Trip Planner: Bend

Yakaya by Troy Pilllow, 2010, is a sculpture at Riverbend Park along the Deschutes River in Bend suspends 9 boats and paddles within a roundabout. Photo by Rob Kerr

written by Kimberly Bowker | photos by Rob Kerr


Home to good microbrews, good trails, and good paddling, Bend is a vibrant outpost settled on the high desert just east of the volcanic Cascade Range. The city nourishes outdoor enthusiasts—from skiers, to spelunkers, hikers, fly-fishermen, paddlers and bikers. Rivers, lakes and trails in the surrounding wilderness fill the crevices of this mountain town brimming with craft breweries where Patagonia is well represented. Behind every sip is a good mountain view.

Day 1: Cafés | Craft Beers | River Life

Experience a sensuous start to the day in one of Bend’s megachill breakfast and brunch establishments. At Chow, it’s more about authenticity than dress code. Support local farmers by ordering dishes such as poached eggs and avocado served on a corn cake or house-made granola paired with a kombucha cocktail. Then walk the mile-and-a-half to downtown to browse some of the small shops, such as Lulu’s Boutique, Gypsy Soul or Pegasus Books.

Strolling the sidewalks, soak in local history viewing centuries- old buildings announced by the landmark signs that border Drake Park and Mirror Pond. Learn tidbits like how Bend got its name from the old land claim of “Farewell Bend,” a phrase uttered when pioneers departed and continued westward before Bend incorporated in 1905. For more history, traipse down Wall Street to the Des Chutes Historical Museum in the handsome former Reid School.

In the afternoon, become one with the culture and hit a brewery or two. The standard of craft beer in Bend is Deschutes Brewery, which recently announced expansion to Roanoke, Virginia. Visit some of the twenty-four breweries (such as Deschutes Brewery, 10Barrel Brewing Co., Crux Fermentation Project and Silver Moon) along the Ale Trail, and then bring your passport to the Visit Bend office for a special souvenir to take home.

It’s an easy amble to the Old Mill District just south of downtown. At the Farewell Bend Park, you can access the Deschutes River Trail, a major thread of Bend culture. Standup paddlers glide up the Deschutes River. Trail runners and hikers pace its three-mile loop. The dog park is barking. The historic buildings that anchor the Old Mill District are now shops and restaurants. The lumber mills began in 1916, supporting this once timber reliant town, until shutting down in the mid-1990s.

In the summer, join the masses and become a river floater, starting at Farewell Bend Park and ending at Mirror Pond. Finish a full day at The Lot, a food cart pod hosting about half a dozen carts that closes around 8 p.m. The nights are cool, but the benches here are heated.

Day 2: Vistas | Adventure

Take the morning to venture farther into the heart of Central Oregon’s landscape. During the summer months, meander along the 66-mile Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway toward Mt. Bachelor. Explore some of the fourteen mountain lakes (Todd, Sparks, Hosmer and Elk, to name a few) to kayak, fish, camp or hike. Bring a picnic, or pull into Elk Lake Resort for lunch overlooking the water and mountains. In summer, Elk Lake Resort gets busy, but there is always outdoor seating for diners. Hikers from the Pacific Crest Trail often find their way into the lodge for a rare meal along their journey.

If you are looking for another type of outdoor adventure, head northeast to Terrebonne about 25 miles to Smith Rock State Park, the birthplace of sport climbing. Hiking and mountain biking trails take a steep decline along ravine toward the Crooked River, which runs through the park. The volcanic welded tuffs and cathedral rock spires jet from the landscape, an abrupt change to the area’s pumpkin and hay farms. While hiking, remember to glance up from time to time to witness leashed slackliners making their way to Monkey Face (a 350-foot spire) as one of many highlines. Climbers tackle more than one thousand routes and counting. Hikers have five self-guided trail tours to select. Keep an eye out for your spirit animal—deer, otters, butterflies, and bald eagles are just some of many that find home in the shadows of the harrowing cliffs.
Driving back into Bend, head to Jackson’s Corner, an out-of-the-way neighborhood deli between downtown Bend and the Old Mill. The pizzas, pastas and salads are fresh and made primarily from local ingredients. A long refrigerated wall holds as many regional beers as imaginable, wine, kombucha and other non-alcoholic drinks.

