Stay cool this summer in Central Oregon
Summer in Bend and Central Oregon is awesome. Gorgeous, sunny days and fresh, crisp early mornings and evenings. (Puffy coats and beanies are always in season around here.) We’re blessed with an adventure playground in our backyard, killer views, and delicious brews, so as we embrace the h-o-t weather there are plenty of ways to explore, play, relax, and most importantly, stay cool. 😎
Sun on your shoulders, stars in your eyes, and a sweet, sparkling grin on your face. If that’s your summer vacation vision, bet on Bend, Oregon to bring your fantasy to life. – Visit Bend
Here are 4 ways to chill out on hot days in Bend and Central Oregon:
1: Get wet
+ Float the river
Grab your life jacket, sunscreen, sturdy shoes, and tube (tube rental services are available at Park & Float from June 18 to Labor Day and you can reserve now for summer 2021 with Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe), and float the river through Bend. There are three route options ranging from a 75-minute to a 140-minute long float, and here’s what you need to know for the 2021 season. Bend Park and Recreation District has 11 river-front parks including Farewell Bend Park, Riverbend Park, McKay Park, Drake Park, First Street Rapids Park, and others. Some parks are better than others for sunbathing, watercraft access, river surfing and other activities. In recent summers, more than 200,000 river users floated and paddled the river between Memorial Day and Labor Day, and as the pandemic situation is improving for 2021, advanced preparation is highly recommended for all river recreation.
- Bend Park & Recreation District – river safety, parking information, maps, and more
- Float the river – Sunriver – head south of Bend for a scenic and peaceful float through beautiful Sunriver
- Float the river – Tumalo State Park
+ Ride the waves
The Whitewater Channel of the Bend Whitewater Park is your destination for whitewater kayaking, surfing or paddleboarding. This center channel of the park has four wave features for emerging to expert whitewater enthusiasts. Bend Whitewater Park is a feat of innovation and engineering with complexities and seasonal variables keeping the river recreation operators – or wave shapers – busy year-round. Less than 1/10th of a degree in gate movement can mean the difference between good and world-class.
+ Explore the lakes
There are 14 alpine lakes along the historic Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, easily reachable from Bend within a few minutes. The drive is 66 miles from start to finish and you’ll see spectacular scenery along the way so don’t forget your camera! Enjoy swimming, fishing, kayaking, paddle boarding, camping, hiking, great food, and more. Whether you’re heading up for the day or you plan to stay for longer, you can’t go wrong at any of these beautiful spots:
+ Hit the pool
If the pool is more your style, there are several options in the area for lap swim, family swim, and water exercise, including:
- Juniper Swim & Fitness – 50-meter outdoor pool and 25-meter indoor pool are now open for lap swim, workouts on your own, water exercise classes, and family swim.
- Larkspur Community Center – a 4,000-square-foot aquatics center featuring a 135,000-gallon recreation and leisure pool with current channel
- Cascade Swim Center in Redmond – is open for lap and recreational swimming currently by reservation only
Enjoy summer fun and pool time with a Central Oregon area resort staycation:
- The Athletic Club at Brasada Ranch features two outdoor pools, one indoor pool, one indoor tots’ pool, two outoor spas, and a big yellow slide
- Choose from five swimming pools when you stay at Black Butte Ranch, currently available for resort guests by reservation
- Sporting an infinity pool, two outdoor spa pools plus a kids’ splash deck, the Quarry Pool at Caldera Springs is a marvel of moving and falling water
- Eagle Crest offers outdoor pools and a kid’s splash pad for resort guests
- With three pools (including two family-friendly pools), and a cavernous water slide, Pronghorn Resort is a favorite destination for summer fun
- Seventh Mountain Resort has two outdoor pools and three outdoor hot tubs for resort guests to enjoy during their stay
- Head to Sunriver Resort for two awesome options, 1. Sunriver’s SHARC facilityis now open in a limited capacity for resort guests with indoor and outdoor pools and water slides available by reservation only, 2. The Cove Aquatic Center is new for 2021 and offers year-round swimming! Featuring two zero-entry pools, jetted spas, private outdoor cabanas, an indoor and outdoor waterslide, a gently flowing eddy, nature walk and discovery area, lakeside trails, a spacious deck and lawn, and more
2: Go underground
Explore the vast network of caves near Bend, Oregon! These large, cool lava tube caves are fun to explore and fascinating for the whole family. Bend’s lava caves have a delicate ecosystem that few have experienced to the fullest and Wanderlust Tours is the only guide company permitted in these special lava caves.
Outfitted with helmets and headlamps, your professional naturalist guides will help you discover secret rooms and teach you all about the history of the cave. As you journey through the cave, you will learn about the unique organisms that live and grow within this delicate environment. Learn more and book your cave tour with Wanderlust Tours here.
In Redmond, visit a small piece of public land that hosts a group of 5 caves formed by volcanic flows of molten lava from the Newberry Caldera. Enjoy the cool underground on a hot summer day and follow in the footsteps of Native Americans who used the caves over the last 6,000 years. Nestled inside Redmond’s city limits, and managed in partnership with the City of Redmond, the caves offer a great way to take learn about geology, wildlife, and past human use. Learn more about the Redmond Caves here.
3: Head up to the mountain
While the winter ski season is over, summer fun on the mountain is just beginning. Head up to Mt. Bachelor for fresh mountain air, amazing scenery, and outdoor adventures such as biking, hiking, chair lift rides, disc golf, sunset dinners, and of course, the zipline!
Mt. Bachelor Summer Fun Quick Links:
- Top 5 Things To Do At Mt. Bachelor
- The Wet N’ Wild Side Of Mt. Bachelor: White Water Rafting, SUP, and River Floating with Sun Country Tours
- Stay and play: Overnight RV camping
4: Stay hydrated
It’s no secret, we’ve got plenty of liquid libations in town, including beer, cider, kombucha, distilled beverages, and coffee. Experience the famous Bend Ale Trail, hop on the Cycle Pub, or simply sit outside at one of the gazillion brewpubs around town with a cold one in hand (see interactive map below):
Now, more than ever, we want to support our local breweries, pubs, and local businesses and encourage you to visit them, order takeout, enjoy happy hour on the patio, or purchase gift cards for future use.
Support Local Quick Links:
- Central Oregon Farmers Markets – 2021
- 10 Places To Enjoy Outdoor Music In Central Oregon – Summer 2021
- VIDEO | Keeping Business Local In Central Oregon
Summer in Bend, Oregon – we love where we live
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