Plan Your Visit To
There’s just something about Bend, Oregon. This former mill town has transformed into a craft beer mecca, the perfect base camp for outdoor adventure with a surprisingly chic downtown and dining and cultural opportunities that belie its small-town feel.
The high desert oasis has something to offer visitors year-round. From nearly every vantage point in Bend, it’s easy to see why this town has become an outdoor paradise. Nestled in the shadow of the Cascade Mountain range, with the Three Sisters mountains — Faith, Hope and Charity — looming large above town, the Deschutes River runs right through the center of the city. It’s possible to ski in the morning, kayak in the afternoon, and try one (or more) of the city’s famed breweries in the evening. And you’d just be scratching the surface.
Bend, Oregon has been on dozens of best-of lists, highlighting its livability, its outdoor opportunities, its pet-friendliness. When you visit, you discover that’s all true. But dig deeper to find just how much this place has to offer.
Map of Bend, Oregon
Need to know where to start? We’ve got you covered. Here’s a map of the Bend, Oregon area to help find your way around:
Plan your adventure to Central Oregon.
Deschutes River Photo Tour
Running through the middle of Bend, the Deschutes River offers plenty of amazing photo ops. Starting in town we will either head Dowtown Bend, to Dillon Falls or start at Shevlin Park and explore. This tour can include some moderate walking. We'll show you our favorite shots based on how active you want to be.Private Tour capped at 2 people to ensure personalized instruction and individualized attention.You'll have around 1 hr at each location.Tour Price: $299 up to 2 people
Visit Erickson Aircraft Collection
Recommended by TRIP ADVISOR, The Erickson Aircraft Collection proudly displays a vintage aircraft collection started by Jack Erickson in 1983. This collection features over twenty rare aircraft, most of which are still in flying condition. P-38 Lightning, P-51 Mustang, Ki43 Hayabusa, F4U Corsair, SBD Dauntless, Grumman Duck, and B-17 Flying Fortress are some of the ones included in this one-of-a-kind collection.
Shoes, Brews & Views Snowshoe Tours
Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for snowshoe tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us to go splashing through the powdery snow in the Cascade Mountains west of Bend, Oregon. Bend? You mean where incredible beer is brewed for sipping splendor? YES!Naturalist Guided Experience: Shoes, Brews and Views says it all- snowshoe to a serene spot, sip suds in true Bend fashion and wonder at inspiring views while at it! This is the Bend lifestyle in which our tour will fill your spirit and mind. Following animal tracks, eating some lichens and running downhill in playful powder demands tasty libations as a reward- whether a locally crafted hopped beverage or root beer for the kids it all goes down well in the forest surrounded by visually splendid peaks. And get this connection, the no-impact-nature of our snowshoe tour produces no adverse affect on what becomes the water for the beer you drink on this experience. Baby, that’s goodness! Location: Snowshoeing tours take place in the areas around Mt. Bachelor and the surrounding Deschutes National Forest of the Cascade Mountain Range of Oregon. New to off-trail snowshoeing? Let Wanderlust Tours do the driving and teach you fun snowshoeing techniques and tricks. All tours include instruction. Wear winter boots and powder/ski pants to keep your feet and legs dry while snowshoeing.Unfortunately, we cannot allow dogs on our tours. Please reach out to Ponderosa Paws for your dog-sitting needs.
