15 Best Things to Do in Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon
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Would it not be perfect if the Sales Tax on your holiday dollars suddenly vanished?

Would it not be even better if we filled large mugs with delicious craft beers instead of filling tax receipts?

Bend in Oregon is the ideal tax-beer haven to grant you your wishes!

The town's world-class Deschutes Brewery and the special status as a no sales-tax zone make a trip to this place highly alluring!

Bend also has several other offerings for tourists.

The natural landscapes will mesmerize you with their splendor!

On the other hand, its admirable museums are ideal for learning about the rich history.

Formerly home to rugged ranchers, loggers, and lumberjacks, present-day Bend has all the makings of an ideal holiday hotspot!

Check out the Top 15 Things to do on your trip to Bend, Oregon.

High Desert Museum

Badger in High Desert Museum
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What do you think is common to a new baby porcupine, an early 1900-era ranch, and birds of prey?

Not much, except that you can savor exploring all three at the High Desert Museum in Bend, Oregon!

Spread over 135 acres of sprawling scenic forested spaces, the museum is committed to conserving the West high desert habitat.

To achieve its mission, it raises public awareness with its historical exhibits and live animals.

Otters, bobcats, and badgers will bash your funny bones with their incredibly delightful antiques.

More crucially, they request all visitors to protect their natural homeland in the West high desert with their word-less messages.

The unique artifacts are a real American old-era stagecoach for history lovers and a high desert model for kids to feel a dash of the real thing!

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Newberry National Volcanic Monument
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What connects the world-famous Deschutes brand of beers and a volcanic eruption from 75,000 years ago?

Bend, in Oregon, of course!

A part of the Deschutes National Forest, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument offers you a rare chance to walk overland formations resulting from eruptions over 75,000 years ago.

You can choose from a host of outdoor activities such as fishing, camping, and hiking on the steep slopes of the now-dormant volcano.

Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls
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The site of the majestic 100 foot Tumalo Falls will stun you at first sight!

Hiking along the trails here is a sheer pleasure and draws hordes of locals and tourists to these falls.

The thunderous waters of these falls tumble into the deep taverns of the Tumalo Creek below, turning the location into a panoramic marvel.

There are other smaller falls and rapids to admire as you head upstream.

Deschutes Historical Museum

Deschutes Historical Museum
Orygun at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

What brings together Native American culture, fur-trapping, homesteading, logging, and modern forestry all at the same place, at the same time?

Outside of Hollywood, a well-curated museum is a venue that can do that.

Not to disappoint you, the Deschutes Historical Museum in Bend blends artifacts from all these eras to narrate the saga of life in Deschutes Country over the years.

The vast array of media used include photographs, paintings, letters, and dioramas.

The museum is only of seven such excellent stops on a Bend heritage walk.

Pilot Butte

Pilot Butte
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Do you know how the travelers in old times relied on noticeable natural formations as a vital mark to find their way?

Do you also know this is the history behind the etymology of the word "landmark"?

Why am I telling you this?

I am telling you this because the marvelous Pilot Butte was once such a landmark, guiding wagon trains to safely cross the Deschutes River, from its position perched high above the desert lands!

It is even more fascinating that it is an entirely natural landform created out of the debris from a Newberry volcanic eruption.

Today, it provides tourists with a great viewing point to enjoy stunning views of the deserts and sunset!

Lava River Cave

Lava River Cave
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The geology of Bend doesn’t stop surprising us!

Another excellent land feature dating back to over 80,000 years ago is the Lava River Cave.

Shrouded amid a dense growth of pines, sagebrush, and snow bush, this cave proudly boasts of being the longest continuous lava tube in Oregon.

The cave extends to an astonishing 5,211 feet.

You will have to walk down 126 perilous steps to reach the mouth.

However, your labors are every bit worth it.

That is because stunning tall stalactites will reward you with their fantasy-land beauty.

You might even feel you are trespassing over some forbidden Lord of the Rings territory!

As you go deeper into the cave, the temperatures drop, and the openings shrink.

Just head into this fascinating alley with your lantern and jacket, and find out for yourself if there is the anecdotal "light at the end of the tunnel"!

This cave can stir all your latent sentiments of being an explorer.

Mt. Bachelor Ski Area

Mt. Bachelor Ski Area
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Would you prefer to glide through mesmerizing snow-covered peaks in a dog-sled, or would you rather stick a tube under your feet and soar the peaks with a “master-of-the-universe” adrenaline rush?

Well, we won't short-change you in any manner while you are having such a gala time on your holiday.

Mt. Bachelor Ski Area offers you the opportunity to choose either of these or even both!

Racing down the 800-foot mountain ride at full speed will fill you with thrilling goosebumps.

Alternately, the dog sled will pull you into the heart of the wilderness in an equally exciting experience!

Also, the visuals of these snow peaks are stunning.

A large number of luxurious lodgings are also available to make your stay comfortable.

Finally, Mt. Bachelor makes sure you don't miss out on tasty food either.

You can enjoy fabulous food served with friendly hospitality to warm you to the core!

Les Schwab Ampitheater

We next take you into the historic Mill District of the town.

True to its name, this old area offers you the charms of classical culture at its impressive Les Schwab Amphitheater.

However, the amphitheater also hosts artists in modern musical genres, and some of the biggest names have played here!

