Take a scenic tour around Central Oregon, and among the lush forests, arid high desert landscapes and bright blue skies, you’ll start to notice stunning murals dotting the region. The murals, each with distinct symbols unique to the town, reflect the spirit of Central Oregon in animated colors and design. Artists Katie Daisy and Karen Eland began the “Greetings From…” series with inspiration from vintage postcards. Now, nearly every town in Central Oregon hosts a large hand painted mural with stunning details specifically designed for that town. Follow the Central Oregon Mural Trail and discover hidden treasures in each high desert town along the way.
Stop #1 — Redmond Municipal Airport
Flying into town? Start your journey on the Central Oregon Mural Trail at the Redmond Municipal Airport. When waiting eagerly to begin your trip around the region, don’t forget to check out the “Greetings From Central Oregon” mural located at the Visit Central Oregon visitor’s desk at baggage claim, proudly displaying signature pine trees centered around a towering mountain scene: exactly what to expect from your trip here.
2522 Jesse Butler Cir, Redmond
Stop #2 — Madras
Head north, journeying through the town of Madras, and drive by the vibrant “Greetings From Madras” mural located on Fifth Street. Look for the Midland Realty building to see a desert-toned mural with high desert creatures such as a rabbit, deer and hawk peek out the vivid hues of blues and yellows in letters spelling the town’s name. While in Madras, check out the Erickson Aircraft Collection—an array of world-class historical aircraft dating back to WWII. Worked up an appetite? Madras has a great selection of restaurants, including a local favorite, the Rio, or local brewpub, Madras Brewing.
715 SW 5th St, Madras
Stop #3 — Maupin
After exploring your inner airplane-enthusiast, hop on Highway 97 north, and drive to the quaint, beautiful town of Maupin. Stay a night at the Oasis Cabin Resort, and while you’re grabbing a beer after a day of road tripping, check out the “Greetings From Maupin” mural on the resort property. The mural is distinct to Maupin with the images of the Deschutes River cutting through desert-colored canyons, wildflowers and whitewater rafting—something you can try here before continuing your journey through the rest of Central Oregon.
609 US-197, Maupin
Stop #4 — Redmond
Head south from Maupin, taking in the vast plains and rolling hills of the region. When you get back to Redmond, explore the historic downtown area, browsing through local boutiques and antique stores. Don’t forget to stop by the alley between Evergreen Avenue and Fifth Street to see Redmond’s own “Greetings From…” mural which illustrates the magnificent Smith Rock—located just fifteen minutes north—and brilliant sunset colors over the panoramic mountain view.
520 SW Evergreen Ave., Redmond
Stop #5 — Sisters
Take a scenic drive over Highway 126 to Sisters. There, find the Old West inspired town with a plethora of activities to choose from. Grab brunch at Sisters Coffee Company or the Cottonwood Cafe, then take a trip through downtown, discovering art galleries on almost every corner. Before heading out of town on your next Central Oregon adventure, stop by Barclay Park for a picnic and see the “Greetings From Sisters” mural. The deep evergreens are reminiscent of the ponderosa forest surrounding town, and the reflection of the Three Sisters mountains in the lettering seems like an adventure calling.
211 W Cascade Ave, Sisters
Stop #6 — Bend
Drive to the heart of Central Oregon, the town of Bend, and find nothing but outdoor activities, amazing food and shopping galore. While strolling along the Deschutes River Trail in the Old Mill District, take a look at the series’ newest mural, “Greetings From Bend.” Like the Sisters mural, this piece of art also showcases the Cascade Range mountains, but from Bend’s perspective. Stunning wildflowers, butterflies and grassy plains show all the opportunity for exploration there is in town—and just outside of town.
450 SW Powerhouse Dr, Bend
Stop #7 — Sunriver
Hopping back on Highway 97 south, take off towards Sunriver; a magical town on the edge of the Deschutes River. The resort town boasts a number of seasonal activities including, but not limited to, golf, hiking, ice skating, as well as casual and upscale eateries and shopping. After getting a spa treatment or playing a round of golf, be sure to stop by and check out the “Greetings From Sunriver” mural located at the Sunriver Resort Lodge. The lively painting illustrates just what Sunriver is: a mecca of groomed green grass, bright blue skies and wildflowers bursting from the scene.
