Bend Travel Guide

Discover the best things to do, places to stay and eat, hiking, biking, and outdoor adventure routes, and much more in Bend, Oregon with our comprehensive travel guide.

Introduction to Bend

Bend, located in Central Oregon in the Pacific Northwest region of the United States of America, is a popular tourist destination for its stunning natural beauty, outdoor recreational activities, and rich cultural offerings. Known as the “outdoor playground of the West,” Bend offers something for everyone, from hiking and biking to skiing and snowboarding, from exploring museums to experiencing the local food and drink scene. In this comprehensive travel guide to Bend, we’ll take you through all the best things to do, places to stay and eat, hiking and biking trails, and much more to help you plan your perfect Bend vacation.

List of Places to Visit in Bend

Here’s a list of the best places to visit in Bend:

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • High Desert Museum: This natural and cultural history museum features exhibits on everything from Native American artifacts to local wildlife.
  • Deschutes Historical Museum: Located in downtown Bend, this museum tells the story of Bend’s history through its exhibits and artifacts.
  • Les Schwab Amphitheater: This outdoor amphitheater hosts concerts and other events throughout the year, with stunning views of the Deschutes River.

Natural Attractions of Bend: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Mount Bachelor: This popular skiing and snowboarding destination is located just outside of Bend and offers stunning views and plenty of outdoor activities.
  • Deschutes River Trail: This trail follows the Deschutes River through Central Oregon, offering scenic views and opportunities for hiking, biking, and fishing.
  • Newberry National Volcanic Monument: Located just outside of Bend, this monument features a unique landscape of volcanic features, including lava tubes and cinder cones.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Bend

Bend is a great destination for outdoor enthusiasts, with plenty of hiking and biking routes to choose from. Here are some of the best:

  • Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint: This popular hiking trail offers stunning views of Bend and the surrounding landscape.
  • Phil’s Trail: This mountain biking trail is a favorite among locals, with miles of singletrack and stunning views.
  • Tumalo Falls Trail: This hiking trail leads to a stunning waterfall and offers views of the surrounding mountains.

Best Things to Do in Bend: Activities and Tours

Bend offers plenty of activities and tours for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best:

  • Bend Ale Trail: This self-guided tour takes visitors to some of the best breweries in Bend, offering samples of local craft beer along the way.
  • Snowshoeing and Cross-Country Skiing: In the winter, visitors can enjoy snowshoeing or cross-country skiing on the many trails near Bend.
  • Floating the Deschutes River: In the summer, visitors can rent a tube or raft and float down the Deschutes River for a scenic, relaxing adventure.

Week-Long Itinerary for Bend

Here’s a suggested itinerary for a week-long trip to Bend:

Day Activity
1 Visit High Desert Museum and explore Downtown Bend
2 Hike the Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint and visit local breweries
3 Ski or snowboard at Mount Bachelor
4 Explore the Deschutes River Trail and visit the Les Schwab Amphitheater
5 Take a snowshoeing or cross-country skiing tour
6 Visit Newberry National Volcanic Monument and go floating on the Deschutes River
7 Relax in Bend and try local cuisine

Food and Drink Scene of Bend

Bend is known for its food and drink scene, with plenty of local restaurants and breweries to choose from. Here are some must-try dishes and local beverages:

Must-Try Dishes

  • Bangers and Mash at Riverside Market
  • Bacon-wrapped dates at 900 Wall
  • Elk burgers at Tyler’s
  • Wild salmon at Pine Tavern

Local Beverages

  • Deschutes Brewery: This local brewery offers a variety of beers, including their popular Mirror Pond Pale Ale.
  • Crater Lake Spirits: Try local spirits at this distillery, including their award-winning vodka and gin.
  • BackDrop Distilling: This local distillery offers a variety of craft spirits, including gin, vodka, and whiskey.

Where to Stay in Bend: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

There are plenty of options for places to stay in Bend, from hotels to hostels to guesthouses. Here are some of the best:

  • McMenamins Old St. Francis School: This historic hotel features unique rooms and is located in downtown Bend.
  • LOGE Bend: This affordable hostel is located near popular hiking and biking trails.
  • Lara House Bed and Breakfast: This charming guesthouse features comfortable rooms and a gourmet breakfast.

