Central Oregon Vacation Rentals Offer an Affordable Home Away from Home

HomeSpun Vacation Rentals/Bend

There’s something quick, easy and consistent when choosing a hotel or destination resort for your vacation lodging.

But there’s something quirky, fun, interesting, spacious, well-appointed, private and luxurious about choosing a vacation rental home instead.

Central Oregon has more than 3,000 amazing vacation rental options, from cozy cottages near downtown to townhomes in the woods to expansive homes along the banks of the Deschutes River. They all provide a lodging opportunity that really lets you feel like a local as soon as you pull into the driveway.

Why choose a vacation rental home?

  1. More Privacy
  2. Less expensive for small groups
  3. You can save money by cooking at home
  4. Most are pet-friendly
  5. There’s often laundry on site

Granted, staying in a vacation rental isn’t the best option for every trip, especially if you’re only going to be in one spot for a couple of days. But if you’re planning a longer trip, say 3 days or more, you’ll likely get a lot of  bang for your buck in a rental home.

For example, if two couples looking for a place to stay close to downtown, the river, shopping, and tons of dining, they could split the cost of a nice 2-bedroom rental home for five days in late June for about $70/person/night. Or, go a little more upscale and rent a house (with a hot tub) on one of Central Oregon’s 30 golf courses for $109/night.That’s considerably cheaper than some rates for hotels during peak season here.

Vacation rental home in Sunriver, Oregon
Bennington Properties/Sunriver

Some rental homes amenities include hot tubs and BBQ grills in addition to cruiser or mountain bikes to check out the sights and sounds around Bend, Sunriver and beyond. Many of the homes are situated within well-established neighborhoods, lending themselves to a “local’s vibe.”

What else makes vacation rental homes so great? Here are a few highlights:

Bennington Properties in Sunriver might be the most dog-friendly vacation rental company on the planet! Not only do they offer an off-leash play area at the management offices, but there’s a complementary dog wash there too so you can clean up the pup after a day of adventuring. Stock up on provisions at Country Market in The Village at Sunriver or grab a bite and brew at Sunriver Brewery.

DiamondStone Guest Lodges in Central Oregon

At Diamondstone Guest Lodges in La Pine, you can stay way off the beaten path.

This rural resort has a wide variety of lodging including a bed & breakfast, a Log Cabin and more, including an upstairs “Treetop Lounge” that can host events. The bed & breakfast has a 3.5-acre meadow for small outdoor weddings. The resort is also home to a 3-day summer music and arts festival known as “The Newberry Event.”

DiamondStone also hosts MOTOFANTASY Motorcycle Rentals.  Experienced riders can choose from over a dozen unique bikes to ride for a day or a week.

Cold Springs Resort

Tucked beneath a canopy of Ponderosa and Tamarack and only steps from the spring-fed Metolius River in Camp Sherman the cabins at Cold Springs Resort offer the perfect family retreat. Hiking, biking, and world-class fly-fishing opportunities abound and all are within walking distance. Bring the kids, the dog and let yourself and your family unwind.

Cold Springs Resort was originally a dairy and the springs were used to keep the fresh milk cool before distribution.

Elk Lake sailboats in Central Oregon
Elk Lake Resort

Elk Lake Resort, on the Cascade Lake Scenic Byway, offers rustic or upscale cabins just steps away from one of the region’s most popular recreation spots. Grill on the deck or head on down to the lodge before renting a canoe for the afternoon. There’s often live music at the resort as well.

Vacation rental home at Tetherow in Central Oregon
Tetherow Vacation Home

Looking for destination resort amenities, but vacation rental lodging? Sunriver Resort, Tetherow, Black Butte Ranch and Pronghorn all offer vacation rental options. Tetherow has the region’s first vacation rental neighborhood called “Cairn,” which includes 4 and 5 bedroom homes along the award-winning golf course.

*These are just a couple of examples and rates will vary, but they are actual examples, from one of Central Oregon’s more popular vacation rental companies. 

Golfweek Rankings Highlight Central Oregon Courses


View of greens and Black Butte near Sisters, Oregon
Aspen Lakes Golf Course

The accolades for Central Oregon’s golf courses continue to pour in. Last year, Pronghorn, Crosswater and Tetherow were listed among Golf Digest’s 100 Greatest Public Courses. This year, five of the 10 best courses in the state are in Central Oregon according to Golfweek Magazine. 

Joining our “Big 3” in Golfweek’s rankings are the Big Meadow course at Black Butte Ranch and Aspen Lakes Golf Course in Sisters.

Recently updated in 2007, the Big Meadow course stretches over 7,000 yards from the championship tees and features expansive fairways, sweeping cape and bay bunkers and elevated green complexes to challenge golfers of all skill levels.

Immaculately maintained bent grass fairways and multiple tees combined with red sand bunkers create a playing experience unique to Aspen Lakes.

