ArtsAutosBooksBusinessEducationEntertainmentFamilyFashionFoodGamesGenderHealthHolidaysHomeHubPagesPersonal FinancePetsPoliticsReligionSportsTechnologyTravel
  • »
  • Travel and Places»
  • Travel Activities & Ideas

Fun Things to Do During a Sunriver Vacation in Central Oregon

Updated on August 3, 2012
Picture of Mt. Bachelor, near Sunriver.
Picture of Mt. Bachelor, near Sunriver. | Source

The Breakdown

A concise list of the Sunriver activities shared in this article:

  • Visiting the Great Hall
  • Bike riding on and off trails
  • Swimming
  • Canoeing/kayaking down a river
  • White-water rafting.
  • Mountain hiking
  • Rock climbing
  • Golf and miniature golf.
  • Horseback riding
  • Four wheeling
  • Riding jet skis
  • Hot air ballooning
  • Glider gliding
  • Paragliding

Fun in the Sun

Anyone who has been to Central Oregon will tell you about the rugged beauty and countless activities that can be enjoyed in this exciting local. One of the most well known locations in Central Oregon for tourists is Sunriver - a resort located 15 miles south of Bend.

From corporate retreats to family vacations, this resort provides everything one might need for year-long fun. While many people rent cabins and houses during the winter season to ski Mt. Bachelor, because I have only enjoyed this location during the summer time, I will share some of the thrilling adventures that can be enjoyed during a week stay at this beautiful destination.

Sunriver is a prime vacation spot for active adventurers who desire to have fun while seeing the world and staying in shape. From horseback riding to mountain climbing, from four wheeling to jet skiing, Sunriver can keep you busy for years.

Twenty Summers in Sunriver

Just recently my family experienced our 20th summer visiting Sunriver. From the age I was four until now I have enjoyed spending a week every year in Central Oregon. This has been a place where I have spent time with family, friends, and strangers. At Sunriver I learned how to ride a bike and a horse, observed deer and chipmunks, attempted to play golf and canoed down rivers.

Sunriver has been a place where my family has been able to grow closer to each other and closer to nature. I would recommend a vacation to Sunriver for anybody and everybody interested in the outdoors, creating great family memories, and having an adventure.

Every activity that I will mention in the following article I have either participated in or an immediate family member has been involved with. As mentioned, I have spent one week each summer for 20 years in Sunriver, and still have yet to experience everything (and trust me, we try).

Source

The Sunriver Bike Trails and Benham Falls

The most simple and yet most epic part of my experience in Sunriver has been the bike trails. With 35+ miles of paved trails and even more unpaved, a visitor can access any part of Sunriver via bike.

As a boy I had countless bruises and scrapes learning to ride a bicycle through Sunriver. My brother and I would eagerly beg for one final bike ride before leaving - our helmets on and knees cut up.

As we got older the trips got more exciting! The dirt trail out to Benham Falls (and all the way into Bend) is narrow, weaving through the forest and over rocks, along the edge of cliffs and across bridges. It's a great place to take a short hour ride or a full day trip. The refreshing river will quickly cool off anyone getting too hot from the ride.

The amazing Great Hall.
The amazing Great Hall. | Source
Donuts from Hot Lava Bakery.
Donuts from Hot Lava Bakery. | Source

The Great Hall and Village

The Great Hall is an amazing room made entirely out of wood. With huge beams crossing overhead and a circular staircase wrapping around a giant log, this room is breathtaking.

The Great Hall can be seen in several older western movies and is a must see for anyone visiting Sunriver.

For those interested in shops and eating (who isn't), the Village at Sunriver is a great little place to walk around and enjoy small shops and good food. With a mini-golf course and several of my favorite places to eat, the Village is an important place to stop by.

When visiting Sunriver, there are two places it is absolutely necessary to eat at:

  1. Hot Lava Bakery: An amazing little bakery that sells donuts, cinnamon rolls, breads, and pastries. At least one breakfast must be eaten at this incredible location.
  2. Goody's: An ice cream and candy store, no visit to Sunriver is complete without a stop at this classic sweets shop. The appearance makes customers feel as if they are in a classic ice cream or candy shop from 70 years ago and the crowd makes it a fun and energetic venue.

