Sunriver, Oregon is a cozy residential and resort community that sits surrounded by the waters of Cascade Lakes and the Deschutes River; making it a great place for camping, fishing, and outdoor fun. Sunriver vacation rentals are in close proximity to the water and surrounding natural areas, offering an abundance of nearby recreation choices. The city of Bend is just a few miles away, where you can visit the world famous Lava River Cave. If you’re planning a family holiday and hope to keep your kids occupied with fun in the sun and the beauty of nature, Sunriver makes it easy. Here are the top 11 things to do in Sunriver, Oregon.

1. Visit the Sunriver Nature Center – Sunriver, Oregon

For a lively, educational day with the family, visit the Sunriver Nature Center. Take a walk along the outdoor nature trail and spot birds of prey and other wildlife, then walk down to Lake Aspen to visit with the center’s most famous swans, Chuck and Gracie. The center also offers “Family Adventures,” where you can go birdwatching with a local biologist, or take a bike eco-tour through this vibrant preserve.

2. Check Out the Volcanic Rocks at Lava Lands Visitors Center – Bend, Oregon

Located a few miles north of Bend, Oregon, the Lava Lands Visitors Center is one of the area’s more popular attractions, as it sits surrounded by the volcanic Lava Butte cinder cone, which is an extension of the Newberry Volcano in Oregon. The ground, or “lava lands,” have often been compared to what it must feel like to walk on the moon, and the views are spectacular. Hop on the shuttle that travels from the center to the top of Lava Butte, then head back down to the visitor center and check out the geologic exhibits.

3. Ride Horses at Sunriver Stables – Sunriver, Oregon

For a back country adventure, plenty of fresh air, and gorgeous views of the Deschutes National Forest, head over to Sunriver Stables and do a little horseback riding. The trail takes riders through the Great Meadow and over the long Cardinal Bridge that heads into the forest. The horses are suitable for all skill levels, from beginner to advanced. Rides last about two hours, and if you’ve got young children, the stables also house small ponies that are available for guided corral rides.

Find the perfect Sunriver vacation rental on is the world's #1 vacation rental search engine with over 10 million properties!

4. Canoe Down the Deschutes River – Sunriver, Oregon

If your kids feel like doing a little exploring, sign up for a canoe adventure down the Deschutes River with Wanderlust Adventures. Each tour lasts for half a day, and skilled guides provide everything you need for a safe and enjoyable trip, including snacks and drinks. Paddle down the river and take in the incredible scenic views of the surrounding forests, mountains, and caves, and don’t forget to pack your camera for some memorable photos.

5. Stargaze at the Oregon Observatory – Sunriver, Oregon

Oregon’s night skies are a sight to behold, as the stars are visible for miles. For a magical night of stargazing, pay a visit to the Oregon Observatory. Public viewings take place every night between 9 and 11 p.m., and the observatory has several high-powered telescopes set up throughout the grounds, so you won’t miss a thing. Since the observatory is located near the river and wetlands, make sure to bring some mosquito repellent.

6. Have Some Homemade Ice Cream at Goody’s Chocolate and Ice Cream Factory, Bend, Oregon

For a deliciously sweet adventure, sign the family up for a tour of Goody’s Chocolate and Ice Cream Factory. Also located just a few miles away in Bend, the factory offers a 15-minute walking tour through the facilities that are responsible for whipping up some of Oregon’s most delicious treats, including chocolate, caramel corn, and Goody’s famous ice cream. Choose from over 100 flavors of homemade ice cream to sample, and don’t leave without trying the melt-in-your-mouth fudge.

7.Take the Downhill Paulina Plunge Mountain Bike Waterfall Tour – Sunriver, Oregon

If you’ve got a family of daredevils, then the Paulina Plunge is a must during your visit to Oregon. This 1.5-mile mountain biking tour travels downhill through the Paulina mountains, with six stops at crystal clear waterfalls, where you can splash around and cool off before hopping back on your bikes. All tours include fat tire mountain bikes, helmets, day packs, and lunch. Children four years old and up are welcome.

8. Go Fly Fishing at Cascade Lake – Sunriver, Oregon

For a relaxing day on the water, take the family down to Cascade Lake and do a little on-shore fly-fishing. Reel in some rainbow trout and brook trout for a later meal at your vacation rental, and enjoy the peaceful atmosphere and natural beauty of your surroundings. If you’d rather be out on the water, rent a pontoon or a fishing boat from the Sunriver Marina and go for a few spins around the lake.

9. Go Camping at Bend-Sunriver Campground – Bend, Oregon

There’s nothing better than spending the night in the great outdoors, surrounded by family, and taking in the crisp air and natural scenery. For a fun night of family bonding, pack up some camping gear and a few bags of marshmallows, and head over to the Bend-Sunriver Campground in Bend. The campground sits along the Deschutes River and offers a variety of amenities, including tent sites, tennis courts, pickleball, and a mini-golf course.

10. Take a Lava Tube Cave Tour – Sunriver, Oregon

In addition to canoe tours, Wanderlust Tours also take daring participants on tours through the Sunriver Lava Tube Caves, tube-like cave formations created by ancient lava. During the tour, visitors wear headlamps as they navigate the twists, turns, and slopes of these magnificent formations with the help of a skilled guide. The caves are cool throughout the year so make sure to dress warmly.

11. Visit With the Fish at the Fall River Hatchery – Bend, Oregon

If you’ve got a junior fishing enthusiast in the family, spend some time at the Fall River Fish Hatchery. Built in 1929, this hatchery produces an abundance of rainbow trout, as well as brook trout and cutthroat trout. Visit the hatchery and learn more about how the fish are produced for stocking up the waters, then take a stroll down to Fall River for a quick fly fishing session.


Ready to go? Check out these amazing Sunriver vacation rentals on