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Bend, Oregon

"AMERICA'S BEST MULTISPORT TOWN" Outside Magazine

Hailed as one of the best towns in the country by residents and visitors—oh yeah, and reputable sources such as Outside Magazine—Bend is an outdoor enthusiast hub with a bit of urban cool.

 

The Tower Theater in Downtown Bend, Oregon
The Tower Theater in Downtown Bend, Oregon

“Farewell Bend” was a village composed of a few makeshift buildings on the banks of the Deschutes River—the last hospitable spot pioneers saw on their epic wagon train journey west over the Cascade Range. Leaving the “Farewell” behind, Bend has remained hospitable as a hub of outdoor sports competitions and recreation.

Outside Magazine called Bend the “Best Multisport Town” in 2017. Races range from triathlons and multisport to skiing, running and mountain biking. For the not so hardcore athletes, there’s a lazy float down the Deschutes River through Bend’s Old Mill District. Hikers will love the sixty-three miles of urban trails, including the Deschutes River Trail. Playtime is plentiful, with eighty-two parks and open spaces in town. Pooches will appreciate the off-leash areas in many local parks. To complement Bend’s recreational options, a vibrant cultural arena is alive with art galleries, art walks, a full schedule of outdoor concerts and a theater scene.

Makers gravitate to the High Desert, so locally made souvenirs are easy to come by. Making libations (and drinking them) is another popular pastime. Local wine, cider, distilled spirits, and beer are all covered. If you are feeling formal, try one of the white-linen restaurants or keep it casual with great eats from a food cart.

DESCHUTES RIVER TRAIL Adjacent to Tumalo State Park in northwest Bend along the east side of the Deschutes River, Riley Ranch Nature Reserve is a 184-acre former ranch that is opening to the public in 2018. The property offers connectivity with the Deschutes River Trail from the state park south to Archie Briggs Canyon on Awbrey Butte. The land features open meadows, juniper and pine forests, unique lava flows, cliffs and the river’s rocky canyon.

WINTER IN BEND With Mt. Bachelor’s extensive terrain and Bend’s thriving mountain destination scene, winter snowbirds flock here. From stormy powder days to the more frequent bluebird days (those are known for powder, too), downhill and cross-country options abound.

Head up Cascades Lakes Highway from your lodging at Tetherow Resort or WorldMark at Seventh Mountain to access snow adventures or head down to town to check out the social scene in one of Oregon’s fastest-growing cities. Either way, you’re guaranteed to find fun in under thirty minutes from the town that msn.com called one of the “20 Best Mountain Towns in America” in 2017.

Crater Lake Vodka rolling off the line at Bendistillery in Bend, Oregon
Crater Lake Vodka rolling off the line at Bendistillery in Bend, Oregon

SAMPLE ITINERARY:

YOUR BASECAMP: The new Huntington Lodge at Pronghorn overlooks the Jack Nicklaus Signature Golf Course. Fine restaurants, pools, and residences with a plethora of amenities will fit any family’s needs.

SEE Tumalo Creek as it tumbles ninety feet at Tumalo Falls. Ten miles west of Bend, the falls are a year-round destination for hikers, bikers, snowshoers, cross-country skiers and photographers.

STROLL along the Deschutes River Trail, which runs the length of town on the east and west river banks and passes through the Old Mill District.

PLAY at Bend’s water park in the Old Mill District. Kayak or surf the standing wave, float the tuber passageway or lounge on the beach. SIP local beer at one of Bend’s twenty-nine, topnotch craft breweries on the Bend Ale Trail. There are also many beer festivals strewn throughout the year.

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