When you’re planning your stay in Sunriver, you might find yourself starting to worry about expenses. However, unlike most vacation destinations, Sunriver has an abundance of activities and attractions that you and your loved ones can enjoy, all for free! Read on below to learn more about the most awesome free Sunriver activities.
Hike the Trail to Benham Falls
From the parking lot of the Lava Lands Visitor Center, a well-known trail extends out to the iconic waterfalls of Benham Falls. If you happen to be visiting during summer, be sure to bring bug repellant.
Go on the Deschutes Brewery Tour
Tucked away in downtown Bend nearby, Deschutes Brewery offers free tours of their facility, where you can learn how the brewmasters create such palate-pleasing combinations through their ingenuity. Additionally, the tour comes with up to four free tastings as well, meaning you can try an entire flight of their craft beer for free.
Movies and Concerts
During each summer, Sunriver has free concerts at Sunriver Resort from 6:30pm to 8:30pm on Thursday through Saturday. The close-by city of Bend also hosts various free concerts and movies all over town. From free Thursday night and Sunday matinee concerts at the Les Schwab Amphitheater and Drake Park to “Munch and Movies” events at Compass Park on Friday nights, there are plenty of sources of free entertainment all located nearby Sunriver!
The Sunriver 4th of July Festival
Sunriver hosts a free Independence Day Festival that kicks off on the morning of July 4th and lasts until early afternoon. Watch the Bike and Float Parade, listen to live local music, and take part in whimsical contests like watermelon-eating and bubblegum-blowing competitions.
See the Sights from Pilot Butte in Downtown Bend
Go to the top of Pilot Butte in downtown Bend nearby and see all of the Cascade Mountains’ peaks at once, from Mt. Bachelor to Mt. Hood. It’s also where Bend puts on their fireworks display for Independence Day.
5 More Fun Things to Do in Sunriver
With so much to do in Sunriver, a list of five activities simply can’t cover all of our favorites. Here’s five more Sunriver activities to enjoy during your unforgettable stay!
Take a Heritage Walk
The history of Sunriver and nearby Bend is a fascinating one, including being a part of the Oregon Trail, which is not just a game students use to learn about history! The Heritage Walk, sponsored by the Deschutes Historical Society, is an audio guided tour of seven of the most interesting historical spots in Bend. Download the free app through Apple or Google Play, put on your walking shoes, and be prepared to be awed.
Lava River Cave
Although not exactly free, the $5 day pass fee is close enough to include this exciting historical spot on our top 10 list of free things to do! The Lava River Cave, created from a volcano eruption that occurred over 80,000 years ago, can take up to a couple of hours to fully explore and has an average temperature of only 42 degrees, so be sure to wear comfy walking shoes and winter clothing! The tour is self-guided, so bringing at least two light sources will help make the experience less dangerous and far more pleasant!
Go to the Park
Not every adventure has to be grand and impressive. Sometimes a simple afternoon at the park can be the most memorable part of any getaway, and a visit to Fort Rock Park is the perfect example. Offering tennis courts, areas for your fur babies to play, and a playground your littles will never want to leave, this park adventure costs nothing! Pack a picnic in the summer or bring a sled in the winter; this four-season park has all the charm of the ones from your own childhood!
Waterfalls of Wonder
Another of our favorite things about living in the Sunriver area is the abundance of waterfalls found across the landscape. A simple hike in the woods can turn into a magical experience, especially as you find yourself heading in the direction of Dillon Falls. Located off Forest Road 41 in Bend and named after an early settler who died in 1907, it offers the perfect spot for a picnic, or for those who are attempting a rafting trip along the Deschutes River, adds a little whitewater to the adventure.
An Eye to the Stars
The lack of light pollution in Sunriver and Bend leads to the perfect opportunity to check out the stars on a clear night, one of our favorite free Sunriver activities! There are two observatories in the area: Sunriver Observatory, located at 57245 River Road in Sunriver; and the Pine Mountain Observatory, which is a part of the University of Oregon’s Physics Department and is located at 56100 Pine Mountain Road in Bend. Both places offer tours to the public at different times, and if you can stay up late enough, the “show” is definitely worth it!
5 More Bonus Sunriver Activities
Because we don’t believe in less is more, these next five bonus Sunriver activities are on the house—or, to be more exact, IN the house! Our homes are designed to be the best part of your Sunriver journey, and these wonderful activities help make it so!
Binge Watching Television
Yes, this activity could be done at home as well, but everyone has a night when they don’t want to go out on vacation, so why not take advantage of the state of the art electronics in the living rooms and watch your favorite rom-coms? Or, make this stay even more decadent and bring the pastries you purchased from Hot Lava to the bedroom and spend the entire evening in bed, watching television and eating sweets!
Watch the Sun Set or Rise
When was the last time you sat on your own porch and watched the ultimate free show? We may be partial, but we think that Mother Nature outdid herself with the beauty of our sunsets, and the patio furniture we provide gives you a comfortable place to sit and enjoy the sight. A glass of wine in the evening makes the show even better!
Truth be told, we don’t normally like to do anything that resembles work when we are on vacation, but there is a simple joy in whipping up a batch of cookies to be devoured over the seven days of your stay—especially when you visit during the winter holidays! Christmas, cocoa, and cookies are the trifecta of holiday spirit, and although it may cost a little to buy the ingredients, it’s absolutely free to taste!
Quiet Moments in the Hot Tub
Some of our properties come with private hot tubs and spending the evening simmering in the bubbles ranks high on our favorite activity list! Sipping on wine, listening to the call of the owls as your breath is released in white clouds into the cool night air is the perfect free activity to enjoy in your Sunriver Pines vacation hideaway.
A Walk Around the Neighborhood Before Bed
There’s a sweet beauty to nighttime in Sunriver. The sounds of nature quiet down, the moon rises high, and the crisp, cool air invites you to breathe deep. Taking a walk around the neighborhood in which your Sunriver Pines vacation escape is located is guaranteed to be the best way to wind down for the night.
There are many more things to do in Sunriver, whether inside one of our lovely properties or out on the town. We can’t wait for you to visit and enjoy them all for yourself!
Let the Vacation Experts at Sunriver Pines Help You Plan Your Trip!
Contact our reservation specialists to find out more about these free activities and other exciting things to see and do during your time in Sunriver when you book your stay in one of our charming vacation rental properties today! Let us tell you about all the Sunriver activities.