Blake Walsh

20 Best Things to Do in Sunriver, OR

  • Published 2022/10/25

Known for its year-round outdoor pursuits and golf course, Sunriver is the ultimate destination resort in Central Oregon, making it a great base camp for adventurers and those wanting to celebrate family moments.

The resort’s golf courses are popular year-round as they shine individually from the time spring begins through fall.

You can bike through 30 miles of paved trails, take a horseback ride through the mid-desert terrain or visit the Sunriver Nature Center, taking in some local history and culture.

There are also numerous shops, restaurants, and breweries available within the Village at Sunriver should you need anything else while you’re staying here.

If you are looking for an accessible take on all of the hot spots to be discovered in Sunriver, Oregon, take a look at this list designed to help bring your trip right into focus!

Hike to the Benham Falls

Benham Falls near Sunriver

Hills Outdoors /

Benham Falls from Sunriver is an approximately 6-mile out and back trail between Sunriver and Bend, Oregon, famous for its spectacular falls and river views.

The impressive 22.5° pitch of the most-known waterway on the upper Deschutes may fool you into thinking it’s an easy ride, but this is anything but true.

Be aware that these waters are class 5 for watercraft, making them the most dangerous rapids by technical rapids standards in the entire river system.

It’s not easy swimming here!

Aerial View of Benham Falls

Cascade Drone Photography /

The trail is open year-round and is ideal for walking, hiking, biking, and running.

As you make your way along this moderately trafficked path, you will pass by various beautiful natural basins throughout the almost entirely forested area.

Also, keep an eye for some sculptures along the path that depict native wildlife, such as elk, mule deer, porcupine, and bears.

If you’re unfamiliar with the park, note that some areas may contain downed wood or potentially slippery terrain.

Trail leading to Benham Falls

Another Believer, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Visit Sunriver Rock and Gem

Sunriver Rock and Gem has a fantastic display of gems, jewelry, and crystals!

If you visit Sunriver with your children, make sure to take advantage of their wonderful discovery area for children, where they can experience what rocks and minerals are all about.

You can also go mining for gems and fossils yourself in their delightfully entertaining working black sand sluice box!

In addition to the interactive exhibits they have to offer, you may choose from a wide selection of earth and science learning kits if you’re looking for something more hands-on.

Sunriver Rock and Gem is a must-see for anyone who has a passion for rocks, gems, and minerals.

They’re open from Tuesday to Saturday from 10:00 am to 6:00 pm, and Sunday and Monday from 10:00 am to 4:00 pm.

See the Stars at Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory

Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory is a fun place to explore.

This unique Sunriver attraction sits next to Lake Aspen and encompasses eight acres of half wetlands and half forests.

You can take your entire family, hop on a bike, and proceed to the nature center in the morning.

When you reach the nature center, you will meet a team of naturalists eager to introduce the natural world to curious minds.

At Sunriver Nature Center & Observatory, you can also check out Sunriver Botanical Garden.

Don’t forget to stop at the observatory or by Lake Aspen while you enjoy views of sunsets!

Don’t forget to visit the observatory in the evening where you’ll see the star-dotted skies.

Sunriver’s elevation, along with its dark skies free of light pollution, make it an ideal spot to be mesmerized by the beauty of space right here on earth!

Experience Sunriver on the Deschutes River With Sunriver Resort Marina

Nothing is as beautiful as your smile when you’re out on the water, enjoying a pleasant summer day on the Deschutes River!

Trust Sunriver Resort Marina’s experienced, friendly staff to help get you geared up for a fun-filled adventure.

Power up your own thrilling river float with a canoe, raft, kayak, or standup paddleboard.

Either way, they’ve got you covered from head to toe, so bring out those gorgeous shades and suntan lotion.

Canoes and kayaks typically take 2 hours for the six miles down the Deschutes River, while rafts can take 3 to 3.5 hours.

Standup paddleboards call for even more adventure and offer an incredible half marathon challenge.

All rentals include life jackets and paddles, which come in handy if you fall fix during your trip fix.

Ride the Alpine Express Train at The Village at Sunriver

A Sign in The Village at Sunriver

Alexander Oganezov /

The Village at Sunriver is the only open-air shopping center that offers the upscale, outdoor, natural ambiance of Sunriver.

Designated as an “Outdoor Village,” this premier destination has been carefully designed with you in mind.

As a boutique commercial property located in Sunriver, Oregon, The Village at Sunriver has been making dreams come true for home buyers since 1974.

Homebuyers will love exploring Sunriver’s extensive commercial district, ranging from lodging accommodations to commercial office spaces.

The Village at Sunriver is the world’s best dorm room, complete with an ice skating rink, an Alpine Express train, mini-golf, bumper cars, a movie theater, and even a bounce house.

With all of these activities found at The Village at Sunriver, you’ll certainly have a good time here.

Enjoy the Natural Beauty of Sunriver on Horseback or Sleigh Ride With Sunriver Stables

Planning a trip to visit sunny Sunriver in pursuit of natural beauty?

