Plan Your Visit To
A visit to Sisters feels like a trip back in time—and not just because its buildings are decorated to look like an 1880s-era Wild West town.
Wooden sidewalks line the street through downtown Sisters, offering access to the community’s boutiques, galleries, and restaurants. An old-time drive-in dishes homemade ice cream, much as it’s done since 1952. Public restrooms are marked for “Cowboys” and “Cowgirls.” Even the UPS shipping store is called The Pony Express.
Sisters may have all the hallmarks of a rough-and-tumble frontier town, but the city has earned acclaim in recent years for its creative arts culture, fresh dining opportunities, charming architecture, and down-home, family-friendly atmosphere. So the next time you visit the “Gateway to the Cascades”, here’s a rundown of what to do, see, and enjoy around Sisters.
Map of Sisters, Oregon
Need to know where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a map of the Sisters, Oregon area to help find your way around:
Plan your adventure to Central Oregon.
Cascade Lakes Photo Tour
With more than 14 alpine lakes along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Hwy, there is no shortage of beauty to go around. We can tailor our lake expeditions to the tour you want to have. Some of the team favorites are Diamond, Sparks, Todd, Elk lakes....just to name a few.This tour can include some moderate hiking, or we can shoot right from the parking lots. We'll show you our favorite shots based on how active you want to be.Private Tour capped at 2 people to ensure personalized instruction and individualized attention.Tour Price: $399 up to 2 people
Moonlight & Starlight Canoe Tours
Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for canoe tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us on this astounding paddle on the high elevation mountain lakes in the mighty Cascade Range. Naturalist Guided Experience: Our renowned naturalist guides will highlight the sweet spots on these stunning lakes that might not initially meet the eye. During our 2 hours on the water, along with the fun and intrigue, we may impart an understanding of the heaven’s starlight illuminating the darkness. Age-old stories and myths mixed with astronomy will enlighten just as the stars do. The silence of the evening hours provides a chance to hear companions of the forest going about their evening activities. Your crew will be energized with revelations about natural and cultural history that’ll keep your mind humming with delight long after you return home with fond memories of the tour.Location: On this tour, you’ll take in the sights and sounds nighttime has to offer while paddling one of the beautiful, high-elevation Cascade Lakes. There is nothing more peaceful, or spectacular than being out on these pristine waters at night.
Deschutes River Photo Tour
Running through the middle of Bend, the Deschutes River offers plenty of amazing photo ops. Whether we decide to go through downtown Bend, Dillon Falls, or Shevlin Park, the Deschutes River never disappoints.This tour can include some moderate walking. We'll show you our favorite shots based on how active you want to be.Private Tour capped at 2 people to ensure personalized instruction and individualized attention.Tour Price: $299 up to 2 people
Bend Badlands | 2 Hrs.
Bend Badlands Tour. Take the wheel and conquer the ever-changing terrain or sit back and enjoy the exhilarating ride. Outriders' will show you the way through the true back country of Central Oregon. Drive through winding roads and spectacular lava flows. Head up and experience advanced trails to spot the wildlife and landscape of the lava flows with spectacular geologic features. The fresh air and beauty of Central Oregon will surround you. Come check out the fascinating terrain of The Deschutes National Forest! #goexplore!
Bend Rock Gym
1 LOCATION – 3 GYMS – INFINITE POSSIBILITIES!
$15 - $20
Half Day Boat Trip: Cascade Lakes
A fly fishing trip to one of the Cascade Lakes is best suited for anglers looking for relatively low impact and highly productive outings. If you are interested in a positive first fishing experience with your son, daughter, or non-angling spouse, consider a trip to East Lake or Lava Lake. During the peak of the season on either lake, we can practically guarantee they catch some fish.
Full Day Walk-In Upper Deschutes River
This is an adventure for the angler looking to “stalk” fish on foot at one of our local rivers. Never is a strenuous hike required, often the fishing “hole” is located within a few minutes of walking from the guide’s vehicle. This is the perfect trip for families and new anglers looking for an unforgettable day of fly fishing near Bend. Both the Fall River and the Crooked River are perfect for Walk-In trips. For our walk-in trips, you will meet your guide at a predetermined location and then either carpool or caravan to the chosen water.
