When you think about where you may want to spend your winter months, central Oregon is probably not the first place that pops into your head. Even if you are the type of person who would rather be in a colder place than a warmer one in winter, when you are brainstorming snowy getaway spots, odds are pretty good that central Oregon might not even make your list. But here is the thing: Central Oregon is probably one of the most underrated winter vacation destinations in the United States. Read on to learn about everything that central Oregon has to offer during the winter months.
The Western United States has some pretty epic ski areas. Nevada boasts Lake Tahoe, Utah has the Wasatch Mountains, and Colorado has the Rockies. But did you know that there is a fantastic ski area just a little bit farther north? Best of all, this hidden gem in central Oregon is significantly less crowded than any of the other, more famous ski destinations. So, we are willing to bet that you will want to check out Mt. Bachelor.
Mt. Bachelor is a resort in central Oregon, a mere 30-minute drive away from Bend. And this is no ordinary half-hour trip: The path from Bend to Mt. Bachelor is along Oregon’s Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway, one of the most beautiful routes in the world. And Mt. Bachelor is absolutely gorgeous as well — a mountain that used to be a volcano, with stunning views of the nearby Little Lava Lake (don’t worry, the volcano has been inactive for years, with some scientists projecting it to be entirely extinct).
The ski resort on top boasts almost 4,000 acres, with 10 different operating ski lifts, and is open to both skiers and snowboarders. It is also remarkably cheap to ride at Mt. Bachelor, considering how beautiful the resort is. Adults can ski or snowboard at Mt. Bachelor for under $100 a day, which is almost unheard of when compared to some of the more well-known ski resorts. But you are missing out on nothing when you ski or board at Mt. Bachelor — you will get awesome terrain and great views for a steal of a price!
OnPoint Community Credit Union Oregon WinterFest
It is hardly winter without awesome winter festivals, right? Central Oregon will certainly not disappoint: You simply must check out the OnPoint Community Credit Union Oregon WinterFest! This upcoming year, it will run from February 15-17, a.k.a. President’s Day weekend 2019, in Bend, Oregon. The festival this year will feature two full days of live music. The festival organizers have not released the lineup for this year yet, but last year, the Oregon WinterFest featured such awesome artists as the Cherry Poppin’ Daddies, Metal Mulisha, and Matisyahu, so this year, the music is sure to continue to impress.
If live music isn’t quite your cup of tea, there will also be tons of other options when it comes to live entertainment: This year’s WinterFest will feature a Pray for Snow Rail Jam, where the region’s top boarders will compete on a pop-up rail jam truck for a grand prize. The K-9 Kings will also be back this year by popular demand. In case you are unfamiliar with the Kings, this is a group of extremely talented dogs that perform incredible acrobatic trick routines and are available afterward for a meet and greet (with snuggles!).
Another aspect of the OnPoint Community Credit Union Oregon WinterFest that you will not want to miss out on is the incredible food and drink. This year, the Pray for Snow Rail Jam will be hosted by 10 Barrel Brewing, a local brewery native to Bend, Oregon, that has become so successful, it has branched out to host additional locations in both Boise and Denver. Also, on the first day of the WinterFest, you will definitely want to get in on the WinterFest Wine Walk. This event is an integral part of WinterFest that involves a leisurely stroll through central Oregon’s historic Old Mill District, while sampling a variety of wines from around the world. The WinterFest Wine Walk is a great opportunity to explore everything that the Old Mill District has to offer in terms of amazing local businesses, with everything from specialty spice stores to fine jewelry and more (and many stores will be offering snacks as well!). Participation in the WinterFest Wine Walk will also get you a signature Oregon WinterFest 2019 wine glass as a memento. We guarantee this is one event you will want to remember forever.
Oregon Trail of Dreams
The last unique aspect of winter in central Oregon we will be touching on is an experience you can’t quite replicate anywhere else. The Oregon Trail of Dreams is an amazing opportunity to ride with a team of real sled dogs! Owned and operated by the same family for almost 40 years, the Oregon Trail of Dreams dogs are a breathtaking team of beautiful, highly trained animals that will give you the ride of your life. The dogs will pull you through the stunning landscapes of Mt. Bachelor for up to a half day, and the amazing Oregon Trail of Dreams staff will finish off your experience with a delicious catered lunch. We can’t really hype this one up enough — if you have always fantasized about a glorious cruise through a winter wonderland, the Oregon Trail of Dreams will surely not disappoint.
At this point, you have probably realized that central Oregon is the winter paradise of your dreams. In order to fully enjoy everything that central Oregon has to offer in the winter, from skiing to festivals to once-in-a-lifetime opportunities, Cascara Vacation Rentals is committed to helping you find the ideal vacation home to complement your central Oregon experience. Reach out to a Cascara team member today, and start planning your perfect winter getaway!