Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Prineville, OR

  • Published 2023/03/29

The city of Prineville is the seat of Crook County, Oregon.

Founded in 1870, Prineville is the oldest city in Central Oregon.

Prineville is a historical city in the heart of Oregon’s high desert known for its beautiful sunsets, serenity, and great trails for biking, running, and hiking.

It is known for being one of the best places to visit in Oregon, with its scenic surroundings and historical landmarks.

The city has grown from a small pioneer community into one of the most popular tourist destinations in Oregon.

People flock to Prineville due to its natural beauty, historic sites, and easy access to recreational activities.

With its beautiful surroundings and proximity to the Painted Hills, it’s no wonder this city has become one of the most popular destinations in the state.

If you’re looking for a place that offers excitement and adventure, Prineville has your name written all over it.

There are plenty of things to do in this city that will keep you busy for days on end.

Check out this list of the best things to do in Prineville, OR.

Relax and Unwind at Prineville Reservoir State Park

The waters of Prineville Reservoir State Park

Eric Backman /

Prineville Reservoir State Park is perfect if you want to spend the day with some friendly people and hang out in a beautiful place.

The 3,000-acre reservoir is nestled in Bowman Dam and offers various activities that will keep you entertained for hours.

The park has several picnic areas where you can relax with family or friends after a long day’s hike or fishing trip.

If you like water sports like boating and kayaking, this is an excellent place to visit because there is plenty of water around the reservoir.

A juniper tree near the water of Prineville Reservoir State Park

HDDA Photography /

Several campsites and cabins are available, which you can rent on a nightly basis.

The lake is filled with rainbow trout, catfish, crayfish, and other game fish.

Enjoy fishing in the waters of Prineville Reservoir.

Prineville Reservoir State Park offers many fun and exciting activities that you and your family will surely enjoy.

Don’t miss out on this one-of-a-kind experience.

Tour the Cada Dia Cheese Farm

Cada Dia Cheese Farm is a family-owned and operated farm that produces artisan cheeses in Prineville, Oregon.

This cheese farm is located along Sharp Road and is a fun place for anyone who loves cheese.

They have made cheese for Prineville since 2009; their business continues growing every year.

Cada Dia Cheese Farm has become a popular destination for tourists and locals alike.

The family-owned business offers visitors an opportunity to learn about how cheese is made.

They also offer tours where you can see how they make their cheeses from start to finish.

If you want your next vacation filled with adventure and fun activities, then this is one place you should visit while in Prineville.

Learn Local History at the A.R. Bowman Museum

Exterior of the A.R. Bowman Museum

Ian Poellet, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Situated on the northern main street of Prineville, A.R. Bowman Museum is where visitors learn, have fun, and take inspiration from the city’s history.

The museum was established in 1971, thanks to the Bowman family’s generosity and volunteers’ contributions.

The A.R. Bowman Museum is dedicated to preserving local history and culture and offers a great way to learn more about the region’s history.

It has artifacts from across the state that spans thousands of years.

You’ll also find photographs and paintings from early settlers who came here centuries ago.

If you’re looking for something fun and different to do in Prineville, this is one place you should visit.

Bring Your Family to Ochoco Lake County Park

Located at the foot of the Ochoco Mountains, this park offers a variety of activities for visitors to enjoy.

It’s an excellent place to go with the family if you want something to do in Prineville.

If you love to hike, this is a great place to do it because there are plenty of trails for everyone, from beginners to experts.

If you want to do some outdoor activities, there are plenty of opportunities in Ochoco Lake County Park.

You can swim in the lake or go on a boating adventure and discover the wildlife around the area.

You can also set up your tent in the campground where you have an overlooking view of the lake and have the perfect spot for watching the sunset.

A visit to Ochoco Lake County Park is a great way to spend an afternoon or even an entire day with your family or friends.

You’ll have plenty of time to explore all this park offers without worrying about getting lost or exhausted too quickly.