$475 - $733.32
Smith Rock Sunset Photo Tour
If you enjoy scenic views of deep river canyons, Smith Rock State Park is the place for you. There are several thousand climbs, hikes and mountain bike trails in the park, so we can often see several climbers as well as some wildlife including golden eagles, prairie falcons, mule deer, river otters and beavers.This tour can include some moderate hiking, or we can shoot right from the parking lot. We'll show you our favorite shots based on how active you want to be.Private Tour capped at 2 people to ensure personalized instruction and individualized attention.You'll have around 2 hrs on location. We'll keep shooting up to 30 mins after sunset. A night photography extension can be added.Tour Price: $299 up to 2 people
Full Day Trip: Cascade Lakes
Nestled in the Cascade Mountain Range just west of Bend are over 10 quality stillwater fisheries. Couple these unique fly fishing lakes with the nearby streams, creeks, and rivers, and you get a fly fishers dream. Located a short drive from downtown Bend, these lakes range from modest to grand in size. One aspect they all share is beauty. When you visit one of these fly fishing treasures, youll agree.A fly fishing trip to one of the Cascade Lakes is best suited for anglers looking for relatively low impact and highly productive outings. If you are interested in a positive first fishing experience with your son, daughter, or non-angling spouse, consider a trip to East Lake or Lava Lake. During the peak of the season on either lake, we can practically guarantee they catch some fish. Your guide will meet you at the designated location at a predetermined time. Packed with everything you'll need for a successful day of fishing, you will travel with your guide to the lake of choice. A full day trip will span 8 hours for fishing, and includes a lake-side BBQ lunch.
Things to Do in Sisters, Oregon
Whether you’re staying in town or using Sisters as a base camp for outdoor adventure, you’ll find plenty to keep busy. Here are a few fun things to do when you visit Sisters, Oregon.
Explore the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway: Starting right in town, the 82-mile McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway heads into the Cascades for an up-close look at the region’s dramatic beauty. Highlights along the summertime driving tour are almost too numerous to mention here—but include the Dee Wright Observatory, built in 1935 amid a dramatic lava flow and showcasing views of roughly a dozen peaks; a short hiking trail through old-growth forest to the two-part Proxy Falls; the appropriately named Clear Lake; and the glacially carved Suttle Lake.
Sip a cold craft beer: Central Oregon is rightfully known for its epic craft beer scene—and Sisters is no exception. Our very own Three Creeks Brewing Company is housed near the eastern edge of town, where it pours an award-winning lineup of house-made ales and lagers alongside elevated pub grub. Nearby Hop & Brew doesn’t make its own beer—but nevertheless offers a curated selection of popular beers from around the Pacific Northwest. And Sisters Saloon takes pride in pouring popular beers from breweries big and small throughout Central Oregon. (Curious about our quaffable ales and lagers? Read more about breweries in Sisters, Oregon.)
Hop in the saddle: Two scenic bikeways leave from town, giving hearty cyclists ample opportunity to explore Central Oregon’s prolific beauty. The 37-mile Sisters to Smith Rock Scenic Bikeway starts in Sisters before zig-zagging eastward through sagebrush-covered canyons, forests of pine and juniper, and quiet communities before arriving at the popular Smith Rock State Park. And the McKenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway takes cyclists through a forest of ponderosa pine, expansive lava flows in the heart of the Cascades, and an old-growth forest of Douglas fir over the course of 38 breathtaking miles; the ride mostly follows Oregon Route 242, which officially opens to vehicles in June—but which is accessible to cyclists (beyond a locked gate) as early as April or May.
Attend a festival: Sisters might be known for its laid-back charm, but the city of 2,000 sure knows how to throw a party. Annual highlights include the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show (which displays roughly 500 quilts from around the world), the Sisters Folk Festival (which hosts regional and national acts alike), and the ever-popular Sisters Rodeo (which bills itself as “the biggest little show in the world”).
Hit the slopes: Discover Hoodoo Ski Area, which sits at the summit of Santiam Pass just outside of town and boasts more than 800 acres of skiable terrain, 34 runs, five lifts, the region’s only night skiing, and the Autobahn Tubing Park—one of the largest tubing areas in the Pacific Northwest.
Get away from it all: Visit Black Butte Ranch for a getaway that blends the quiet charms of a Cascades vacation with the amenities of a bustling resort. The long-running ranch hosts popular eateries, vacation rentals, fly fishing clinics, live music, a disc golf course, bike rentals, spa services, swimming pools, tennis and pickleball courts, and other fun activities for the whole family—along with a pair of award-winning golf courses that offer dramatic views of surrounding mountain peaks. (Learn more about golf in Central Oregon.)
Make your way to Camp Sherman and beyond: West of town, nestled in the foothills of the Cascade mountains, sits Camp Sherman—a quiet community home to campgrounds, mountain biking trails, wildlife viewing, and other fun opportunities for outdoor recreation along the Metolius River.
Rest, relax, and rejuvenate: When you need a vacation from your vacation, unwind at Shibui Spa (located at FivePine Lodge & Conference Center, near the eastern edge of Sisters); the tranquil spa offers a variety of therapeutic services and treatments, including massage, facials, body wraps, waxing, and more—along with several spa products to help you recharge back home.
Grab a bite: Sisters sits surrounded by working ranches and farms—so it’s only natural the city’s culinary scene has taken off in recent years. Start your day with casual, yet creative fare at Cottonwood Cafe (housed in a converted cottage), grab a fresh sandwich for lunch at Spoons, fuel up with authentic Mexican street food at Tacos El Comal (housed in a gas station), or treat yourself to locally sourced fine-dining fare at Chops Bistro. (If your stomach’s growling, get to know the top restaurants in Sisters, Oregon.)
