I’m finally getting around to sharing details of our trip to Black Butte Ranch in central Oregon. I’ve been to Black Butte a handful of times, but this time around was extra special because Harper was finally old enough to experience the amenities. Black Butte is only about 2 hrs east of Portland and the drive is really pretty. Not until this last trip did I realize just how close BB is to us. We’re definitely making this getaway a 1-2 times a year thing.
Black Butte Ranch is pretty unique. It’s definitely not something you find in California, or at least I didn’t when I was growing up. You basically rent a house and have access to all the amenities on the grounds – golf, tennis, swimming pools (3), bikes, trails, horses, parks, a small grocery store, a cafe, and a restaurant. The grounds are beautiful and the views are breathtaking. It’s such a great place to get away and enjoy some downtime, but also be outdoors. We’re hoping to make lots of memories as a family here as the years go on.
Where We Stayed
I’m not going to share the exact house we stayed at because to be honest, it wasn’t great. It was pretty dirty and we most likely won’t stay there again. It was a last minute booking during Covid, so we’re just grateful we were able to book anything at all. But, we use both vacasa.com and vrbo.com to book our houses.
What We Did
We were super pumped about this trip because Harper is at an age where she can do so much. We went on long bike rides, played at the park, went to the pool, played tennis, and dined at Lakeside Bistro (outdoors). One of the mornings we drove into Sisters (15 mins) and grabbed coffee at Sisters Coffee Company and breakfast at Angeline’s Bakery and Cafe (plant-based) The week we were there was 100 degrees, so if the weather was a little cooler I think we could have gotten out and done more, but in general we had a blast. Harper loved every second of it. She’s still talking about this trip now, lol.
What It Was Like with Covid
I mentioned this on my Instagram Stories, but I would say 90% of people wore masks in the common areas. In general we felt safe and even though the resort was not empty, the grounds are large enough to keep your distance from people. When we played at the park, no one was around us. My only issue was at the pools. They were pretty packed. They’re limiting the number of people who enter at a time and closing every 3 hrs to clean the areas, but it still felt like a lot of people at once. As the days went on, there were less and less people, which did feel better. We kept our distance the best we could in that situation, wore our masks to enter, wait in line, etc.
I should also mention – we felt safe enough to not always wear masks outside because we weren’t around people. If we came into close contact people, we would put on our masks.
They’re limiting the number of people who can enter at once and closing down every 3 or so hours to clean the pool. We would go about 10 minutes before an opening session and wait in line with masks, so we knew we could get in. If you come later and the pool is full, you will have to wait in line until someone leaves.
Things to Know
- Not every house has bikes, so make sure you check this beforehand on the listing.
- Not every house has AC or Heat – be sure to check before you book.
- Most of the houses are old and cabin-like
- There’s a bike rental shop
- Houses book out a year in advance, so book early
- Sisters is the closet substantial town 15 minutes up the road.
- Bend, Or is a good 30 minutes East from Black Butte
- There are different attractions around the area, so I would look it up – pontoon boats, paddle boarding, trails, falls, etc.
- When booking, think about where you want to stay based on what you want to do. If you’re planning to go to a certain pool, you may want to stay in a house closer to that pool.
You can find our last trip to Black Butte with Harper here. Also, I’m sharing all our outfits from this trip in an upcoming post. Stay tuned!