- Two-night stay for up to four in a Premium one-bedroom condo
- Bottle of wine
- $25 resort credit for recreation or dining<p>
By Susie Gutowski, Travel Correspondent
Lodge-Style Condos Nestled in Deschutes National Forest in Pacific Northwest
As dawn breaks over the Pacific Northwest, a pale peach light contours the smoky blue peaks of the Cascade Mountains, throwing into bold relief the prickly pines blanketing the slopes just outside Seventh Mountain Resort. Travelers staying in the resort’s Premium one-bedroom condos get front-row seats to this captivating mountainscape from private patios, where the scent of woody pines and the throaty chirp of forest birds delight noses and ears, respectively. This secluded retreat nestles within the sprawling grounds of Deschutes National Forest, which covers 1.6 million acres of ashy mountains, bulbous volcanic-rock formations, and emerald marshes undulating in the gentle breeze.
The dynamic landscape inspires adventure year-round, from skiing at Mt. Bachelor to whitewater rafting and kayaking on the Deschutes River to mountain biking through what Mountain Bike Action magazine deemed America’s Top Mountain Biking Town. Activity also flourishes at the resort itself, as peals of children’s laughter ring out from the green waters of the resort’s lake and two heated pools, open year-round. Tennis and basketball courts and seasonal horse stables cater to an array of athletic interests, and ice covers a multipurpose rink during winter, inviting skaters to practice double axels or polar-bear evasion tactics. Come summer, the rink transforms into a mini-golf course. A vast expanse of flat grass invites more laid-back pursuits, such as afternoon picnics or nighttime stargazing.
Each Premium one-bedroom condo boasts both a bedroom with a king bed and a spacious living room with a fireplace and a private patio. Although the condos’ kitchens allow for eating in, two on-site restaurants offer distinct dining options. Lodgers flock to Big Eddy’s Café for hearty breakfast items such as pancakes with whipped cream and northwest berry compote ($12). Seasons Restaurant artfully plates savory offerings such as Alaskan halibut ($29) and sage chicken stuffed with Crater Lake blue cheese and prosciutto ($21).
Bend, Oregon: Year-Round Adventure in Cascade 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. About 14 miles from Seventh Mountain Resort, 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.
A 15-minute drive into downtown Bend brings travelers to 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. 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.
Recommendations for Your Getaway
Deschutes Brewery Tour This free tour takes guests through the brewing facility with stops at the hop cooler, the fermentation tanks, the bottling line, and the tasting room for free samples.
High Desert Museum This natural-history museum chronicles the wildlife and history of the Pacific Northwest with exhibits featuring gila monsters, rattlesnakes, and a replica of a pioneer ranch
Phil’s Trail Head Mountain Biking Beginner and intermediate mountain biking trails take riders past scenic rivers, lakes, and mountains.
Handmade chocolates, caramel corn, and ice cream take center stage at this local confectionary.
Smith Rock State Park Rock climbers, hikers, and mountain bikers flock to this geologic wonderland filled with majestic rock spires and more than 1,000 bolted climbing routes.
5 Fusion & Sushi Bar Diners come for excellent rolls and specialty cocktails, but it’s the glass ceiling panels filled with illuminated water that make for a truly memorable meal.
Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails This swanky hangout’s art-deco vibe contrasts with its hearty fare, which includes heaping piles of baby-back ribs.
Widgi Creek Golf Club An 18-hole championship course challenges golfers with natural water hazards and ponderosa pines, with the Cascades serving as breathtaking backdrop.