There are only four cities in the United States that have volcanoes within their city limits. Mount Tabor is in Portland, Oregon. Jackson, Mississippi is home to the Jackson Volcano. And Diamond Head is in Honolulu, Hawaii. The fourth city holds a special place in our heart and may have been one you have already heard of, as it is located right here in Central Oregon. Bend, Oregon is home to Lava Butte and Pilot Butte, both cinder cones that haven’t erupted in thousands of years. Pilot Butte in Sunriver is considered an extinct volcano and is completely safe, offering views of the Central Oregon landscape that will bring a smile to your heart! Visiting Pilot Butte is one of the best things to do in Sunriver, Oregon.
Known as the Stair Stepper of Bend
Both tourists and residents alike have gotten their workouts on the trails that traverse the area, giving Pilot Butte in Sunriver the humorous nickname, “The Stair Stepper of Bend!” Pilot Butte Nature Trail is a popular one year-round, so watch out for people coming and going when it’s time to explore. Rising 500 feet out of the hardened lava that makes up the land here, this extinct cinder cone is famous for being the largest in town and was once a popular landmark that signified a safe spot for early settlers to cross the Deschutes River on their way to their new homes.
Unlike Lava Butte, the landscape surrounding Pilot Butte in Sunriver is not barren. Rather, the trees and other vegetation gives the butte a soft filter that photographs beautifully; be sure and stop at one of the scenic viewpoints, and don’t forget your camera! Picnic tables make the top of the butte a popular area for viewing the sunset, the sunrise, or just enjoying a simple meal with the people you love most. Sunsets here are spectacular, so if you are hiking the trails around Pilot Butte in Sunriver, plan to be at the peak right as the sun is sinking behind the Cascade Mountains—you’ll thank us for this tip later! A children’s playground is located at the Scenic View Point, so if your children are too young to appreciate the views, they are still going to want to come to this magical spot to swing on the swings!
Nighttime Things to Do in Sunriver, Oregon
There’s so much to see and do during the daytime in Sunriver, but what happens when the sun sets and the stars twinkle brightly overhead? Your Sunriver Pines cabin does have everything you will need to have a fantastic time every evening, but you’ll want to explore nighttime things to do in Sunriver, Oregon at least a few times!
Maybe plan a trip to the movie theater? There are quite a few in nearby Bend where you can lose yourself in the magic of more than one movie, knowing you can stay out as late as you want because you don’t have to get up early in the morning for work! Watch independent movies and attend arts events at the Tin Pan Theater located at 869 NW Tin Pan Alley in Bend, or watch the latest blockbuster at the Regal Old Mill Stadium 16 & IMAX theater at 680 Powerhouse Drive, also in Bend.
In the mood for live entertainment? The Tower Theater at 853 NW Wall Street in Bend can be found in the heart of the arts district. This beautiful Art Deco style theater was renovated a few years back, and the attention to detail is wonderful and maybe a bit distracting! It can be hard to pay attention to the Broadway play being performed or to listen to the live music when your head is on a swivel, taking in the details of this historic building!
Eating and Drinking
Nothing starts a night better than a good dinner and drinks, and the perfect way to end a night at the theater is with a few more drinks. The choices in Bend and Sunriver are numerous and exciting! The Velvet Lounge at 805 NW Wall Street in Bend is a quietly elegant spot serving small bites and your favorite cocktails, but only to the 21 and over crowd. Opening at 5PM every night of the week, no children are allowed!
Today it often seems as if everyone only drinks wine and craft beer, but the Stihl Whiskey Bar at 550 NW Franklin Avenue in Bend knows this is not true; true connoisseurs appreciate and love the strong warmth of a smooth and delicious whiskey. Offering over 400 whiskies and a full pub menu, this is the perfect spot to start out your night on the town or to visit for one last drink before heading home to the comfort and style of our Sunriver Pines vacation rental!
When It’s Time to Come Inside
When we grew up, we knew it was time to come inside when the streetlights came on. Today, you’ll know when you just can’t hike another step! Soak tired muscles in a hot tub on the patio, wash away the dirt from the trails in our spacious showers, and enjoy a glass of wine before you sink into bed and a dreamless sleep in your Sunriver Pines vacation rental—reserve your rental today!
Sunriver Holiday Rentals
Planning to visit Sunriver for a major holiday? Check out our great rental options here: