Southbound to Sunriver | The Source Weekly - Bend, Oregon

Southbound to Sunriver

A world away that's close to home

The community of Sunriver is about 15 miles south of Bend, about a 20 to 30-minutes drive along Highway 97. The journey to Sunriver may be short, but it makes all the difference when trying to take a holiday for a weeklong staycation or even just for a quick weekend getaway. There are almost too many options for any one person to take in during one trip alone. Sunriver has year-round attractions that draw droves of people to this village that usually houses a modest full-time residential population of just around 1,500, compared to Bend's more than 80,000 full-timers. With this small number of people calling Sunriver home, it is truly impressive to figure that about 20,000 people check in with the local tourist center each year. The communications director of Central Oregon's Visitors Association, Ted Taylor, says that not all of these travelers are from out of state, but rather they are people already living in Bend.

Not all who visit check in with these classic information offices nowadays due to the accessibility of apps and websites to help travelers plan their own itineraries. Taylor says there are about 2.5 million overnight visitors each year coming to enjoy the amenities that Sunriver has to offer. He also adds that during the peak summer season it's estimated 15,000 people per day make their way through the shops and restaurants at The Village.

With spring break tipping off the busy tourist season, lodging accommodations fill up quickly, so booking a room or condo shouldn't wait until the last minute. One of the most popular dwelling destinations is The Sunriver Resort. It's basically a one-stop-shop in the heart of it all and is a first choice for most visitors coming to the area. One benefit to booking early is that it will be easier to plan the events around wherever "home" will be for the next few days.

When it comes to promoting reasons to travel to Bend's southern neighbor, Taylor boasts of the amazing bike trails that connect within and throughout Sunriver. "There are about 40 miles of paved trails visitors can bike on once they enter the community." If going off of the (semi-)beaten path is more appealing, then there is a variety of other scenic options that are sure to please.

There are many nature-oriented options that are great for the whole family or just for those looking to expand their minds and enthrall their senses. The Oregon Observatory, Sunriver Nature Center, and Resort Golf Course are some of the most popular attractions. Not all are open year-round, due to weather, so it's wise to check the hours and availability. Whether spas, fine-dining, and shopping are the priority or more of an active getaway is preferred, Sunriver fits the bill for many in Bend who would like to explore a bit more of their not-so-far-away surroundings.

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