Here in Central Oregon, your idea of adventure is limited only by your imagination. No matter the season, you’re bound to find several weekends’ worth of fun around our rich region.
Planning a winter getaway? Take the family ice skating in Sunriver, sip your way through Central Oregon’s famous craft breweries, or ski and snowboard the slopes of Mount Bachelor—the sixth-largest ski resort in North America.
Plan your adventure to Central Oregon.
High Desert Museum Admission
This unique museum reveals the natural world and cultural history of the Wests High Desert region through artful exhibits, alluring animals, engaging programs, and meaningful history. Whether you're a local or planning to visit Bend Oregon, discover why we're a top-rated Thing to Do in Bend by TripAdvisor!The Museum is just 5 minutes south of Bend or 10 minutes north of Sunriver on Highway 97, but it feels like stepping into a different time and place. Get a close-up view of native wildlife from river otters, porcupines to birds of prey. See art through a different lens. Chat with historic characters who share tales of early Oregon explorers and settlers. Visit an authentic homestead and sawmill from 1904. Learn about Native American culture and history, and delight your children with one of many fun, hands-on programs. You'll be glad you came!
$10 - $17
Deschutes River Kayak Tours
Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for kayak tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us on this iconic paddling tour on a sweet and placid reach of our signature river, the Deschutes. Naturalist Guided Experience: Our renowned naturalist guides will highlight the lava flows that influenced this reach of the river. The many species of flora and fauna that call the flow and its banks home is super intriguing with takeaways of the importance of all living things. Adaptation to ecosystems is nature’s way of coping and thriving and will keep your mind humming with delight long after you return home with fond memories of the tour.Location: The stretches of the Deschutes River we kayak are devoid of rapids, and provide a peaceful paddling experience for all ability levels. Even if you’ve paddled the Deschutes River before, with a professional naturalist guide, you’ll see the Deschutes from a completely new perspective! Don’t see the date you’re looking for? Please call our office at (541) 389-8359 to check availability.
$70 - $95
Local Pour Craft Beverage Tour
Let us take you behind the scenes to witness Bend’s brewing and artisan distilling cultures.Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier provider of craft beverage tours in the Bend, Oregon area! Tasting, enjoying friends, comfort and safety are what you can expect on this trail of sipping adventure. Naturalist Guided Experience: Bend’s locally owned pour houses provide tantalizing tastes for the curious tongue! Did you know Bend is home to artisan distilleries, cideries, wineries, and kombucha breweries? Join us on a Local Pour adventure to try delectable samples and see behind-the-scenes at a local production facility— get the best of all taste-bud-arousing worlds in this immersive craft beverage tour!Libation Stops: Your professional guide will provide insights into the processes of distillation, fermentation, and the craft of libation production. Each Local Pour Tour is unique, visiting our partners at their availability. Your expert guides will provide personally tailored information about fermentation science.Three pour houses, with a behind-the-scenes look and light appetizers at one stop.
Sunset Hiking Tour
Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination to discover a sweet spot to view our gorgeous sunsets behind Oregon’s backbone, the Cascade Range on the edge of Bend, Oregon. Join us on this super hike for vistas that are life-enriching!Naturalist Guided Experience: Somewhere in the forest, atop one of our local volcanoes, we’ll together reach ascents for red-splashed vistas filling our skies. Sunsets initiate a sense of peace at the day’s close. Usually a couple of miles with some elevation gain, our terrific guide will pick the right peak to climb to reward everyone with our globe’s days’-end rotation away from our bright star’s light. We’ll highlight the area’s flora, fauna and local history en route and provide a local beer or hot cocoa at our destination. We pick the amazing location you pick the beverage.Don’t see the date you’re looking for? Please call our office at (541) 389-8359 to check availability.
$70 - $100
Lava Tube Cave Tours
Did you know there is a vast network of caves near Bend, Oregon? Strap on a helmet and headlamp and join our naturalist guides for a fun, educational, underground adventure! These tours are a great Bend, Oregon family activity. Please Note: We do not visit Lava River Cave (operated by the Deschutes National Forest)Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for cave tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us on this epic subterranean tour on Bend’s ponderosa pine-studded high desert. Our renowned naturalist guides will highlight sweet bits of these cool caverns that might not initially meet the eye. Naturalist Guided Experience: During our 2 hours underground, in the darkest, quietest spot earth can provide, we may impart an understanding of the region’s geology- how massive volcanoes created these wonders. Or we might share how the cave habitat provides for creatures important to human life. Your crew will be energized with revelations about natural and cultural history that’ll keep your mind humming with delight long after you return home with fond memories of the tour. Caves: Bend’s lava caves have a delicate ecosystem that few have experienced to the fullest! Wanderlust Tours is the only guide company permitted in these special lava caves. These caves are also wild, meaning they do not have a paved path or lighting. Closed toe shoes are recommended for navigating the uneven rocky surfaces. Cave Difficulty: Mother Nature has created a wonderfully diverse array of caves that offer a variety of experiences. All of the caves we visit are wild, meaning other than the staircase to enter them there are no man made improvements put into the caves (walkways or lights). The walking surface is uneven and can be varying degrees of rugged and rocky.In our estimation, this cave presents a moderate degree of difficulty as it involves many fun opportunities for scrambling up/down/around rocky areas and crawling through short passages.On all our cave tours, our guides are attentive to keeping the pace suitable to all members of the group so that everyone can move at a comfortable speed.
