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.
Touting titles like BeerTown and DogTown USA, Bend is one of those places that’s tough to leave once you’ve arrived. Frequently gracing “must-travel” lists, this mountain town with impressive views of the Cascade Range, 30+ craft breweries, 63 miles of urban trails including the Deschutes River Trail, 300 miles of single-track trails and more than 80 parks and open spaces delivers a memorable experience for the whole family. Access to alpine lakes and Mt. Bachelor – the country’s 6th largest ski area -, which is open for all-season fun, including downhill mountain biking is just a short drive up the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway. Complementing the wide variety of recreational opportunities, upscale restaurants, and luxury accommodations, from boutique hotels to destination resorts, ensure Bend is a place worthy of your vacation.
Bend knows how to show off to its visitors.
Start your day at one of Sparrow Bakery’s two locations — if Bend had an official city pastry, it would be the flaky, cardamom-infused Ocean Roll. If you’re looking for a place to settle in for a big brunch, try Lemon Tree or Brother Jon’s Alehouse — both downtown, and both serving up breakfasts that will please any palette.
Time to work off some of that decadent breakfast? Spring in Bend offers no shortage of options for a workout. Stay close to home with a walk through Drake Park, Bend’s photogenic and historic spot right on Mirror Pond. Follow the river upstream and you’ll find yourself at the Bend Whitewater Park, which often has surfers testing their skill no matter the weather.
For those interested in arts and culture check the schedule at the Tower Theatre, which serves as the living room of Bend and often has top-name acts in town. Another great option is the Deschutes Historical Museum, which has both permanent and rotating exhibits that explore Bend and Deschutes County’s vibrant past.
After all that adventure, you’ve earned a beer or two. Bend has more than two dozen breweries, and it’s not a trip to Bend unless you visit a few. You can access the Bend Ale Trail on your own, or hire a tour group such as The Bend Tour Company or the Bend Brew Bus to give you a lift. Locals will thank you, since IPAs can be high in ABV and our city is at about 3,500 feet.
Finish your day with a meal from one of Bend’s great restaurants. No matter what type of fare you seek, Galveston Avenue has you covered. If you seek fine dining, try Ariana, which has a daily five-course chef’s menu that is creative and compelling. 10 Barrel Brewing’s westside pub down the street is the right spot for pizza and comfort food. And locals love Parrilla Grill, a small, low-key place with inventive burritos and excellent fish tacos.
At the end of your long, busy day, try the quirky McMenamins Old St. Francis School, which has bars, restaurants and soaking pools (perfect after skiing) on the property. Or get some sleep at the Hampton Inn & Suites right in the heart of the Old Mill, so you don’t miss a thing.