Thanks to the folks at Eagle Crest Resort, the husband and I were able to spend a few fall days exploring central Oregon. Here’s a list of things that I thought were totally worthwhile in the region. Links will take you to practical information about these places, I’m just giving you the “why.”
The Sparrow Bakery: Bend. This baked goods snob likes a bakery with a line out front, she considers it a good sign. Sparrow has a beautiful little patio, quiche that is both fluffy and creamy, good coffee, and gorgeous baked treats. You’ll have to wait and/or share a table on a sunny weekend, it’s totally worth it.
The Workhouse: Bend. Super cool arts coop featuring primarily very local but some Portland artists. It’s in a beautifully restored iron works and the resident artists make all kinds of weird and interesting things. I liked the cycling caps, the assemblage art, and… oh, everything in there has something to make your eyeballs think. Bonus, it’s across the courtyard from Sparrow.
Sno-Cap Drive In: Redmond. Every road trip needs a good diner stop. This one is on the north end of Redmond and they make a milkshake that takes work to get it through the straw, exactly how it should be. They use locally made ice cream from Eberhard’s, you’ll pass the dairy on the south end of town. Local, neat as a pin, packed with roadside calories.
Dee Wright Observatory: McKenzie Pass. It’s a tower. Made of lava. With little windows you can look through that are labeled with the name of the peak on the other end. I love peculiar public works and this is more peculiar than most. There’s a nicely maintained interpretive trail that describes the volcanic geology and oh, the drive, the drive. It’s stunning.
The High Desert Museum: Bend. Things that amuse me as much as a super crabby looking and huge horned owl are few and far in between. There were many large birds — rescue animals — looking annoyed and some cats that should have been wild but were domesticated and then, let go. There’s also a great overview of the tragic history of the local tribes that provides historical context to the gorgeous landscape of the region.
The Lodge at Eagle Crest: Redmond. Super comfortable, very affordable, and unexpectedly a great place from which to explore the area. No, really. The Aerie Cafe, onsite at the lodge, had decent food, reasonably priced and in large servings. Skip the other restaurant, Niblick and Greenes and head to town to eat instead — it’s not that far to Sisters, Redmond, or Bend. Our stay was comped, but I’d go back here on my own dime.
Angeline’s Bakery: Sisters. I didn’t love the coffee, I’m not going to tell you otherwise, but my bagel breakfast sandwich, oh, that was a righteous breakfast. Also, you, with your weird dietary whatever, you need a place to eat, right? This place, they’ll look after you. Nice hippie/local vibe, plus, did I mention the bagel sandwich? Man, that was good.
Smith Rock State Park, Terrebonne. You don’t have to be climber to enjoy the park, but it helps. We snapped photos of the rugged stone, gawked at the gravity defying humans, and just kind of wandered around aimlessly in the scratchy brush and sunshine. Plus, bonus, the place is populated with human eye candy. Rock climbers are hot..
Cascade Lakes 20″ Brown Ale, Redmond. What is it about the Pacific Northwest that leads to excellent beer? Clear mountain water, the right climate for hops, and a prevalence of bearded guys on recumbent bicycles? Maybe that’s it. Whatever. Just get some with your fries, it’s super delicious. That’s all you need to know.
Stuff you liked in this region? I welcome your additions in the comments.