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.
Snowshoeing Tours in Bend and Central Oregon
Snowshoeing in Central Oregon is the perfect way to get out into nature and experience the stillness of a true winter wonderland. This activity is easy to pick up, yet still provides a good workout, much like warm-weather hiking. While plenty of snowshoeing is done throughout the region, a lot of it is done through rentals that are available in Bend, Sunriver and Sisters. There’s also an option for a guided tour with an established outfitter such as Wanderlust Tours. Wanderlust offers tours of all kinds in Central Oregon, and they are the only group to include snowshoe tours. They offer professionally-curated tours through spectacular scenery, aiming to show visitors quiet and secluded sections of the Cascades. Wanderlust also offers special tours like night treks where visitors wander under the stars, and holiday specials, such as a guided Valentine’s Day snowshoe trip that leads visitors to a secluded, romantic bonfire to enjoy warm drinks.
Guided Snowmobiling Trips in Central Oregon
As versatile as they are fun, snowmobiles are a popular way to get out into nature. Whether you’re looking to stick to the trail for an easy-going ride, or shred through several feet of powder in open meadows, snowmobiling in Central Oregon is sure to entertain. Similar to snowshoeing, there are plenty of rental options in Bend and Sunriver, but only one tour company offers a guided experience: Central Oregon Adventures. COA has a team of experienced backcountry riders who know all the best trails, climbing hills and meadows. The team promises to take guests to hidden sweet spots to provide an unforgettable experience. COA customizes their tours, offering guests the freedom to decide how advanced the ride will be, on the fly. This way, everyone from complete beginners to expert riders will be able to enjoy the day and make the most of the trip.
Discover Local Breweries with the Bend Ale Trail
A brewery tour offers a chance to sample the best drinks from several breweries and cideries in Bend. Use the Bend Ale Trail to visit a variety of watering holes, stamping a passport along the way and getting the chance to win prizes with each location visited. Here’s how it works: thirsty guests acquire either a physical passport or a smartphone app and plot out a course through seven unique territories. Beyond Bend, this adventure will showcase all the great breweries and cideries in Central Oregon. Stop by one of the locations listed in the app or passport to collect a stamp. Collect all the stamps from one territory to win a prize, and finish all seven territories to win an even bigger prize! Since this tour is not guided, it allows guests to design their own trail to fit their personal tastes, budgets and schedules. This tour requires finding a designated driver, but the DD doesn’t have to miss all the fun—designated drivers are eligible for their own prizes, like a new Hydroflask, as a thank you for being responsible.
Winery and Distillery Tours in Central Oregon
Bend might be known as Beer Town USA, but the options for wine and liquor tastings are nearly as vast as their brewed counterpart. The landscape in Central Oregon lends itself well to distilling processes; local distillers say that the high-quality water here is essential to their process, while any gin distiller will likely rely on the huge local supply of fresh juniper berries. Historically, Central Oregon’s agricultural backbone is wheat, making the region prime for whiskey-making. Those looking to sample the best distillery tastings and tours should check out the five Central Oregon distillers on The Oregon Distillery Trail. For a more localized experience, contact Wanderlust Tours for the Local Pour Tour, in which local guides take guests to three top distilleries around town. For wine, Bend Wine Tours offers personal-walking tours of the Old Mill District featuring four different wineries. Another option is to craft a DIY wine tour, and we can recommend some good spots! The Wine Shop and Beer Tasting Bar and The Good Drop Wine Shoppe are great locations to start your tour. From there, try walking down to the Old Mill to find Elixir Wine Group, Evoke Winery and Va Piano. Then, make your way to Northwest Crossing for Portello Wine Cafe.
So where it’s playing outside and cozying up by a fire pit for a brew, we are sure you will be able to find a winter tour or activity to enjoy during your stay in Central Oregon.
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Best Hot Springs in Central Oregon, Bend & Beyond
Oregon is known for being an outdoor paradise; where else can travelers discover misty forests, snowy mountain peaks and vast desert expanses in one day? From the Cascade Mountains to the Painted Hills, volcanic activity has helped shape the many different landscapes of Oregon. Along with mountains and valleys, Oregon’s volcanic past helped create a host of hot springs scattered across the state. These hot springs are natural, hot pools of water—natural hot tubs. Some are more developed and have lodging nearby, while others feel completely remote and undiscovered. So whether it’s a soak under the stars in the high desert or a steamy pool in the forest, there’s a hot spring calling.
Make the Most of Your Bend and Central Oregon Ski Vacation
Dreaming of skiing in Bend, Oregon? The Central Oregon region is an incredible destination for a ski getaway. While the average snowfall in Bend is a little more than thirty inches, Central Oregon ski resorts boast annual numbers of more than 450 inches. From Bend, visitors can drive to Mt. Bachelor resort in just 30 minutes or the Hoodoo Ski Area in less than an hour. Outside of the resorts, there are boundless backcountry trails for cross-country skiing to glide into pristine and untouched wilderness. With tons of snow, a plethora of winter activities in Central Oregon, and seemingly endless miles of terrain to explore, Bend and Central Oregon make the perfect ski getaway. Read on to discover how to make the most of your ski-cation in this winter wonderland.
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.
The Ultimate Guide to Pumpkin Patches in Terrebonne, Oregon
Nothing signals the coming of fall quite like spending the day at a pumpkin patch. It’s tough to not feel the cozy spirit of the season when you’re solving a festive corn maze while bundled up and sipping a hot apple cider. Pumpkin patches in Central Oregon benefit from our desert climate and still get plenty of sunshine, even in late October. While smaller family farms all around the region will sometimes host fall events, the two most popular pumpkin patches both reside in Terrebonne: the Smith Rock Pumpkin Patch and the DD Ranch Pumpkin Patch.
Notable Chefs at the Best Restaurants in and around Bend, Oregon
A little known fact that visitors are picking up on, Bend is a foodie paradise. There’s something about our creative, non-traditional attitude and emphasis on local ingredients that just makes great food. Luckily for visitors and locals alike, there are several chefs running Bend kitchens that constantly push boundaries, experiment, and create delicious and innovative dishes across a diverse array of cuisines.
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.
Top 5 Tours to Take in Bend, Oregon
Bend is a nature-lover’s paradise blended with a hop-head’s dream; nowhere else will you find this much craft beer and this many outdoor activities. The city’s been growing quickly, reaching 100,000 residents in 2020, and with the growth comes plentiful opportunities for adventure. From walking the very halls that brew your favorite beer to any number of adrenaline-inducing sports, we have you covered for the five best types of guided tours in Bend, Oregon.
Elk Lake Resort a Great Winter Getaway – And Getting There is Half the Fun
There’s a couple of ways to look at the annual winter closure of Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway: You can see it as cutting off your recreational access beyond the gate until the snow melts in the spring.
Mt. Bachelor is a True Family Ski Experience in Central Oregon
Three-hundred and sixty degree views of snow-covered peaks don’t come easy. Unless you’re in Central Oregon, in that case, they do! Mt. Bachelor is just a 30-minute drive from Bend or Sunriver.