$70 - $100
Lava Tube Cave Tours
Did you know there is a vast network of caves near Bend, Oregon? Strap on a helmet and headlamp and join our naturalist guides for a fun, educational, underground adventure! These tours are a great Bend, Oregon family activity. Please Note: We do not visit Lava River Cave (operated by the Deschutes National Forest)Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for cave tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us on this epic subterranean tour on Bend’s ponderosa pine-studded high desert. Our renowned naturalist guides will highlight sweet bits of these cool caverns that might not initially meet the eye. Naturalist Guided Experience: During our 2 hours underground, in the darkest, quietest spot earth can provide, we may impart an understanding of the region’s geology- how massive volcanoes created these wonders. Or we might share how the cave habitat provides for creatures important to human life. Your crew will be energized with revelations about natural and cultural history that’ll keep your mind humming with delight long after you return home with fond memories of the tour. Caves: Bend’s lava caves have a delicate ecosystem that few have experienced to the fullest! Wanderlust Tours is the only guide company permitted in these special lava caves. These caves are also wild, meaning they do not have a paved path or lighting. Closed toe shoes are recommended for navigating the uneven rocky surfaces. Cave Difficulty: Mother Nature has created a wonderfully diverse array of caves that offer a variety of experiences. All of the caves we visit are wild, meaning other than the staircase to enter them there are no man made improvements put into the caves (walkways or lights). The walking surface is uneven and can be varying degrees of rugged and rocky.In our estimation, this cave presents a moderate degree of difficulty as it involves many fun opportunities for scrambling up/down/around rocky areas and crawling through short passages.On all our cave tours, our guides are attentive to keeping the pace suitable to all members of the group so that everyone can move at a comfortable speed.
$70 - $95
Ice Skating - Open Skate Reservation
Reserve your open skate time! We are pleased to have you at the Seventh Mountain Ice Skating rink. We are following all state and local guidance concerning masks and social distancing. See you on the ice!
$10 - $15
High Desert Museum Admission
This unique museum reveals the natural world and cultural history of the Wests High Desert region through artful exhibits, alluring animals, engaging programs, and meaningful history. Whether you're a local or planning to visit Bend Oregon, discover why we're a top-rated Thing to Do in Bend by TripAdvisor!The Museum is just 5 minutes south of Bend or 10 minutes north of Sunriver on Highway 97, but it feels like stepping into a different time and place. Get a close-up view of native wildlife from river otters, porcupines to birds of prey. See art through a different lens. Chat with historic characters who share tales of early Oregon explorers and settlers. Visit an authentic homestead and sawmill from 1904. Learn about Native American culture and history, and delight your children with one of many fun, hands-on programs. You'll be glad you came!
Bend Brew Bus
Let us take you behind the scenes to witness Bend’s brewing and artisan distilling cultures. Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier provider of craft beverage tours in the Bend, Oregon area! Tasting, enjoying friends, comfort and safety are what you can expect on this trail of sipping adventure. Naturalist Guided Experience: With 20+ local craft breweries, Bend is a Beer Mecca! Join Wanderlust Tours on an epicurean expedition that offers tasty samples and insight into the process of beer making. Your expert beer guides will provide personally tailored information about fermentation science.Breweries: Tour three breweries, with a behind-the-scenes look at the brewing process with light appetizers at one stop. Each Bend Brew Bus tour is unique, visiting different locally partnered breweries in the area.If you like what you're seeing but want a little more variety, we recommend The Local Pour, where you can sample an array of Bend’s best craft beverages: spirits, ciders, specialty cocktails, and more!Our Common Goal of Environmental Care: We live, visit and play in Bend because of its physical beauty. Wanderlust Tours donates for every person who participates on this tour to Pledge for the Wild. These funds help support the interconnected habitat for all who rely on it.
Pinot Noir Tasting
Cork Cellars is a wine bar and bistro, whose main focus is giving customers a warm and friendly environment to eat, drink, and socialize.
