The Vacation of Their Dreams

My adorable and energetic 5 year old nephew visited Bend with his family earlier this week. It was 4 days of pure magic and I'm pretty sure he's going to be talking about this trip for a long time. As he explored all new territory and learned tons of new facts, his face lit up with excitement. For people planning their trips to Bend this summer, I'll give you (what I think was) his top 10 list.

Deschutes River

1. Pretend fishing on the Deschutes River. We fashioned fishing line to a stick and didn't even have a hook at the end, but he loved every second of "fishing." 

2. The Observatory at Sunriver Part 1. Have you ever been to an observatory during the day? The stars aren't out but we learned so much about the sun! It was also a lot less crowded during the day so we got a very personalized experience. 

Night Sky Bend Oregon

3. The Observatory at Sunriver Part 2. He's very into space. It was a special treat that he got to stay up late to go to the observatory at night. All week he had been wishing to see the stars in the night sky, but when it doesn't get dark until almost 10, it's too late for some kids. 

4. Caving! We recommend ages 5 and up for caving because it requires full mobility to move over the uneven ground. We had a great time scrambling over rocks and finding out what is inside these dark tunnels under the surface. 

Bike Rentals at Sunriver

5. Biking the trails in Sunriver. It's been a long time since I've gotten to travel on the back of a bike in a little covered wagon, but it looked like so much fun! The bike trails in Sunriver are extensive and beautiful. The trees shade the paths and make for a refreshing ride even on a hot day. 

6. Ice cream at Addy Mac's. There's not much else to say about this one. It's the best ice cream in town and a favorite of adults and kids alike. 

7. The play area at Looney Bean. When you're in need of some afternoon fuel, Looney Bean is the perfect stop. There's a large area in the back for kids to play, and plenty of delicious coffee options for adults. 

Sparks Lake Canoeing

8. Canoeing on the lake. Though he didn't provide a lot of power, holding the paddle brought so much joy to the little man's face. What an experience to glide over the water in a vessel holding your favorite people. At the end of the trip under the hot summer sun, he was excited to jump in the water to cool down before heading home. 

9. Speaking of getting wet on a hot day, the sprinklers at Drake Park happened to be on one afternoon while we were enjoying a picnic there. It took one second for him to jump up and start sprinting toward the sprinklers. You may not be able to plan a moment just like this, but it was certainly a highlight. 

Drake Park Bend Oregon

10. And best of all: spending time with the people you love in a beautiful place. 

The Place for Year-Round Adventures: Part 3

One of the most frequently recommended places to visit is Tumalo Falls. When one of our guests asks, "So what else should we do while we're here?" we are quick to suggest this majestic waterfall. Why? Just go and you'll see. If you go this time of year you can literally drive almost to the waterfall. Park and walk for two seconds and you'll see what all the fuss is about. But there's more than meets the eye. Not only is this 97' waterfall a stunning and iconic feature of the area, Tumalo Creek also provides the majority of the drinking water for Bend. (And we have the best water in the country!!) The creek begins in the Cascade Range and flows through Shevlin Park until it reaches the Deschutes River on the north end of Bend. Its water brings life to the surrounding area. So go visit yourself and tell us what you think!

Tumalo Falls Bend Oregon

The Road is Clear

After quite the heavy winter, we are so excited that the road to the Cascade Lakes (aka Cascade Lakes Highway)  is now OPEN! That's right! We were taking the long way for the last couple days but full access is finally here! The road opened yesterday at 8AM and we've been smiling ever since. Please enjoy some great photos our guides captured while canoeing and kayaking up on Elk, Hosmer, and Sparks Lake this week. And happy summer to all!! 

Canoe on Hosmer Lake
Canoe Cascade Lakes Oregon
Canoe Lakes Oregon
Wildflowers Bend Oregon