If you have kids in tow, head to the High Desert Museum—the perfect activity for less-than-perfect weather. Visit the outdoor living history buildings of a homesteading ranch and early twentieth century saw mill. Follow exhibits about the history of the high desert and experience frontier life in a replica of an Old West town. Birds of prey presentations, an otter habitat, porcupines and wild cats complete this western reality.

Golf and disc golf courses abound in Bend. At Tetherow and Rivers Edge, duffers will play beneath the gaze of the Cascade Range. Seventh Mountain Resort and Pine Nursery Park present the challenge of circumnavigating ponderosa pines and bent juniper trees.

After a full day of recreation, clean up and head to a fine dining experience at Zydeco Kitchen & Cocktails in downtown Bend. For a more casual affair, try the burst of flavor at Asian-inspired Spork. An old charmer that has been updated in menu and appearance is the venerable Pine Tavern, which backs up to Mirror Pond in downtown Bend. Built in 1936, the Pine Tavern gets its name from the enormous oddity in the back dining room. It will deliver you back into the Deschutes Forest, this time with an expertly made Manhattan.

Best of the Region

Pine Ridge Inn
e Pine Ridge Inn is tucked between the trees & the Deschutes River in Bend. Surrounded by nature, minutes from
Pine Mountain Sports
Ready to skip the lifts and earn your turns? A backcountry ski package from Pine Mountain Sports lets you make
Norma_Holmes_Fine_Art_2015
Norma Holmes Fine Art
Norma Holmes’ paintings bring to the public an awareness of the beautiful and diverse landscape on Oregon’s Eastside. Holmes packs
4_Seasons_Sunriver_2015
4 Seasons Sunriver
For more than 30 years friendly, experienced staff have been serving Central Oregon residents and visitors. 4Seasons provides insider knowledge
bistro_28_2015
Bistro 28
Opened in January, Bistro 28 is located in the Athletic Club of Bend, offering members and non-members alike a classic
kahneeta
Kah-Nee-Ta Resort
Kah-Nee-Ta Resort & Spa offers a variety of accommodations including rooms with private balconies, teepees and even a full-service RV
bend_kayak_school_2015
Bend Kayak School
Bend Kayak School is passionate for sharing the love of rivers through education, by providing low student to teacher ratios
bend-factory-stores
Bend Factory Stores
Central Oregon’s premier boutique outlet shopping experience with brand names & great prices, you’ll be sure to find everything you
bennington_properties_2015
Bennington Properties
When it comes to planning your next vacation, there is no more ideal place than the Sunriver area to play
silverado_2015
Silverado Jewelry Gallery
Silverado Jewelry Gallery showcases highly innovative artisans and their eclectic collection covers many styles from  traditional to contemporary.  Whether your
Crown_Villa_2015
Crown Villa
Beautiful grounds and immaculate sites set the tone for an experience unlike any other at Crown Villa. Each site is
stoneridge_2015
StoneRidge Townhomes
StoneRidge Townhomes at Sunriver offers vacation rentals in 2 or 3 bedroom spacious and beautifully furnished townhomes. Guests have full
terrebonne_depot_2015
Terrebonne Depot Food & Drink
The freshest cuisine in Central Oregon, minutes from Smith Rock. Terrebonne Depot offers ingredient-focused American cuisine served in Terrebonne’s 100-year-old
High-Resolution-PrintQuality-2_Byron_roe
Pronghorn, An Auberge Resort
When it comes to your wedding, you shouldn’t have to compromise on anything. Choosing a wedding venue can often be
CASCARA_VACATION_RENTALS_2015
Cascara Vacation Rentals
Sunriver offers thousands of acres of outdoor activities such as biking, golf, and tennis along with dining, shopping and entertainment
1859_march_april_Revive_Spa_Central_Oregon
Revive Spa