Horseback riding or sleigh rides with Sunriver Stables is just the thing for you!

Located at 57215 River Road, the seasoned staff at Sunriver Stables will provide you with the fun and exciting ride of a lifetime.

They have a stable of about twenty rouncy-ponies that are perfect for young children aged 2 – 6 looking to experience the wilderness.

Several tiers of trail rides cater to guests of all experience levels, including beginners or more experienced riders who might enjoy participating in group lessons.

And if you haven’t ridden in a while, don’t worry because Sunriver Stables offers basic horsemanship lessons and private instruction.

If you enjoy holiday traditions, then give yourselves and your families a time-honored holiday tradition: a two-horse open sleigh to remember with a visit to Sunriver Stables this winter.

Try Hot Lava Bakery’s Freshly Baked Treats

Hot Lava Bakery’s delicious & uniquely beautiful cakes make one yearn for more!

If you think they’re a little pricey, that just means they’re of the highest quality.

Just see to it that you’re ordering your cake at least 72 hrs in advance of your special day.

If you’re not ready to indulge in something sugary, however, there are plenty of other options that will leave you drooling.

Try their piping-hot breakfast sandwiches or delicious pastries – they come in big servings, perfect for breakfast on the go.

They’ve got an excellent selection of coffee drinks for when you need a pick-me-up!

Cruise the Deschutes River on a Bicycle From The Bike Barn

You can ride comfortably alongside the Deschutes river, rolling through fragrant pine forest and past easygoing equestrians with a detour to craggy highlands on these smooth over 40 miles of paved trails.

Relaxed trail cruising is ideal for the entire household, including callow riders learning how to cycle!

Sunriver Resort Bike rentals at The Bike Barn are available by the day, with many cycles in all varieties that will persuade you with their finesse for both regular and formal riding.

And whether you’re an experienced rider looking to hitch up your trailer or an individual seeking to take off for a leisurely ride, you’ll find exactly what you need here!

Bikes rented by The Bike Barn include helmets, locks, maps, and other essential tools needed for riding safely.

As long as you arrive in time, you can use any of our bikes.

Don’t bother making any reservations!

Play the New Meadows Golf Course

View of New Meadows Golf Course

Kirt Edblom from Corvallis, Oregon, United States, CC BY-SA 2.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Every summer, Meadows has something for everyone with its breathtaking views of water hazards, beautiful lakes, and breathtaking mounds waiting for golfers to conquer them.

Renowned architect John Fought created Meadows to offer a thoughtful challenge to all golfers.

Featuring 18 memorable holes, this course offers variety with its seven fairways that border the winding Sun River.

Golfers traveling across the world will love the incredible scenery that’s reminiscent of American 1920s golf courses.

It’s fun for anyone considering the well-designed greens that can accommodate players of different skill levels.

Meadows Golf Course ranks #15 on Golf Advisor’s 2019 Best Of Oregon list and once even became host to the NCAA Men’s Division I championship tournament and many other USGA and NCAA championships.

Take a Deep Breath and Unwind at Sage Springs Club & Spa

When picking the best company for spas in town, there’s only one place to go: Sage Springs Club & Spa.

Situated in the heart of Sunriver, Oregon, their team will delight you with exquisite new organic, locally grown, and handmade offerings, services, and products.

Their signature service is even hand-selected just for you based on your needs!

Whether that means new techniques or different treatments, they’re sure to cover every angle when it comes time to make your decision.

Sage Springs Club & Spa uses Cascade Lavender Farms herb products known to soothe both body and mind.

Step Into Virtual Reality at SunriverVR

Located at Venture Ln, Sunriver, SunriverVR is the perfect place for adventurers.

Why not reserve one, two, or even three of their VR rooms and embrace the full realistic experience that VR has to offer?

Rent a room for one, room for 1-7, multiple rooms, or reserve the whole facility.

If you’re looking to give your guests an out-of-this-world group experience, then try their full-scale multiplayer games.

From zombies to dinosaurs, robot dogs, to Kung Fu fighters, there are worlds here designed just for you.

You’ll have a blast exploring all your options.

Visit El Caporal Sunriver For a Tasty Mexican Lunch

When you visit El Caporal at Sunriver, whether for lunch or dinner, you can expect to feel like their family.

Although many of their customers are return guests, they always remember that the people who walk through their door are there for the first time, and it’s been their goal to make them feel welcome and well catered to.

The taste and feel of this Sunriver restaurant translate throughout their services and products, making them a “like-family” restaurant.

From drinks that will make your taste buds sing to fresh and perfectly seasoned shredded beef in every bite, those looking for a Mexican fix should definitely look no further than here.

They’re also open in Bend, Oregon, so if you’d rather not travel too far from home to sample their dishes, this is a good option for you too!

Dive Into Fun at SHARC

A Pool in SHARC

Kingofthedead, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

Sunriver Homeowner Aquatics and Recreation Center (SHARC) is a great year-round destination complete with several different pools, water slides, and other activities for the whole family to enjoy.

