Redmond Country Rediscovered
The beauty of visiting Central Oregon, especially in the summer or early autumn, is that you don’t need to spend your life’s savings to make a weekend of memories that last a lifetime. We’ve put together a few of the highlights, including some of our favorite food, drinks, and scenery from around Redmond country. So go get packed. Adventure awaits.
The Sunview Motel and Resort is a small, no-frills gem consists of a handful of stand-alone bungalow style cabins tucked into a quiet corner of the Crooked River Ranch. If the weather is cooperating take a dip in the nearby outdoor pool one of several amenities offered by the motel thanks to its partnership with the Crooked River Ranch homeowners association.
This bustling steakhouse in downtown Redmond features Montana-sized servings of choice beef are the order of the day at this festive local steakhouse.
Back to the Crooked River Ranch for a sunset and a cold beverage. It’s time to kick up your heels and relax while enjoying a signature high desert sunset. Don’t burn the midnight oil too long; you’ll need a full night’s rest for tomorrow’s packed day.
If you’re tempted to stroll around the Ranch grounds at dawn, well go ahead and indulge that impulse. You’re likely to catch glimpses of red tail hawks, eagles, deer, quail and more. Afterward, head to the Green Plow for a great cup of Joe and a handmade scone. This cozy downtown bakery and coffee shop roasts its beans on site. Locals know it’s the place to go if you need something more than gas station java to jump-start your day. If you’re feeling indulgent, try the spicy Maple Mocha, or if coffee isn’t your cup, grab a fruit smoothie and go.
Tee off at the nearby Crooked River Ranch golf course. This iconic course is perched dramatically on the edge of the Crooked River Canyon. Casual is the order of the day out here on this player-friendly course that offers some of the best rates and scenery among all Central Oregon golf courses.
No excuses. It’s time grab your suit and towel for a post-round swim at the Ranch’s outdoor pool facility. Trust us, the way to beat the afternoon heat is by staying close to the water.
Now that you’ve had a chance to rest up a bit. Trade your flip flops for your hiking shoes and head out to nearby Smith Rock State Park. This popular rock climbing destination is a great spot to watch local and world-class climbers scale some of the West’s most challenging routes, including the iconic Monkey Face. Of course, you don’t have to be a climber to appreciate Smith Rock. The massive rock features that sprout from the desert landscape are reason enough to visit.
This is the place where visiting climbers and locals alike to go fill their bellies and top off with a crisp Bombshell Blonde Ale from the nearby Cascade Lakes Brewing Company, or a chilled Oregon Pinot Gris. Whatever your poison, it’s best enjoyed on the depot’s inviting wraparound deck. We recommend the arugula topped flatbread appetizer and the pork shoulder with purple rice, but there are also plenty of vegan options on the menu.
Just off the highway at the southern foot of the bridge over the Crooked River Canyon, this a great spot to take in a final Central Oregon sunset. The small wayside park is a beautiful intersection of natural beauty and human ingenuity. It’s here that engineers first erected a steel bridge across the seemingly impassable chasm above the Crooked River that runs like a tiny ribbon more than 200 feet below.
Settle in and enjoy your final night at the Ranch. We recommend a simple recipe of firewood, camp chairs and a few marshmallows to cap your long day of adventure. If you’ve got energy left, grab those glow-in-the-dark bocce balls that you’ve been waiting to break out and play a game under the stars. Take a minute and be grateful for the simple things.
It’s time to pack up, but don’t hit the road just yet. There’s still plenty do on a long summer Sunday. Start out by fueling up at the downtown Bliss Cafe where you will find a wonderful array of baked goods from muffins to scones, pastries and more, including vegan options.
After a quick bite, double back to Crooked River Ranch. It’s less than a mile hike to these plunge falls in the heart of a Wilderness Study Area that is managed entirely for its scenic and wildlife values, of which there are an abundance and just a short drive from downtown Redmond. It’s just one of the many scenic waterfalls in the region.
If you like classic drive-in style hamburgers (and who doesn’t?), you MUST make your way to Jody’s — the best little burger shack in all Central Oregon. Don’t let the fact that there isn’t a single indoor table put you off — it’s actually an endorsement.
It’s been just a few years since state transportation crews wrapped up work on the downtown Redmond bypass that removed heavy highway truck traffic from downtown, but the results are starting to take shape. What’s emerging is a more pedestrian-friendly downtown area that is quickly re-populating with boutique shops and restaurants like the newly opened Wild Ride Brewing and the Brickhouse bar and restaurant. Bring a few dollars and remind these small business owners that Oregonians and visitors like to shop local.
It’s time to wrap up the tour of the greater Redmond area, but not before a stop at this pioneering Central Oregon winery. Now growing grapes onsite and producing award-winning wines like their Muskat Love, owners Doug and Gina Maragas blazed a fermentation trail in Central Oregon that others are now just beginning to follow. If you’re lucky you’ll catch a tour with Doug Maragas who loves sharing and talking about wine as much as he does making it.
It’s back to reality. But don’t worry, it will all be here waiting for your next visit.