There are times in life when it just feels right to set stress and responsibilities aside and trade it all in for a vacation that’s designed with fun and relaxation in mind! When you can’t wait to let go of the pressure and instead, focus exclusively on the fun, a trip to Sunriver, Oregon promises to be an amazing choice this summer or fall. Often referred to as a basecamp for adventure, Sunriver is a premier vacation destination in the Pacific Northwest that appeals to travelers with all types of interests and ideas of what it means to make the most of the fun!
Covering nearly 3,300 acres of land, Sunriver strikes a unique balance between residential living spaces and resort community nestled into the scenic heart of Deschutes County. A trip to Sunriver can be customized to fit a fantastic leisurely layout complete with shopping and dining in abundance but can just as easily become an adventure-seeker’s dream with trips to nearby natural landmarks and amazing recreation included.
No matter what your ideal getaway may be, the versatile lineup of Sunriver summer activities for fun this destination offers truly makes it one-of-a-kind. First-time visitors shouldn’t be surprised if they find themselves starting to plan a return trip long before they’ve even returned home from the initial adventure! When you’re in a place to start putting an itinerary together for a summer or fall getaway in this direction, the following are just a few of many options to consider penning towards the top of the list. When you do, you’ll find it’s easy to enjoy yourself in Sunriver from the moment you arrive until it’s time to return home once again.
Things to Do While You’re Here: From Waterfalls to Waterparks
Part of the vast appeal of a trip to Sunriver, Oregon lies in the beautiful landscape this destination offers up freely. This part of the state enjoys lush terrain and spectacular views—some of them more hidden from view than one might initially imagine! If you’re the type of summer and fall traveler that loves a good adventure and can’t wait to get out to find those off-the-beaten-path natural wonders that are sure to inspire, Sunriver is a place that promises to please. Begin your hunt for thrilling natural sights by planning a hike towards Benham Falls when you’re in town.
Taking time to find and experience Benham Falls doesn’t require a ton of effort in terms of hiking, but the rewards are well worth taking to the path and making this destination a must-see on your itinerary. The white water rapids of Benham Falls are part of the iconic Deschutes River. Benham Falls rapids are rated class 5 and are an exciting find for hikers as they’re considered one of the largest cascades that call the upper Deschutes home. The forest roads and trails leading to Benham Falls are dotted with wildflowers in the summer which are well worth admiring too. Bird spotters should bring their binoculars along for this adventure as a variety of species call this area home. History lovers will enjoy the fact that Benham Falls has a past dating back nearly 6,000 years when a lava butte is believed to have erupted nearby and left the falls that are known and loved today in its wake.
For even more cascade-finding fun, a trip to Dillon Falls should definitely be next on your list. These falls are a bit less easy to access than their Benham Falls counterparts and require more intense hiking to get a good view…but it’s worth it! Situated near the Deschutes National Forest, the trek to Dillon Falls offers up fantastic vistas, wildlife spotting opportunities, and a chance to commune with nature from start to finish. It’s common to see experienced rafters and kayakers putting their skills to the test but if you’re not up for that type of adrenaline-pumping fun, just taking in the view promises to be satisfying too.
For all of the outdoor beauty that a fall in Oregon trip to Sunriver serves up in abundance, it’s also a place where visitors can make the most of waterpark fun when they’re ready to switch things up and trade natural cascades for man-made wonders! Head over to the Sunriver Homeowners Aquatic & Recreation Center (SHARC) and check out the pool while you’re in town. This family-friendly stop is a great place to cool off on a hot Sunriver day and includes access to five large water features, waterslides, a lazy river, and a splash pool for those who are here with little ones in tow. Whether you spend time trying out the water obstacle courses, making the most of the lap lanes, or just sunbathing in one of the many loungers that surround the water, it promises to be a place where you can relax and have fun in a way that fits your style.
Outdoor Recreation Options to Enjoy
Getting out and about is bound to be one of the most tempting activities you’ll find in Sunriver and with good reason! With so much to see, experience, and enjoy, half the excitement lies in finding new and innovative ways to see the unforgettable landscape while you’re here. Start by making time for a trip to the Aspen Day Use Area during your Sunriver excursion. Whether you’re a summer traveler or a fall traveler, it’s a great place to get into nature, take to the trails that line the Deschutes River, or enjoy launching a kayak or canoe out onto the water for a leisurely paddle.
If paddle boarding is more your style, the area around Harper Bridge is the best place to put the paddle board in and make your way into the very heart of some spectacular scenery too. The bridge itself is fun to paddle under, but all in all, it’s a tranquil experience that gives you time to work on your balance, reflect, and enjoy nature at its finest.
