Top 10 Things To Do In Bend, Oregon


I'm a local Bendite. I was raised in Bend in the 70's and 80's, left for the 90's and returned in 2003 to raise my two children with my husband Scott. I own a downtown Bend shop, and stay active with all Bend has to offer. I hope you enjoy my list of the "Top 10 things to do in Bend, OR".

  1. I think all visitors should start with a hike up Pilot Butte. It's that perfect cinder cone in the center of town. It became a Sate Park not so long ago. It is a brisk, heart pumping, but fairly short hike to the top. At the top you are rewarded with the lay of the land. You can see where the high Desert meets the mountains, and there are educational markers with details on the Cascade peaks in view and geographical information on the area. I'd suggest packing a sweater and a beer in a backpack and doing this hike at sunset.
  2. The next morning make your way to downtown and drop into Crows Feet Commons. This unique coffee shop, meets bike and ski shop, meets bar is located in the historic Rademacher house near mirror pond. They have the absolute best back porch in Bend, and everything you need for a visit. Coffee, beer, and bike rentals.
  3. One day should be spent exploring the downtown Bend shops. As the owner of Cowgirl Cash, I think you should stop by. We have an authentic and beautiful selection of vintage and pre-loved cowgirl... and cowboy boots. Wear them riding or wear them "out". Cowboy boots, are seasonless, sexy, and unfailingly cool. (I stole that line from a fashion magazine.) Cowgirl Cash also has jewelry, buckles, original are by Eli Halpin, pearl snap shirts, fringe jackets. It's a Western Vintage Boutique. We pay cash for cool authentic, practical, beautiful stuff. We also have a new line of locally made cotton dresses. Lucky Lady Dresses.
  4. You need lunch now. I suggest Barrio. Hip, new, delicious. A true value for a quality meal.
  5. A not to be missed weekly event in Bend is the Wednesday Farmers Market. Yes, you must plan your trip to fall on a Wednesday. The market begins at 3, and is held in the Brooks St alley conveniently near Crows Feet Commons and Cowgirl Cash.
  6. For a fun evening out try Mavericks. It's a Wetern bar hidden off of the parkway. It's easy to find, but you won't find many visiting mountain bike riders there. Friday and Saturday nights they do line dance instruction from 8-9, and then they just play fun music and you try to keep up. All attire is acceptable, but it's fun to wear a pair of vintage boots... see number 3.
  7. No trip to Bend in the summer is complete without a mountain bike ride. The options are endless. Stop in at many of our local bike shops. (see number 2) and get some ideas. The most popular trailhead with the most options and loops is Phils Trail. Head out Galveston, and after the big sphere round-about take your second left.
  8. Another evening option is the Hideaway Tavern. This is a great place to see a game, play some pool, sit on a comfy couch while enjoying really fantastic bar food. Again; not a lot of tourists here.
  9. Before you leave, make sure you walk along the Deschutes river. There are many spots to do this, including downtown at Drake Park, but for a "wilderness" experience. Head out Cascade Lakes Hwy, and just before Widgi Creek golf course, take a left at a small sign that says Meadow Picnic area. Locals call this Meadow Camp. Follow this dirt road until it ends. Park and hike the trail that begins there. It's an out and back, but it can take you all of the way to Sunriver if you are up for it.
  10. Maybe plan to leave town Monday morning and stay for the Les Schwab Sunday Summer concerts. They start at 2:30, and are free. I suggest riding a bike to the venue. It adds to the vibe. Bring a of couple bucks to eat at the delicious food carts. Enjoy the music, the view, and the awesome Bend weather!

That does it. My family is headed to Jackson Hole and Yellowstone this summer. Any suggestions?

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