More than just a summer camp, SHARC has 22 acres of fun to offer Sunriver locals and visitors of all ages.

Year-round play is available at the facility, which also provides a sand play area, an indoor swimming pool, a tot pool, an outdoor tot playground with a basketball court, a recreation field, bocce ball court, and picnic pavilion with an outdoor amphitheater.

SHARC features more than 5,000 square feet of meeting space and event coordination services for meetings and special events.

The space is also great for social groups or club gatherings, classes, or more.

Find Your Treasure at Second Tern

For over 20 years, Second Tern has been a store in Sunriver that focuses on bringing the community together.

They strive to provide you with a fantastic shopping experience in a friendly, warm, and casual environment.

Their prices are unbeatable, and the range of items is second-to-none.

From fashionable clothing to entertaining electronics – there’s something here for everyone!

And if you don’t have time to head down today, never fear!

They have new arrivals each week so you can enjoy fresh bargains when you want them.

Explore Beautiful Works of Art at Artists’ Gallery Sunriver

Artists and art aficionados alike will appreciate ‘The Artists Gallery Sunriver,’ which is not only a uniquely welcoming haven for local artists but is also where visitors can find an eclectic fusion of paintings and drawings.

It’s the perfect place to peruse the numerous visual masterpieces created by talented local artists.

‘The Artists’ Gallery Sunriver’ provides an environment where art lovers can mingle and enjoy in a relaxed and friendly manner.

Here, you can also take advantage of free coffee and pastries in addition to relaxing in one of the many comfortable chairs found in this unpretentious gallery.

If you’re looking for something new to do in Sunriver, Oregon, ‘The Artists Gallery Sunriver’ will surely leave you inspired!

Order a Craft Beer at Sunriver Brewing Company

Since Independence Day 2012, the locally based Sunriver Brewing Company has been dedicated to providing the most outstanding craft goods and services.

They preserve a deep affection and admiration for the mountains, forestry, rivers, lakes, and the people who make it all possible, as they are happy members of their community.

The craft beer produced by Sunriver Brewing Company is of the finest caliber.

Your enjoyment of their consistently high-quality craft beer throughout the year is made possible by their brewers’ attention to their craft and ingredient innovation.

Drop by to sample the top-notch craft beer menu and stay for an innovative spin on a selection of premium pub fare.

Browse Various Books at Sunriver Books & Music

The mission of Sunriver Books & Music is to establish a warm, welcoming environment where you may browse or discuss books without feeling awkward.

A vast range of fiction, mystery, history, travel, nature, animals, gardening, yoga, golf, health, architecture, journals, science fiction, thrillers, and consumer interest books are available.

You may find the ideal book at Sunriver Books & Music.

Since they think using fine pens makes writing enjoyable, they have some of the most excellent pens available.

The shop welcomes dogs and offers lovely dog collars, leashes, toys, and snacks.

Practice Your Golfing Skills at Woodlands Golf Course

The Robert Trent Jones Jr.-designed Woodlands golf course is known for its lush ponderosa and lodgepole pine woods, lava rock formations, and a great deal of water.

The Woodlands is among the Northwest’s best championship courses and is praised by players for its exceptional condition and picturesque surroundings.

For a large range of golf clubs, supplies, shoes, and gear for men, women, and kids from leading brands, explore the Woodlands Golf Pro Shop.

On the golf course, McDivot’s Café serves you casual fare.

Get your favorite snacks, breakfast items, burgers & fries, and drinks.

It’s a fantastic new location for early-evening outdoor dining and is close to the Woodlands Golf Shop and the putting green.

Unwind in Cafe Sintra

Cafe Sintra Sunriver, which takes its name from the Portuguese town of Sintra, focuses on dishes that honor Portuguese food, which is renowned for its brave combination of herbs and spices.

Stop by and enjoy what the locals know as the most significant hidden secret in town regarding breakfast and lunch since they have been delivering robust cuisine to Sunriver over the past 20 years, establishing them as a local tradition.

French toast, Belgian waffles, bacon, and mozzarella are just a few breakfast and lunch choices, along with flank steak, fresh spinach salad, and Portuguese chicken stew.

Private gatherings and other special events are permitted in the dining room.

There is also an option for catering and takeout.

Create Artwork at Live Laugh Love Art

Live Laugh Love Art provides a wide range of various DIY art projects.

A skilled studio technician is always available to provide guidance, advice, and guidelines for your DIY projects.

With simple to follow step-by-step directions for kids’ and adult layouts, you may paint whatever you want, whenever you want, and for as long as you like.

The hands-on art studio at Live Laugh Love Art Studio is rated the best activity in the Sunriver neighborhood and is open to people of all ages.

It is excellent for team-building exercises, birthday celebrations, Family Fun Night, youth organizations, bachelorette parties, and more!

Final Thoughts

If you haven’t heard by now, Sunriver, Oregon, is like a modern-day Eden!

But what’s it like to be in such a magical place?

Take a staycation in the area and experience for yourself all this incredible resort has to offer.

Take a break from everyday life and spend some time relaxing at Sunriver Resort.

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