Where do you go in Central Oregon when you’re looking for off-the-beaten-path fun, family-friendly stops, and a charming downtown core? Redmond, the region’s second-largest city, has seen an influx of creativity and new attractions in recent years that make the community a compelling destination.
After all, you can hop off the airplane and sidle up to the bar at your favorite brewery in just 10 minutes. Aboveground and belowground outdoor wonders await within a half-hour drive. And inside city limits, a bustling downtown and a treasure trove of antique stores await visitors who take time to slow down and enjoy their charms.
So if you’re wondering what to expect on your next trip, we’ve rounded up eight reasons why you should visit Redmond, Oregon. They include:
So why visit Redmond, Oregon? Here are eight reasons to make the city a part of your next trip to Central Oregon.
1. Redmond is the Hub of Central Oregon
Redmond is commonly thought of as the hub of Central Oregon—and for good reason.
For starters, Redmond Municipal Airport—Central Oregon’s only public airport—is served by six national and regional carriers, and sits just a five-minute drive south of downtown. This means you’ll get off the plane and waste no time starting your vacation under our sunny skies.
And if you make Redmond your home base, you’ll enjoy a central location that’s roughly equal distance from many of Central Oregon’s other enticing destinations. Take an easy day trip to the outdoorsy city of Bend (just 25 minutes south), the Wild West-inspired community of Sisters (25 minutes west), historic Prineville (30 minutes east), and the working-class city of Madras (30 minutes north).
2. Many Outdoor Attractions to See Near Redmond
Central Oregon is a scenic playground for outdoor enthusiasts of all stripes, and Redmond sits surrounded by some of the region’s best-loved attractions.
Perhaps the most popular attraction nearby is Smith Rock State Park, just 15 minutes north near Terrebonne. Rock climbers flock to the thousands of routes dotting cinnamon-hued formations throughout the park, mountain bikers find plenty of trails to explore its grassy backcountry, and hikers can walk along the Crooked River and ascend to the summit of Misery Ridge—where views of nearby farmland and far-off Cascade peaks await. Just be sure to arrive by 9 a.m. if visiting on a summer weekend—or consider a midweek trip—to enjoy a bit more solitude.
Less than 10 minutes south of downtown, nearly bordering the Redmond Municipal Airport, is the Redmond Caves Recreation Site. Here, well-prepared visitors carrying three sources of light and wearing sturdy shoes can experience five caves that date back thousands of years—three of which offer room for exploration. In spring, summer, and fall, watch for rattlesnakes that frequent the always-cool caves.
Just over a half-hour north of Redmond, meanwhile, sits The Cove Palisades State Park—where the Deschutes, Crooked, and Metolius rivers come together to form Lake Billy Chinook. That location makes the park a popular destination for kayakers, anglers, motorboaters, hikers, and campers (who can reserve nearly 200 tent and RV sites).
3. Many Things to Do Near Redmond
Of course, those aren’t the only Redmond, Oregon, attractions. Plenty of opportunities within a short drive and deliver stunning views.
One such site is Steelhead Falls, which sits about 20 minutes northwest of the city. There, a one-mile (round-trip) trail heads to the namesake waterfall, where rapids tumble over short cliffs in the Deschutes River. The falls are impressive all year long, but a springtime visit promises more solitude, colorful wildflowers, and a faster, thunderous flow.
Another nearby waterfall can be viewed at Cline Falls State Scenic Viewpoint, which was once the site of a gravel pit. The park has been cleaned up and today hosts a mostly flat, 1.2-mile (round-trip) hike that shows off the waterfall as it tumbles over a shelf of grass-covered rock in the Deschutes River.
4. The Breweries in Redmond, Oregon
Bend might be the city in Central Oregon most closely associated with quality suds, but several breweries in Redmond hold their own with plenty of craft beer history and quaffable taplists of small-batch ales and lagers.
Redmond’s modern-day craft beer renaissance began with Cascade Lakes Brewing Company, which in 1994 opened just south of downtown. Today, the second-oldest brewery in Central Oregon (and the area’s only not-for-profit brewery) pours classic styles and hosts a patio that includes fire pits and horseshoe pits.
Nearby, Wild Ride Brewing has earned local acclaim with an eclectic taplist of roughly two-dozen brews at any given time—all in the heart of downtown. No matter the season, Wild Ride’s patio—flanked by several fire pits and four food carts—is perpetually packed.
And at the northern edge of downtown is Initiative Brewing, which serves a mix of classic and inventive styles alongside a fun food menu that includes bacon popcorn and bánh mì sandwiches.
