Sunriver, Oregon – Winter Paradise and Snow Haven

Monday, November 16th, 2009

If you find yourself dreaming about snow and waiting for opening day at the mountain, then here’s a great place to check out.  Sunriver, Oregon is at the heart of Central Oregon’s resort community and nature’s playground can be yours.

Playing in the snow makes me happy, and if you like it just a little bit, then this may be the ideal place for your next winter vacation.  Yes, some people really do plan vacations to be where there is snow and sun at the same time.  Not only is Oregon beautiful country, but there you’ll find snowshoeing, snowmobiling, skiing and snowboarding including cross country trials and all the shopping, restaurants and activities to fill the time in between.

Just so happens that just a short drive from Sunriver is one of North America’s largest ski resorts.  Mt. Bachelor Resort is home to some 3700 acres of boarding and skiing fun.  For a reasonable value snow nuts will enjoy some varied terrain that is sure to please all levels of competence.  There are 71 groomed trails and 13 lift facilities with current plans to expand both lift operations and trails in the near future.  Fifteen percent of the terrain is graded as Novice, 25% Intermediate and the other 60% is Advanced or Expert terrain.  What a great place to bring the whole family for sun and ski!  And did I happen to mention that on average the snow base is some 150-200 inches and that there’s 3,365 feet of vertical drop?

Feel like a totally new experience?  How about a dog sled ride?  Just imagine, riding in an Iditarod Dog Sled taking in the breathtaking views of the local mountain scenery. You could even plan for an overnight expedition.  Sledding and snowtubing sound like fun too?  Take some slides down the 800 foot ride in the Snowblast Tubing Park on the Mountain.

After all the fun, there are plenty of options for shopping or just hanging out.  But dining in the area leaves nothing to be desired.  There are many restaurants to choose from and something to satisfy the most discerning of palates.  Or if you want to stay in the privacy of your vacation rental in Sunriver Oregon, you can find groceries and goodies in town.

Not only is the area good for winter fun, sounds like it may be just as amazing in the summer.  Everything from biking, canoeing, horseback riding, fishing, golfing and so much more in the high desert of Oregon.   Sounds like a great place for the next family vacation whether it’s summer or winter.

High Desert Museum-Bend Oregon

Friday, April 13th, 2007

The High Desert Museum, just outside of Bend Oregon, is one of those special places where the people who work there obviously love their jobs and children are their honored guests. Add wildlife, storytelling and living history to the mix and the outcome is magical.

High Desert Museum Bend Oregon

Speak to a stagecoach driver, watch river otters frolicking underwater, have lunch with a fox and take a wild cooking class. There are daily wildlife programs and special events at least once a month. If you’re ever traveling through Central Oregon with children, this is a don’t miss experience.

Bend Oregon Family Fun

Friday, April 13th, 2007

The land is the star attraction in Central Oregon and Bend is smack in the center of it all. Bend, Oregon sits in one of those improbable whorls on the earth where geographies collide. Here, mountains meet high desert. Rivers lace dry plains and lakes and lava lurk in the forests. About 2.5 million acres of Central Oregon is public land and includes the Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests and the Crooked River National Grassland.

Kids Skiing Mt Bachelor Bend Oregon

Here’s a short list of some of the unexpected things your family can enjoy in and around Bend:

Distinctive Bend Oregon Lodging
Seventh Mountain Resort is a true find for those who love to spend their time in the great outdoors, but aren’t interested in roughing it. Instead, at the end of the day, their guests luxuriate in heated pools and hot tubs, dine on mouthwatering regional cuisine at the restaurant, lounge on the deck and retire to luxury accommodations. As the closest lodging to Mt Bachelor, skiing is the favored sport in the winter. However, snowmobiling, ice skating, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing and snowtubing keep even the most high-energy children begging for a break. The rest of the year, you can thrill to whitewater rafting and mountain biking or take it easy with a peaceful day of fly-fishing or a family canoe float.

Pilot Butte State Park
Not many cities can boast a gigantic cinder cone within their city limits, but at the eastern edge of Bend, you can climb to the top of a perfectly symmetrical volcanic remnant to enjoy a panoramic vista of the desert and peaks. There’s no charge to enjoy this urban adventure. It’s a great after dinner jaunt to wear the kids out before bed and watch the pink glow of the sunset dancing among the Cascade Mountains.

Paulina Creek Falls Bend Oregon

Newberry National Volcanic Monument
This unexpected adventure is a huge caldera and, although the 500 square mile volcano that lies beneath this land hasn’t erupted in about 1300 years, it is still a seismically and geographically active area. You’ll find lakes, waterfalls, basalt flows, fissures, and many other weird and wild geological features, including more than 400 cinder cones. To children, this is the land of the dinosaurs and we all know how much they love those creatures.

Upper Deschutes River Rafting
For a sweet snack of whitewater rafting, try this scenic stretch of river just outside of Bend. It’ll give you the taste a whitewater without scaring the pants off you and it’s short enough that you won’t suffer much if you find out rafting is not for you. It’s a great adventure for the kids, who don’t need to do anything but hold on and screech with joy.

Otter Exhibit at High Desert Museum Bend Oregon

Rainy Day Fun
The High Desert Museum, just outside of Bend, is about a 10 minute drive down South Highway 97. Their daily wildlife programs are always a big hit with the kids and there’s enough interesting stuff to see and do to make those rainy day, “what are we going to do?” blues morph into fond memories.

Pole, Pedal and Paddle Bend Oregon

Thursday, April 12th, 2007

Bend Oregon’s Pole Pedal Paddle is a gnarly twist on the triathathon. This race is a six-legged relay requiring a different skill for each portion. Beginning on Mt Bachelor, the racers charge uphill in ski boots where they don skis and beeline to the bottom.

Then, they switch to cross country skis for 8 kilometers, speed downhill on two wheels for 32k into Bend and run a 10K. Just about anything that floats can be used for the upstream, downstream, upstream, downstream river leg, but canoes and kayaks are the vessels of choice. Then, there’s a .5k sprint to the finish.

While some individuals complete the entire race alone, many more tackle a leg or two or three as part of a team. The 9 cash prizes, totalling $3500, attract quite a crowd. Support crews and fans party all day at the riverfront amphitheater finishline.

2007’s event is on May 19. Register online by May 9th.

Oregon Coast Vacations

Wednesday, February 28th, 2007

Lincoln City

I was born on the Oregon Coast, and as a family we try to visit at least every two years. I don’t have any family left there, but I still get a thrill when we drive the last few miles into Lincoln City and catch our first glimpse of the Pacific Ocean. Although my family moved away when I was just 6 months old, every return feels like a homecoming of sorts. Of course, there are a few things we must do every visit – I would be heartbroken if we skipped them, and oh yeah, the kids would too!

Oregon Coast Vacation

Mo’s Restaurant is a MUST. I hate fish, never have liked it – but when we’re on vacation in Oregon, I eat it like crazy. Mo’s has the BEST clam chowder – and I don’t like clam chowder – at all! Yes there are a lot of tourists, and you usually have to wait in line, but I’ve never said “Ugh, I’m sick of this” and we eat there almost daily the 2 weeks we’re on the coast. Mo’s has locations in Florence, Otter Rock, Newport (2 locations), Lincoln City and Cannon Beach. You can also order their chowder base online, which we do every New Years. They ship it in dry ice via FedEx Overnight and it’s TOTALLY worth it!