It’s hard not to love Sunriver in autumn. You have a chance to enjoy its picturesque nature and fun-filled activities with cooler temperatures and fewer crowds. You also get to watch the leaves change color and indulge in special events that only occur at this time of year.
This article lays out the top activities during fall that make this city a destination to consider.
Catch the Fall Foliage
Sunriver’s climate is typically too dry for massive color changes, but there are still places to spot them. There are glimpses among the area’s quaking aspen and western larch trees, but for the biggest shows, you’ll need to take a drive. Make the most of it with a fun picnic when you arrive!
Shevlin Park is one area known for its leaf changes, which is why the park is a popular spot for weddings during fall. You can also spot color changes at Whychus Canyon Preserve, 40 miles outside Sunriver, and Benham Falls, just 6 miles from The Village. Benham Falls is an excellent option for people who don’t want to do any hiking. You can casually stroll around, even with a newborn in a stroller.
Got to Smith Rock Ranch
True to its name, Smith Rock is a ranch and farm, but it also has special fun-filled activities that the whole family will love. The farm sits 60 minutes from Sunriver in Terrebonne and opens on October 1. Remember that the weather can dictate what you see, so be sure to follow the ranch’s Facebook page.
Here’s a look at a few of the fun-filled activities!
That’s right, not a maze — a maize. Actually, it’s both in one! Pathways were cut into the cornfield to create an entertaining labyrinth for adventurers of any age. Children 5 years and younger are free, while people 6 years and older are $10. Children should be supervised.
The kids can scour for pumpkins to their hearts’ content, while you take in the view of Smith Rocks and the Cascades. Once everyone has found their favorite pumpkin, they can carve them on site for 40 cents per lb., or you can select a pre-carved pumpkin for a fee.
The patch is open Tuesday through Friday, 12 p.m. to 6 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.
You can indulge in one of Halloween’s most popular activities without creating a mess on your or your neighbor’s lawn. Use the impressive cannon to shoot at designated targets, or just let it rip to see how far your pumpkin can go.
This is the season for autumn vegetables and other tasty treats and decorations. Get your favorite winter squash, pumpkins, gourds, honey, and jams, and pick up unique treasures to display at home.
Other Popular Ranch Activities
You can enjoy special treats like the western-themed Skull Hollow Shooting Gallery, the farm’s petting zoo with a train, face painting, an old-timey photo session, and your choice of pony rides or adult horse rides. If horse riding isn’t your thing, you can also sit back and relax with a hay ride on weekends.
The farm also has its own golf putting course, and if you love live music, you can watch weekend shows when the weather is good.
Go to DD Ranch
If you are looking for another spot in Terrebonne to indulge in fall festivities, stop by DD Ranch. The location offers similar activities, like a hay maze, pumpkin patch, hayride, petting zoo, and play area.
The ranch charges $13 for children 2years and up, but younger children are free. Parents are also free! Hayrides cost $6.00 each.
Attend Beer and Beer Festivals During Autumn
Autumn is hop harvesting season, making fall a great time to try the latest beers. The Pacific Northwest loves craft brew and Sunriver is no exception. The area has multiple breweries, all of which offer several seasonal brews (e.g., pumpkin beer) that help you drink in this special time of year. Just like wineries, these breweries offer tours of their facilities.
Sunriver also has a fall festival built around beer, cider, and whiskey. The Little Woody Barrel-Aged Beer, Cider & Whiskey Festival in downtown Bend is worth the 20-minute drive from Sunriver. It is one of the best craft beer festivals in Oregon.
You can go even further by doing the Bend Oregon Beer Trail in November. To learn more, click here.
Enjoy a Great Hall Thanksgiving Dinner
Be sure to make reservations for this special event that has become an annual tradition. This elegant dinner is popular with locals and visitors alike. It is home to an extensive buffet with all the traditional fixings that you like — plus a few Northwest-focused items!
Attend the Fall Festival in Bend
This is one of Bend’s top annual events, and it is extra special in 2022 because it coincides with Oktoberfest. In addition to food and drinks, you can listen to great live music and enjoy a harvest market, family play zone, arts and crafts, a Kids Harvest Run, and even a scavenger hunt downtown. Be sure to be there on October 1 to get the Oktoberfest experience.
For more information, click here.
Take a Peek at the Autumn Constellations
Sunriver is known for its clear skies and stargazing. You can indulge in views of the season’s constellations, including Andromeda, Aries, Cassiopeia, and Taurus, just to name a few. The best place to watch them is the Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory.
Enjoy Many Other Activities in Sunriver
Sunriver has a long list of activities during summer, but you can also enjoy them at other times of the year. This includes hiking, kayaking, attending the SHARC Water Park, and visiting the High Desert Museum. When the snow begins to fall, you can head to nearby Mt. Bachelor to ski, snowboard, snowmobile, cross-country ski, and even dog sled.
Sunriver is also renowned for having some of the best golf courses in the country. You will enjoy breathtaking views and challenges for all levels of players. To learn more about the area’s unique golf courses, click here.
A Warm and Comfortable Place to Stay
With all the season’s festivals, foods, drinks, and outdoor attractions in Sunriver, having a comfortable place to stay is the perfect way to bookend your vacation. Cascara Vacation Rentals offers vacation homes and condominiums to suit any size grouping to help you feel right at home in Sunriver.