Many people head to Oregon for a chance to experience the stunning views of the Oregon coast. However, another gorgeous place is less than 200 miles east of the coast, Bend, Ore.
Bend is quickly becoming one of the most sought-after towns to explore in the U.S. — for good reason. Read on to learn more about Bend and five of some of its best-hidden gems.
About Bend, Ore.
Bend, Ore., is located in the Pacific Northwest, with the Cascade Mountain Range acting as its protective neighbor. With just under 200,000 people in the Bend metro area, it’s one of Oregon’s largest metropolitan areas. And although Bend continues to grow, it still maintains its small-town vibe.
Bend officially became a city in 1905 because it was a popular crossing point along the Deschutes River. Starting out as a logging town, it’s now a world-class destination for skiing, snowboarding, backpacking, hiking, biking, rock climbing, fishing, rafting, and more.
Bend draws in millions of tourists every year and continues to grow in popularity. Whether you’re looking to live in Bend or just visit this Pacific Northwest mountain town, be careful. Bend might just ruin every other destination place for you.This is one of the best.
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What Makes Bend, Ore., So Special?
Bend is a special place for several reasons. First, it’s in an absolutely beautiful part of the country. Surrounded by the Cascade Mountain Range and the Deschutes National Forest, along with the Deschutes River running through it, Bend is a nature lover’s paradise.
There are plenty of opportunities to ski, fish, and camp. It’s also home to some of the country’s top mountain biking and hiking trails.
And Bend is a vibrant and thriving community. There are great restaurants, shops, and breweries located throughout downtown and beyond.
Finally, Bend is the perfect place to get away from it all. It’s small enough for you to relax and enjoy your time here, but there’s still plenty to do if you’re looking for something more active.
Whether you’re looking to escape the hustle and bustle of city life or simply want to enjoy some of the most beautiful scenery in the Pacific Northwest and the U.S., Bend is the perfect place for you.
You really don’t need an excuse to experience Bend. There’s something for everyone here. But if you’re looking to find some hidden gems in Bend, we’ve got five of them listed for you.
There’s no shortage of gems, like outdoor excursions, Tumalo Falls and the Newberry Volcano, and a relaxing day cozied up in a bookstore. Rather do a brewery tour or feast upon culinary delights instead? We’ve got those, too.
1. Tumalo Falls
How To Get There: From Bend, go 11.6 miles west on Skyliner’s Road, then go 2.6 miles west on Forest Road 4603.
About: Tumalo Falls is a 97-foot waterfall on Tumalo Creek in the Cascade Range just west of Bend. This day-use area offers gorgeous views of the falls and picnic sites.
Tumalo Falls is also a trailhead with access to hiking and mountain biking trails, including North Fork Trail, Bridge Creek Trail, Tumalo Creek Trail, and Farewell Trail. A recreation pass is required, but the minimal fees are worth the views.
2. Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe
How To Get There: 135 NW Minnesota, Downtown Bend
About: If you’re more of a book nerd than an outdoor enthusiast, Dudley’s Bookshop Cafe will be more your jam. Dudley’s is an independently owned bookstore known for its impressive collection of fiction books and ones that highlight the outdoor adventures of the Pacific NW. With new and used books side by side, it’s easy to find exactly what you’re looking for within a budget specific to you.
The first U.S. bookstore to join One Percent for the Planet, Dudley’s donates 1% of its annual gross sales to local environmental nonprofits. In addition, Dudley’s offers a variety of beverages that pair well with reading, including espresso drinks, a variety of tea, and chai. More are served at their cafe, along with a selection of local craft beers and wine.
Whether you’re looking for your next favorite book or simply want to enjoy a good cup of coffee or a glass of wine, Dudley’s is the perfect place to relax and escape the outside world.
3. Newberry National Volcanic Monument
How To Get There: From Bend, go south on Highway 97 to Exit 151/Cottonwood Rd. Turn left and proceed through the underpass following signs to Lava River Cave.
About: Nestled in the heart of the Deschutes National Forest lies the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. Spanning 54,000 acres, the monument is home to various geological wonders, including lava flows, mountain lakes, and the Newberry Volcano.
The Newberry Volcano is an active volcano that is seismically and geothermally active. It covers an area of 1,200 square miles. Fees and timed reservation tickets to the Lava River Cave are required to explore portions of the Newberry Volcano.
However, it’s well worth the effort, as it’s truly a sight to behold. With its unique landscape and abundance of natural beauty, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument is a must-see for anyone visiting central Oregon.
4. Deschutes Brewery
How To Get There:
Bend Public House – 1044 NW Bond St., Bend
Bend Tasting Room & Beer Garden – 901 SW Simpson Ave., Bend
About: Deschutes Brewery is known for being the gateway brewery that got many people into the craft beer scene. With well-known classics such as Mirror Pond Pale Ale and Black Butte Porter, it would be a shame to miss this brewery while spending time in Bend.
While their downtown Bend Public House location is fantastic, offering brews and food, you can’t miss out on their tasting room location on Simpson Avenue. More production facility than a taproom, seeing what goes into crafting these well-known, highly sought-after craft brews is an experience you won’t soon forget.
And while the space here is dedicated to production, the onsite taproom and beer garden is still one to visit. This is where you can find their experimental brews and small batch reserve collections. That includes highly sought-after beer like The Abyss and Black Butte numbered series.
Tours are $10 per person and include a pint and samples. If you’re a beer geek, this is the place to start your Bend beer tour. After all, Deschutes is one of the breweries that launched the U.S. beer scene.
5. Old Mill District
How To Get There: 450 SW Powerhouse Dr., Bend
About: If shopping, dining, and drinking are what excites you, Bend has no shortage of any of these. Head to the Old Mill District, all of which are within easy reach.
The Old Mill District offers a hip yet quaint experience. With more than 15 places to eat and drink and over 30 stores to shop from, they will fulfill your belly and fashion sense.
But this is Bend, and that means outdoor activities. The Old Mill District isn’t one to be left behind in anything. Here, you’ll also find walking and biking trails along with bird-watching opportunities along the Deschutes River. You can even rent a bike because biking in Bend is just as phenomenal as shopping and drinking in Bend.
Is Bend, Oregon, Worth Visiting?
OK, we get it. More people now know some of these hidden gems. You’ll be able to shop and experience the beauty of nature, get your first taste of craft beer, and stand on the brink of an active volcano.
Are you just as astounded with the magic of this place as we are? We thought so. Do we really have to ask if Bend, Oregon, is worth visiting, or do you already know the answer?
Which gem will you visit in Bend?
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