5. Nearby Deschutes County Fairgrounds
Whenever you’re visiting Redmond, and whatever your plans, chances are good they’ll include the massively popular Deschutes County Fair & Expo Center at some point. Just 10 minutes south of downtown, the fairgrounds host a wide range of popular events all year long.
The fun includes the FairWell Festival—bringing together folk, rock, blues, and soul musicians for three days of energetic concerts; the Deschutes County Fair & Rodeo (which includes live music, farm animals, carnival rides, art exhibits, and the region’s largest rodeo); and the Central Oregon Sportsmen’s Show, home to a trout pond for children, a lumberjack show, question-and-answer sessions, outdoor exhibitors, and more.
Check out our Redmond Calendar of Events for more shows, fairs, and festivals at the fairgrounds and around the city.
6. Golf Courses Near Redmond
Central Oregon enjoys roughly 300 days of sunshine per year—so it’s only natural that golf in Redmond, Oregon, is a popular activity across all four seasons.
Just 15 minutes west of downtown, Eagle Crest Resort claims to offer the longest golf season in the region and offers plenty for golfers of all abilities and skill levels in the scenic high desert. The resort’s offerings include two championship courses, a par-63 “challenge course” (designed to test a golfer’s midrange abilities and short game), a putting course full of fun obstacles, and more.
The Crooked River Ranch Golf Course, meanwhile, boasts one of the region’s most spectacular sites—with dramatic views of the Crooked River Gorge as it descends up to 400 feet from some holes. (In a fun twist, the course’s famous fifth hole even invites confident golfers to take a shortcut to the hole and shoot over the gorge.)
7. Downtown Redmond, Oregon
You don’t have to go far to find fun around the city: Downtown Redmond, Oregon, hosts a number of acclaimed restaurants, charming boutiques, and other fun stops.
Start your day right with brunch at One Street Down Cafe, which dishes avocado toast, eggs Benedict, and other classic dishes. Looking for an elegant night out? Enjoy an upscale dinner at Brickhouse Redmond, which serves thoughtful takes on Pacific Northwest fare—like regionally sourced USDA Prime steaks, wild-caught seafood, and more. Enjoy our summer sun with a breezy night out at The Rooftop at SCP Redmond Hotel—home to locally sourced small bites and the city’s only rooftop dining. And for crowd-pleasing cuisines, try the creative mix of Mexican, American, and Italian fare at Diego’s Spirited Cuisine. (Getting hungry? Check out our guide to the best restaurants in Redmond, Oregon.)
If you’re excited to go shopping, several mom-and-pop stores, boutiques, and locally owned shops offer a wide range of apparel, souvenirs, and more. Willow Wild sells the latest women’s fashion trends, the versatile lineup at Welcome Home includes vintage furniture and home decor, and Sweet Oasis Chocolate Shop specializes in handcrafted chocolates, fudge, and gourmet popcorn.
8. Redmond, Oregon Antiques and Shopping
Redmond has earned a reputation in recent years as a premier destination for antique collectors—an honor earned, in no small part, by the vast number of antique shops and malls around the city.
One of the most popular is Redmond Antique Mall, where vendors sell Christmas trinkets, toys, vintage books, old-school signs, and other sought-after items from yesteryear. Another fun spot is Beyond the Ranch Antiques, whose downtown location covers 6,500 square feet and is chockablock with themed displays—including hundreds of pairs of boots, gently used clothing, and yard art that ranges from planters and barn boards to disused wagon wheels.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Top Mexican Restaurants in Redmond and Madras
The Central Oregon food scene has earned acclaim in recent years, thanks to an invigorating mix of creative food carts, fashionable fine-dining restaurants, and a growing number of globetrotting eateries that feature authentic cuisine from around the world. That eclectic selection includes a variety of taquerias and Mexican restaurants in Redmond and Madras, both of which host homegrown eateries that craft a mix of classic dishes, modern flavors, and innovative entrées.
Top Spas in Redmond, Oregon
For some travelers, a trip to Central Oregon isn’t complete without hitting the slopes of Mt. Bachelor, kicking up dust along Phil’s Trail, paddling our alpine lakes, or hiking into our dramatic wilderness areas. For others, our scenic region is an idyllic destination to rest, restore, and recharge with a long weekend or laid-back vacation.
The Best Dog Parks and Dog-Friendly Restaurants in Redmond, Oregon
Central Oregon is a dog owner’s paradise, and Redmond is no exception. Around the city, you’ll find a thoughtfully designed dog park at the end of a hiking and biking trail (showing that our regional affinity of the outdoors is matched only by a love for our four-legged friends), another dog park that serves regional craft beer to human companions and spacious restaurants with plenty of outdoor seating for tired dogs after an exciting day outside.