When it comes to your lodging accommodations in Central Oregon, you’ll marvel at the choices, the quality and range of prices to fit your lifestyle and budget. Splurge on a high desert resort family getaway, take it up a notch in town or find something that’s tucked away along the Deschutes River for a quiet retreat. In every case, the universe of lodging in Central Oregon is vast and creative.
San Franciscans and aspiring filmmakers Sarah Johnson and Jerry McGrath try to see as many independently made films as possible. “Because BendFilm has gotten such great reviews in the indie film community and with film-goers in general, we had to come and see for ourselves,” says Johnson. She and McGrath chose to stay at McMenamins Old St. Francis School close to the heart of BendFilm’s action.
“McMenamins has such a great, funky vibe that fits neatly with the festival, and we could catch screenings there. It’s just a five-minute walk to the Tower Theatre for other screenings,” McGrath offers.
Just as important, the couple loved being near all the restaurants bars and nightlife in downtown Bend. “Big surprise,” says Johnson, “this town has a lot of great places to hang out and eat.”
Come fall, cyclocross racing becomes a big deal in Bend. National events, regional events and events such as the Halloween Cross Crusade are as much fun for spectators and photographers as they are for riders.
“The best part of any fall cyclocross event in Bend is that you get a cycling double,” notes Bill Everingham of Boise, Idaho, a competitor in the masters class of cyclocross. “You get to race on the cross course and then hit some of the best mountain bike riding on firm dirt and miles of singletrack when you’re not racing.”
To position himself for the “double,” Everingham stays at the Seventh Mountain Resort. “From the Resort, it’s a short drive to the races and just a few minutes to be on singletrack trail in the Deschutes National Forest. I also love the get-away-from-it-all feel to the place.”
Seeing a badge with a name and Sisters as the wearer’s hometown at her college reunion in Connecticut, Alison Vickers remarked, “Oh, that’s the home of the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, something on my list of dream to-dos.”
In 2012, Vickers was finally able to get to Sisters. “It was extraordinary with all the quilts hung up around town, the workshops and lectures, the whole atmosphere around the event,” she says.
Vickers and her husband, Thomas, stayed at the FivePine Lodge. “We could walk to the heart of Sisters and all the activities in minutes, yet felt like we were out in the wilds at FivePine. Having the Three Creeks Brewery and the Sisters Movie House a short walk away was wonderful. After way too much time on my feet, the Shibui Spa at FivePine was a blessing.”
The Carlsens of Southern California like to vacation where he gets to fly-fish while she gets to soak, spa and swim. “We solved both needs when we decided to try Kah-Nee-Ta Resort at Warm Springs,” offers Larry Carlsen. “She enjoys the Wanapine Spa, the thermal pools and a day of relaxing, while I fish to my heart’s content.”
World-famous waters here hold redside trout on seldom-fished sections of the nearby Deschutes River and the Warm Springs River.
“What works so well for us, is that the resort has everything we need,” he says. “We both unwind, eat well, sleep well and go home happy.”
“There were two things that helped us decide to make Central Oregon the destination of our annual family winter snow-sports trip,” says Kay Merrell of Sacramento, California. “First we wanted a ski resort where my husband and I could ski while the kids could work on their trick skills in the pipe. Secondly, we wanted to stay in a place that was close and had more than typical slope-side offerings.” Mt. Bachelor achieved goal one, and Mount Bachelor Village Resort met goal two.
“The best thing about Bachelor is the variety of terrain,” says Merrell. “As for Mount Bachelor Village Resort, having a spacious condo unit where we could cook meals, watch movies, swim, hot tub and relax proved to be ideal and just a short drive to the slopes.”
When it came time to choose a location for a family reunion, Robyn Luchs selected Sunriver. “I picked Sunriver because it has the space needed to accommodate the 21 family members coming from New Jersey, South Carolina, Indiana and California. A key element in my decision was the range of activities for both the adults and children, and the variety of luxury accommodations to please our diverse family. We rafted, went to the High Desert Museum, played golf, rode horses, bicycled, fished and, of course, went to the waterpark. We even took a trip down to Crater Lake National Park one day.
Of all our family reunions, this was the easiest. The ease of getting everyone to Sunriver, the resort’s fine restaurants, its grocery stores, the glorious weather. We hope to do it again, and all the kids are already planning activities for next year’s reunion.”
For Seattleite John Kenyon Ellis vacationing at Black Butte Ranch is like coming home. After all, for 30 years his parents owned a home there. That’s where they spent every summer, and most Christmases as well. “It was paradise then and still is,” Ellis says, “I now bring my own young family down to experience what makes Black Butte Ranch so wonderful.”
Apart from golf, the Ellis children got in lots of pool time, biked around the seemingly endless trails and made regular visits to Paulina Springs via the boardwalk pathways.
There were family hikes around the property, to the top of Black Butte, to the headwaters of the Metolius River, dinners at the Lodge, trips to Sisters that included shopping and gallery visits, great coffee and the annual pilgrimage to Jen’s Garden, a world-class restaurant.
“There’s something in the air here that makes me slow down and enjoy every minute of the day. It’s special.” Ellis says that the formula for a great time at Black Butte is the same as it always was: “Early golf, lunch, nap, swim, dinner, family games, cool air for a good night’s sleep.”
With more than 300 sunny days a year, moderate temperatures, and fresh, country air, this region is a perfect wedding destination. The rugged, Western atmosphere plus the modern amenities of the region’s luxury resorts offer a great combination.
“Central Oregon is a remarkable place to get married,” says Kacie Stott of Stott Shots Photography in Bend. “It’s very easy to accommodate weddings any time of the year.”
Arrive a few days before the big day and soak up the fun of the outdoors – and the luxurious spa treatments – before getting hitched with the Cascade mountains as a backdrop. Resort concierges will help organize all of the activities, from brewery and distillery tours to golf outings at award-winning golf courses. At night, gather with your group around a cozy bonfire, and make s’mores while everyone tells stories about the day’s adventures and toasts the bride and groom.