Taste Exquisite Flavors in Club Pioneer

Since 1942, Club Pioneer has served delicious and high-quality meals to the residents and visitors of Prineville.

The menu at Club Pioneer features classic and modern cuisine with a focus on quality ingredients and dishes that are prepared using only the best techniques and spices.

They serve the best steak, seafood, and handcrafted cocktails to satisfy your hunger after a long work day.

If you’re looking for something other than steak, check out the list of appetizers and sides that will also delight your taste buds.

If you’re still hungry after dinner, order dessert from the extensive menu.

There are plenty of options for those who want something sweet after dinner.

Whether you’re a classic or modern cuisine fan, there’s something for everyone at Club Pioneer.

Book Tee Time at Meadow Lakes Golf Course

Aerial view of the Meadow Lakes Golf Course

MattLphotography /

Meadow Lakes Golf Course is a stunning golf course that offers the best of both worlds for those who love golf and the outdoors.

Premier golf course designer Mr. Bill Robinson designed the course, making it one of the most popular in Oregon.

If you want some entertainment while you’re out on the links, you’ll have no problem at Meadow Lakes Golf Course.

It has hosted many competitions, including the 1998 OGA Mid-Amateur Championship and the 2002 OGA Team Championship.

Meadow Lakes Golf Course features mature trees and wetlands that make it enjoyable for golfers of all ages and skill levels.

In addition, the range also offers lessons for all levels of players and a full-service clubhouse that provides snacks and refreshments.

Meadow Lakes Golf Course offers something special for all golfers: men, women, beginners, veterans, kids, and seniors.

Go on an Adventure at the Lower 66 Trailhead

The Lower 66 trailhead is located in the southern part of Ochoco Overlook and Highway 126.

It’s an excellent place to visit if you want to get up close and personal with some of the local flora, fauna, and wildlife.

As the name suggests, the Lower 66 Trailhead covers 66 acres of the state park.

You’ll have two to three miles for multi-purpose activities.

The trailhead features five trails that vary in length and difficulty depending on how far you want to travel.

It’s the only place you can take your bike on a nature trail and not worry about traffic.

You also don’t need to worry about other hikers on the trail.

The Lower 66 Trailhead is a great place to go if you want to get away from it all and enjoy some time in nature.

It’s also a great way to exercise while enjoying the outdoors with your family or friends.

Explore the Outdoors in Walton Lake Campground

Located in the beautiful Ochoco National Forest, this campground offers a quiet, secluded atmosphere perfect for families.

The lake is also an excellent spot for fishing and swimming.

You can fish from one of the many docks that line the shoreline or swim in the clear waters.

There is also a nice walking path around the lake’s perimeter that takes you through some of the most impressive trees in all of Oregon.

You can also enjoy outdoor activities such as bird watching, fishing, canoeing, hiking, sightseeing, and swimming.

Plus, this picturesque destination has tons of great spots for photography.

Walton Lake Campground is a great place to visit if you’re looking for an affordable vacation spot with plenty of activities nearby.

See a Movie at Pine Theater

Exterior of Pine Theater

Visitor7, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

If you’re looking for a unique experience, check out Pine Theater in Prineville, Oregon.

This quaint theater offers two screens and a concession stand, so you can enjoy your favorite movie without leaving the town.

The Pine Theater is a family-owned movie theater that has been in operation since 1938, and it’s one of the oldest theaters in Prineville.

Over the years, the theater has undergone renovations and updates.

However, it maintains its original charm.

In this day and age, it’s rare to find such a place that has been restored to its original beauty with so much charm and character.

It’s an excellent place to take your family or friends so they can enjoy classic films like “Star Wars,” “Back to the Future” or “Jurassic Park.”

The theater is located on the main street of Prineville and offers a unique experience for anyone who wants to spend some time away from their busy lives.

Visit the Bowman Dam

Bowman Dam is a popular destination for visitors to the area, and it’s home to several recreational opportunities, including fishing, swimming, and boating.

