Bend is a hidden gem of a small city and sits smack in the middle of Oregon.Bend literally has a slice of something for everyone. Ideal shopping in the refurbished ‘Old Mill’ area and the downtown hosts plenty of restaurants of both the family variety and the nightlife option. If you are in the mood for Pan Asian try out the fabulous Typhoon! Plus right across the street was a cute little ‘Bubble Tea’ shop, I made my kids taste one for the first time. And of course, Bend is a Mecca of outdoor activities, year-round.
Possibly one of the most beautiful resort and golf places I’ve ever stayed is just 10 miles south of Bend called Sunriver Resort. We stayed in one of the lodge-like Wildflower vacation duplexes. It was totally homey in a condo type of way. The kids especially loved the 3 levels of sleeping areas. Including a sweet daybed on a stair landing! We took a quick grocery trip for our breakfast items and stocked up for our 3 day stay. (Extra snacks of course.)
You can find deals on the price of rentals if you are willing to go in the less peak seasons. Think golfing in summer and skiing at the nearby Mr. Bachelor in winter as the highest price times. But there are so many other things to do than golf and ski! Water activities like canoeing and rafting and kayaking are popular in the summer. And I was impressed with all the kid-friendly activities. A nature center, an observatory and equestrian stables are all available to families with young and older children, plus a full arts and crafts children’s area. Biking is huge in Sunriver and rentals are available and I swear there are more trails than roads! The best secret is your room key will get you in to the local public pool. Might not sound all that luxurious, but I promise it’s a great treat when you have kids around, lots of grass for grown-ups to lounge on while the kids play.
In addition to nearby Bend dining; there are several restaurants in Sunriver as well. An unassuming pizza joint over at the Lake House at Caldera Springs won our family favorite five stars. The brick oven pizza of Zeppa Bistro was a hit with our whole family. And the outdoor deck dining directly on the river is gorgeous with a capital G. (Photo above and this bridge were taken at the Zeppa Bistro outdoor dining area.)
Other events not to miss in/near Bend in Winter:
- High Mountain Dessert Museum – Butterfly Exibit
- Wanderlust Tours – Moonlight Snowshoe Trips
- Mr. Bachelor – Snowblast Tubbing Park