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Elk Lake under $50 

Elk Lake is a favorite afternoon getaway because of it's sandy beaches and summer concert series.

Elk Lake is one of the most popular summer getaways for many reasons, including the fabulous alpine setting and relative proximity to Bend. A trip to Elk Lake is a perfect afternoon getaway for friends and families, and cost effective, too. The sand beach at the far end of the lake is one of the best in Central Oregon and totally free, even if it takes until August for the water to warm sufficiently for human exposure. Bring a picnic and/or barbeque and whittle away the afternoon while the waves calmly lap the shore.

When you've had your fill of the beach, head over to the resort and grab a beverage to sip on the deck. If you plan your trip on a Saturday, you'll be able to soak in the sounds of the summer concert series. The concerts are totally free and a great way to enjoy live, outdoor music in an amazing setting. Among those booked for the summer series are local faves, One Hot Mess, Moon Mountain Ramblers, and Blackstrap.

Forget driving back to Bend when the sun sets. It's time to kick your mojo into high gear. Rock the night away at the lodge where you're sure to find like-minded revelers. For a nominal fee you can grab a site in one of the nearby campgrounds, or stay in one the resort's rustic cabins for $58. The cabins sleep four. Just remember to bring your own sleeping bag and pillows and hang out by the light of the propane lanterns. Then sleep soundly without the sound of running water or flushing toilets to disturb your slumber.

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