The reasons why Bend consistently ranks as one of the best locations to live in the United States are clear as soon as you enter into town. You’ll discover a modest but developing community in a stunning region of Central Oregon. keep reading for the 10 Best Things To Do In Bend Oregon.
The outdoorsy culture in Bend is well renowned for being daring. There are countless things to do in the town because it is situated along the picturesque Deschutes River and is bordered by wilderness areas, alpine lakes, and volcanoes.
The trails draw mountain bikers from all over the country, and hikers can choose from a staggering variety of itineraries.
Since Mt. Bachelor receives approximately 40 feet of snow each year and attracts skiers, the winter season here has its own special charm.
1. Explore Newberry National Volcanic Monument
The Newberry National Volcanic Monument, where you can experience a number of the Newberry Volcano’s attractions, is one of the most fascinating tourist destinations in the Bend region.
Look out over the historic lava flow from the top of Lava Butte, a 500-foot-tall cinder cone, or go underground and explore the one-mile-long lava tunnel known as Lava River Cave.
Beautiful lakes and mountain peaks, along with fantastic hiking and camping options, may be found in another region of the monument.
There are two main entrances to the monument. The Lava Lands Visitor Center, located 20 minutes south of Bend off Highway 97, is where you can hike up Lava Butte or explore the Lava River Cave.
2. See Tumalo Falls – Things To Do In Bend Oregon
One of the most well-known attractions in the area is Tumalo Falls, which is located about 10 miles west of Bend. A sheer wall lets the 97-foot waterfall tumble to the raging river below.
From a viewing spot next to the parking lot, you can see the falls, which are a wall of water pouring over a cliff as you look up the river. The Tumalo Falls Picnic Area has the best view of the falls, but if you want a closer look and a different angle, you may also trek up a.2-mile trail that starts from close to the facilities. There is a guarded area where you can look down on the falls at the edge of the falls.
3. Catch an Animal Show at the High Desert Museum
Even though it’s billed as a popular family activity, visiting the High Desert Museum is fun for all ages. The museum gives an overview of Central Oregon’s history, flora, and animals. The complex, which is spread out over 135 acres, contains a sizable main structure that houses numerous indoor permanent and temporary exhibits.
An otter tank, an aviary, and historical exhibits are among the attractions connected by an outdoor nature trail. Several times during the day, live animal interactions are staged, and they include everything from a porcupine exhibiting its climbing prowess to a badger showcasing its burrowing prowess.
4. Hit the Hiking Trails around Bend
Bend’s hiking is excellent. The trails range from simple strolls through parks to breathtaking ascents of mountain peaks. The city’s iconic cinder cone, Pilot Butte, is located right in Bend. It has a trail to the top that is popular with exercise-seeking hikers and trail runners.
Smith Rock State Park offers a variety of options for breathtaking scenery without having to travel up into the mountains, including short but incredibly beautiful riverfront walks, a dramatic hike up the appropriately named Misery Ridge, and more.
5. Go for a Spin on Your Mountain Bike
Bend is well-known as a mountain biking destination in the bike community. More than 300 miles of singletrack trails are conveniently located just outside of town. There are chances for all skill levels in the fourteen major bicycling zones, each with their own distinctive features. Only a few of these locations might be reachable at certain times of the year.
The vast bulk of the city’s mountain biking trails are found southwest of the city off one of the numerous side roads that connect to Skyliner Road or the Cascade National Scenic Byway. Fast and fluid pathways pass through the lofty pine forests, crossing streams, and occasionally providing opportunities to see wildlife.
6. Stroll around Downtown Bend – Things To Do In Bend Oregon
Despite the fact that Bend is renowned as an outdoor paradise, visiting all those fantastic locations could make you yearn for a quiet afternoon where you can roam around without having anywhere in particular to go.
To satisfy this yearning, leave the car parked in one of the downtown angled spots and proceed in any direction along Wall Street, Bond Street, NW Oregon Avenue, NW Gasoline Alley, or NW Minnesota Avenue.
The entire area is jam-packed with eateries, coffee shops, galleries, spas, unique stores, and pretty much any other type of retail institution you can think of, many of which have patios.
7. Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint
Pilot Butte, which stands like a big ant hill near Bend, is both a tourist attraction and a local recreation place where people go for morning walks and workouts. You can drive to the top if you just want to see the view, or trek up if you want to get some exercise.
A road swirls up the hill to a tiny parking space at the top, while natural trails wind down the mountain. There are 360-degree vistas and a variety of information plaques at the summit.
8. Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock State Park, located 27 miles north of Bend on Highway 97, offers a distinctive and dramatic terrain that is considerably different from the surrounding area. The sheer, orange rhyolite cliff walls and freestanding pinnacles are popular with rock climbers, but many visitors come to trek or walk.
A pleasant walking path follows the Crooked River, which flows peacefully through the park. This is a beautiful spot where you might encounter deer and birds.
9. Surf the Deschutes River – Things To Do In Bend Oregon
The Deschutes River, which flows through Bend, is more than just a picturesque region. In the summer, visitors to this recreation area make the most of all the opportunities the river provides. Popular sports include swimming, tubing, stand-up paddleboarding, and even surfing.
On a hot day, you can see people floating down the river as you stroll along the paved riverfront walking and biking track. The river’s challenging sections are even marked with signs indicating their degree of difficulty so that tubers can decide whether to risk the rapids, choose calmer waters, or get out and navigate the difficulties on foot.
10. Old Mill District
The Old Mill District is centered on the ruins of the Brooks-Scanlon lumber mill and is situated along the Deschutes River approximately a mile from downtown. The three distinctive silver smokestacks make it simple to locate.
Shops and eateries make up the majority of this revitalized area. Chain stores and independent retailers coexist in this area’s retail sector. Although there aren’t many restaurants in this region, throughout the summer you can eat outside while taking in views of the river.