Editor’s note: Face coverings (ages 5 and up) are required at all indoor public spaces statewide, regardless of vaccination status. Learn more here.
Fresh mountain air. Snowflakes softly mounding on long-needled pines. The clarity of the central Cascade Range silhouetted against a blue winter sky. You can’t overlook the majesty of Central Oregon’s landscape. It’s what draws visitors from around the world to enjoy the region’s endless opportunities for outdoor adventures.
There’s something else that makes Central Oregon special: the people who call it home. And this year the merchants, makers, brewers, artists, designers, craftspeople and guides who make this part of the state so unique need your support. Central Oregon’s many independent businesses are open for business — in person and online — and they make it easy to gift a little high-desert cheer to everyone on your shopping list.
Shopping Districts in Central Oregon
Bend’s riverside Old Mill District is wonderfully walkable, with dozens of shops selling everything from big-name tech toys to works by local artists. Throughout the month of December, its Holiday Happenings include North Pole mailboxes for children’s letters, a quick visit by Santa, a menorah lighting, tree lighting and gift dropoff for needy families. Downtown Bend is another hot spot for indie shops, including local clothing and jewelry designers, galleries, vintage stores, and bars and restaurants; for extra incentive, Shop Small in Downtown Bend features a passport to win prizes. Head to Sunriver Resort for shopping at The Village, plus the annual Traditions light show, sleigh rides, holiday dinners, gingerbread decorating and more. You can also get festive at Holidays in Redmond, with its village market, holiday food and drink festival and mile-long drive-through light display.
Sisters’ compact historic downtown offers dozens of shops and a frontier vibe. The Prineville Charm Trail connects almost 30 local businesses in downtown Prineville. Visit them all and collect a unique charm from each. Discover more Oregon-made products online with Built Oregon Marketplace, a directory celebrating the state’s maker culture. Many businesses offer online shopping and gift certificates if you’d rather shop from home.
Home Gifts in Central Oregon
Central Oregon is chock-full of unique home goods. Pick up a new or refurbished vintage clock at Beacham’s Clock Company in Sisters. They’ve been keeping the fine art of horology (the study and measurement of time) alive since 1965. Have an adventurous musician on your list? Bend’s Outdoor Ukulele makes take-anywhere ukuleles, banjoleles and guitars from durable materials for worry-free strumming on the go. From cuddly blankets to air-cleaning plants and bright planters, the new Merryweather Shop and the Fig Leaf Plant Shop, both at The Box Factory in Bend, offer thoughtfully curated selections of home goods.
Art lovers will adore a piece from Rimrock Art Gallery in Prineville, which exhibits original works from established artists from the Western states and beyond. Pick up anything on your budding star baker’s wish list at kitchen-supply store Kara’s Kitchenware in Bend. And don’t forget the family pup. Bendy Dog in downtown Bend offers playful canine toys, bedding, art and much more, including a large selection of locally made products.
Clothes and Design in Central Oregon
Visit Painted Hills Custom Leather in Prineville for one-of-a-kind leather bags, belts, wallets and apparel. Baldwin’s Custom Hat and Boot Co. in Sisters crafts outfit-making hats, footwear and other leather goods with authentic Western style. Plus, they’re made to order, so you’ll never have to worry about whether they’ll fit.
In Bend, Revolvr Menswear offers quality, Western-inspired denim, clothing and accessories with a masculine angle, while Cowgirl Cash curates a vintage and locally made collection of sassy boots, dresses, jewelry and hats. And if this holiday season has you planning a proposal, Saxon’s Fine Jewelers in Bend has plenty of sparkle to choose from.
Food and Drink in Central Oregon
We’re all cooking a lot more at home these days. Liven up a loved one’s kitchen rut with a whole or partial grass-fed beef, pork or lamb share from DD Ranch in Terrebonne. Central Oregon Locavore’s online Holiday Gift Faire offers delectable treats from more than 100 Central Oregon farms, ranchers, crafters and artisans, including house-roasted coffee from Bohemian Roastery or Sisters Coffee Company, high-desert honey from Broadus Bees and decadent truffles from Lidia’s Chocolates.
Central Oregon is also one of the state’s craft-brewing epicenters. In Bend pick up a special bottle from The Ale Apothecary, which makes barrel-aged beers using local ingredients. Or give a piece of Oregon’s brewery history with a growler and merch from the original Deschutes Brewery Bend Public House. Cocktail aficionados will appreciate a bottle of award-winning bourbon from Oregon Spirit Distillers in Bend, or marionberry-infused vodka from Sisters’ Wild Roots. Wine lovers may join a wine club at Maragas Winery in Culver, Faith, Hope and Charity Vineyards in Terrebonne or Evoke Winery, which hosts a tasting room in Bend. Gift your loved one a meal out with a gift card from one of their favorite restaurants in Central Oregon, like Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails in downtown Bend, The Cottonwood Cafe in Sisters or Brickhouse steakhouse in Redmond.
For the best Oregon wine deals, check out The Giving Season through Dec. 31, 2021.
Experiences in Central Oregon
In recent years, the outdoors have become a respite. If your loved ones have discovered a new love of hiking, fishing or rafting, gift them a guided fly-fishing adventure from Madras-based River Borne Outfitters, Native-owned Little Creek Outfitters in Madras or Bend-based River Runner Outfitters. What could be more exciting than a gift card for an off-road dune-buggy ride across the high desert with Bend-based Outriders NW Tours, or one of the many year-round guided excursions offered by Wanderlust Tours? How about an outdoor enthusiast’s subscription box full of snacks, gear and gadgets from Cairn, based in Bend? For wintry fun, Central Oregon Adventures offers guided snowmobile and off-road excursions to some of the region’s historic ghost towns. Nostalgic for a bygone era? How about merch from the last Blockbuster in the world, in Bend?
While the pandemic has put most live music and theater on hold, this is also a great time to support local arts groups with gift certificates or tickets for future performances of the Central Oregon Symphony and the Cascades Theatrical Company.
Hotels in Central Oregon
Traveling feels a little different right now, but the gift of future travel delivers some much-needed anticipation. For those in need of serious pampering, gift a stay at Brasada Ranch, a luxury golf hotel and spa at the gateway to the Ochoco National Forest; Tetherow, a plush resort near downtown Bend with a golf course, pools and restaurants; or the romantic Pine Ridge Inn in Bend and FivePine Lodge in Sisters. The hip Suttle Lodge offers instant access to the eponymous Suttle Lake and the Deschutes National Forest, plus craft cocktails and seasonally inspired dining. For a casual vibe, check out McMenamins Old St. Francis School, rent cabins at Cold Springs Resort or check out the new Campfire Hotel in Bend, with its hip retro-style rooms around an outdoor firepit in the central courtyard. Families can plan a future reunion at the StoneRidge Townhomes at Sunriver, Black Butte Ranch or one of the hundreds of Central Oregon vacation homes on Vacasa. Find great hotel deals in Oregon at Expedia and Visit Central Oregon.