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.
Cascade Lakes Kayak Tours
Join us on this iconic paddling tour on the high elevation mountain lakes in the mighty Cascade Range.Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for canoe tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us on this iconic paddling tour on the high elevation mountain lakes in the mighty Cascade Range. Naturalist Guided Experience: Our renowned naturalist guides will highlight the sweet spots on these stunning lakes that might not initially meet the eye. During our 2 hours on the water, along with the fun and sun, we may impart an understanding of the region’s geology- how fire and ice built and sculpted our landscape. Or we might highlight how wetlands surrounding the lake provide incredible habitat for vocal avians amped on finding great lakeside food! 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. Location: Wear your swimsuit for a refreshing dip along with eco-friendly sunscreen! You’ll see parts of these large lakes that are only accessible by paddling into the fingers, coves, bays, and wetlands created by ancient eruptions and erosion. With sweeping views of our local mountains, our Bend, Oregon canoe tours have it all!Our kayaks are tandem sit-on-top models, which are comfortable, fun, and easy to paddle. Kayak tours are best for those over the age of 8, and the weight limit is 450 lbs per kayak. If you want to paddle with younger kids, consider our Canoe Tour!
$70 - $95
Bachelor to Bend Full Day Guided Ride
Please see the COVID 19 guidelines that we are following to stay in compliance with the Oregon Health Authority.Mt Bachelor to Bend is one of the most epic mountain bikes rides our area has to offer. Imagine this: crisp mountain air mixed with warm sunshine beaming on you as your guide unloads your bikes at the base of Mt. Bachelor, at the crest of the Cascade Mountains. You grab your hydration pack, strap on your helmet, and prepare to spend the rest of the day on up to 35 miles of sweet singletrack bliss as you make your way back to Bend.This is the most distinctive Central Oregon ride, but know that there are many options. However we get back to Bend, you will sure to experience miles of fast-flowing sections, rocky or rooty sections (if desired), scenic alpine views, forest cruising, and some of the most fun you can have in the area. As we descend in elevation, you’ll experience a change in ecosystems from wide-open Hemlocks to mixed conifer to classic Ponderosa stands. Plus, we’ll eat a tasty lunch on the trail at one of many scenic viewpoints.Can’t get enough of this ride? We highly recommend doing this tour more than once. We will give you a unique route each day with new trails and new scenery.
$100 - $220
$149 Bungee Jump
Welcome to Central Oregon Bungee Adventures, the premier bungee jumping operation in the United States!Established in 2015, Oregon Bungee is the brain child of long time Bend resident James Scott. Scott, a long time BASE jumper, skydiver and bungee jumper, is excited to bring his flavor of fun to the Central Oregon region.Located at the high bridge in beautiful PS Ogden State Park, the bungee site offers stunning views of the Crooked River Gorge and Cascade Mountains. A typical season runs from May through October, weather permitting.Please call ahead or check this website for reservations and availability information. Thanks for visiting, we hope to see you on the bridge soon!
Deschutes River Kayak Tours
Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for kayak tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us on this iconic paddling tour on a sweet and placid reach of our signature river, the Deschutes. Naturalist Guided Experience: Our renowned naturalist guides will highlight the lava flows that influenced this reach of the river. The many species of flora and fauna that call the flow and its banks home is super intriguing with takeaways of the importance of all living things. Adaptation to ecosystems is nature’s way of coping and thriving and will keep your mind humming with delight long after you return home with fond memories of the tour.Location: The stretches of the Deschutes River we kayak are devoid of rapids, and provide a peaceful paddling experience for all ability levels. Even if you’ve paddled the Deschutes River before, with a professional naturalist guide, you’ll see the Deschutes from a completely new perspective! Don’t see the date you’re looking for? Please call our office at (541) 389-8359 to check availability.
$70 - $95
City Commuter Bike Rental
The Pedego City Commuter is a complete package. It includes everything you could possibly want in an electric bike, all in one place for a reasonable price.A Pedego electric bike rental is the very best way to experience Bend and beyond! The nearby bike trails are safe and breathtakingly beautiful.Visitors always say it’s the most fun and memorable activity of their trip. And locals are surprised to find such an amazing experience right in their own backyard.Wherever you’re from, we’ll bend over backward to make sure you leave with a giant smile on your face!We deliver and pick up for Rentals watch for upcoming Rental Tent Locations. Let have some social distancing” FUN ”Locks and helmets are included with every rental.
$40 - $100
Brews & Views Paddling Tour
Adventure: Wanderlust Tours is the premier destination for paddling tours in Bend, Oregon! Join us on this iconic paddling tour on the high elevation mountain lakes in the mighty Cascade Range or along a sweet reach of the Deschutes River. Naturalist Guided Experience: Our renowned naturalist guides will highlight the sweet spots on these stunning lakes or the river that might not initially meet the eye. During our 2 hours on the water, along with the fun and sun, you’ll come to know our local beer scene through the sense of taste! You may also learn about the indigenous people who called Bend home and how they used the mountains and lakes for their livelihoods over 1000’s of years. 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. Location: Fall in Central Oregon brings us beautiful colors and crisp cool air. Along with these beautiful natural elements comes the uncertainty of conditions. Our guides will determine our paddling location (river or lake) on the day-of the tour that will best suite conditions, comfort and accessibility. This time of year we kayak on Deschutes River and Canoe Cascade Lakes.Deschutes River: The stretches of the Deschutes River we kayak are devoid of rapids, and provide a peaceful paddling experience for all ability levels.Cascade Lakes: You’ll see parts of these large lakes that are only accessible by paddling into the fingers, coves, bays, and wetlands created by ancient eruptions and erosion. With sweeping views of our local mountains, our Bend, Oregon canoe tours have it all!Don’t see the date you’re looking for? Please call our office at (541) 389-8359 to check availability.
$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
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
Full Day Walk-In Upper Deschutes River
Full Day Walk-In: Upper Deschutes River
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 Les Schwab 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 Les Schwab 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.
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.
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 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.
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?
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.