So, you’ve decided to vacation in central Oregon during fall time. When you think of beautiful red, yellow, and orange leaves, crisp air, and seasonal drinks, you may think more east coast than west. However, autumn is a highlight in central Oregon that boasts a beautiful season with plenty to do. To help plan your vacation this fall, here are 10 activities, sights, and perks that you can enjoy whether you’re on a romantic getaway or a big family reunion.
1. Bend Fall Festival
October 5-7. Bend’s Fall Festival is the first weekend in October and boasts more than 20 food and drink vendors. A celebration of a new season and Bend’s local restaurants, businesses, and artists, it’s a three-day affair with lots to do, see, eat, and drink. Deschutes Brewery is one of Bend’s most famous breweries and offers a selection of its loved brews. If beer isn’t your style, there’s also a wine and cocktail selection. If you’re a baker, sign up for the pie baking contest. And if you prefer your pumpkins carved over baked, then join the pumpkin carving contest and put your art skills to the test. For more information, visit their site.
2. Oregon Observatory at Sunriver
If you are visiting central Oregon in September or October, then the Sunriver Observatory is a must-see. Open Wednesday and Saturday nights, guests will enjoy an introduction to astronomy and will be guided through a telescope viewing. When the skies are clear, you’ll be able to see nebulae and galaxies light years away. Depending on the day, you may be able to see the International Space Station pass by! You’ll walk away from the Observatory in awe of Oregon’s night sky and a better understanding of the the universe. Click here for more information.
3. Bend’s Film Festival.
October 11-14. This October is the 15th Annual Bend Film Festival that brings independent films to Bend. Bend’s downtown theaters, music rooms, party venues, and more show indie movies throughout the weekend. The film schedule is jam-packed, and movies are shown nonstop during the three-day festival. Downtown bars and restaurants will be filled with festival-goers who want to discuss the movie they just saw.
If you’ve brought your children with you on vacation but don’t think they’d enjoy a movie you want to buy tickets to, the festival also offers childcare offered by Bend Montessori. For more information, visit their website here.
4. Oregon High Desert Museum
Regardless of if you’re bringing kids on your vacation or it’s adults-only, the Oregon High Desert Museum is something you’ll want to see. Located just 10 minutes north of Sunriver on Highway 97, guests will get close-up views of native wildlife and plantlife in Oregon’s high desert. There is original Native American art and clothing on display, and you can visit an authentic homestead and sawmill from 1904. There are different programs throughout the day, featuring otters, birds of prey, and other native wildlife. Count on spending between two to three hours here, and bring a sweater if you’re coming during the fall — there’s lots to do outside. Click here for more info about class schedules and featured galleries.
September 21 & 22. Oktoberfest in Bend is one of the most anticipated events of the year! Better yet, it’s free and open to all ages. You’ll experience the traditional weiner dog races, brews, and brats and even some not-so-traditional experiences like tricycle races, yodeling contests, and belly dancing. This event is put on by the Bend Downtown Business Association, and it’s their biggest fundraising event of the year. The BDBA is a non-profit that serves over 300 businesses in downtown Bend, so while you’re having fun, your money is also going to a great cause! For more information, visit Bend Oktoberfest.
6. The Village at Sunriver
The Village at Sunriver offers a little something for everyone. It’s a great place to bring your kids to burn off some energy with many opportunities for fun: bounce houses, bumper cars, mini-golf, and a rock climbing wall. Not only are there fun activities for your kids, but there’s dining, shopping, art, and music for the adults. Click here to plan your trip.
October 28 & 29. What is cyclocross? It’s a specific type of bike racing that is mainly off-road. If you happen to be in town close to Halloween and want to skip the trick-or-treating, then think about heading to Deschutes Brewery to watch the legendary Halloween Cyclocross Crusade. You’ll be able to watch over 1,000 cyclocross racers in costumes while also enjoying the beer garden, food, and live music. For more info, visit Cross Crusade to see what it’s all about.
8. Discounted golf
Once golf season starts winding down, many of central Oregon’s golf courses will majorly reduce their prices to hit the greens. From Sunriver to Bend to Redmond, there are plenty of golf courses who are willing to cut their prices to bring you out during the off-season.
9. Less crowded trails
Another perk of visiting central Oregon in the fall is that many of the summer tourists have packed up and gone back home. What you’re left with is cooler weather and less-crowded trails to hike. If you come in early fall, you’ll still be able to travel through the Deschutes National Forest without worrying about snow. Take in the awe-inspiring sights that central Oregon has to offer. Make sure you bring a hat and sunscreen, though! The weather is cooler, but the higher altitudes and sunny days will still burn if you don’t protect your skin.
10. Cooler nights
Cooler nights during fall in central Oregon make for cozy evenings at your rental. Many of our rentals offer hot tubs and once the summer temps have cooled down, relaxing in the warm water and taking in the views will help you wind down from your activity-filled day. Cool, autumn nights are also the ideal time to go stargazing. If you’re skipping the observatory, then throw on your jacket, grab some blankets, and find a perfect stargazing spot where you can see Oregon’s sky and sip some local brews to keep the chill away.
BONUS! Cascara Fall Pricing Begins October 1!
Our discounted fall pricing begins on October 1, 2018. Make your reservation TODAY for a fall getaway!