White-water rafting the Maupin River.
White-water rafting the Maupin River. | Source

Water Activities: The Pool, River, and White Water

With the recent addition of Sharc, Sunriver now has a "water park". Though it consists of two or three very mild slides, and is incredibly crowded, the pool is a great place for anyone to relax, read a book, and enjoy some fun in the water. This is a great place to bring the kids and sit back and relax.

For those wanting a bit more scenery and less of a crowd when spending time in the water, The Marina provides a beautiful 2 hour canoe or kayak float down the river. All you have to do is get in the boat and enjoy the ride - the Sunriver staff will haul you and the boats back to the starting location at the end of the trip. This is a great ride with a rope swing along the way, the opportunity to see deer, ducks, otters, and birds, and beautiful scenery. Definitely worth checking out.

Finally, for the wild at heart, there is white water rafting. A several hour drive from Sunriver will end you up at Maupin, Oregon. A tiny town along the Deschutes River, Maupin is the perfect place to grab a raft for a several hour white water rafting trip. With two class fours and multiple class threes, this ride is a lot of fun. If you don't mind getting a little wet and maybe wetting your pants, this is a great ride! There is even an opportunity to body surf through several rapids. For a closer ride which is not quite as intense, but still a load of fun, take a ride down the Little Eddie - which includes some great rapids.

Playing Golf and Mini-Golf

With two great courses, Sunriver is a prime location for the avid golfer (especially if the rest of the family has no interest in golf - because they can go off and do something else).

Both courses provide great holes and beautiful views. The North Course has a lot of water - making it an exciting place to play (I have had more than my fair share of balls end up in the lake).

One time I even saw Tiger Woods' caddie at the driving range - which really does not mean much. In fact, that is similar to saying that I own a painting created by someone who works at the Louvre. In other words, in means nothing. Either way, it was pretty cool.

For those who prefer a smaller round of golf, there are two mini-golf courses in Sunriver. One course is in the village with a variety of buildings and towers to play through, and another one at the Lodge that is set up to look like a real golf course - only miniature. Personally I am a big fan of the course at the Lodge. It is a lot of fun playing mini-golf right next to the real course.

In Sunriver: The Stables, Airport, Observatory, and Nature Center

For those who would like to peacefully enjoy the immediate location of Sunriver, there are a variety of fun activities.

Though unable to gallop freely across the prairie, the stables and Sunriver provide trail rides that can fulfill a little girls dream of gracefully riding around on a pony or the 6 year old cowboys fantasy to hunt down the bad guys in the wild west. The stable is a fun place for kids - and maybe some adults.

Additionally, the nature center and observatory (only minutes from the stable) provide educational opportunities about the beauty on this planet and the beauty miles away from this planet. These are two other great places for a family to stop by.

The airport at Sunriver provides those with private planes to fly themselves directly to the resort. Meanwhile, those of us not fortunate enough to have our own airplanes can have fun watching planes land and take off. Stopping your bicycle on the trail right at the end of the runway to watch a jet fly overhead is fun for the young and old alike.

Middle Sister Mountain in Central Oregon.
Middle Sister Mountain in Central Oregon. | Source

Mountain Hiking and Rock Climbing

Covered in mountains, Central Oregon is the perfect place for anyone who enjoys seeing the world from 10,000+ feet that they have hiked themselves. Immediately around Sunriver is Mt. Bachelor and the Three Sisters. Mountains for everyone from the beginner to the advanced.

However, before climbing a mountain, make sure that you are prepared. I have accidentally spent a night on top of the South Sister because I was not prepared for the climb. All though a fun and story-making experience, it is much better to be prepared and not end up surprising yourself too much.