$70 - $95
Experience the peace and serenity of Elk Lake While gliding on top of the water on a paddleboard. Paddle boards can be rented in 2 hour increments and can be picked up at the Elk Lake Marina. Reserver your stand up paddle board rental.
$40 - $160
Besides comfort, the Day Dock provides some privacy for you and your group. It is your own private "beach." Includes BBQ, tables and chairs for 32, umbrellas, changing rooms, day bed, and an upper deck with a stellar view. Dogs are allowed! The Day Dock stays tied to the shore for easy access to bathroom facilities at the resort. There's a ladder on the swim dock and plenty of cleats to tie up your water toys, boats, and kayaks.
$300 - $400
Scenic Hot Air Balloon Flight
THE FLIGHT EXPERIENCE You're invited to join us for an unforgettable experience! Big Sky Balloon Co. is the premier balloon ride operator in Central Oregon. Our hot air balloon flights float you gently over one of the most dramatic landscapes in the country, encompassing high desert terrain of juniper and sage, volcanic rim rock, deep river canyons, and rural farmland. It all begins at our launch site next to Smith Rock State Park, whereupon take-off you will gently rise up and over one of the most photographed land features in the entire Northwest. As we ascend you will take in the breathtaking panorama of the Central Cascade Mountains which include views of at least nine peaks on a clear day. Also keep an eye out for wildlife and many different birds of prey including Brown and Bald Eagles, Red-Tail Hawks, and Great Horned Owls just to name a few. Ballooning is a real hands-on experience and we welcome you to help with the inflation and deflation of the balloon if you like. After a short safety briefing from your pilot, the inflation begins and you'll watch as this "gentle giant" comes to life. About 15 minutes later the balloon will be upright and ready for lift-off. Following the flight, we'll shuttle you back to the launch site to enjoy a traditional sparkling cider toast. Total time about three hours.DETAILSWe operate flights from Smith Rock Ranch in Terrebonne OR, about a 30-minute drive north of Bend. When preparing for your flight with us remember to dress warmly and in layers. Early mornings are always cool in the high desert, but it warms up quickly and you'll want to adjust accordingly. Temperatures in flight are actually much warmer than on the ground. A hat and comfortable shoes or boots are recommended, no open-toed shoes or sport sandals. We conduct one flight a day early in the morning when wind conditions are calm and the air is stable. Safety is our top priority, flights are conducted only when the weather and wind conditions are favorable. Departure times vary from 6 AM-8 AM depending on the time of year. You will check in the night before your scheduled flight to confirm the meeting time, we typically like to be in the air within 1 hour of sunrise.Flight time is approximately one hour with the entire experience taking about three hours. We can carry up to six passengers per flight, the cost is $250/person for 2 and $225/person when booking 4 or more. Please inquire about private charters. All passengers must sign the Flight Waiver prior to their scheduled flight.
$225 - $250
Cascade Lakes Boat Trip
Nestled in the Cascade Mountain Range just west of Bend are over 10 quality stillwater fisheries. Couple these unique fly fishing lakes with the nearby streams, creeks, and rivers, and you get a fly fishers dream. Located a short drive from downtown Bend, these lakes range from modest to grand in size. One aspect they all share is beauty. When you visit one of these fly fishing treasures, youll agree.A fly fishing trip to one of the Cascade Lakes is best suited for anglers looking for relatively low impact and highly productive outings. If you are interested in a positive first fishing experience with your son, daughter, or non-angling spouse, consider a trip to East Lake or Lava Lake. During the peak of the season on either lake, we can practically guarantee they catch some fish. Your guide will meet you at the designated location at a predetermined time. Packed with everything you'll need for a successful day of fishing, you will travel with your guide to the lake of choice. A full day trip will span 8 hours for fishing, and includes a lake-side BBQ lunch.
$400 - $525
Visiting the Best Vacation
Spots in Oregon
Truth is, there’s no single “best” vacation spot in Central Oregon.
Your next favorite trip may take you to any of our thriving cities in Central Oregon,
each offering a stay to suit your style and taste. We might be biased, but here’s our
rundown of the best vacation spots in Central Oregon:
Where is Central Oregon?
We’re characterized by mountainous wonders—like Mount Bachelor, Oregon’s largest ski resort,
and the snowy summits of the Three Sisters—and legendary landforms, like Smith Rock State Park, where rock climbers test their mettle all year long.
Explore Nature’s Beauty
From the sagebrush-covered plains of the high desert to the towering pines and majestic mountain peaks, discover the diverse landscape Central Oregon has to offer.