K1 Speed Indoor Kart Racing
Indoor Go Kart Racing Bend, OregonIn addition to our Hillsboro location, we also have an indoor go-kart racing location in Bend to meet your needs. Our K1 Speed Oregon locations are world-class entertainment venues that are designed to keep you entertained and engaged, whether you’re on or off the track. If you want to experience indoor karting yourself, are interested in hosting a fun and memorable party for a friend or loved one, or would like to plan a unique corporate function, we can help.K1 Speed Bend is a fun thing to do near Deschutes, Redmond, Tumalo, and Alfalfa, and is located near popular Bend attractions such as Deschutes Brewery, Les Schwab Amphitheater and the High Desert Museum.Indoor Go Kart Racing – The K1 Speed DifferenceSo what makes K1 Speed unique? Well, where do we start?! First off, every one of our locations, located throughout the United States from Southern California to Southern Florida, is entirely self-contained. Our indoor go-kart racing locations, including our Bend, OR location, allow individuals to race every day of the year, regardless of weather. Rain, snow, sleet, or blistering heat, driving enthusiasts can come to K1 Speed, escape the weather, and start racing!The other difference that sets K1 Speed apart from the competition, and the feature that we have grown and built our reputation on, is our use of 100-percent, all-electric karts. Forget about the lawn mower-powered go-karts of your youth. Our European-style electric karts are high-performance machines, producing tremendous torque and horsepower from advanced electric motors. These zero-emission karts outperform their gas-powered counterparts while being better for the environment, quieter, and arguably, easier to drive. With our karts, you don’t have to worry about stalling the engine or dropping out of the power band in a tight corner – our electric motors produce maximum torque at all speeds! Race wheel-to-wheel at speeds approaching 45 mph on an indoor track!
$22.95 - $54.95
Best Things to See in Bend, Oregon
Bend started as a mill town, and those roots are still evident today. The Old Mill District, south of the city’s downtown area, has everything from retail therapy, dining options, or walking paths along the river all shaped from the bones of two of the city’s former sawmills. Seated on the banks of the Deschutes River, the Old Mill offers wine tasting, restaurants, a movie theater and more. Grab a cocktail on the patio at Greg’s Grill and watch as people float the river on a hot day, or try a few wines at Va Piano Vineyards tasting room before strolling through the brick buildings with local and national brands. The Old Mill is always hosting lots of events, including at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater, a recently renovated outdoor music venue that plays host to big-name acts each summer and fall.
If you’re interested in arts, culture, and Bend’s history, check out the High Desert Museum, just south of town. The award-winning museum provides in-depth and beautifully curated indoor and outdoor exhibits about Bend and Central Oregon, complete with animals (think birds of prey, porcupines and river otters) and an authentic sawmill and family ranch with reenactors. Or swing by the Deschutes Historical Society in downtown Bend, which has a rich trove of historical artifacts from the area, as well as dedicated volunteers who will find all the information you seek.
In October, BendFilm, an imaginative and thought-provoking film festival, features independent film, features and hosts big names each year. BendFilm is one of the cultural touchstones of the city, but it’s just one of the many festivals that take place year-round in Bend. BendFilm’s home is at the Tower Theatre, sitting on Wall Street in charming downtown Bend.
Interested in sampling many of Bend’s famous brews, grab an Ale Trail passport and visit some of the best breweries in Central Oregon. More than two dozen breweries that call Bend home — you can start downtown at Bend’s oldest brewery, Deschutes Brewery, or nearby Bend Brewing Co. Head to Crux Fermentation Project, near Old Mill or try a brewery more off the beaten path by heading to Worthy Brewing on the east side of town or Good Life Brewing. Belly up to the bar next to the locals and prepare to experience some of the finest beers the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
Do know, though, that Bend is more than just beer. The city’s vibrant downtown offers a huge restaurant scene — you’ll find James Beard Award-winning sushi, Southern-inspired cuisine, and everything in between. Many of the best restaurants in Bend are located in the downtown area. Pair that with wine tasting and wineries in Bend, Oregon including the Bledsoe Family Winery tasting rooms in Bend. The city also offers distilleries that provide fresh-tasting perspectives as well, Bendistillery, on the way to Sisters, makes flavor-infused vodkas perfect for a good cocktail. Crater Lake Spirits distilled by Bendistillery has a downtown location, perfectly located for a quick or not so quick stopover. Don’t miss the city’s marijuana scene as well, with Bend dispensaries producing a variety of cannabis products that will allow you to explore Oregon’s marijuana culture.