Revive is an organic wellness and beauty spa providing natural beauty solutions through organic skin care, facials, microdermabrasion, LED, high
1859_july_august_mount_bachelor_village_resort_bend_oregon
Mount Bachelor Village Resort
Mount Bachelor Village Resort is located minutes from downtown Bend and the Old Mill District shops on the road to
Elk-Lake
Elk Lake Lodge
Nestled among Three Sisters, Broken Top and Mt. Bachelor, Elk Lake Resort is truly an all season oasis. The Resort’s
1859_may_june_TumaloCreekKayakCanoe_CentralOregon
Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe
Tumalo Creek Kayak & Canoe is your locally owned and operated paddling shop in Bend, creating lifelong paddlers for more
1859_may_june_WheelFunRentals_CentralOregon
Wheel Fun
Experience the historic Old Mill on a surrey, deuce coupe, cruiser bike or one of our unique specialty bikes –
TAC-1859-explorer-2
Tumalo Art Co.
Classic to contemporary with a twist—paintings to sculpture, photography to printmaking, Tumalo Art Co. showcases the best of Northwest art.
1859_may_june_FinAndFire_CentralOregon
Fin & Fire
From its humble roots, Fin and Fire has grown  into Central Oregon’s premier destination fly-fishing shop. Brands like Sage, Winston,
SunriverResort_Blue-Logo
Sunriver Resort
Sunriver Resort in Central Oregon brings the beauty of the natural world and premier hotel accommodations together in the foothills
Shady-Cove-Market
Shady Cove Market
Shady Cove Market specializes in the groceries your family needs. No matter what you are looking for, you’ll find it
Sunriver_Country_Store_2015
Sunriver Marketplace
Full-service grocery and liquor store, offering high quality meat, produce and a lengthy beer and wine selection too. Includes a
Tortilleria-Reyes
Tortilleria Reyes
Tortilleria Reyes is a small, authentic Mexican eatery, bakery and grocery store located not too far from Mt Bachleor on
Newport-Ave-Market
Newport Market
Located on the west side of Bend for more than twenty years, Newport Avenue Market is all about local. Owner
Devore-s-Good-Food-Store
Devore’s Good Food Store
Devore’s Good Food Store has been bringing good food to Central Oregon since 1977. It is committed to organic food,
Worthy-Brewing-Co.
Worthy Brewing Co.
Worthy Brewing hit the ground running as a production brewery with the capacity to brew 60,000 barrels. It experiments with
Crux-Fermentation-Project
Crux Fermentation Project
Crux is a crossroads, an intersection, the heart of something. In the brewing process, it’s the pivotal point where fermentation
deep-canyon-outfitters-central-oregon-sisters
Deep Canyon Outfitters
Deep Canyon Outfitters brings a combination of experience, enthusiasm and knowledge to every guided trip they offer. For 25 years,
sara-bella-logo
Sara Bella Upcylced
The original Sara Bella* was founded in 1991. The name, Sara Bella started with owner and designer, Sara Weiner. She
central-oregon-sisters-three-creeks-brewing-co-logo
Three Creeks Brewing Co.
Where they utilize only the finest ingredients available for all of their food and brewing activities, while striving to impress
central-oregon-bend-silver-moon-brewing-logo
Silver Moon Brewing Co.
Recently voted Best Indoor Music Venue in The Source Weekly’s Best of Central Oregon Poll ! They proudly present a
central-oregon-bend-mcmenamins-st-francis-old-school-logo
McMenamins – Old St Francis School
The Old St. Francis School, conveniently located in the center of downtown Bend, has undergone a transformation from 1936 Catholic
central-oregon-bend-goodlife-logo
Good Life Brewing Co.
Located on Bend’s Westside. They take their name from the lifestyle that most Bend-ites live. With tons of recreation, sprinkled
central-oregon-bend-cascade-lakes-brewing-tumalo-tavern-logo
Cascade Lakes Brewing
Cascade Lakes Lodge On the road to Mt. Bachelor you’ll find the warm and welcoming Cascade Lakes Brewing Company Lodge.
