3. Guided Tour of Crater National Park
Just over two hours from Bend, planners can arrange a visit to the only national park in Oregon, and one of the oldest national parks in America, at Crater National Park. Pick-up and drop-off from Bend and guided tours of the park are available for corporate groups via Wanderlust Tours.
Crater Lake, Shutterstock
Wanderlust Tours is a nice option for corporate groups because its tours can be customized to the group’s location and specific schedule. It also provides meals and hiking guides, making the excursion easy to plan.
The full-day guided tour of Crater National Park is a popular option. Visitors to the park are treated to views of sparkling Crater Lake—the deepest lake in the U.S., formed by a collapsed volcano some 7,700 years ago—surrounded by the Cascade Mountains.
Other customized tours are available through Wanderlust Tours as well including activities like canoe tours of Cascade Lakes or Deschutes River, hikes of Smith Rock and Black Butte, and more.
4. Alpine Skiing and More on Mt. Bachelor
Large groups meeting in central Oregon often utilize Deschutes County Expo Center for its 200,000 square feet of flexible conference space and additional outdoor space that can host anything from conferences and tradeshows to RV rallies. The Cascade Mountain Range serves as a picturesque backdrop to the popular event area in Redmond, and even better, is easy for groups to access.
The entrance to Mt. Bachelor is a quick 30-minute drive from the expo center. Groups can arrange for a trip to the mountain, the sixth-largest ski resort in America, for a day on the slopes. For individuals who don’t alpine ski, Nordic cross-country ski tours and snowshoe tours are also available.
During the warmer summer months, mountain biking and hiking Mt. Bachelor, or simple scenic lift rides, are also popular. Discounts for all activities are available to groups.
[Read also: Groups Can Experience Oregon-Made Products at the Source]
5. Urban Trails in Salem
In the lush center of Willamette Valley, you don’t have to go far to experience old forests, waterfalls and expansive trail systems in leafy Salem.
“Within two blocks’ walking distance of downtown Salem is a three-park connected system that features more than 25 miles of trails perfect for walking, jogging or hiking,” said Kara Kuh, assistant director of marketing and public relations at Travel Salem. “The Salem region is also home to Silver Falls State Park, nationally famous for its ‘Trail of 10 Falls,’ a looped trail that takes hikers to 10 different waterfalls within the park system.”
Salem Silver Falls State Park South Falls hike, Credit: Caleb Wallace
The entire looped trail is about eight miles, but Kuh said there are different cut-off points and smaller trails within the larger one that gives attendees who only have an hour or two to spare a chance to get outside and see a few waterfalls without veering too far from town. The state park is about a 30-minute drive from Salem.
Kuh added that there are easily a dozen more notable hiking spots within a 20-mile radius of the city.
“Even some of our wineries offer hiking trails and walks around the property as part of the wine tasting experience,” she said. “Also, while we offer some hikes for expert-level hikers for sure, many of them are family-friendly and doable by those who want to experience the beautiful outdoors while they are here but are not expert-level hikers.”
For those in town for meetings and conventions, the accessibility of Salem’s outdoor wonders certainly makes it an attractive event destination—all you need is a little bit of time and a comfortable pair of shoes to get a taste of the destination’s stunning surroundings.
Unforgettable Outdoor Adventure
Many Oregonians will tell you the best way to experience the state is to spend time outdoors. From Portland to the Cascades, there are many accessible ways for meeting attendees to do this without taking away too much time from the work at hand. Whether you take attendees up to the dunes or for a simple walk, natural wonders are easily within meetings groups’ reach.
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Deschutes County Expo Center | 541.548.2711
Eugene, Cascades & Coast CVB | 541.484.5307
Travel Portland | 503.4271372
Travel Salem | 503.581.4325
Visit Bend | 541.382.8048