the same accessibility from Bend, but they are vastly different…

What restaurants should I try in Central Oregon? Mind you, I’m a chef!

I can recommend many great restaurants. Don’t miss 5 Fusion — award-winning chef Joe Kim is amazing. Ariana and Zydeco are other excellent fine dining choices. For more casual food, try Jackson’s Corner and Nancy P’s Bakery. Also, Hola! has great Peruvian food. Definitely hit a few brew pubs — my favorites for both food and beer are Bend…

Do you have any suggestions for day trips on a motorcycle?

I can think of several scenic tours you might enjoy. The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is a great choice — lakes, mountains and lots of beautiful forest. Take Highway 26 east through Prineville to the Ochocos — another great backroad through forests. Old McKenzie Highway, Highway 242, is amazing, as is the Aufderheide, Scenic Highway 19. A trip…

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…

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…

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)…

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…

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…

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)…

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…

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…

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: Crosswater Golf Club located at Sunriver Resort. If you are a resort guest, you can have access…

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…