Travel to Visit Bend, Oregon
There's just something about Bend, Oregon. 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. Bend, Oregon has been on dozens of best-of lists, highlighting its livability, its outdoor opportunities, its pet-friendliness. When you'll visit, you discover that's all true. But dig deeper to find just how much this place has to offer.Take a Virtual Tour
Things To Do In Bend
Best Time to Visit Bend, Oregon
Adventure abounds in Bend, no matter the season. Here's how to make the most of your next visit to Bend—whenever that might be.
Around Bend, cool (sunny) mornings typically turn into breezy, refreshing afternoons as families flock to the city for spring break. Rain isn't common, but much of the region's 12 or so inches of annual rainfall come between March and May; pack a light jacket and hat, just in case.
High temperatures reach the 80s or 90s, so it's the perfect time to paddle, hike through mountainous meadows, and float the Deschutes River. Rain is rare, and low temperatures typically dip into the high 40s or low 50s after the sun sets—so pack a coat if you're heading out after dinner.
Take advantage of crisp afternoons and cool evenings by shredding fast-paced mountain biking paths or by sipping patio beers at one of the roughly two-dozen breweries. High temperatures drop rapidly—from an average of about 75º in September to just less than 50º in November—so bring layers to account for changing weather and chilly evenings (where lows can drop into the 30s by October).
Wintry weather arrives as early as Thanksgiving; by December, snow lovers are hitting the ski slopes or strapping on snowshoes at sno-parks just outside of Bend. Even in town, high temperatures typically remain in the high 30s and low 40s, and lows routinely dip below freezing; even with the dry desert air, the Bend area averages more than 30 inches of snowfall each winter.
This former mill town, now the largest city in Central Oregon, has transformed into a craft beer town, the perfect base camp for outdoor adventure with a surprisingly chic downtown and dining and cultural opportunities that belie its small-town feel.
Nestled in the shadow of the Cascade Mountain range, with the Three Sisters mountains -- Faith, Hope and Charity--- and Mt Bachelor -- 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.
Lodging in Bend
The lodging options in Bend are immense, at times overwhelming, but we are here to help. Choose from a variety of options. Luxurious resorts like Tetherow or Juniper Preserve (just about 20 minutes outside of Bend) provide a variety of amenities like on-site dining, golf, outdoor adventures, pools, and spa experiences. Stay at a boutique hotel, chain hotel or cozy bed and breakfast if it's more your style. Modernized motels with dog-friendly options or vacation rentals if you are looking for a more home-like experience. And yes, camping in nature is always an option. Check out our Bend lodging directory for more specifics.
Dine in Bend
While Bend is known as Beertown USA, it is way more than just breweries (though some don't want to admit it). The city's vibrant downtown offers a huge restaurant scene -- you'll find award-winning sushi, fine dining, Mexican and Spanish inspired cuisine, food carts and everything in between. While many of the best restaurants in Bend are located in the downtown area, there are a variety of amazing options at the Old Mill, Box Factory and on the eastside of town. With many Bend restaurant options, you are bound to find a memorable meal.
Sip in 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. With 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 the Old Mill or try a brewery more off the beaten path by heading to Worthy Brewing on the east side of town. Belly up to the bar next to the locals and prepare to experience some of the finest beers the Pacific Northwest has to offer.
Wine more your style? There are plenty of wine bars, and tastings in Bend, Oregon including the Bledsoe Family Winery tasting room or Stoller Wine Bar. The city also offers distilleries that provide fresh-tasting perspectives as well, Bendistillery, the distiller of Crater Lake Spirits makes flavor-infused vodkas perfect for a tasty cocktail. Crater Lake Spirits has a downtown Bend location, perfectly located for a quick or not so quick stopover.
Best Things to See + Do in Bend, Oregon
If it's an outdoor adventure you seek, Bend is the perfect spot. In summertime, try paddleboarding, kayaking or floating and put in on the Deschutes River for a scenic trip through town. 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.
Swing out to Tumalo Falls, 15 minutes from Bend for an easy hike with an epic view of the waterfall, or walk 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.
With access to a variety of trails, mountain biking, road and gravel are all possible from your door. 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.”
