10 Things to Do in Bend That You Shouldn't Miss

August 18, 2017 Nicolette Lion

Only 21 miles from RDM airport, Bend is a natural playground for families and adventure travelers. Hiking and fishing along the Deschutes river, mountain biking and skiing at Mt. Bachelor are among the favorite activities. Enjoy award-winning restaurants or one of the nearly 30 breweries and pubs. Sunny weather compliments the many world class festivals and concerts. Bend is a great spot for family-friendly fun as well, from the High Desert Museum to ski areas with no fees for children under 12.
Restaurants in Bend

1. Deschutes River

970 SE Reed Market Rd, Bend, OR 97702-2225 +1 800-788-2738
Excellent
83%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
0%
Poor
0%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 155 reviews

Deschutes River

Reviewed By loveDCA - Seattle, Washington

It’s impossible to miss the impact of Deschutes River on the character of Bend. The waterside trail is very well maintained and popular for dog walkers, joggers, and walkers. I started at the Farewell Bend Park, crosses the bridge, and walked south along the river through the edge of Mt Bachelor village. A lot of signs describing the direction and a little bit of natural/historic context.

2. Deschutes National Forest

63095 Deschutes Market Rd, Bend, OR 97701-9794 +1 541-383-5300
Excellent
83%
Good
16%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
0%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

5 based on 165 reviews

Deschutes National Forest

Encompassing more than 1.6 million acres of Central Oregon, this region extends for about 100 miles with a scenic backdrop of volcanic mountains of the Cascades.

Reviewed By Grover R - Pensacola, Florida

Much of the forest area the surrounds Bend to the West and South is part of this National Forest. Many of the attraction, Newberry Caldera, Lava lands, Mt Bachelor and Tumalo Falls are in the forest. My favorite parts are around the lava lands and the drive to Tumalo Falls. Incredible trees, wonderful hikes and great views.

3. High Desert Museum

59800 S Highway 97, Bend, OR 97702-7963 +1 541-382-4754
Excellent
74%
Good
20%
Satisfactory
4%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 1 reviews

High Desert Museum

The museum, set on 135 acres of pine forest, has something for everyone. Explore the nature, culture and spirit of the High Desert through fun, interactive, indoor and outdoor exhibits. Encounter live animals, interact with living history characters at the Miller Ranch, visit the 1904 sawmill. See what life was like for pioneers, enjoy Western art and an extensive Native American collection. Special programs and events for all ages.

Reviewed By Joan1959 - Chesterfield, Missouri

I did not know much about the high desert. The displays are beautiful and very informative. We also attend lectures about the wildlife that survives in the high desert. During the lecture, a falcon was part of it, and to be up close with the...MoreWe're so glad you leraned something new about the High Desert during your visit, and that you enjoyed the Bird of Prey encounter! There really is something special about those up-close presentations. Thanks for the review. See you next time!

4. Newberry National Volcanic Monument

1645 Hwy. 20 E, Deschutes National Forest, Bend, OR 97701 +1 541-383-5300
Excellent
73%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 662 reviews

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

One of the nation's newest national monuments, this 55,500 acre area seeks to preserve unique accessible volcanic features.

Reviewed By Shelley K - Bethesda, Maryland

An interesting find. The best part was the ranger talk, which explained a lot about the seismic/volcanic origins of the whole region. The visitors center also had a very informative movie and some good displays on volcanoes. Views from the top of the volcano are nice when it's clear.

5. Sparks Lake

Bend, OR
Excellent
75%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
1%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 221 reviews

Sparks Lake

Reviewed By westie2 - Kensington, CT

We exited off the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway onto a gravel road that led us to the Ray Atkenson Memorial trail and Sparks Lake. There were several campers and fisherman along the road which terminated at a parking lot with access directly to the lake for kayakers. A universally accessible trail leads directly to the lake, but we took the longer section that went through the forest and ultimately led us back to the lakeside. Along the say we enjoyed the views offered of the pristine lake, marsh and meadow as well as South Sister and Broken Top mountains.

6. Deschutes Brewery

901 SW Simpson Ave, Bend, OR 97702-3118 +1 541-385-8606
Excellent
78%
Good
18%
Satisfactory
2%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 148 reviews

Deschutes Brewery

Based out of our production facility in Bend, Oregon, our Tasting Room offers complementary beer samples as well as public and private guided brewery tours departing daily. Our tours provide you with an up-close glimpse of our production facility while learning about our history, culture and the details that set us apart. Go to our website to book a brewery tour or to view our opening hours - Cheers!

Reviewed By Tom B - Salida, Colorado

After touring all of Bend's breweries, Deschutes was, in my mind, average. The biggest doen't make it the best. Nevertheless, you can't beat the cost for your sample tray.....FREE. No pints to be had from their taps....sad. Plenty of packaged beer available for purchase, even some of their more exotic styles. Deschutes does excel in their dark beers. Busy tap room with no seating, just standing. Brew tours are available, check website for times. No snacks or food available. I was hoping that they would have some small batch or pilot series beers to be available for public consumption.

7. Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls Road, Bend, OR +1 800-551-6949
Excellent
73%
Good
22%
Satisfactory
3%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 511 reviews

Tumalo Falls

Reviewed By cali4niafoodie - Healdsburg, California

As others have mentioned, the gate is closed for winter, but we found easy parking and began our trek to the falls. It's absolutely gorgeous scenery, however the packed snow "road" was rutted and uneven...hiking boots or snow shoes would have been helpful, to prevent turning ones ankles. We started too late in the afternoon to hike all the way to the falls, as the sun goes down early here, due to the high ridge...we knew it would be getting dark and really cold, so chose to turn around. I'm determined to go back in summer, earlier in the day, and see the falls! This may very well be a better hike in a season other than winter...I can't wait for the weather to change!!

8. Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint

Us 20, Bend, OR 97701 +1 800-551-6949
Excellent
64%
Good
29%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
1%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 591 reviews

Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint

Reviewed By 224dumas - El Paso, Texas

after grabbing a bite to go, and hoping for a spectacular view of "the three sisters" on a beautiful sunny February afternoon.It all quickly changed when seeing the locked gate.As a visitor to Bend we didn't know the route was closed, so much for the view. Fortunately Bend is full of other well maintained parks that work well for a bag lunch spot. Maybe next time Pilot Butte.

9. Drake Park

777 NW Riverside Blvd, Bend, OR 97703 +1 541-389-7275
Excellent
67%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
5%
Poor
1%
Terrible
0%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 155 reviews

Drake Park

Reviewed By Levon M - Cary, North Carolina

Quiet peaceful park. It runs about 6 blocks along the pond. Walk along the water's edge and see all the beautiful houses on the other side of the pond. We strolled along for about 30 min after lunch in downtown Bend just for a little exercise.

10. Mt. Bachelor Ski Area

13000 SW Century Dr, Bend, OR 97702-3595 +1 800-829-2442
Excellent
62%
Good
27%
Satisfactory
7%
Poor
2%
Terrible
2%
Overall Ratings

4.5 based on 557 reviews

Mt. Bachelor Ski Area

Offers twelve ski trails and ski clinics to help novice to advanced skiers.

Reviewed By sexybaby7399 - Portland, Oregon

Gorgeous mountainside scenery available all year for free with excellent downhill and cross country skiing available for fees. Beginner lessons available for a weekly package price and skiing and snowboarding available for all levels from beginner to advanced! It’s one of the best facilities in the nation and so good that the US Olympic ski team trains there rather than in Colorado! By far and away the best skiing in Oregon as it is famous for its dry powder snow vs the wet sticky snow of Mt Hood! You will enjoy it any time of the year!

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