Explore the Beauty of Bend & Sunriver

August 10, 2021

Central Oregon is a destination of magical natural landscapes, fascinating geological wonders, and year-round activities and adventures in the high-desert towns and great outdoors. Nestled on the edge of the scenic Cascade Mountains lies the historic town of Bend and the nearby resort community of Sunriver, the best mountain towns in Central Oregon for a scenic, adventurous, and relaxing mountain getaway.

Once a small logging town, Bend is today the “mountain town that’s got it all”! An adventure travel mecca with unlimited outdoor adventures, a bustling downtown with cobblestone sidewalks and treelined streets, the hip Old Mill District for tax-free shopping and world-class dining, and a Historic District, all on the banks of the Deschutes River.

The resort community of Sunriver lies in the Deschutes National Forest only 15 miles south of Bend and boasts world-class golf, paved trails, horse riding and restaurants at the Sunriver Resort, shopping and dining at The Village, and easy access to the outdoor attractions and activities that draw visitors to Central Oregon year-round.

Whether you’re hitting the road for a last-minute summer vacation or making plans for an outdoorsy winter getaway, our Xplorie partners in Sunriver and Bend are ready to add an extra dose of fun to your Central Oregon vacation.


Outdoor Attractions


Bend is known as “The Outdoor Playground of the West” and there’s no shortage of natural attractions for endless outdoor play. The Deschutes River flows through the heart of town for tubing, kayaking, SUPing, and world-class flyfishing, rolling fairways offer a challenging play with panoramic views of the Central Oregon mountains and hiking and biking trails weave through the Cascades and Deschutes National Forest. There’s no need to haul your biking gear, Sunnyside Sports are the go to bike shop in Bend for trail maps, local tips, and all the gear you need to discover the best mountain biking in Bend and Sunriver.

If you need a day to rest your legs, take a scenic drive on the Cascade Lake Scenic Byway along the shores of the Deschutes River and past over a dozen lakes, geological formations, and volcanic landscapes. Top nearby natural attractions include Pilot Butte, Tumalo Falls, Mt. Bachelor, Lava Lands, the Newberry Crater National Volcanic Monument, and two of Oregon’s Seven Wonders, the basalt cliffs of Smith Rock and the vibrant Painted Hills, just a short driving distance north of Bend and Sunriver.


Family-Friendly Activities


Bend and Sunriver cater to adventurers of all sizes and ages and there’s no shortage of family-friendly activities, events, entertainment, and outdoor adventures. Take the whole family for a cruise along the Deschutes River in a signature four-wheeled cycle from Wheel Fun Rentals Bend or plan a DIY family adventure with Sunriver Toyhouse Toys. Whether you’re staying in Bend or Sunriver, they’re your DIY headquarters with a great selection of rentals including kayaks, canoes, jet skis, river float tubes, and SUPs, snowmobiles, and snow tubes for the winter months, and a virtual reality arcade and arena for rainy day entertainment.

For loads more family fun (and fitness!) the Juniper Swim & Fitness Center offers walking trails, tennis courts, horseshoe pits, picnic facilities, a year-round Olympic pool, and fitness facilities. The seasonal outdoor activity pool is a huge draw for kids with a large water slide, interactive water features, and a splash pad for hours of water fun!


Four Season Activities & Adventures


Bend and Sunriver are both under a half-hour drive from Mt. Bachelor, Oregon’s premier ski resort with over 3,700 acres of lift accessible terrain, Nordic trails in the Deschutes National Forest, and endless off-the-slopes winter activities. Mt. Bachelor is super family-friendly with a Start Park for beginners, family adventure zones, and free lift tickets for kids under 5. Pack light and stop by 4 Seasons Recreational Outfitters for all your ski and snowboard rentals and gear.

The winter fun doesn’t end at Mt. Bachelor! The Wanoga Snow Play Area between Bend and Mt. Bachelor offers access to 180 miles of groomed dog-friendly trails (motorized and non-motorized), sledding, tubing, and outdoor winter activities. Sunriver Toyhouse Toys have a wide range of winter toys, snowmobiles, snow tubes, and trailers for a day of snow play in the Cascade mountains.

Art Gallery

Arts & Culture

Whether you stay in Bend or Sunriver you can expect a laid-back mountain village atmosphere with a thriving arts scene, eclectic galleries and gallery walks, outdoor concerts and theater, year-round events and festivals and the High Desert Museum, rated the #1 thing to do in Bend located midway between Bend and Sunriver.


Award-Winning Restaurants, Cafes & Breweries

Central Oregon is a top destination for foodies, craft beer lovers, and wine connoisseurs. In Sunriver, you’ll find a variety of eateries at The Village and Sunriver Resort ranging from casual cafes to lakeside dining with craft beer or cocktails in hand. Bend has a vibrant culinary scene with award-winning restaurants, riverfront dining, urban cool cafes, and world-class breweries, wineries, cideries, and distilleries. The Bend Ale Trail has grown to be the largest beer trail in the West with over two dozen stops along the way, download the app or book a tour for a day of cool, refreshing fun.


Where to Stay in Central Oregon

Xplorie partners iTrip Sunriver and iTrip Bend boast a premier selection of vacation rental homes, cabins, and condos with easy access to Central Oregon’s top attractions and a fun selection of complimentary activities for each day of your stay. Whether you stay in the heart of the action in downtown Bend, or a secluded mountain cabin nestled in the pines, the perfect combination of a welcoming home and fun, free Xplorie activities promises a Central Oregon vacation experience like no other!