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The towering Cascade Mountains peak Mount Bachelor and the three “Sisters” rise to the west of Bend—the high desert, former mill town located in central Oregon. Located just three hours by car from Portland, and six hours from Seattle, this year-round recreation destination has grown from its humble beginnings as a working-class, timber town, to a celebrated destination for golf, skiing, fishing, rafting, craft beers and cycling.
“Ten minutes away,” I told my husband, every time we drove anywhere in Bend during our recent visit. It seemed like everything we wanted to do was only a couple minutes away. Mount Bachelor and Sunriver Brewing Company were maybe 20 minutes away, but nothing seemed to require any extensive commitment of time in the car. If weather had been a little warmer, and a little drier, we would have opted for bicycles, since planned bike routes and bike lanes appear on most thoroughfares in Bend.
The Deschutes River flows through the center of Bend, and helped give the town it’s name. “Farewell Bend” was the nickname used by early pioneers to refer to a low point along the river where it was easily crossed, and where the town was established in 1905. One of those pioneers was Solomon Tetherow, a wagon-train captain from Missouri who led a party through the area in the mid-1800s.
Today, the name Tetherow is synonymous with Tetherow Resort, a 700-acre golf and resort community located off the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, about—you guessed it—10 minutes from downtown Bend. The resort opened Tetherow Lodges, a 50-room boutique hotel, in April, with luxury accommodations overlooking the golf course and adjacent Deschutes National Forest. With rooms featuring gas fireplaces, flat-screen TVs, soaking tubs and terraces with views of both sunrise and sunset for much of the year, it was hard to leave our room—even if most things we wanted to do were, at most, 10 minutes away.
Tetherow Golf Club is an 18-hole course designed by award-winning architect David McLay Kidd. The course sits on a plateau, ringed by the Tetherow Trail, a three-mile, paved trail that loops around the resort and has panoramic views of the Cascade Mountains and foothills. Since its opening in 2008, Tetherow has won numerous awards and accolades in various golf-centric publications. When snow blankets the golf course in the winter, they allow sledding, while in the summer months, golfers can rent “gold boards” to caddy their gear through the course. This isn’t your granddad’s golf course—these oversized skateboards with motors cruise around the course with technology and modern grace.
Throughout the golf course at Tetherow, and in the landscaping surrounding the property, plants indigenous to central Oregon can be found. Rock piles and snags provide habitat to birds and other wildlife. The grass for the golf course itself is a mixture of fescue and bentgrass, giving it a hue that blends more naturally into the environment. These grasses also require less water, fertilizer and pesticides. This isn’t just about good public relations, however, Tetherow is an Audubon International Certified Signature Sanctuary—the first golf course in Oregon to achieve that certification.
Tetherow dishes up two culinary offerings to boot—Tetherow Grill and The Row. Both kitchens are manned and planned by Executive Chef Zac Hoffman, an Oregon native and avid fisherman. Hinged on local ingredients, Hoffman’s menu for the Grill changes with the seasons, ranging from crab cakes and Wagyu beef sirloin carpaccio to a burger built on half a pound of Oregon free range beef and a citrus-brined, huckleberry-glazed pork chop—all set to the scene of the Cascade peaks. In The Row, a Scottish-inspired saloon, a monthly local brewery is profiled and paired with grub, alongside 12 beer taps, more than 30 bottled and canned beers.
On a quiet morning, before golfers had taken to the links, we sipped coffee from nearby Sisters Coffee Company, provided with the coffee maker in our room at Tetherow, sat on the terrace and watched as a red-tailed hawk patiently stalked prey. We could relax while we enjoyed the morning, plotting our days ahead, knowing that most everything we wanted to do in Bend was no more than 10 minutes away.
Tetherow Resort || 61240 Skyline Ranch Road, Bend, Oregon || (877) 298-2582 || tetherow.com