The dam has a significant presence with its imposing appearance and wide spillway that creates a reservoir stretching for miles around the base of the dam.

The dam is also home to some great hiking trails and camping areas, making it an excellent place for families and groups.

Several hiking trails near Bowman Dam allow you to experience the beauty of this area without getting wet.

Most people hike along the top of the dam or down into the reservoir below it.

The best time to visit Bowman Dam is during the summer when it’s warm enough to swim and cool enough that you don’t need a jacket.

Drink with Your Friends in the Horseshoe Tavern

If you’re a beer lover, you know that Prineville is one of the best places in Oregon to visit.

The Horseshoe Tavern is a local bar and restaurant that has served great food and drinks since its opening.

You can find this tavern on the main street, making it easy to walk over after work or before heading out on the road.

The Horseshoe Tavern offers many different types of food for lunch, dinner, and even late-night dining.

Order their burgers, steak, fish, and pasta dishes.

Their menu has something for everyone.

If you’re looking for something different, then try ordering one of their many specialty drinks like the Bloody Mary or Margarita.

If you’re looking for a place to eat or drink in Prineville, Oregon, there’s no better choice than the Horseshoe Tavern.

Gaze at the Imposing Steins Pillar

Scenic view of Steins Pillar

Andrew Batson /

Named after the 1860s explorer Major Enoch Steen, the Steins Pillar stands in the middle of the forests of Prineville like a stone guardian.

The pillar was created when a massive eruption from the Ochoco mountains sent lava down the hill.

To visit this geologic gem, you can hike the four-mile trail that passes through an old-growth forest, meadows, and rugged ridges.

If you want to try some thrilling activities in the area, you can also try rock climbing on the sleek sides of Steins Pillar.

You should head out today and look closer at this fantastic structure because it won’t last forever.

Plan a Road Trip on the Crooked River Scenic Bikeway

Prineville’s Crooked River Scenic Bikeway is a must-visit if you’re in the area.

The trail is a great place to go for a nice bike ride with some great views of the area.

Crooked River Scenic Bikeway runs from Prineville down to Big Bend Campground, passing through several other towns.

The trail features fantastic views of the river and its surrounding canyon.

You’ll also find excellent mountain biking trails if you like outdoor activities.

Several sections along this trail allow you to access different areas and views, including some breathtaking vistas right at the top.

From there, you’ll find yourself looking out over the Crooked River.

The Crooked River Scenic Bikeway also passes through the famous Chimney Rock, a well-known recreational spot.

There are plenty of opportunities for sightseeing and wildlife viewing on the trail, where you can see some golden eagles, deers, and blue herons along the way.

The bikeway is suitable for both beginners and experienced riders as it offers many turns and switchbacks that test your skills as a cyclist.

This stretch of highway is also very popular with bicyclists.

Enjoy your bikes without worrying about getting into an accident or dealing with the traffic congestion on busy roads.

If you are looking for a great place to cycle, this option is worth considering.

Spend the Night in Crook County RV Park

Crook County RV Park is a great place to stay if you’re traveling with your RV or motorhome.

It has all the amenities you need to enjoy your camping experience.

The Crook County RV Park offers a five-acre space with 81 full hook-up spots for campers.

The park has many amenities that make it an excellent choice for your next vacation or weekend getaway, like showers, restrooms, log cabins, and more.

You can also access the clubhouse, which provides free wifi, pool tables, lounging areas, and a television.

You’ll find a full kitchen with stovetop and microwave ovens as well as an outdoor grill and picnic table.

Feel free to cook your meals or bring friends over for lunch.

The Crook County RV Park is a great place to visit if you are looking for a quiet and relaxing time away from the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Immerse Yourself in Nature at Crooked River Wetlands Complex

Open to the general public, Crooked River Wetlands Complex is a top recreational spot for frequent visitors in Prineville.

This 120-acre complex serves as both a natural exploration spot, as well as a community improvement project.

