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.
Central Oregon Sled Dog Rides: Four-Legged Friends Power All Day Smiles
You can hear them before you see them. About 30 four-legged endurance athletes chomping at the bit for another chance to prove their worth and provide you with an ear-to-ear grin that will last an entire day.
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.
Hot Springs in Central Oregon Near Bend and 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.
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.
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.
Top 5 Tours to Take in Sunriver, Oregon
Sunriver is an aptly named town; the idyllic community soaks up tons of Central Oregon sun and has the mighty Deschutes River meandering through. It’s tough to not feel the magic of Sunriver when rays of light first break over the not-so-distant Cascade Mountain peaks and dance on the tips of ponderosa pines in the surrounding Deschutes National Forest. Central Oregon tours are popular for visitors and locals alike, and for good reason. With four distinct seasons, Sunriver is primed and ready for exploration any time of the year. From snowmobiling to horseback riding, here are the best ways to discover Sunriver.
Why I love Mt. Bachelor – Olympic Skier Laurenne Ross
Mt. Bachelor is one of the most family-friendly mountains in the West. But it has also long been a training ground for some of the best skiers in the United States with the terrain helping produce local Olmpians Tommy Ford, Kiki Cutter, Mike Lafferty and most recently, Laurenne Ross.
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.