Things To Do in Bend

Things To Do in Bend

Bend has often been titled the “Outdoor Playground of the West” and it holds up to that title! Whether you're visiting or you live here, here are some suggestions or ideas for your next adventure in and around Bend, OR. The golfing, fishing, hiking, biking, rafting, skiing and snowboarding, Bend has it all! With spectacular hiking, old growth ponderosa pines, and lava tubes standing in the shadow of the Cascade Mountains’ snow capped peaks this little slice of heaven is a must visit on any trip to Oregon. Escape to where après is part of the culture, take in the incredible scenery while enjoying a hike or beer. These are some of my favorite things to do in Bend, Oregon to make the most of your stay or life!

1. Bend Whitewater Park

Craving adventure, you've got to head to the Bend Whitewater Park. River surfing has been catching on around the world and one of the more unique things to do in Bend, Oregon is to go surfing on the Deschutes River. Located in the Old Mill District, the Bend Whitewater Park not only offers surfing, but you can also hit the chutes for whitewater kayaking. There are four wave features in the park designated for surfing, paddling and even catching a bit of whitewater on the tubes.

2. Bike or Drive the Cascades Highway

If you are looking for a road trip near Bend, the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is a 66 mile drive that starts downtown Bend at 14th and Galveston. This drive or ride passes through many of the top places to visit in Bend including Deschutes National Forest, the Deschutes River, Mt. Bachelor, Three Sisters and Cascade Lakes. It takes anywhere from 3 to 5 hours to complete and it is only open seasonally from June to October.

3. Hike To Tumalo Falls

Bend is known for its great hiking and a popular trail that you must not miss is hiking out to Tumalo Falls. But even if you don’t want to hike and simply want to see the beautiful 89 foot cascade of Tumalo Falls, don’t worry, the waterfall view is near the entrance of the trailhead.

4. Explore Lava Tubes

Located just outside of Bend within the Newberry National Volcanic Monument are 1,000-year-old lava tubes. There are 400 lava tubes in Deschutes County encompassing the communities of Bend, Sisters, and Redmond but only a few are open to the public.  A unique way to visit the Newberry National Volcanic Monument is this Lava Rush Off Road Adventure where you’ll drive a four wheel Polaris XP1000 across ancient volcanic lava flows and buttes. If you want to explore the lava fields near Bend, Oregon on a guided tour this highly rated tour is good for the whole family. It includes hikes totalling just under 2 miles as you explore the geological history of Central Oregon.

5. Brasada Ranch, ahhh I love this place!

Brasada Ranch is an outstanding piece of property in Central Oregon. It is located just 30 minutes from Bend and offers country hospitality with five star service. Take a trail ride at the spectacular Brasada Ranch. The trails run over 900 acres and riding is good for everyone from beginners to experts. The ride will take you towards Spirit Rock where the smell of sage filled the air, desert shrubs lined the dusty trail, and Oregon mountains can be seen in the distance. And amble through the trails up to a high plateau where you can see 360 degree views of the surrounding area. After your ride, spend the night at the ranch where you can enjoy their five star spa followed by cocktails around the wood burning fireplaces. Be sure to cook S’mores over an open flame.

6. High Desert Museum 

One of the more popular things to do in Bend for families is to visit the High Desert Museum. Staying true to the outdoor adventurous spirit of Bend, the High Desert Museum spans on 135 acres of forest lands. Filled with nature trails and outdoor exhibits the museum shares stories of the people, places and wildlife of the area. There are permanent and changing exhibits offering workshops, animal shows and lectures.

7. Go To / Listen To A Live Concert

Hayden Homes Amphitheater offers live shows and music nearby. Grab a spot at one of the patios in the Old Mill District for sunset before enjoying the evening festivities. The Craft Kitchen Brewery is a great place to have a pint before catching a flick at the Tin Pan Theatre, or you can even see a live show at the nearby Hayden Homes Amphitheater.

8. Mount Bachelor 

If you are visiting Bend in the winter, make your way to the local ski resort at Mt. Bachelor. Or grab cross country skis and check out the Victoria Meissner trails. In the summer there is mountain biking and ziplining making Mt. Bachelor a year round vacation destination.

9. Check Out Town and The Old Mill District

The downtown of Bend is awesome, the charming downtown has cobblestone sidewalks and treelined streets mixed with chic restaurants and boutique chopping. Spend some time exploring Bends galleries, dining options and clothing stores. The Old Mill Shopping district is also one you shouldn't over look, located on the banks of the Deschutes River, The Old Mill District is a great place to walk and shop in Bend, Oregon. Located at the site of the old Brooks-Scanlon lumber mill, this area about a mile from downtown Bend. The Old Mill District warehouses have been transformed to chic boutiques with dining and shopping for name brand and smaller retailers. There are boutique shops, cafés and a brewery in the Old Mill District making it a fantastic place to hang out for an afternoon.

10. Walk Up Pilot Butte

Pilot Butte is a scenic lookout named Pilot Butte State Scenic Lookout. It is a lava dome that offers views of the Cascade mountains. The hike from the parking lot is a two mile round trip and takes about 30 to get to the top of this extinct cinder cone.

Those are my top picks, if you love it and want to stay, give me a call (541.645.0920) I'd love to be your Real Estate resource in Central Oregon!


Kenzie Carlstrom

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