Why Central Oregon?
In my time on this planet, I've been to numerous cities, states, countries, and even continents. But central Oregon remains my home. Occasionally someone from outside of the area will ask me, “What’s so great about central Oregon?” There are many answers to that question. Popular ones include the fantastic weather, the wealth of year-round outdoor activities, and the relaxed lifestyle. The links and videos on this page should give you just a little taste of what the region has to offer. In short, it's the perfect place to live, work, and play.
The websites below are fantastic resources for the area. The Government Agencies listed at the left are mostly concerned with the natural environment. The Oregon links on the right also touch on the natural resources, but you can also find useful information regarding restaurants, resorts, golf courses, guided tours, craft breweries, and just about anything else you might be curious about!
Counties, Cities, & Communities
Three counties comprise the bulk of central Oregon. Within them are eight incorporated cities and a number of unincorporated population centers.
- Census-designated places
- Unincorporated Communities
- Unincorporated Communities
The following list is by no means complete or definitive, but rather some of my favorite attractions in and around Bend. There are many, many others and I would recommend visiting the websites above (and/or their brick & mortar locations) and/or the books at the bottom of this page to learn more. For example, there are over two dozen golf courses within an hour or so of Bend, Oregon. I am not a golfer, so you won't find them listed below. But you will find them at visitcentraloregon.com and visitbend.com.
Clicking the name of the attraction will take you to it's official website, a wikipedia page, a google image search, or some other relevant page. Where appropriate, the initials of the governing agency (see above) will take you to the specific page where you can find information on permits, fees, dates/times of operation, activities, etc. I have also attempted to include a wikimapia link whenever possible. You can change the type of map (google map, satellite, terrain, hybrid, etc.) via the "map type" pulldown menu at the top of each wikimapia page.
It should go without saying that these links are provided for entertainment/educational purposes only. I make no guarantees with regard to the information they contain. Nor can I or will I be held responsible for any mishaps you might encounter from them. In short, be smart - don't be stupid. Use these to whet your appetite for central Oregon, but do your research, be prepared, know what to expect, and your experience should reward you accordingly.
- Bend Factory Stores | map
- Shops At The Old Mill | map
- Les Schwab Amphiteater | map
- Tower Theatre | map
- Pilot Butte Scenic Viewport | SP | map
North of Bend
- Cline Buttes Recreation Area | BLM | map
- Smith Rock State Park | SP | map
- Crooked River National Grassland | FS
- Lake Billy Chinook and The Cove Palisades State Park | SP | map
- Round Butte Overlook Park | FS | map
- Round Butte | map
West of Bend
Santiam Pass area
- Mackenzie Pass area
- Cascade Lakes Area
East of Bend
- Journey Through Time Scenic Byway | FS | map
- John Day Fossil Beds National Monument | NPS
- Oregon Badlands Wilderness Area | BLM | map
- Pine Mountain Observatory | map
South of Bend
- High Desert Museum | video | map
- Lava Island Falls | FS | map
- Dillon Falls | FS | map
- Benham Falls | FS | map
- Newberry National Volcanic Monument | FS | map
- Big Hole | map
- Hole-In-The-Ground | map
- Fort Rock and The Fort Rock Cave | video | SP | map
- Crack-In-The-Ground | BLM | map
- Christmas Valley Dunes | BLM | map
- Crater Lake National Park | video | NPS | map
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