10 Reasons to Visit Bend, Oregon

If Portland is Oregon’s superstar, Bend is its unsung hero. See how this beautiful city invigorates thrill seekers, nature junkies and beer buffs alike.

Photo By: Allie Holcomb King

Photo By: FindingFreshAir

Photo By: Allie Holcomb King

Photo By: Allie Holcomb King

Photo By: Trevor Lyden

Photo By: Jack Botti

Rock Climbing

A 30-minute drive north of Bend will lead you to a state park that’s considered the birthplace of sport climbing. Smith Rock is an international climbing destination that features thousands of routes. Even if climbing isn’t your calling, this gorgeous area in the Oregon high dessert plateau is worth a visit.

Kayaking

Aquatic adventure meets city sightseeing when you kayak (or stand-up paddleboard) down the Deschutes River, which winds through the heart of Bend. Prefer a calmer kayak expedition? Head to the majestic Cascade Range, where glassy lake waters pair with breathtaking views.

Good Beer — and Lots of It

Stroll the streets of downtown Bend, and you’re sure to end up with a cold brew in hand. Beer Town USA, as it’s proudly called, boasts more breweries per capita than any other Oregon city. Drink your way around town with other craft beer fanatics by following The Bend Ale Trail, the largest beer trail in the West.

Hiking

No trip to Bend is complete without a day or two (or 10) spent hiking and exploring central Oregon’s natural scenery. The region offers an impressive amount of trails, so you’ll have no problem finding an easy, 2-mile stroll or a challenging, 10-mile trek. Prepare to be wowed by the incredible diversity of the landscape.

Waterfalls

While you’re hiking some of the most beautiful land in the country, make it a point to find some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country. Thanks to the many falls around the area, it won’t be difficult. And trust me — they’re worth chasing.

Four-Legged Friends

Bendites love their furry friends, and if you do too, that’s one more reason to visit. Named the most dog-friendly city in the country in 2012 by Dog Fancy magazine, Bend boasts more than 40 dog-friendly restaurants and breweries, 51 miles of urban trails and 13 off-leash areas. Plus, you’ll find plenty of dog-friendly lodging and events specifically planned for pups.

Fishing

Bend and the waters that surround it are home to some of the best fishing in the West. Anglers flock to the rivers, streams and lakes for the many varieties of trout that inhabit the area. Fly shops and guide services offer fly-fishing opportunities for beginners and experts alike.

Mountain Biking

With more than 277 miles of singletrack trails, Bend is a mountain biker’s paradise. Adrenaline junkies will appreciate Mt. Bachelor’s downhill bike park, which features a chair lift for easy access to downhill thrills.

Snow Sports

Looking for some fresh, powdery goodness this winter? You’ll find it in Bend. Get your skiing or snowboarding fix at Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort, or try your hand at snowshoeing. Then, give your feet a break, and rent a snowmobile for some unparalleled adventuring.

River Surfing

Still seeking more adventure in Bend? Throw on a wetsuit — You can’t miss the opportunity to surf the Deschutes River. Bend Whitewater Park features four waves ideal for shortboards. Not so confident in your surfing abilities? Settle in on the pedestrian bridge above, and watch the pros do their thing.

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