Watersports on the Deschutes River.

By Travel & Leisure
September 10, 2012
Bend, Oregon Wading and Rafting
Credit: Buddy Mays / Alamy

In this Oregonian sport mecca, the mighty Deschutes River and trout-filled mountain lakes mean plenty of action on the water. Spend your days whitewater rafting or fly-fishing (or, if you’re a lubber, stick to the hiking trails in nearby Deschutes National Forest), and, come evening, cap it off with a glass of fantastic Washington wine.

Sun Country Tours

Sun Country Tours sends 20,000 people a year down the Big Eddy Thriller, a three-mile, roller coaster–like white-water stretch of the Deschutes River.

Sunriver Observatory

At 8 p.m., Bob Grossfeld, Sunriver's astronomer in residence, flicks a switch and retracts the roof of the Sunriver Observatory. Sidle up to one of 20 telescopes for a whole new take on the Milky Way.


This restaurant turns out “New Ranch Cuisine” (for example, a sophisticated version of meatloaf) in a converted 1923 smithy.

Patient Angler

Fly fisherman Peter Bowers, owner of the Patient Angler, swears that what he'll teach you in a 90-minute crash course would take you three years to learn on your own; when you're done, he'll set you up with a rod, reel, and map of the best local holes.

Sunriver Resort

Sunriver Resort, in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, has it all: a stately lodge, three golf courses (including Crosswater, the top-ranked course in central Oregon, designed by Robert Cupp), tennis courts, swimming pools, skiing (at Mount Bachelor), a full-service spa, and even an observatory.

Cork, Bend

The restaurant has the best wine list in Bend, and hearty dishes like lavender-injected rack of pork served with mission figs.