Big Meadow at Black Butte Ranch

Black Butte Ranch

Life fills up quickly, doesn’t it?  With summertime routines kicking in and young kids in tow, overwhelm can come thick and fast, building up behind a dam of duties.  Fortunately, just outside of Sisters, OR, lies a place that’s as good as any to open those spillway gates and let that stress go- Black Butte Ranch Resort.  While not mandatory, for full regenerative efficacy, I advise bringing along some grandparents.

We loaded up the kids and all their accoutrements (and golf clubs and fly-fishing gear), picked the in-laws up at PDX and headed south.  A breezy few hours later we were at BBR, breathing in that revitalizing high desert air, tinged with juniper and ponderosa pine, admiring the views of 6 prominent Cascade peaks and Black Butte itself, all visible from near our condo.  I’ll be honest, sometimes trips with my in-laws can be a little, umm, claustrophobic.  No issue here- any choice of lodging coupled with the abundant and inviting outdoor opportunities leave you ample space to stretch out and enjoy the family time activities, or to escape them. 

Big Meadow at Black Butte Ranch

Opting for the latter, I selflessly left the kids with Nana and Grandpa to reconnect and walked over to the Big Meadow (one of two excellent golf courses at BBR) driving range and let the first afternoon turn to evening while getting used to the elevations effect on my middle irons.  Strolling back to the condo as the shadows began languidly stretching out, I could feel tension ebbing with the high desert sun.  The days energy expelled, we easily dispatched the children and settled in for our first of four dinners on our deck, chatting while watching the sun set past Jefferson and the sea of pines on Black Butte magically change color in the waning light.

The following days were similarly filled- wonderful family time, but always enough adult hands and fulfilling activities to be able to sneak away for more selfish pursuits whenever desired.  I took the kids to the pool then met buds for a round of golf and even got in an afternoon nap before the family reassembled; took everyone for a picnic on the Metolius River (one of my all-time happy places and minutes away) then spent the afternoon matching hatches and hunting Redband trout; we split up for hikes and cycling excursions, both kid friendly and challenging; took the kids into Sisters for ice cream cones while wife and mom-in-law perused the shops.  

The options for each day are boundless.  Heck, they even rolled a grand piano near the main lodge for a sunset concert with views out over Phalarope lake and Big Meadow with the Sisters peaks beyond.  The kids were a little too noisy for that scene, but what a wonderful surprise for our evening stroll!

If you love a great family bonding trip, but also need some time to indulge in some proper you time R&R, Black Butte Ranch is your place.  With so many adventures to be had, extra help from the grandparents isn’t even required.  It is, nevertheless, recommended. And to make planning as simple as possible, reach out to the amazing team at Bend Vacations!

written by Paul Thurston exclusively for Bend Vacations

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