GREAT AMERICAN VACATION
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Central Oregon is a popular destination year-round. Skiers and snowboarders come from mid-December through March, when the powder is deepest and driest. During this time, guests flock to the hotels and resorts along Century Drive, which leads from Bend to Mount Bachelor. In summer, when temperatures reach the upper 80s, travelers are more likely to spread throughout the region. But temperatures fall as the elevation rises, so take a jacket if you're heading out for an evening at the high lakes or Newberry Crater.
You'll pay a premium at the mountain resorts during ski season, and Sunriver and other family and golf resorts are busiest in summer. It's best to make reservations as far in advance as possible; six months in advance is not too early.
The Sisters Rodeo takes place in June, the Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show in July, and Bend's Pole, Pedal, Paddle —a popular ski, bike, run, and kayak/canoe race—is in May. The Sisters Folk Festival, a celebration of American roots music, is in September. Bend celebrates the seasons with a Fall Festival in mid-September, Summer Festival in July and WinterFest in February, featuring outdoor sports, ice carving, live music, beer, and wine.
Bend Film Festival. This popular local film festival takes place in October. 1000 N.W. Wall St., Suite 260, Bend, OR, 97701. 541/388–3378. www.bendfilm.org.
Bend Summer and Fall Festival. Downtown Bend is blocked off with food, crafts, art booths, and music in July and September. Box 1424, Bend, OR, 97709. 541/508–4280. www.bendfestivals.com.
Oregon Winterfest. February brings music, food, brews, wine, ice carving, and other winter sports to Bend's Old Mill District. Bend, OR, 97701. www.oregonwinterfest.com.
Pole, Pedal, Paddle. Bend's popular ski, bike, run, and kayak or canoe race is held in May. Bend, OR, 97701. 541/388–0002. www.pppbend.com.
Sisters Folk Festival. A celebration of American music is held in September. Sisters, OR, 97759. 541/549–4979. www.sistersfolkfestival.org.
Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show. The second Saturday in July, Sisters transforms into a Western town covered with colorful quilts hanging from building exteriors. Sisters, OR, 97759. 541/549–0989. www.sistersoutdoorquiltshow.org.
Sisters Rodeo. Multiple rodeo and community events, held annually for more than 70 years, take place over a weekend in June. 67637 U.S. 20, south of Sisters, Sisters, OR, 97759. 541/549–0121 or 800/827–7522. www.sistersrodeo.com.