Julie Travels: Sunriver, Oregon

Today is a departure from my normal party/crafting posts to share my second #julietravels post! Check out my first series, all about New York, here. I thought it’d be fun to include these posts on my blog, because planning travel is a lot like planning a party, and I love it, obviously. 😉 Plus, I always enjoy reading other blogs about  travel to get ideas for my own adventures, so I figured I might do the same. So, let’s get to it!  

If you follow me on Instagram, you may have seen that I spent last week in Sunriver, Oregon with Chelsea’s family. Her family has been going to Sunriver for years, and I’ve had the good fortune to go the last four summers. I can definitely understand why it’s a place they’ve chosen to return to year after year.

Sunriver is situated at the base of the Cascade Mountain Range in central Oregon, 15 miles south of Bend. With its high elevation comes cool mornings, warm afternoons, and tons of sunshine making it the perfect summer getaway! (I’ve never been in the winter, but I hear it’s pretty great then, too.)

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Each summer, the Ray family rents three houses for everyone to stay in for the week, giving us the flexibility to enjoy meals at home plus many of the luxuries of home you don’t have in a hotel room (like a hot tub at each house. Yes, please!)

But, if we were looking for the ease that comes with a hotel room and didn’t plan to cook meals ourselves, the Sunriver Lodge is a gorgeous option!

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My favorite thing about vacationing in Sunriver is that it’s totally customizable to whatever experience you want. White water rafting? Check. Horseback riding? Check? Shopping? Check. Laying by the pool? Check check. Love that!

Here are my favorite things to do in Sunriver…

Shopping in Bend: this is a favorite because there are so many cute, quaint shops in downtown Bend! I love pairing a trip to shop with lunch out at one of the great restaurants there. My new favorite restaurant is called The Drake. YUM! 

If outlet shopping is more your thing, there’s a great outlet mall featuring Columbia, Eddie Bauer, Nike, and more. And, I also love the Mill District – it’s a great outdoor mall that has mostly chain stores, but everything is tax free, so, bonus! 

Get a listing of all the great shops in downtown Bend here.

Cider/beer/wine/distilery tasting: So I just learned that Bend has more breweries per capita than any other city in Oregon, and it’s been dubbed “Beer City USA.” If you’re like me, and you think beer is gross (ha!), never fear – there are some great cideries, wineries, and distilleries in Bend.

My favorite way to explore many of these spots was something we did this year for the first time: The Cycle Pub! It was a blast!! The way it works, at least in Bend, is you’re paying a fee for the cycle itself. Our cycle had 14 seats, and our driver (who was just steering us… we were legit providing the horsepower with our pedaling!) steered us through the streets of Bend. At various stopping points, we could hop off and get a growler fill, do a tasting, or we could just hang out on the cycle and drink what we brought with us (you’re allowed a certain number of bottles/growlers per group, depending on size). We did a two hour tour, and it was the perfect amount of time to hit up several spots and not get too tired from pedaling. So. Much.Fun! Get all the details on the Cycle Pub here, and details on all the breweries in Bend here.

Spending time at the pool: This is definitely one of my top ten favorite ways to spend any day. I love lounging by the pool, getting in the pool when I want, reading when I want, napping on and off, sipping cocktails….Ahhh. Sound dreamy, right? The Cove is the name of one of the pools in Sunriver, and it’s perfect. There’s a really fun slide, an amazing hot tub, and of course the pool itself, so it’s great for the whole family. My preference is to get there early to get a good chair in the shade, and then plant myself there all day long. There’s a great little restaurant at the pool that serves yummy cocktails and also has delicious snack and lunch options, so really there is no reason to leave. Learn more about The Cove here.

Going hiking: As you’d expect, being at the base of the Cascades means there are tons of hiking options. And, no mater what difficulty level you’re looking for, you can find it easily! I also love just walking on the paved paths within the resort, of which there are over 40 miles worth, so there’s plenty to explore! Here’s a link to find out more about the great hiking trails in and around central Oregon.

Kayaking on the Deschutes River: I absolutely love kayaking on the Deschutes! And, major bonus, the houses we rent are right on the river, so we usually put in at the boat launch in the morning, then kayak to our houses and finish just in time for lunch. The river has a steady current, but not too fast, so it’s relaxing and the perfect way to spend a few hours. We bring our own boats each year, but you can rent them right at the resort for a fairly reasonable price, so I consider it a must do.

My list of favorites doesn’t even scratch the surface of all there is to do in Sunriver, and I’m sure that every year I go, I’ll continue to add to my list. Have you been? If so, what are your favorites?? If you haven’t, and you’re looking for a fun, family-friendly getaway, I can’t recommend it enough!

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Happy travels and party on!
JW

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