Only a short drive away, Smith Rock is a rock climbers dream. This beautiful area has many climbs for the beginner to the advanced climber. If you want to harness up and start scaling mountains, this is the place to do it. Smith Rock is a world famous climbing location and many people head to Central Oregon solely to climb this rock.

Cruising in a hot air balloon is unlike any other experience.
Cruising in a hot air balloon is unlike any other experience. | Source

Cruising Around: Riding Four Wheelers, Jet Skis, and Scooters.

Sunriver is surrounded by amazing trails that disappear into the forests, climb to the top of mountains, and shoot off through the valleys. Anyone interested in seeing nature with an engine underneath them will certainly enjoy all of the opportunities to four wheel around Central Oregon. Whether you want to follow a guide on a trail, or just take the four wheelers out on your own, there a plenty of rental locations to enjoy these great machines.

With several lakes around, it is also possible to rent boats and jet skis. On a hot day there are few things more enjoyable than cruising around on a jet ski and throwing the people riding on the back into the lake.

Although I have not seen them recently, for a long time it was possible to rent scooters right in the Sunriver Village. Hopefully these show up again. After spending several days biking all around, it is fun to buzz around much faster by using a gas powered moped as opposed to your leg powered bicycle. Certainly an entertaining way to get a layout of Sunriver and the surrounding areas.

Sky High Fun: Gliders, Hot Air Balloons, and Paragliding

As mentioned earlier, Sunriver has an airport. Not only do planes leave this airport, but gliders can get carried up by planes and let loose. For those interested in flying without the sound of an engine, hearing nothing but the sound of the wind as you coast through the wind currents, gliding is an incredible experience. At Sunriver a pilot will take up one or two people at a time for a short ride in the sky.

Just outside of Sunriver it is also possible to ride along in a hot air balloon. Although it is a bit intimidating being lifted into the air by a giant balloon, trapped in a tiny basket, the views, sounds, and meditations experienced from an early morning ballooning excursion are certainly worth the fright.

A third activity for those who love flight is paragliding. With the hills around Sunriver, there are several groups that will take out visitors for tandem paragliding excursions. From floating around to doing loops and 360's, paragliding can be fun and peaceful. A great way to have some fun while not harming the environment.

Sunriver, Oregon

Experience Sunriver for Yourself

The list of activities goes on and on. For those who would like to drive into Bend, there is shopping, theaters, bowling, and paintball. Throughout all of Oregon are great experiences for the active tourist.

Whether considering a location for meetings, a family gathering, or a place to stop by while roadtripping around the country - Sunriver is a location you must add to your agenda.

I look forward to hearing about you experiences in the comments below.

Sunriver Resort

Comments

    0 of 8192 characters used
    Post Comment

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      I certainly hope that you end up with an opportunity to visit. It is a great part of the country and a lot of fun! Thanks for sharing.

    • CassyLu1981 profile image

      CassyLu1981 5 years ago from Spring Lake, NC

      One of the few states I have not been to. Now that I have seen the beauty and know some awesome things to do, it is on the to do list :) Thanks for the ideas!!! Great hub! Voted up and shared!

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      By all means Spartacus, you are welcome to join on the next one!

    • spartucusjones profile image

      CJ Baker 5 years ago from Parts Unknown

      You definitely make Sunriver sound exciting! I really want to visit Hot Lava Bakery, those donuts look delicious! It was almost like I went on your family vacation with you, thanks for sharing.

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      Thank you both! I appreciate you stopping by to comment.

    • Om Paramapoonya profile image

      Om Paramapoonya 5 years ago

      What a great travel guide! All these activities sound like fun, perfect for those who enjoy outdoorsy stuff.

    • krsharp05 profile image

      Kristi Sharp 5 years ago from Born in Missouri. Raised in Minnesota.

      Robert, this is an incredible view of your summer trip and your family! It sounds magical and wonderful. I love the idea of being so close to the water and kayaking, eating doughnuts and the nature center. Paragliding sounds totally cool too. You've put together a really well though-out hub. It's full of ideas! Love it. -K

    • Robert Erich profile image
      Author

      Robert Erich 5 years ago from California

      It is an amazing place! I certainly hope you are able to visit sometime for sure. It is a worthwhile place to explore.

