Hotel at a Glance: Pronghorn Resort
Old-growth juniper trees and the Cascade Range mountains surround this 640-acre, four-star resort, but guests are hardly roughing it amid the picturesque wilderness. Enjoy the warmth from a stone fireplace in a junior or one-bedroom suite adorned with custom furniture, or step out to the private balcony for views of a championship golf course.
- Award-winning golfing: Golf Digest ranked the Jack Nicklaus course among the top public courses in the United States in 2013.
- Dine in style: Onsite restaurants serve up locally sourced fare, which changes seasonally.
- Take a dip: There are two heated outdoor pools and hot tubs.
- Aromatherapy massages are among the services offered at the resort’s spa.
Bend, Oregon: Year-Round Adventure in Cascade Range Mountains
Although gray skies loom over most of the Pacific Northwest, Bend averages 300 days of sun per year. Because of its warm, dry climate, high-desert terrain pervades the area in the form of thick juniper trees, arid winds, and snow-capped mountains. Imposing Mt. Bachelor tempts skiers and snowboarders with more than 70 powder-covered slopes. Summer activities abound at spots such as Smith Rock State Park, whose many easy day hikes provide beautiful vistas of deep river canyons inhabited by golden eagles, mule deer, and river otters. A five-minute drive southwest leads travelers to the Deschutes River, home to both smooth waters and churning Class III rapids. Whitewater rafters barrel along with the current as mountain bikers traverse miles of hilly trails lining the river’s banks.
In downtown Bend, travelers find a cluster of restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. With outdoor tables and hanging pots of purple begonias dotting every street corner, the area has the feel of a quaint East Coast hamlet. Instead of chain restaurants and big-box stores, visitors find one-of-a-kind nooks, including nine local microbreweries. Among the best of these is Deschutes Brewery, which has earned acclaim from both beer-festival judges and local sippers (read our Groupon Guide interview with Deschutes brewmasters). The award-winning Obsidian stout encompasses notes of chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, and black barley. A passion for beer pervades the city; it’s not unusual to catch sight of the cycle pub, a mobile keg on wheels propelled by up to 14 customers pedaling through the downtown streets.