The open-air arena houses 8,000 enthusiasts at a time.

You will find yourself drowning in the electric atmosphere when you attend one of their high-octane musical gigs.

The summers are equally entertaining at the amphitheater.

Most of the concerts during this time of the year are orchestra and other classical music ensemble performances.

Before we move on, we have more good news.

The amphitheater is home to the second-largest Brewfest in the region in August.

We would urge you to plan your visit to attend this enjoyable event.

Deschutes National Forest

Deschutes National Forest
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The exquisite Deschutes National Forest lies at the confluence of the Blue Mountains foothills and Cascade and Fremont National Forest.

This melting of diverse landforms has gifted the region with majestic sky-touching cinder cones and fascinating lava tubes.

Vast open stretches and dense forests round out the motley assemblage of geological features.

These unique formations then provide ample scope for outdoor lovers to enjoy several activities.

Boating, fishing, hiking, and horseback riding are staple favorites of visitors here.

Finally, the scenic visuals are ideal for clicking stunning photos to cherish for life!

Wanderlust Tours

Professional naturalists of the Wanderlust Tours will fill you with rich information about the region to tickle every wanderlust itch in your body!

The rich geology also provides enough sites for you to learn about the history and process behind these formations.

From magical caves to volcanic deposits, the naturalists will take you through the whole spectrum of landscapes in the region.

Goody’s Chocolate Factory Tour

Good food makes the difference between a good holiday and an excellent holiday!

Bend will not disappoint you on this front, either.

While not precisely a full-course filling meal, chocolates and ice-creams can be extremely good hunger-killers.

Not to mention the soft melts and the delectable sweetness of these little brown and white beauties!

You can dole on chocolates and ice-creams to your heart’s content by traveling to the Goody’s Chocolate and Ice Cream Factory.

The thirty-year-old place is the local's favorite hangout spot to pamper their sweet teeth whenever it bites them.

You can sample their choicest sweets on your visit from their extensive portfolio of more than 100 items.

These include gourmet chocolates, toffee, and ice creams.

In addition to the culinary pleasures, the factory also offers you a tour to watch the plant and process first-hand.

Drake Park

Drake Park
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All happy families are happy for the same reasons, while all unhappy….

Well, we do not need the part about unhappy families while we are drowning in the endless pleasures of a hearty holiday!

Families can head out to Drake Park and rejoice in quality family time on the whole of its 13-acres area.

You can spot several families having a blast enjoying the weather amid pompous ponderosa pines and homely hardwoods!

Additionally, you can also watch exciting shows on the outdoor stage.

Finally, dote on sweet animals roaming carefree such as squirrels and chipmunks.

Oregon Badlands Wilderness Area

Oregon Badlands Wilderness Area
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You wouldn't believe me if I told you that Oregon still has more exotic landforms to offer!

Well, I am telling you precisely the very same thing, and you would believe me too.

Please keep reading on…The 29,180 acres of the Oregon Badlands Wilderness Area is brimming with exotic formations.

The Dry River ( yes, oxymorons still exist in 21st-century web writing) is the best of these.

Once flowing with waters in the Ice Age, the barren river bed now lies at the divide between two enormous volcanic regions – the Badlands volcano area and the Horse Ridge volcano area.

Next on our list is the Area of Oregon's Wilderness

This special zone is teeming with rare and interesting life forms such as yellow-belied marmots, elk, antelope, bobcats, deer, and mule.

Even further, a glance above will reveal golden eagles and prairie falcons, soaring the clear skies in their majestic flight!

Finally, hike on feet or choose to ride horseback over the 50 miles of trials.

You will return rejuvenated and refreshed from your trip into the heart of the Bend wilderness!

Oregon Ski Guides

Skiing in Bend, Oregon
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Get high up on your skiing skills (yes, those are two different words ) with expert Oregon ski trainers, and move beyond resort-skiing into big-boys territory!

Touch new highs of thrill with snow mountaineering, or enjoy the laidback delights of backcountry skiing.

Oregon skiing guides will take you from an absolute beginner’s stage to a moderately advanced level in quick time.

We promise you will return as emancipated mountain lovers after your exertions here!

Deschutes Brewery Tour

I will be honest.

I intentionally held back the crowning jewel of Bend for the last item on my list.

The idea was to dish out delicious Deschutes Brews to true beer-lovers who completed the rites of passage by reading up to here.

The Deschutes Beer is the world's fifth-largest beer brand.

You can see their exquisite process by taking a tour around Deschutes Brewery.

From learning about beer history and culture to watching beer bottled with clockwork precision, this tour will make you a life-long beer devotee!

Finally, cap off the fantastic tour with the equally fantastic foam of your favorite beer in the sampling section.

No matter what your beer sensibilities, you will find a beer to suit you here!

The famous Pilsner, Porter, IPA, Pale Ale, and Stout are the best picks if you ask us!

That just about rounds up our mega travel guide for a trip to Bend, Oregon.

We did our best to guide you through all the bends, twists, and nooks that the city offers.

Incredible as it may seem, but Bend is genuinely gifted with a wide variety of exotic and rare landforms.

If you are geologically inclined, you would already be drooling over the prospect of seeing these rich features!

We won’t hold you back a minute longer!

Trust us, book your tickets to this little town in the cradle of nature and enjoy a holiday to cherish for years to come!

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