It features multiple trails that extend to over 5 miles and 13 informational kiosks detailing the environment, wildlife, and plants within the complex.

Make your visit to this place worthwhile with a study of its native plant species, including cottonwood and pacific willow.

Bring your binoculars and camera for a more in-depth birdwatching experience.

If you prefer a guided nature exploration, come by during the complex’s scheduled bird walks.

You can get to Crooked River Wetlands Complex when you drive along Northwest Rimrock Acres Loop.

Engage with Animals at Gramma Roses Petting Zoo

Gramma Roses Petting Zoo is your ultimate destination for an animal excursion.

This farm is a hands-on sanctuary filled with exotic animals native and uncommon in the area.

Aside from the usual farm animals, the zoo has the likes of kangaroos, wallabies, and peafowls.

Come and snuggle a bunny or pet a friendly tortoise.

Learn more about birds from the wide range of bird species residing in the zoo.

Your little one will also love the visit!

Gramma Roses Petting Zoo is on Southeast Shawnee Road.

Spend Family Day at Pioneer Park

Located along 3rd Street, Pioneer Park is a family-friendly stop in downtown Prineville.

At 1.75 acres, this public park features nine picnic tables and a playground for the little ones to explore.

It’s also the home of a historic cabin that displays Bowman Museum exhibits.

Look out for the Pioneer Park Memorial while you’re within the premises, too.

This marker is a tribute to the bravery and courage of the early settlers who paved the way for the current residents of Prineville.

Don’t forget to add Pioneer Park to your itinerary!

View the Stunning Artworks on Display at Rimrock Art Gallery

When it comes to exquisite art, Rimrock Art Gallery takes the top of the list of Prineville art centers.

This gallery opened in 2019.

But despite its newness, this gallery has already proven its worth as a go-to spot for paintings and sculptures by local and international artists.

Its Second Saturday event showcases not only artworks but also the creative process of each piece from the artists themselves.

Take your significant other out for a sophisticated art date at this center.

Or come by alone and find the creative inspiration you are seeking from the tons of art on display.

Rimrock Art Gallery is on Northwest 3rd Street.

Test Your Balance and Agility at Prineville Bike Park

If you prefer your Prineville vacation a bit more daring and adventurous, you might want to check out Prineville Bike Park.

This bike park offers the best of the best for those practicing BMX and XC mountain biking.

Opened in 2016, the site has four progressive line jumps and a pump track.

With various slopes and downhills, the park equips you with all the skills you need for that actual mountain biking race or recreation.

Prineville Bike Park is on Juniper Street.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Spend the Day at Brasada Ranch

Brasada Ranch Resort is the perfect place to enjoy a leisurely getaway.

The resort is located in beautiful Powell Butte, Oregon, just 35 minutes away, southeast of Prineville.

Whether you’re spending time with your family or enjoying some time alone, there are plenty of activities at Brasada Ranch Resort.

You can enjoy various recreational activities at Brasada Ranch Resort, including golfing, horseback riding, fishing, and hiking.

It’s an ideal spot to relax and enjoy the fabulous surroundings of the area.

You can enjoy a peaceful stay at this resort by taking advantage of its beautiful facilities and amenities.

This luxurious resort offers a wide range of amenities, including fine dining, rustic rooms, and suites with spectacular views of the surrounding hillsides and mountains.

You can enjoy a game of golf at the golf course and practice your swing on the driving range.

Otherwise, relax with a day of spa treatments before exploring the area’s famous wineries.

Brasada Ranch Resort has something for everyone.

Whether you’re staying onsite or offsite, you’re sure to have a great time.

Final Thoughts

If you’re looking for a weekend getaway, then Prineville, Oregon, should satisfy your travel needs.

It’s known for being a great place to visit for outdoor enthusiasts and travelers who want to experience the beauty of nature.

The city is an outdoor lover’s paradise and has a number of attractions that will please visitors of all ages.

From festivals and events to shopping and dining, you’ll find something fun and exciting at every turn.

Book your Prineville trip today!

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