What to Buy in Bend: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

Bend offers plenty of opportunities to buy souvenirs and local products. Here are some of the best:

  • Goody’s Chocolate and Ice Cream: This local candy shop offers a variety of handmade chocolates and candies.
  • Newport Avenue Market: This local market offers a variety of local products, including cheese, jam, and wine.
  • Sunny’s Carrello: This local boutique offers unique jewelry and accessories made by local artists.

Local Culture and Customs of Bend

Bend has a laid-back, outdoorsy culture, with a focus on enjoying the natural beauty of the area. Locals are friendly and welcoming to visitors, and the town has a strong focus on sustainability and environmentalism.

Best Time to Visit Bend

Bend is a year-round destination, with plenty to do and see no matter when you visit. Summers are warm and sunny, with temperatures ranging from the 70s to the 90s. Winters are cold and snowy, with temperatures ranging from the 20s to the 40s.

Do’s and Don’ts of Bend

Here are some do’s and don’ts for visitors to Bend:


  • Do enjoy the natural beauty of the area, with plenty of hiking and biking trails to explore.
  • Do try local food and drink, including beer, spirits, and cuisine.
  • Do be respectful of the local culture and customs, including a focus on sustainability and environmentalism.


  • Don’t litter or leave trash behind on trails or in other public spaces.
  • Don’t ignore warning signs or take unnecessary risks when exploring the natural areas around Bend.
  • Don’t assume locals are always in a hurry – take the time to enjoy a slower pace of life in Bend.

Safety and Health

Safety in Bend

Bend is a relatively safe destination, but visitors should still be aware of their surroundings and take precautions to ensure their safety. Here are some tips:

  • Lock your car and secure valuables to prevent theft.
  • Stay aware of wildlife when hiking or exploring the outdoors.
  • Be prepared for changing weather conditions, including sudden storms or extreme temperatures.

Health in Bend

Bend offers excellent healthcare facilities and services, including hospitals and clinics. Visitors should be aware of the altitude and potential for dehydration when exploring the outdoors, and should take appropriate precautions to stay hydrated and avoid altitude sickness.

Getting to Bend: Transportation Options and Logistics

Bend is easily accessible by car, plane, and bus. Here are some options for getting to Bend:

Airports Near Bend

  • Redmond Municipal Airport: This airport is located just outside of Bend and offers flights on several major airlines.
  • Portland International Airport: This airport is located about 3 hours from Bend and offers flights on several major airlines.

Bus Stations Near Bend

  • Bend Transit Center: This bus station is located in downtown Bend and offers connections to local and regional bus routes.

Other Options

  • Rental cars: Visitors can rent cars from several major rental car companies at the Redmond Municipal Airport.
  • Taxis and rideshare services: Several taxi and rideshare services, including Uber and Lyft, are available in Bend.

How to Get Around in Bend

Bend is a relatively small town, and many attractions can be easily reached on foot or by bike. Visitors can also take advantage of the local bus system, or rent a car to explore further afield.

Where to Go Next from Bend: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

Bend is located in the heart of Central Oregon, offering plenty of nearby destinations and excursions for visitors to enjoy. Here are some of the best:

  • Crater Lake National Park: This stunning national park is located about 2 hours from Bend and offers opportunities for hiking, boating, and camping.
  • Smith Rock State Park: Located about 30 minutes from Bend, this state park offers stunning views and opportunities for hiking and rock climbing.
  • Painted Hills: Located about 2 hours from Bend, these unique hills offer a glimpse into Oregon’s geological history.


Whether you’re looking for outdoor adventures, cultural attractions, or a charming small town experience, Bend has something for everyone. With its stunning natural beauty, rich cultural offerings, and friendly locals, Bend is a must-visit destination for any travel enthusiast. Use this comprehensive guide to plan your perfect Bend vacation and discover all the best things to do, places to stay and eat, and much more.