When pulling into Sisters from the West you’re greeted by a main-street cowboy town filled with local shops, western storefronts and lots of charm. But as you reach the far end of that main street (it’s actually U.S. Hwy. 20,) something different emerges. There’s some upscale lodging, a brewpub, movie theater and spa that gives Sisters a whole new attitude. At the heart of that transformation – the FivePine Lodge, which has quickly become a destination for families looking for something different and for couples looking for a enchanting romantic retreat. The FivePine campus is a perfect home base for your Central Oregon summer vacation.
And while yes, you could go your entire visit without leaving the campus – we’d advise against that.
You don’t have to go very far away from Sisters to experience everything that is Central Oregon. Day one starts off on a relaxing note at Aspen Lakes Golf Course. Don’t consider golf “relaxing?” Well, then you’ve never experienced Central Oregon golf. At Aspen Lakes, wayward shots are sometimes swallowed by unique red cinder bunkers that will make you forget you’re in a hazard. And from the tee box of many holes, your target will be a majestic, snow-capped mountain in the distance. The views, not your score, is what you’ll remember most about Aspen Lakes.
After golf, its back to your cabin at FivePine where you’ll fight over who gets the soaking tub first – or, better yet, you get romantic and compromise. Relax in your room with a game of chess before meeting up with other guests outside for the nightly beer and wine reception. It’s then just a short walk downtown for some window shopping and dinner.
Today starts with a classic breakfast at the new Cottonwood Cafe. It’s all the fuel you’ll need if you’re heading out on two-wheels not to be bothered by cars on one of Oregon’s most scenic roads. The McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway starts in Sisters and takes cyclists up to a world all its own. For a month or so each spring, the road is only open to cyclists as road crews continue clearing the snow for car travel later in the summer. It’s a challenging 15 mile ride up the road to the Dee Wright Observatory, but the scenery is worth the effort. Beyond the giant snow banks winter left behind is a sea of lava rock creating a moonscape unique to Central Oregon. The road is currently open to cars and cyclists, so be alert regardless your mode of transportation.
After the ride you make a bee line to the Shibui Spa just a few steps from your cabin. A dip in the hot tub and a massage is just what the doctor ordered on this stress-free getaway.
Tonight it’s just a six pack of Central Oregon craft beer and a pizza while you hang out in your room – a much deserved evening of relaxation after a full day of pedaling.
As hip and happening as Sisters is these days, it (thankfully) hasn’t shed completely its small-town feel. That’s never more evident every June during the Sisters Rodeo. Dubbed “The Biggest Little Show in the World,” the rodeo is five days of rip-roarin’ fun that includes professional Xtreme bull riding and several family focused events like the Buckaroo Breakfast on Sunday. After a late breakfast downtown, you hit up the matinee rodeo performance under the sun at 1 p.m.
When the dust settles you head back to campus and Three Creeks Brewing Co. – which you’ve had your eye on since you arrived in town. You split an appetizer of spicy cheese and crawfish dip over a couple of pints of Knotty Blonde and Hoodoo Voodoo IPA while you wait for the main course.
One final night at your upscale cabin on campus and this Central Oregon vacation is a wrap. You head back West through the main-street cowboy town knowing the best of both worlds is there waiting for your return.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Curl Up and Get Warm – Central Oregon’s Cozy Romantic Getaways
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 Mountain Biking Trails
Two-wheeled fun for everyone. From magazine spreads to filtered Instagram images, Central Oregon is making a name for itself in mountain biking. Consider this: More than 300 miles of linked singletrack (mountain biker talk for biking trails that are only wide enough for a single rider) is so close to town that many of the riders actually ride to the trails from town (or from Pine Mountain Sports, where a full fleet of Trek and Santa Cruz rentals are available.)
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.
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.
Sherar's Falls Scenic Bikeway
Oregon’s newest scenic bikeway traverses the strikingly scenic high desert canyon of north Central Oregon, known as River Canyon Country.
8 Pictures That Will Have You Rethinking Some Life Decisions (Central Oregon Food Edition)
Is this plate from 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar art or food? (It’s food. Definitely food.)
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.
Bend Area Breweries: Where to Go and What to Get
It used to be our little secret: That along with the countless recreational opportunities in Bend and Central Oregon, there was a burgeoning craft beer scene. That trying to decide which brewpub to hit after a day skiing at Mt. Bachelor was a two chairlift ride discussion. There were options. And lots of good beer.
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.