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Culver
Plan Your Visit To

Culver, Oregon

The community of Culver started as a post office in 1900, formally incorporated as a city in 1946—and hasn’t changed much in the decades since. Sitting between Redmond and Madras, the cozy community harkens back to Central Oregon’s earlier years with small-town charm to spare. That means fun annual festivals, friendly eateries, and easy access to outdoor recreation.

Given its location, tucked away from US-97, chances are slim you’ll happen to pass through Culver on your next trip through the region. So here are a few reasons why you should get off the beaten path and explore the historic community.

Culver, Oregon Map

Need to find your way around Culver—and to some of the must-see sites outside of town? This map offers an
introduction to Culver and the surrounding region.

Things to Do in Culver, Oregon

The best way to experience Culver is to enjoy the city as the locals do. That means whiling away an afternoon at the park, munching on savory burgers and sandwiches, and attending a beloved community celebration. Here are a few fun things to do in Culver, Oregon.

Get outside at Culver City Park: Who says you need to travel far for outdoor fun? Culver City Park, in the heart of town, hosts a baseball field, basketball hoops, a covered picnic shelter, children’s play area, horseshoe pits, and other fun attractions for the whole family.

Grab a bite to eat: First Avenue runs north-south through Culver—and is home to a handful of restaurants dishing delicious pub grub and classic American fare. Beetle Bailey Burgers, for instance, is a favorite among locals for its wide variety of burgers (with more than a dozen specialties on the menu), as well as sandwiches and fried seafood and chicken items. Another popular stop along First Avenue is Juniper Cove Bar and Grill, which offers steaks, burgers, salads, and sandwiches in a friendly atmosphere. Is your stomach grumbling yet? Learn more about restaurants in Culver, Oregon.

Check out the Culver Crawdad Festival: Every August, Culver honors the humble crawdad—a small, freshwater crustacean that looks a bit like a lobster—with a community-wide celebration: the Culver Crawdad Festival. The festivities usually include a parade through town, a day-long festival with vendors and live entertainment, and (naturally) a crawdad dinner afterward.

a rice bowl, salad and cocktail from SCP, Redmond OR

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Things to See in Culver, Oregon

Culver sits in the heart of a fertile valley—and is surrounded by Central Oregon’s high desert. Naturally, there’s plenty of scenic beauty to enjoy around Culver. Here are some of our favorite sites to see in the area.

Take in the High-Desert Views at Haystack Reservoir: Less than 10 minutes southeast of Culver, Haystack Reservoir is a popular springtime and summertime destination. Between April and October, the reservoir is used to store and regulate the delivery of irrigation water to nearby users—and is unsurprisingly popular for its water-based recreation. A fishing platform can be found on the lake’s northwestern shore (rainbow trout and brown trout populate the reservoir, especially in spring and early summer), paddlers enjoy views of the Three Sisters and Mount Jefferson to the west, swimmers appreciate the reservoir’s cool waters at the height of summer, and three campgrounds invite visitors to stay the night.

Enjoy some of Central Oregon’s Best Views at The Cove Palisades State Park: Just 15 minutes west of Culver is The Cove Palisades State Park, a year-round outdoor destination that comprises the scenic Deschutes and Crooked River canyons (good for more than 30 miles of flat-water paddling), two campgrounds, a marina with seasonal boat rentals, several miles of hiking trails, and more—all in the heart of the Central Oregon high desert. One of the park’s more popular hiking trails—the Tam-a-láu Trail—affords views of Lake Billy Chinook (one of the many scenic lakes in Central Oregon), as well as several Cascade peaks to the west. And if you’re looking for other parks around the region, we’ve put together a page on national and state parks in Central Oregon.

a couple riding mountain bikes with a new dusting of snow

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a couple snuggling on the couch by the firepit

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More stories from Culver

More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.

  • Fall is Prime Time for Central Oregon Fly Fishing for Steelhead on the Deschutes
    Fall is Prime Time for Central Oregon Fly Fishing for Steelhead on the Deschutes

    It’s no accident that the fabled Oncorhynchus mykiss, aka steelhead trout, is dubbed the “fish of a thousand casts” It’s not uncommon for novice steelhead anglers to fish for years without ever tying into, let alone landing, one of these powerful and acrobatic sea-run rainbow trout. There’s also a reason why they keep trying.