central-oregon-bend-boneyard-brewing-logo
Boneyard Brewing Co.
Boneyard Beer was started with one goal in mind: make a great beer! The major hurdle to overcome, however, was
central-oregon-bend-brewing-company-logo
Bend Brewing Co.
Bend Brewing Company overlooks the Deschutes River at Mirror Pond in Bend, Oregon. Locally owned and operated, this exceptional brewpub
lavabelles-lodging-bend-central-oregon-historic-pet-friendly
Lavabelles
Through 1859 Explore, experience Bend like a local—or if you’re local, live it up like a tourist—by hanging your beanie
things-to-do-central-oregon-wanderlust-tours-outdoors
Wanderlust Tours
Since 1993, Wanderlust Tours has specialized in outdoor tours, outdoor activities and things to do while on vacation in Bend
things-to-do-oregon-central-sisters-rodeo
Sisters Rodeo
June, Annual
things-to-do-oregon-central-sisters-black-butte-ranch-golf-dining-resort
Black Butte Ranch
Recreation is never ending when you have a Central Oregon destination such as ours! All four seasons provide outstanding outdoor
mio-sushi-seafood-central-oregon-portland-willamette-valley-restaurant-japanese
Mio Sushi
Mio Sushi provides quality at reasonable prices in a casual, family- friendly dining atmosphere by offering fresh and delicious foods
mckay-cottage-restaurant-local-breakfast-cafe-central-oregon
McKay Cottage Restaurant
Fresh ingredients, attention to detail and great service make McKay Cottage Restaurant one of Bend’s best breakfast and lunch destinations. Warm muffins, homemade
Jen-s_Garden_2015
Jen’s Garden
Jen’s Garden is an intimate cottage offering a dining experience inspired by southern France. Pursue culinary adventure with a five-course,
deschutes-brewery-and-public-house-restaurant-beer-pub-central-oregon
Deschutes Brewery – Bend Public House
When the doors opened on June 27th, 1988, our Bond Street Public House was the original home of Deschutes Brewery.
portello-wine-cafe-restaurant-central-oregon
Portello Winecafe
Portello features an urban interior and atmosphere, rotating wine selections by the glass, unique bottle selections and international and local
Scanlions_March-April-13
Scanlon’s
“Our mission is to create menu offerings from fresh, locally sourced and organically grown ingredients prepared in a manner to enhance
Greg-s-Grill
Greg’s Grill
In the heart of the historic Old Mill District, Greg’s Grill is amid movie theaters, galleries and great shopping. The
la-rosa-modern-mexican-restaurant-central-oregon-food-happy-hour
La Rosa
La Rosa’s Mexican restaurant is a Bend favorite and is located on the Westside in Northwest Crossing’s Town Center. High
10-barrel-brew-pub-beer-restaurant-food-central-oregon-local-pizza-vegetarian
10 Barrel Brew Pub
The scene is young, vibrant and well-heeled at this Bend brew pub. Sit at an outside patio for both the
900-wall-restaurant-american-food-mediterranean-central-oregon
900 Wall
The inspiration for 900 Wall comes from its sincere desire to be a strong part of the Central Oregon community.
Five-Pines-central-oregon-lodging-rustic-romantic-pool-spa-pet-friendly-dining
Five Pine Lodge & Cabins
Through 1859 Explore, stay at the base of the Three Sisters Mountains for an ultimate Oregon getaway at FivePine Lodge.
highres-oxford-hotel-bend-or-byronroephotography-85-3
The Oxford Hotel
Capturing the warm hospitality and adventurous heart of Bend, the OXFORD hotel welcomes travelers amidst a backdrop of snow-covered peaks
Seventh-Mountain-central-oregon-lodging-resort-rustic-ski-pool-gym-dining-pet-friendly
Seventh Mountain Resort
Located in the heart of Central Oregon, Seventh Mountain Resort is a year-round paradise encircled by peaks, lakes and meadows.
LakeCreekS-B_104_dx
Lake Creek Lodge
Step back in time. Explore something rare called peace and quiet. This lodge has been hosting families since 1936. A
Tags from the story

Leave a Reply