    • leahlefler profile image

      Leah Lefler 5 years ago from Western New York

      Oregon is such a pretty state! I hope we get to travel there one day - it looks like an amazing place to vacation and live. The mountains are just spectacular!

    working

    This website uses cookies

    As a user in the EEA, your approval is needed on a few things. To provide a better website experience, hubpages.com uses cookies (and other similar technologies) and may collect, process, and share personal data. Please choose which areas of our service you consent to our doing so.

    For more information on managing or withdrawing consents and how we handle data, visit our Privacy Policy at: "https://hubpages.com/privacy-policy#gdpr"

    Show Details
    Necessary
    HubPages Device IDThis is used to identify particular browsers or devices when the access the service, and is used for security reasons.
    LoginThis is necessary to sign in to the HubPages Service.
    Google RecaptchaThis is used to prevent bots and spam. (Privacy Policy)
    AkismetThis is used to detect comment spam. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide data on traffic to our website, all personally identifyable data is anonymized. (Privacy Policy)
    HubPages Traffic PixelThis is used to collect data on traffic to articles and other pages on our site. Unless you are signed in to a HubPages account, all personally identifiable information is anonymized.
    Amazon Web ServicesThis is a cloud services platform that we used to host our service. (Privacy Policy)
    CloudflareThis is a cloud CDN service that we use to efficiently deliver files required for our service to operate such as javascript, cascading style sheets, images, and videos. (Privacy Policy)
    Google Hosted LibrariesJavascript software libraries such as jQuery are loaded at endpoints on the googleapis.com or gstatic.com domains, for performance and efficiency reasons. (Privacy Policy)
    Features
    Google Custom SearchThis is feature allows you to search the site. (Privacy Policy)
    Google MapsSome articles have Google Maps embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    Google ChartsThis is used to display charts and graphs on articles and the author center. (Privacy Policy)
    Google AdSense Host APIThis service allows you to sign up for or associate a Google AdSense account with HubPages, so that you can earn money from ads on your articles. No data is shared unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Google YouTubeSome articles have YouTube videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    VimeoSome articles have Vimeo videos embedded in them. (Privacy Policy)
    PaypalThis is used for a registered author who enrolls in the HubPages Earnings program and requests to be paid via PayPal. No data is shared with Paypal unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook LoginYou can use this to streamline signing up for, or signing in to your Hubpages account. No data is shared with Facebook unless you engage with this feature. (Privacy Policy)
    MavenThis supports the Maven widget and search functionality. (Privacy Policy)
    Marketing
    Google AdSenseThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Google DoubleClickGoogle provides ad serving technology and runs an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Index ExchangeThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    SovrnThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Facebook AdsThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Unified Ad MarketplaceThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    AppNexusThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    OpenxThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Rubicon ProjectThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    TripleLiftThis is an ad network. (Privacy Policy)
    Say MediaWe partner with Say Media to deliver ad campaigns on our sites. (Privacy Policy)
    Remarketing PixelsWe may use remarketing pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to advertise the HubPages Service to people that have visited our sites.
    Conversion Tracking PixelsWe may use conversion tracking pixels from advertising networks such as Google AdWords, Bing Ads, and Facebook in order to identify when an advertisement has successfully resulted in the desired action, such as signing up for the HubPages Service or publishing an article on the HubPages Service.
    Statistics
    Author Google AnalyticsThis is used to provide traffic data and reports to the authors of articles on the HubPages Service. (Privacy Policy)
    ComscoreComScore is a media measurement and analytics company providing marketing data and analytics to enterprises, media and advertising agencies, and publishers. Non-consent will result in ComScore only processing obfuscated personal data. (Privacy Policy)
    Amazon Tracking PixelSome articles display amazon products as part of the Amazon Affiliate program, this pixel provides traffic statistics for those products (Privacy Policy)