I was born and raised in Bend, Oregon and over my many years living here, I’ve gotten to know some great places to visit during the summer. These are only a few of the amazing places and fun that Central Oregon has to offer:
Stay in an Airbnb in Sunriver or at Sunriver resort
Sunriver is a beautiful village-style town about 20 minutes outside of Bend, Oregon. Sunriver is a tourist year-round, and it’s not difficult to see why. With rivers, lakes, stables, a quaint shopping area called “The Village”, a main lodge, many water parks, and so many other recreation activities, Sunriver is an ideal getaway. I’ve rented a house here with my friends before and we had an amazing time. I’d recommend staying at least two nights so you can do a day in Sunriver and a day in Bend.
Camp at Elk Lake
Elk Lake has one of the larger lake resorts in Oregon. They have cabins that can be rented, and they also have tent spaces that can be reserved. Elk lake is a fairly large lake off of the Cascade Lakes Highway near Mt. Bachelor. It has a marina where you can rent mobile docks for the day, scenic cruises, and cabanas. You can spend all day by the lake, and visit other lakes off of the Cascade Lakes Highway as well. Bend is about 50 minutes from Elk Lake so a day can be spent there as well.
Get an Airbnb in Bend
Bend is on the list of best places to live in the United States every single year. It is beautiful, and there are so many things to do. The Old Mill and Downtown Bend can offer some unique retail therapy, while outdoor excursion options are quite literally endless. Locals often float the Deschutes River, which flows directly through the Old Mill, hike Smith Rock, visit lakes on the Cascade Lakes Highway, and enjoy all of the brew pubs and food trucks. Bend is an utterly gorgeous area and absolutely puts Eugene to shame. If you’re looking to get out and explore more of Oregon, Bend is a perfect place to start because it is an outlet for every kind of adventure.
Hike Broken Top or the South Sister
If you’re looking for a summer challenge that leads to great views, both of these mountains are fantastic options. Both are very popular mountain hikes here in Central Oregon and so they are pretty well traveled routes. If you do decide to hike, make sure to have a buddy or buddies. Read up on the things you need to bring, and then go!
Rent a houseboat on Lake Billy Chinook (The Cove Palisades)
If you get a group and everyone chips in for this excursion, it can be pretty affordable! Lake Billy Chinook is huge and so beautiful. It is a perfect place to have a fun time with your friends and also enjoy the heat and beauty of the lake. You can rent a houseboat directly through the Cove Palisades website. They also have other water activities that you can do. My family rents jet skis there each summer and we always have a blast!