The Pacific Northwest sometimes has a reputation for dreary weather, but in central Oregon—situated just east of the Cascade Range—there are roughly 300 days of sunshine a year. Powell Butte is located just 15 minutes by car from Redmond and around 20 minutes from Bend. It's right near the Deschutes National Forest, where mountain bikers can zip along riverside biking trails as whitewater rafters paddle downstream. Rock climbing and fly-fishing are also popular in the area, particularly at Smith Rock State Park, a craggy river canyon located about 45 minutes from the ranch. More than 1,000 climbs make up the area, including the Monkey Face, a 350-foot-high pillar that juts out from a cliff in the shape of a simian.Oregon is known for its award-winning microbreweries; there are seven in the area that one can find by following the Bend Ale Trail. Or instead hop aboard Bend’s Cycle Pub, a bar on wheels powered by its pedalers. The mobile pub circles downtown Bend, giving sippers a chance to enjoy some brew as they scope out the downtown scene and pitch screenplay ideas to passersby.
About 15 miles southeast of the lodge lies the small town of Sisters, which got its name from its location at the base of a trio of snow-capped volcanoes known as the Three Sisters. Although summertime brings a wealth of festivals and fairs, such as the annual Outdoor Quilt Show, the winter months bring out the town’s quieter side. The Folk Festival Winter Concert series livens things up with music from the bluegrass crooners Steep Canyon Rangers and the harmonic trio Red Molly. Hoodoo Ski Area—situated a few minutes away from the lodge—attracts snowbirds to its powdered slopes with more than 800 acres of terrain encompassing 32 ski runs and a large park dedicated to tubing and snowman mixers.
Dinners Done Right liberates families from the time-consuming task of menu-planning by offering ready-made dinner ideas and the recipes and ingredients to make them. Customers bring home and cook seasonally rotating grub packages that could include fresh seafood, pasta, or comfort-food entrees. The food factory also invites patrons to attend build-your-own meal sessions, which are more hands-on than a patty-cake tournament. A series of workstations create an in-store dinner assembly line stocked with the tools and ingredients to help create multiple meals to stock empty freezers.
Born and trained in Italy, Maurizio Paparo opened Ciao Pizza as an authentic Italian pizzeria where saucy circulars are built from the dough up, adorned with fresh ingredients, and fire-kissed in a classic wood-burning oven. More popular on plates than extreme close-ups in soap operas, the Diavola pizza dazzles tasters with bold bites of caramelized onions, roasted peppers, spicy italian sausage, and mozzarella (8-inch lunch serving, $8.25; 12-inch dinner serving, $13.95). Ciao’s lunch and dinner menus also boast bountiful salads ($4.75+), crispy calzones ($7.95+), and freshly made artisan pasta dishes served with focaccia bread ($6.95+) to deftly satisfy appetites of all sizes and astrological signs. Conduct a lunchtime fork foray into ravioli carciofi with tender artichokes and a roasted-pepper crème sauce ($7.50/regular, $10.95/large), or sample an evening selection of meat-laden lasagna classica ($13.75). Choreographed by talented pastry chef “Mama” Milka, the Excelsior cheesecake serves as a triumphant finale to a flavorful feast, topped with a red curtain of raspberry sauce ($5.75).
Smokin Joe's BBQ hands off freshly made breakfasts and barbecue fare to on-the-go diners at its speedy drive-thru-only location. Homemade breakfast burritos blend cheese, potatoes, and eggs, and barbecue lunches showcase succulent morsels of pulled pork and spare ribs. All of Smokin Joe's meats flaunt smoky flavors and tender textures thanks to their prolonged exposure to applewood, hickory wood, and character actor James Woods.:m]]
Pier Sushi's expert sushi chef coils up 23 specialty rolls and an assemblage of Asian entrees, festooning plates with artistic arrays. With no MSG, masago, peanuts, or peanut oil in any of its platters, Pier's menu offerings draw instead upon sesame and soybean oils. Sake and Japanese beers complement meals, cooling down throats more effectively than bowties sculpted from ice.