Central Oregon Golf Trail
Golf courses abound in and around Bend, where the climate allows access to the sport nearly year-round. Basecamp in Bend, and try out a different course daily. With over 30 courses in Central Oregon, there is a course for every skill level, and the views will more than makeup for any slices or duffed shots.
In winter, it's time to pray for snow. Spend the day skiing or snowboarding at Mt. Bachelor or Hoodoo, or taking the kids tubing in the snow. Not a skier, no problem. There are plenty of activities for all ages. Depending on your level of excitement, a short 15-minute drive puts you in proximity for snowshoeing, cross-country skiing, or sledding. Or if you're a snowmobiler, you'll find plenty of designated areas with incredible views for the activity.
Interested in staying around town? There's an NHL-sized ice skating rink located at the Pavilion or take a short scenic drive 10 minutes out of Bend towards Mt Bachelor and stop by the Inn at the Seventh Mountain for another place to skate.
Kid-Friendly Activities for All Seasons
Happy kids means happy parents. And happy parents means a successful vacation! Rain, shine, or snow, Bend has a variety of activities inside, outside, and underground. (Yes, we mean caves). With over 80+ parks, pump tracks, ice skating rinks, indoor play centers, you (I mean your kiddo) can take their pick. Find out more with this kid-friendly guide.
The Mountain is Calling
Mt. Bachelor sits just a half-hour away - as the 6th largest ski resort in North America (with 4,323 skiable acres, 3,365 feet of vertical drop), it's one not to miss. In the winter, the mountain offers a ski and snowboard playground, a terrain park, on-mountain day-lodges, sunny decks and and runs for all skill levels. The Nordic center also offers 56 km of groomed trails perfect for skate or cross country skiing. In the summer, Mt. Bachelor offers hiking, a zipline, disc golf, lift-access mountain biking, chairlift rides, and sunset dinners.
Take a Guided Tour
So you know you're interested in sampling the suds of some of Central Oregon's 30 breweries? Or excited for a wilderness adventure? Why not book a tour and let the local experts guide you around. There are a handful of activities and tour options to experience year-round in Bend.
Shop 'til You Drop
You'll find a wide range of shopping experiences around Bend. The city's brick-lined downtown core is chockablock with locally owned mom-and-pop shops—where the friendly cashier ringing up your souvenir, book, dog toy, or skin care product just might be the owner. Next to downtown is the Box Factory, which hosts more than three-dozen local retailers, restaurants, tasting rooms, and more in a onetime industrial hub that dates back to 1916. Further south, sitting along the banks of the Deschutes River, is the Old Mill District—home to an eclectic mix of boutiques from local and national brands alike. And on Bend’s east side, more than a dozen big-name retailers are always offering big savings at the Bend Factory Outlet Stores.
Best of all: Oregon shoppers don't pay sales tax on apparel, accessories—you get the idea. What you see on the price tag is what you'll pay at the register, a development that has led to Bend becoming a premier shopping destination in Central Oregon.
Small Town Vibe, Big City Offering
All year long, you’ll find arts offerings that showcase Bend’s creative spirit, the city’s fascinating past, and its industrious spirit. Arts lovers find plenty to enjoy about Bend. Right in downtown, the historic Tower Theatre routinely screens films and welcomes a variety of touring performers—musicians, authors, and more. Nearby, the single-screen, 30-seat Tin Pan Theater engages cinephiles with seasonal hits, documentaries, under-the-radar films, and more. And every October, BendFilm, an independent, thought-provoking, and Academy Award-qualifying film festival, takes over screens across Bend and pairs its films with filmmaker discussions and question-and-answer sessions.
Live music fans, meanwhile, flock to the cozy Volcanic Theatre Pub and, in summer, the Hayden Homes Amphitheater—which welcomes some of music's top touring acts on the shores of the Deschutes River. And every spring, the Bend Brew Festival showcases the city’s famous beer culture through tastings and exclusive tappings over the course of two sun-kissed days.
Indoor and Outdoor Museums
If you're interested in arts, culture, and Bend's history, check out the one of Central Oregon's most acclaimed museums, The High Desert Museum, just south of town. The Smithsonian-affiliated 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 Museum 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.