17600 Center Dr, Sunriver
Stop #8 — La Pine
Head south from Sunriver to La Pine – the last stop on the trail, but ironically the first. La Pine was the first location on the trail to receive the vintage postcard-inspired ‘Greeting From…’ mural. The rustic town is the gateway to the Newberry Crater, and to glorious lakes with opportunities to kayak and paddleboard. The “Greetings From La Pine” mural shows a cozy, fireside camping night—a popular activity for the area—with a cabin on a peaceful lake; this is exactly what to expect when visiting. Before leaving La Pine, try a juice-packed hard cider at Legend Cider in the heart of town.
51429 Huntington Rd., La Pine
Making these eight stops along the Central Oregon Mural Trail is a great way to get a taste of what each Central Oregon community has to offer. Hopefully, you were able to snap one or eight selfies along the way and capture some amazing memories and experiences.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Top State Parks to Visit in Central Oregon
A trip to Central Oregon is usually one with ample time spent in the great outdoors. From the expansive high desert landscape to the Deschutes National Forest and all the rivers, lakes and sometimes volcanos in between, Central Oregon is an outdoor adventurer’s paradise. What better way to explore the region than to take a tour of the local state parks? To get started, check out these six state parks to get an idea of what Central Oregon is all about.
Winter Tours You Have to Try in Bend and Central Oregon
Twinkling lights, fresh snow and fire pits bringing people together; it’s winter in Central Oregon! Bend and the surrounding towns within Central Oregon are great places to cozy up when the snow falls, and even better places to take part in winter recreation. Locals love to explore the nearby Cascade Mountains, with Mount Bachelor and plenty of sno parks located just a 30 minute drive away. Back in town, there are several breweries, cideries, wineries and distilleries waiting to be sampled. With so much to do, it can be tough to know where to start. Luckily, tours in Central Oregon that showcase the best outdoor and indoor recreation are available to help visitors make the most of their winter vacations.
The Ultimate La Pine Getaway
Central Oregon is all about balance. Small towns, big recreation. Quaint corners, cascading views. Where endless serenity exists right outside your back door coupled with humble communities that are tough to beat. Take La Pine, for instance. Rural, friendly, relaxed, and charming with a side of soaring mountains, the sparsely populated La Pine, Oregon is an unlikely getaway that leads with boundless forests and top-tier recreation.
Favorite Year-Round Mountain Bike Spots
When winter comes and the snow falls, some of Central Oregon’s popular mountain biking trails become a little too muddy to ride – which means some of the unheralded spots in the region get a little more love. Places like Smith Rock can get scorching hot (and quite crowded) in the summer making it a great spot to head come winter. Want some good locals tips on where to ride? Ask the folks at Hutch’s Bicycles, Pine Mountain Sports or The Hub Cyclery for the 4-1-1, or set up a tour with Cog Wild Mountain Bike Tours and Shuttles.
Ice Skating Rinks You Have to Try in Bend and Sunriver
Bend and Sunriver are two excellent winter destinations. The offering of winter activities in Central Oregon are immense. Snow typically falls fast and heavy and visitors get to experience a winter wonderland filled with snow capped Ponderosa pines and fresh powder. In such a winter wonderland, it makes sense that Bend and Sunriver would have a selection of ice skating spots. Whether guests choose to twirl on the ice, casually glide or just kick back with a hot cocoa while the kids play, a trip to the ice skating rink can help cap off any Central Oregon winter getaway.
Best Shopping in Bend and Redmond, Oregon
Shopping in Central Oregon has evolved over time, thanks to an influx of outdoor enthusiasts, organic farmers, antique purveyors and entrepreneurs of all kinds moving in, and subsequently sharing their products with the community. This mixed bag of motivated individuals creates a marketplace full of locally sourced, handcrafted items that can’t be found anywhere else. In addition to small, local businesses, Central Oregon’s growth in population in recent years has garnered the attention of some larger retailers, who have opened up shop in Bend and Redmond. Shopping in Bend, Oregon and likewise, shopping in Redmond, Oregon, provides visitors with a look inside our local industries, while simultaneously providing opportunities to purchase from well known retailers. It’s also worth mentioning that shopping in Central Oregon and throughout the state is tax-free, offering shoppers a built-in excuse to buy whatever catches their eye.
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.)
Photographer Shares Insights on Iconic Smith Rock Eclipse Image
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