If it’s an outdoor adventure you seek, Bend is the perfect spot. Golf courses abound in Bend, where the climate allows access to the sport nearly year-round. There are courses for every skill level, and the views will more than makeup for any slices or duffed shots. Try renting a paddleboard, kayak or float and put in the Deschutes River for a scenic trip through town. Or rent a bike and head to Phil’s Trailhead for access to an extensive mountain bike trail system. If it’s your first time on a mountain bike, consider a lesson from Grit Clinics, a Bend-based, woman-owned company that lives by the credo “Ride Bikes, Be Happy.”
Are Central Oregon’s mountains calling? Mt. Bachelor sits just a half-hour away. In the winter, the mountain offers a ski and snowboard playground, with more than 4,300 acres of skiable terrain and runs for all skill levels. In the summer, Mt. Bachelor offers a zipline, frisbee golf and mountain biking. Swing out to Tumalo Falls for an easy hike with an epic view of the waterfall, or climb to the top of Pilot Butte to see the Cascade Mountain range. Or stay close to town and access the city’s exceptional park and trail system. Drake Park is the crown jewel of Bend, with views of Mirror Pond and old-growth trees shading you from the high desert sun. Walk along the Deschutes River until you arrive at the Bend Whitewater Park, which features a hydraulic wave in the center of the Deschutes that allows for surfing and sport kayaking.
Best Time to Visit Bend, Oregon
Adventure abounds in Bend, no matter the season. Summer high temperatures hit the 90s, winter temperatures hover in the 30s, and the high desert stays very dry but averages more than 30 inches of snowfall in the winter.
In the summer, you’ll want to travel up the Cascade Lakes Scenic Highway to cool down in one of the dozens of alpine lakes and access hiking trails deep in the wilderness. Or stay in town, rent a float and hitting the cold mountain runoff of the Deschutes River. Put your float in at the Old Mill, then float all the way to Drake Park, passing surfers on the wave in the Bend Whitewater Park. Catch a concert at the Hayden Homes Amphitheater while dining on delicacies from one of the local food carts and sipping a craft brew or wine.
In winter, pray for snow and get ready for a whole different set of outdoor activities. Spend the day skiing or snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor, or taking the kids tubing in the snow. If you’re a snowmobiler, you’ll find plenty of designated areas for the activity, as well as opportunities to snowshoe and sled in the wilderness. Warm-up in the evening with a soak in a hot tub and a beer by a fire pit at one of the many local restaurants that offer outdoor seating year-round.
And in the spring and fall, Bend is a sunny and delightful spot for a long weekend. Spring skiing often goes well into May at Mt. Bachelor, when it boasts a strong snowpack. Fall is the perfect time to plan a fishing trip to Bend, or to access the many mountain biking trails in the area.
More stories from Bend
More inspiring stories, adventures, and tips & tricks for planning and experiencing the best Central Oregon has to offer.
Best Hot Springs in Central Oregon, Bend & Beyond
Oregon is known for being an outdoor paradise; where else can travelers discover misty forests, snowy mountain peaks and vast desert expanses in one day? From the Cascade Mountains to the Painted Hills, volcanic activity has helped shape the many different landscapes of Oregon. Along with mountains and valleys, Oregon’s volcanic past helped create a host of hot springs scattered across the state. These hot springs are natural, hot pools of water—natural hot tubs. Some are more developed and have lodging nearby, while others feel completely remote and undiscovered. So whether it’s a soak under the stars in the high desert or a steamy pool in the forest, there’s a hot spring calling.
