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Travel to Visit 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. 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.

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Things To Do In Sisters


Best Time to Visit Sisters, Oregon

Sisters sits at the western edge of Central Oregon, nestled against the foothills of the Cascade Range, and is a year-round home base for year-round adventure. Here's what to expect in each season.


Springtime high temperatures typically fall between 60º and 75º, with sunshine and bluebird skies broken up only occasionally by just two to four days of rainfall per month. Take advantage of the crisp weather by pedaling one of the two scenic bikeways that depart from Sisters. Low temperatures can reach freezing, even into June, so bring a light jacket.


Highs in July and August hover around the low to mid-80s, making summer the perfect time to drive the 82-mile McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway, paddle Clear Lake, and enjoy hikes in the heart of the Cascades. Lows typically dip into the 50s after dinner and into the 40s when it's time to put out the campfire, so bring a light jacket if your adventures don't end with the sunset.


Fall is a refreshing time to be in Sisters, when high temperatures typically fall between the mid-60s and mid-70s—perfect weather for enjoying the Sisters Folk Festival and its many outdoor concerts. Expect low temperatures to reach freezing by the end of September, so pack along a light jacket and hat.


Winter brings nearly three feet of snow to Sisters and much more to the neighboring Cascade Range; by late December, Hoodoo Ski Area is bustling with skiers and snowboarders—and is the only resort to offer night skiing in Central Oregon. High temperatures around Sisters typically reach the mid-40s, with five to six days of rain or snow falling per month.


About Sisters

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.

Sisters, OR 97759, USA
Family roasting marshmallows around firepit at Black Butte Ranch.

Lodging in Sisters

Sisters is a one-roundabout town where lodging options abound around the city and in the Cascades nearby. The area’s largest lodging outpost is Black Butte Ranch, which pairs its vacation rentals with a variety of family-friendly activities and offerings—including bicycle rentals, fly fishing clinics, a pair of award-winning golf courses, and spa services.

Couples, meanwhile, enjoy the luxe FivePine Lodge and Spa at the edge of Sisters and the old-school charms of Belknap Hot Springs, a short, scenic drive away in the heart of the Cascades. Quiet motels and scenic campgrounds, meanwhile, dot the ponderosa pine forests in and around the city. Check out our directory for more Sisters lodging options.

Plates of food from The Barn in Sisters, Oregon.

Dine in Sisters

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 from the Sisters Smokehouse, fuel up with street tacos, vegan food, wood-fired pizzas or southern bbq at The Barn - a food pod and taphouse, or treat yourself to locally sourced fine-dining fare at Chops Bistro. (If your stomach’s growling, get to know the many other food options at the top restaurants in Sisters, Oregon.)

a glasses of beer with the taps in the background

Sip in Sisters

Central Oregon is rightfully known for its epic craft beer scene—and Sisters is no exception. Their 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 Funky Fauna is brewing unique ales and saisons that reflect the region's flavors. (Curious about our quaffable ales and lagers? Read more about breweries in Sisters, Oregon.)

Things to Do + See in Sisters

Explore the Wilderness by Foot

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. 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.)

a group of friends hiking down the trail with the mountains in the backdrop

Hop on 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.

Bikers along the Mckenzie Pass Scenic Bikeway.

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, nordic skiing and the Autobahn Tubing Park—one of the largest tubing areas in the Pacific Northwest. Take a Virtual Tour

a family is snowboarding down a snowy slope

Drive McKenzie Pass

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.

the Dee Wright observatory at the top of lava rock

Attend a Festival

Sisters might be known for its laid-back charm, but the city of 3,200 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”).

a man riding a bull at the rodeo

Check out the 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 Imagination Gallery, meanwhile, displays whimsical bronze pieces, garden art, wall designs, and more from the namesake artist.

a couple looking at art and jewelry at Clearwater Gallery

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.

a couple walking inside a movie theater

Shop the 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).

Couple browsing the shelves at Paulina Springs Books in Sisters, Oregon.

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. For another option, check out Radiant day spa located right on main street or check out other spas in the region.

a statue of buddha, and spas rooms