When you’re looking for a truly one-of-a-kind way to see the Sunriver sights and surroundings during your time here, consider taking time to take it all on horseback! The team at Sunriver Trail Rides is located at 57215 River Road in Sunriver and is open daily from 10:00 am until 2:30 pm. Reservations are required to make the most of this type of adventure that puts you up close to some amazing creatures and offers up a new way to take in the terrain. You don’t have to be an expert rider to make the most of the fun. The on-site staff covers all the basics of riding and horse behavior before helping you gear up and get on the trail. You’ll follow alongside your guide and get to see Sunriver in a whole new light alongside family and friends. It’s an experience that’s very likely to be a highlight of your Sunriver adventure altogether.
When you’ve had your time on the trails and you’re ready to get back out on the water, the Sunriver Resort Marina is a one-stop resource for on-the-waves Sunriver summer activities. Located at 17400 Deschutes Road, the Sunriver Resort Marina is a great place to rent a raft, canoe, or kayak for the day and explore the waters at your very own pace. If you’re looking for a more directed experience on the water, the marina offers a 6-mile guided float that runs from the marina out to Benham Butte take out with an advance reservation. Those who choose to do the guided tour by paddle board, canoe, or kayak will be out and about for approximately 2 hours while a raft guided experience is anywhere from 3 hours to 3.5 hours total. If you happen to be traveling to Sunriver with a furry friend in tow, participants are often thrilled to learn that dogs are more than welcome on marina vessels making it a truly all-inclusive experience!
Activities to Enjoy with the Kids
While Sunriver is a summer or fall in Oregon destination that’s well suited to solo travelers and couples on the hunt for a great place to enjoy a romantic escape, there’s something extra special about heading this way with the entire family in tow and spending some quality time with the kids! When you are in town with the little ones, it’s important to have a lineup of activities ready to go that are fit for every type of attention span. Fortunately, Sunriver has plenty to offer in this arena starting with the Sunriver Nature Center and Observatory. Located at 57245 River Road, this nature center is a fun and engaging place for everyone in the family to discover something new. Get up close to incredible birds of prey, take a guided nature hike, or spend time in the observatory learning more about the wonders of the cosmos! Either way, it’s an experience you won’t soon forget.
Just as fun of an adventure when you’re in Sunriver with kids is a trip to Fort Rock Park. Found at 57515 E. Cascade Road, Fort Rock Park is the perfect place to let little ones run off excess energy thanks to the abundance of wide-open green spaces and collection of playgrounds that provide just the right background for working their imaginations!
When you’re done at the park, don’t overlook a bike ride to bring the entire family together. Sunriver is home to an impressive 30 miles of paved pathways that are practically begging to be explored! Rent a bike, tighten the helmet, and make your way as far as you’d like, taking in the sights at a pace that works for everyone.
While many who make their way to Sunriver in the summer or fall come here for the outdoor fun, there’s just as much to enjoy in the way of shopping and dining that shouldn’t be missed. Nearly all of your shopping goals can be met when you make time to explore the boutique storefronts that make up the greater Village at Sunriver. From apparel and home goods to souvenir stores that have that one-of-a-kind gift for which you’ve been searching, this open-air area is packed with potential for shoppers at nearly every turn!
Of course, all of that shopping is sure to lead to feeling parched and that’s when enjoying time at Sunriver Brewing Company is bound to be the best choice you’ll make. This local craft beer locale is loved for its bold and unique flavors as well as its friendly ambiance that’s enjoyed by visitors and locals alike. Indoor and outdoor seating options are available when you’re ready to gather your family and friends and make the most of sipping an afternoon or evening away in Sunriver style.
If you happen to be someone with a sweet tooth to satisfy, Sunriver’s favorite place to curb a craving is Goody’s Soda Fountain & Candy. This inviting stop is a blast from the past complete with an extended soda fountain bar to cozy up paired with checkered tile flooring and cozy booths that speak to a bygone era. Step inside and order up anything from a hot fudge sundae to a root beer float and get ready to enjoy! In addition to soda fountain favorites, this stop also serves up candies, gummies, and chocolate to savor.
Places to Stay in Sunriver
Heading to Sunriver is an experience in fun and refreshing relaxation that’s made to inspire. While the destination has much to offer in the way of excitement and entertainment, there’s nothing better than knowing you have accommodations in place that keep you close to it all while providing luxury and impeccable comforts as well! That’s where the property professionals at Arrived can help. We have a wide variety of rental properties available across Sunriver for travelers looking forward to a summer or fall vacation of fun. Easily customized to taste and style and always including those amenities that make all the difference, working with Arrived means booking with the best ever time you’re in town. Reach out today to learn more about our amazing collection of options and to start planning your next Sunriver adventure!Back to blog