This quaint little town sits off the beaten path deep in the woods of Central Oregon. Surrounded by the Deschutes national forest, speckled with nearby lava fields that sit inside of the Newberry Crater national monument and of course a river running through it, what was once a training area for WWII Army personnel has become a vacation destination.
There is evidence that the area was inhabited by indigenous peoples over 11000 years ago with the first explorers coming to the area in the late 1800’s. Then around 1942 the government purchased the property to be used as a training ground for the Army corps of engineers combat facility. It’s been a while but last I checked there were still some of the old training obstacles back along the river. It was called Camp Abbot at the time and housed around 10000 soldiers. By around 1944 the camp was decommissioned and for the most part torn down. The Great hall, which is a large log built structure, still stands today and is used for weddings or other major events.
Then in 1965 a land developer bought up the property to turn it into a vacation destination resort and residential community. Obviously named after the main features at the time, Sun River. He made the right choice and now it’s a busy bee hive of tourism and fun in the summertime. There are all kinds of vacation activities from river rafting to bike rentals and tours, a large water park, two golf courses, and a shopping mall to grab souvenirs or grab a round of mini golf.
Since the majority of folks in Sun River are visitors on vacation it’s been a great place to experiment with food and other types of treats. Scattered amongst the many bike and ski rental shops are wonderful restaurants, coffee shops and candy shops. From Goody’s candy shop for a waffle cone filled with house made ice cream, a bag of gummy sharks or a milkshake. To some of the best pizza and calzones in Central Oregon. A personal favorite of classy night out fine dining, the South Bend Bistro serves up beautiful steak cuts of filet mignon and king salmon with a side of Basil Hayden’s old fashion. There’s something for everybody in Sun River these days and you won't be disappointed when you get here, and you’ll be coming back for years.