With amazing views of eight different Cascade mountains, Aspen is both challenging and breathtaking, easily one of the most scenic in Central Oregon.

The stellar collection of courses is just part of the Central Oregon Golf Trail, 30 diverse courses within 45 minutes of each other.

You’ll want to play all the golf gems of the Trail, from the high mountain courses at Black Butte, Aspen and Widgi Creek, to the High Desert tracks of Juniper and Crooked River Ranch, and everything in-between, you will find unmatched quality, diversity and value in our famous course designs.

Looking for a way to sample some of the best courses? The 21st Annual Pacific Amateur Golf Classic in September features 54 holes of net, stroke-play competition on Sunriver Resort’s Meadows and Woodlands Coures and the famed Crosswater Club. The top four players in each flight earn a spot in the winner-take-all Championship Round at Crosswater. Visit the PacAm website to learn more, register and find great stay-and-play deals.

Fairway on Big Meadow Golf Course at Black Butte Ranch in Central Oregon
Big Meadow Course at Black Butte Ranch


Black Butte Ranch’s “Cool” New Look is a Hit – Lakeside Pool Now Open

With it’s majestic mountain views, two world-class golf courses and multitude of outdoor activities, Black Butte Ranch near Sisters has long been a favorite family vacation destination.

So when the resort opened a new lakeside pool area, bistro and rec center during the summer of 2015, it was just adding to an already spectacular setting.

Black Butte Ranch
Black Butte Ranch lakeside pool

Spectacular indeed. The pool boasts a view unlike any other in Central Oregon – so close to the Cascades that it’s as though you can reach out to touch them while sitting beneath your umbrella sipping a fruity drink.

To read more on the revamped resort, check out this story from The Oregonian.

Black Butte Ranch
Black Butte Ranch lakeside pool bistro

How to Beat the High Desert Heat

The SHARC Aquatic Center in Sunriver, Oregon
SHARC aquatic center in Sunriver.

During the dog days of summer, one of your best options to beat the heat is to head up to the high lakes and splash around. But when you’re on vacation with the family sometimes all you want to do is go and relax at the pool. Luckily, Central Oregon has a handful of great places to soak up the sun in between cooling off in the water.

The Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic and Recreation Center (SHARC) is a village of water. It has indoor and outdoor pools, water slides, a lazy river, hot tubs and plenty of space for kids to splash and play.  If surfing is in your past, present or future, try Mavericks indoor wave rider. You’ll emerge either soaking wet or as dry as local surfing legend Gerry Lopez (a Bend resident, by the way) riding a curl.

A relatively new addition to Sunriver Resort is The Cove. The] swimming and outdoor recreation facility has a giant zero-entry pool and hot tub, private cabanas, a waterslide, nature discovery area, lakeside trails and a spacious deck and lawn. Need a bite to eat? The Spotted Frog serves poolside beverages and fare.

sunriver cove

Right in the middle of Bend, the Juniper Swim and Fitness Center is a cool water oasis that offers a 50-meter outdoor pool (domed in winter for four-season use) and its indoor 25-meter pool. There’s a fun little water recreation park outside too with shallow water and lots of fun features for the kids, including a water slide that’s open to big kids too.

After you drag the kids from antique shop to antique shop in downtown Redmond, reward them with an hour or so at the splash park on the corner of Evergreen and 7th. It’s the perfect place to let the kids run around to cool off – and there’s a coffee hut on site so you can refuel for the rest of your day’s adventures.

Black Butte Ranch recently opened a new lakeside pool with a year-round outdoor hot tub and new rec center. The pool offers outside dining and poolside service with a nearby playground. As far as views go, you can’t get any better than this when lounging poolside.

The pool at Black Butte Ranch near Bend, Oregon

On the Warm Springs reservation, Kah-Nee-Ta Resort boasts a 184-foot slide into its hot springs mineral pool that is twice the size of an Olympic pool and is cooled in the summer and heated in the fall. Couple that with a night under the stars in an authentic tee pee and you’ll have a weekend to remember.

View of pool at The Village of Kah-nee-ta Resort in Warm Springs, Oregon

If you’re looking for a little more adrenaline rush while cooling off, Sun Country Tours offers the famous Big Eddy Thriller whitewater trip for families in addition to other rafting adventures. Ouzel Outfitters also provides guided excursions including half/full day trips, multi-day trips or custom adventures tailored to you and your family.

Rafting the Deschutes River near Sunriver, Oregon

Want to chill out a bit more while staying cool? Head up to the high lakes. Elk Lake Resort has a restaurant, camping, rental canoes, boats and more for you to get out on the water. You can also rent a stand-up paddleboard in town at Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe and take it up to Sparks Lake – Outside Magazine named Central Oregon the top spot for SUPing in the world! South of Bend, check out Paulina Lake Lodge in the Newberry National Volcanic Monument.

SUP at Sparks Lake - Central Oregon