When travelers visit Sisters, Oregon, they’re not disappointed. Sisters is an idyllic little mountain town at the base of the Cascade Mountains near the Deschutes National Forest that offers tons of outdoor activities, luxurious accommodations, downtown shopping and annual festivals. Make a trip here to feel like you’ve been transported to a friendly Wild West town full of adventure, farm-to-table eats, local coffee, art galleries and so much more.
Enjoy Black Butte Ranch Resort
Visitors who discover Black Butte Ranch can’t wait to return. At the ranch, where mountains rise to greet you in the morning and time seems to meander like a lazy river, there are seemingly endless opportunities for adventure and relaxation. Enjoy the majesty of two different lakes, and paddle through to uncover wildlife like baby goslings, ducks and red-winged blackbirds. Golfers will love to spend the day on one of the two championship golf courses on the property, while enjoying the nineteenth hole at Robert’s Pub, where casual Northwest entrees are served with local craft brews and wines. Kick back and recharge at the spa, where massages, facial treatments and more await. Enjoy all this as well as hiking, biking, horseback riding, fishing, swimming and more, just a 13 minute drive from Sisters.
Hit the Slopes at Hoodoo Ski Area
Just a 26 minute drive from Sisters is one of Oregon’s favorite places to shred: the Hoodoo Ski Area. Sitting at the summit of the Santiam Pass in the Cascade Range, this resort offers visitors more than 800 acres of skiable terrain, 34 unique runs, five lifts and one of the largest tubing parks in the West. Don’t know how to ski? No problem! Hoodoo offers the Ski & Ride School, where winter sport enthusiasts of any age and experience level can go to hone their skills; skiers, snowboarders and even snow bikers are welcome to take lessons. Aside from downhill skiing, Hoodoo also has opportunities to Nordic ski, or ditch the skis altogether and pick up some speed at the Autobahn Tubing Park.
Explore the Metolius River and Camp Sherman
With camping, hiking, mountain biking, fishing and riverside trails to explore, Camp Sherman really offers it all for outdoor enthusiasts, and it’s just a 20-minute drive from Sisters. Sample the beauty of the Metolius River with a hike along the river trail, wandering past riverside cottages, with patient fisherman in and near the waters and colorful birds up above. Near Camp Sherman, visit the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery, where over 3 million fish are on display. Take a quick hike to search for the Oregon HooDoos, also known as balancing rocks or ghost rocks. These tall towers of stone are the remnants of ancient lava flow, and geologists say that one formation can take around 20,000 years to form.
Check Out Downtown Sisters
Downtown Sisters is an area that evokes Western nostalgia. Storefronts and restaurants are built in a way that resembles the old 1880s Western boomtowns, and driving through downtown feels like a trip through an old cowboy movie. Fitting to the theme, it’s no surprise visitors can find stores that offer custom leatherwork for hats and boots, as well as a forge that offers custom ironworks. Sisters is also home to a thriving boutique shopping scene. After shopping, check out the top restaurants in Sisters, including the Sisters Saloon and Grill, opened in 1912, and the modern Open Door, which serves five-star level lunch and dinner. A sweet tooth can be satisfied at the Sisters Bakery, while a caffeine kick can be acquired at the locally famous Sisters Coffee Company, the first coffee roaster in Central Oregon.
Attend an Annual Sisters Festival
There’s a lot to celebrate in Sisters, and plenty of opportunities to join in on the fun! Every year, Sisters holds several festivals with varying themes. In the warm summer month of July, stop by for the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, the largest outdoor quilt show on the planet. Hop-heads should try out the Sisters Fresh Hop Festival, which celebrates fresh-hopped beers each September. Also at the end of September is the Sisters Folk Festival, a three-day event featuring live music from dozens of folk musicians. There must be something about the cool and calm weather that September brings, because the Sisters Fall Street Festival, a display of art, antiques and locally crafted goods, also lands in this month.
Whether it’s winter or summer, snow or shine, a trip to Sisters, Oregon should be added to any Central Oregon traveler’s bucket list.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
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With the weather making a quick turn toward winter, it’s the perfect time to start thinking about creative ways to get cozy with your significant other.
Central Oregon Golf: Best Par 3s
Play a good golf course and chances are that when you’re back at the 19th hole, you’re talking about the Par 3s. The short one you made double on. The bear where you snaked in a 20-footer for your only birdie all month. They’re the “short” holes that can make or break a round. Some of the signature holes on the Central Oregon Golf Trail are Par 3s. Here’s a look at some of the best.
Central Oregon Mountain Bike Trail Guide
The Central Oregon mountain bike scene is 300 miles of diverse singletrack through high alpine forests and sagebrush dotted deserts from Madras to La Pine, Sisters to Prineville. Bulletin newspaper reporter Mark Morical has ridden just about every one of the trails you’ll find on any mountain bike trail map – and he’s written about his experience.
Hiking Black Butte – Central Oregon’s Iconic & Majestic Cinder Cone
From a distance, Black Butte looks like it doesn’t quite match the picturesque alpine mountains that surround it. The volcanic rock that emerges above the tree line gives the impression of a hill constructed with loose stones that was carelessly dropped in the middle of the woods. Unlike the Cascades that puncture the horizon to the west and north, Black Butte can be hiked and enjoyed in under four hours.
Pole, Pedal and Paddle Whenever You Want in Central Oregon
Every May in Bend some 3,100 people participate in the US Bank Pole, Pedal, Paddle multi-sport race. (And there’s still time to sign up for this year’s event, held on May 20th.)
Outward Bound in the City: Central Oregon’s 5 Best Urban Hikes
Hiking in Central Oregon can take you deep into the wilderness, far away from worry and stress. But sometimes all you need is a quick break from reality…just a half hour or so outside in nature, on a trail, alone with your thoughts (or with your dog, husband and two kids.) There are hundreds of hikes and trails available in and around Bend, Oregon and Sunriver, Oregon. These “Urban Hikes” are the perfect remedy to slow down our all-too-busy lives.
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Central Oregon Hiking Trails
Head east on Highway 20 (Greenwood Avenue) to the Pilot Butte State Park. The parking area and trailhead are just east of the butte. Walk on either the nature trail or the paved road. The road is also for vehicle traffic, weather permitting. It is a wonderful viewpoint for the entire Bend area. This hiking trail is one of the most popular in Central Oregon.
Scenic Bikeways Showcase Central Oregon’s Backroad Beauty
Oregon’s official scenic bikeways are the first of their kind in the U.S – and Central Oregon is home to 6 of the state’s 11 most beautiful bike routes. An absolute summer must for road cyclists are riding the best of the best – our scenic bikeways. Every rider can find a ride to suit their style and mood, from family-friendly to adventurous.
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Brings Fabric Artists to Central Oregon
Blankets keep you warm. Quilts tell a story. So imagine all the tales to be told at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show on the second Saturday of July, when the streets of this small Central Oregon town are blanketed (pun intended) with the creative tapestries woven by thousands of quilters from around the world.