Bend, Oregon is a charming city located in the heart of the state, known for its scenic beauty, outdoor activities, and vibrant arts and culture scene. Nestled in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains and surrounded by pristine forests, lakes, and rivers, Bend offers visitors an opportunity to escape the hustle and bustle of city life and immerse themselves in nature.
If you’re planning a visit to Bend, there are plenty of things to do and see. Here are some of the top attractions and activities to consider:
- Explore the Deschutes National Forest
Deschutes National Forest is a vast wilderness area that covers over 1.6 million acres of central Oregon. The forest is home to numerous hiking trails, lakes, and rivers that are perfect for outdoor enthusiasts. Whether you’re looking for a relaxing picnic by the river or a challenging hike to the top of a mountain, Deschutes National Forest has something for everyone.
- Visit the High Desert Museum
The High Desert Museum is a must-visit attraction in Bend. The museum offers a glimpse into the history and culture of the region, with exhibits on the area’s indigenous people, wildlife, and natural environment. The museum also has live animal exhibits, including birds of prey, otters, and porcupines.
- Enjoy the Bend Ale Trail
Bend is known for its thriving craft beer scene, and the Bend Ale Trail is a popular way to explore the city’s breweries. The trail includes over 20 breweries, each offering unique and delicious beers. Visitors can pick up a passport and collect stamps at each brewery they visit to earn prizes.
- Take a scenic drive on the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway
The Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is a 66-mile stretch of road that winds through the Cascade Mountains and past numerous lakes and waterfalls. The drive offers stunning views of the mountains and the surrounding wilderness, and there are plenty of opportunities for hiking, fishing, and picnicking along the way.
- Visit Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock State Park is a breathtaking natural wonder located just north of Bend. The park is home to towering rock formations, deep canyons, and the winding Crooked River. Visitors can hike along the trails, rock climb, or simply take in the stunning views.
- Check out the local art scene
Bend has a vibrant arts and culture scene, with numerous galleries, museums, and public art installations throughout the city. The Tin Pan Alley Art Collection, located in downtown Bend, features murals and sculptures created by local artists.
- Relax at a hot spring
Bend is located near several natural hot springs, including the popular Bagby Hot Springs. These hot springs offer a relaxing and rejuvenating experience, with mineral-rich water and scenic surroundings.
Overall, Bend, Oregon, is a wonderful destination for anyone looking to immerse themselves in nature, explore local culture and art, and enjoy delicious craft beer. With so many things to see and do, it’s no wonder that Bend has become a popular vacation spot for visitors from around the world.