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Sisters

Plan Your Visit To

Sisters, Oregon

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:

a woman walking with coffee in hand by the colorful Sisters mural

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.

Two women bike on McKenzie Pass next to lava fields in Sisters, Oregon.
two women sitting at a outdoor table chatting at the Sisters Saloon
a rice bowl, salad and cocktail from SCP, Redmond OR

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a couple standing enjoying a outdoor live concert in Sisters
Group of golfers drinking beers next to a firepit at Black Butte Ranch near Sisters, Oregon
two women relaxing in comfy robes on lounge chairs outside between treatments at Shibui

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.

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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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.

a couple walking into a quaint house known as the Clearwater Gallery
Two women walk into Dixie’s in Sisters, Oregon
two women lounging in swimsuits, sitting on the rocks lakeside at Three Creek Lake

More stories from Sisters

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

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