Central Oregon: The High Desert

My boyfriend, Mr. Darcy,* and I took a road trip from Oregon to California this month. He grew up mostly in the Portland area and his dad an...

My boyfriend, Mr. Darcy,* and I took a road trip from Oregon to California this month. He grew up mostly in the Portland area and his dad and step-dad still live in Oregon. While having met his father multiple times before, this was my first time meeting his step-dad and visiting his home state (PS: He made me feel incredibly special as I am the only woman he's ever introduced to his step-dad! <3 ).

We stayed with them in Crooked River Ranch-an unincorporated private resort community located in Central Oregon. This area of the state is a striking mixture of desert and mountains perfect for outdoor adventures such as hiking, rock climbing, golfing, cycling, and summer picnics-almost all of which we did.

*If you've read any of my adventures with my boyfriend on the blog you'll know I refer to him as Mr. Darcy for his nom de plume. 

Where to Eat:

  • Terrebonne Depot100 year-old former train station has been resurrected into a full bar and fresh food restaurant. Meats and organic seasonal vegetables are sourced locally.
  • Juniper Junction - Stop by by the historic, old west building for huckleberry ice cream (a Oregon speciality you won't get anywhere else). 
  • Sparrow Bakery - Voted best restaurant and bakery in Bend, OR and is a local favorite. 
  • Cottonwood Cafe - Quaint cottage turned cafe, this delightful casual spot serves breakfast and lunch with creative, affordable, high quality, house created fare. They even have a fire pit in their backyard dining space that is dog-friendly! 
Where to Drink:
  • Bendistillery - Among the oldest small-batch distilleries, handcrafting American distilled spirits in Bend since 1996. They offer tastings, tours and special events at their distillery. 
  • Atlas Cider Company - Daily tours and tastings of locally sourced cider.
  • J Dub Bar & Grill - Known for all day happy hour in downtown Bend with live music during the summer.
  • Sisters Coffee Company - The only coffee shop in Central Oregon that offers a full Modbar, with cold brew nitro on tap and new coffee cocktails. They also offer breakfast and lunch-all locally sourced ingredients.
Where to Stay:
  • Pine Ridge Inn - Comfortable, mid-priced quality hotel (~$200/night) 
  • AirBnB - Quite a few airy, well designed and affordable cottages, cabins, or homes to rent. This is my preferred option, as you can occasionally score an even better view and location than a hotel.  
  • Good Earth Vacation RentalA 3 bedroom, 2 bath 2000 sq ft. home with stunning mountain views.
  • Central Oregon Campgrounds - Camping (Tent or RV) at the many different parks is always a great-and budget friendly-option.  
Where to Play: 
  • Hike or Rock Climb at Smith Rock State Park - Considered to be some of the best rock climbing areas. It has several paths along the Crooked River and even a few waterfalls. 
  • Visit Tumalo Lavender gift shop and farm - home to 10,000 beautiful lavender plants with colors ranging from white to purple to pinkThe lavender is in full flower in mid-July and is at its peak for viewing and cutting. You can wander through the vibrant purple fields and take in the strong, sweet fragrance of lavender as you hand-cut your own bouquet. Summer hours at Tumalo Lavender are varied as so they encourage you to arrange your visit ahead of time by calling 541-419-9449.
  • Golfing - The area is well-known for as a golfer's paradise( See link for different courses).
  • Bike to Tumalo Waterfalls The 97-foot falls of Tumalo Creek is a popular and easily-accessible spot for visitors and locals alike looking for a scenic spot and gentle hike.
How many of you are going to Central Oregon to view the Solar Eclipse? 

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