Still jonesing for fun and frolic around the region? Learn more about top things to do in Central Oregon.
Things to See in Sisters, Oregon
There isn’t just plenty to do around Sisters, Oregon—there’s a ton to see as well. From a day in the mountains to a night at the movies—and everywhere in between—here’s a look at what to see around town.
Check out the city’s art galleries: The city of Sisters has long been a haven for creative types—and, naturally, boasts a robust collection of more than a dozen art galleries. Clearwater Gallery, for instance, strives to showcase work from local and regional artists across a variety of media—including pastel, watercolor, bronze, and handmade jewelry. Ken Scott’s Imagination Gallery, meanwhile, displays whimsical bronze pieces, garden art, wall designs, and more from the namesake artist.
Catch a flick: The four-screen, independently owned Sisters Movie House sits at the eastern edge of town and usually features a lineup that appeals to moviegoers of all interests—including first-run blockbusters, independent films, documentaries, foreign flicks, or animated movies.
Step into the city’s many shops and boutiques: The vibrant heart of Sisters teems with mom-and-pop businesses, souvenir shops, and chic boutiques—including The Hen’s Tooth (which sells art, health and beauty products, candles, jewelry, decor, and more), Paulina Springs Books (selling a variety of books and hosting regular author events), Stitchin’ Post (a family-owned quilting shop that has sold fabric, kits, yarn, tools, and more since 1975), Dixie’s (specializing in Western-themed apparel and home goods), and Antler Arts (which has sold all manner of items—including Western wear, metal signs, and items crafted from antler racks—since 1995).
Enjoy scenic vistas in the Three Sisters Wilderness: Covering more than 281,000 acres, the Three Sisters Wilderness is home to roughly 260 miles of trails that offer some of the best views in all of Oregon—including Cascade peaks, glaciers, waterfalls, alpine meadows, summertime wildflowers, lava fields, mountain lakes, and other natural wonders. Note that you’ll need a permit (part of the Central Cascades Wilderness Permit System) if hiking most trails or backpacking between Memorial Day weekend and the end of September. And if you haven’t gotten your peak fix just yet, here’s how to explore the mountains in Central Oregon.
Explore the Rimrock Wonder of Whychus Creek: The three forks of the Wild and Scenic Whychus Creek begin as glaciers in the Three Sisters Wilderness before winding through the Cascades, Sisters area, and Central Oregon high desert. Numerous hiking trails line its banks and follow the khaki-colored river canyon—including the Whychus Creek Scenic Overlook Trail, where a one-mile accessible path offers views of the creek and Three Sisters peaks. (Whychus Creek is just one of many waterways coursing through the region; learn more about the rivers in Central Oregon.)
With so much to do and see, you’ll want somewhere close (and comfortable) to stay each night; learn more about Central Oregon campgrounds & RV parks.
More stories from Sisters
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
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.
Central Oregon Golf: Best Par 3s
Play a good golf course and chances are that when you’re back at the 19th hole, you’re talking about the Par 3s. The short one you made double on. The bear where you snaked in a 20-footer for your only birdie all month. They’re the “short” holes that can make or break a round. Some of the signature holes on the Central Oregon Golf Trail are Par 3s. Here’s a look at some of the best.
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.)
Outward Bound in the City: Central Oregon’s 5 Best Urban Hikes
Hiking in Central Oregon can take you deep into the wilderness, far away from worry and stress. But sometimes all you need is a quick break from reality…just a half hour or so outside in nature, on a trail, alone with your thoughts (or with your dog, husband and two kids.) There are hundreds of hikes and trails available in and around Bend, Oregon and Sunriver, Oregon. These “Urban Hikes” are the perfect remedy to slow down our all-too-busy lives.
8 Pictures That Will Have You Rethinking Some Life Decisions (Central Oregon Food Edition)
Is this plate from 5 Fusion and Sushi Bar art or food? (It’s food. Definitely food.)
Central Oregon Hiking Trails
Head east on Highway 20 (Greenwood Avenue) to the Pilot Butte State Park. The parking area and trailhead are just east of the butte. Walk on either the nature trail or the paved road. The road is also for vehicle traffic, weather permitting. It is a wonderful viewpoint for the entire Bend area. This hiking trail is one of the most popular in Central Oregon.
Scenic Bikeways Showcase Central Oregon’s Backroad Beauty
Oregon’s official scenic bikeways are the first of their kind in the U.S – and Central Oregon is home to 6 of the state’s 11 most beautiful bike routes. An absolute summer must for road cyclists are riding the best of the best – our scenic bikeways. Every rider can find a ride to suit their style and mood, from family-friendly to adventurous.
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show Brings Fabric Artists to Central Oregon
Blankets keep you warm. Quilts tell a story. So imagine all the tales to be told at the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show on the second Saturday of July, when the streets of this small Central Oregon town are blanketed (pun intended) with the creative tapestries woven by thousands of quilters from around the world.