Make the Most of Your Bend and Central Oregon Ski Vacation
Dreaming of skiing in Bend, Oregon? The Central Oregon region is an incredible destination for a ski getaway. While the average snowfall in Bend is a little more than thirty inches, Central Oregon ski resorts boast annual numbers of more than 450 inches. From Bend, visitors can drive to Mt. Bachelor resort in just 30 minutes or the Hoodoo Ski Area in less than an hour. Outside of the resorts, there are boundless backcountry trails for cross-country skiing to glide into pristine and untouched wilderness. With tons of snow, a plethora of winter activities in Central Oregon, and seemingly endless miles of terrain to explore, Bend and Central Oregon make the perfect ski getaway. Read on to discover how to make the most of your ski-cation in this winter wonderland.
Ice Skating Rinks You Have to Try in Bend and Sunriver
Bend and Sunriver are two excellent winter destinations. The offering of winter activities in Central Oregon are immense. Snow typically falls fast and heavy and visitors get to experience a winter wonderland filled with snow capped Ponderosa pines and fresh powder. In such a winter wonderland, it makes sense that Bend and Sunriver would have a selection of ice skating spots. Whether guests choose to twirl on the ice, casually glide or just kick back with a hot cocoa while the kids play, a trip to the ice skating rink can help cap off any Central Oregon winter getaway.
Finding the Best Lunch Spots in Bend, Oregon
As Bend grows, so do the tasty options for a great lunch at a great price. With so many restaurants new and established to choose from, the only question is where to begin. Lucky for you, we’ve made finding the best lunch in Bend a breeze.
The Ultimate Guide to Pumpkin Patches in Terrebonne, Oregon
Nothing signals the coming of fall quite like spending the day at a pumpkin patch. It’s tough to not feel the cozy spirit of the season when you’re solving a festive corn maze while bundled up and sipping a hot apple cider. Pumpkin patches in Central Oregon benefit from our desert climate and still get plenty of sunshine, even in late October. While smaller family farms all around the region will sometimes host fall events, the two most popular pumpkin patches both reside in Terrebonne: the Smith Rock Pumpkin Patch and the DD Ranch Pumpkin Patch.
Notable Chefs at the Best Restaurants in and around Bend, Oregon
A little known fact that visitors are picking up on, Bend is a foodie paradise. There’s something about our creative, non-traditional attitude and emphasis on local ingredients that just makes great food. Luckily for visitors and locals alike, there are several chefs running Bend kitchens that constantly push boundaries, experiment, and create delicious and innovative dishes across a diverse array of cuisines.
Best Shopping in Bend and Redmond, Oregon
Shopping in Central Oregon has evolved over time, thanks to an influx of outdoor enthusiasts, organic farmers, antique purveyors and entrepreneurs of all kinds moving in, and subsequently sharing their products with the community. This mixed bag of motivated individuals creates a marketplace full of locally sourced, handcrafted items that can’t be found anywhere else. In addition to small, local businesses, Central Oregon’s growth in population in recent years has garnered the attention of some larger retailers, who have opened up shop in Bend and Redmond. Shopping in Bend, Oregon and likewise, shopping in Redmond, Oregon, provides visitors with a look inside our local industries, while simultaneously providing opportunities to purchase from well known retailers. It’s also worth mentioning that shopping in Central Oregon and throughout the state is tax-free, offering shoppers a built-in excuse to buy whatever catches their eye.
Top 5 Tours to Take in Bend, Oregon
Bend is a nature-lover’s paradise blended with a hop-head’s dream; nowhere else will you find this much craft beer and this many outdoor activities. The city’s been growing quickly, reaching 100,000 residents in 2020, and with the growth comes plentiful opportunities for adventure. From walking the very halls that brew your favorite beer to any number of adrenaline-inducing sports, we have you covered for the five best types of guided tours in Bend, Oregon.
The Scenic Waterfalls in Central Oregon
Is there anything more satisfying—anything more awe-inspiring—than gazing upon a thundering waterfall, its raging waters tumbling over ancient rock walls? Does it get any better than seeing a waterfall reach full boil in the midst of an otherwise quiet river as it crashes through a rock-lined canyon?