Top 15 Things To Do And Best Hotels In Bend, Oregon

September 05, 2022

Top 15 Things to Do and Best Hotels in Bend, Oregon

Bend is the largest city in central Oregon. The Deschutes River runs south-to-north through the community. The city is set along the eastern edge of the Cascades. Forests of Ponderosa pine transition to high desert sprinkled with junipers. Lovers of the outdoors enjoy an average of 263 sunny to partly sunny days per year. Mt. Bachelor skiers can count on an average of 160-180 inches of snow per season.

Top 15 Things to do in Bend, Oregon

There’s so much to do in Bend, OR, regardless of the season. If you love the outdoors, you’ll love central Oregon.

1. Tumalo Falls

Tumalo Falls is 10 miles west of Bend. Delight in the sight of water surging over a sheer rock wall to the river almost a hundred feet below. View this spectacular sight from the observation deck, or hike the quarter-mile trail.

2. Mount Bachelor skiing

Mount Bachelor and its 4,300 acres of skiable terrain is just 22 miles from Bend. Ski more than 100 runs atop an extinct volcano. Savor 360-degree views of the Cascades. Cross country skiing, snow tubing and snowshoeing are other entertaining pursuits in the area. In the summer, enjoy 13 miles of lift-accessible trails.

3. Whitewater rafting

The Deschutes River offers everything from gentle Class I to heart-pounding Class V rapids. You’ll also find seasonal whitewater rafting on the McKenzie, Metolius and Crooked Rivers. Professional guides take you through deep canyons, forests and more.

4. Tower Theatre

The brightly lit spire of the Tower Theatre rises 78 feet above street level. The historic venue hosts hundreds of live events every year. Many think of it as “Bend’s Living Room.”

5. High Desert Museum

High Desert Museum is a 135-acre complex dedicated to the flora, fauna and history of central Oregon. Live animal shows feature porcupines, badgers and more. Take the nature trail to the aviary.

6. Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park is 27 miles north of Bend. The other-worldly landscape includes orange rhyolite cliff and soaring pinnacles. Commune with golden eagles, beavers, river otters and prairie falcons during a relaxing hike along the Crooked River.

7. Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway

It is ideal to traverse the 66-mile Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway on a clear sunny day. Snow-capped peaks, sparkling alpine lakes and pine-covered hills await. Hike the Todd Lake trail. Biking, fishing and kayaking are other possibilities. Due to snow, parts of the road remain closed from December to May.

8. Fly fishing

Rely on an outfitter in Bend to set you up for a world-class fly fishing adventure. Central Oregon streams and rivers serve up trout and steelhead year-round. Fish for “redside” rainbow trout on the Lower Deschutes River, a blue ribbon trout stream.

9. Les Schwab Amphitheater

The Hayden Homes Amphitheater is an outdoor concert venue along the Deschutes River. It accommodates as many as 8,000 fans. World-class acts like Coldplay and the Dave Matthews Band have performed here.

10. Bend Ale Trail

Find “beervana” on the Bend Ale Trail. Bend has transitioned from logging town to lager town, you might say. It enjoys the distinction of having the third most breweries per capita in the country. 

11. Golfing

The Bend area offers a wide array of golf experiences at Juniper, Pronghorn, Lost Tracks and Eagle Crest. Rivers Edge Golf Course is on Golf Digest’s list of “Best Places to Play.” There’s even a 25-ft waterfall on the sixth hole.

12. Pilot Butte State Park

The scenic viewpoint and hiking are the main attractions at Pilot Butte State Park. Enjoy panoramic views of the high desert set against a mountain backdrop.

13. Deschutes River recreation

The Deschutes River is popular for swimming, tubing and paddleboarding. Grab a surfboard and try out the man-made surfing area. Stroll or bike along the riverside trail.

14. Old Mill District

The Old Mill District is only a mile south of downtown Bend. The three silver smokestacks are remnants of an old lumber mill. Shopping, art galleries and restaurants welcome visitors. Take in a summer concert at the Les Schwab Amphitheater.

15. Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Newberry National Volcanic Monument offers lava flows, geologic features and 50,000 acres of lakes. Savor views of Newberry Caldera and the Cascades from the Paulina Peak Summit. Descend 126 steps to explore Lava River Cave, a mile-long lava tube.

Best Hotels in Bend, Oregon

Accommodations in Bend range from modern brand-name hotels to chic boutique lodging. Here are our recommended hotels in Bend, Oregon.

Oxford Hotel

10 NW Minnesota Avenue

The 59-room Oxford Hotel offers eco-chic lodging with urban organic decor. Guests have complimentary access to cruiser bikes and Breedlove guitars. Enjoy spacious, elegant accommodations, many with mountain views. The Oxford Hotel is close to Drake Park and the Des Chutes Historical Museum.

Doubletree by Hilton

300 NW Franklin Avenue

Doubletree by Hilton is in Old Bend close to Drake Park. Many of the spacious rooms include wonderful views of the Cascade Mountains. Take advantage of the complimentary bike rentals.

Hilton Garden Inn

425 SW Bluff Drive

Guests enjoy warmth and rustic elegance at the Hilton Garden. This Old Mill District hotel overlooks the Deschutes River. Amenities include an indoor pool and fitness center. It is near the Les Schwab Amphitheater and the High Desert Museum.

Hampton Inn & Suites

730 SW Columbia Street

Hampton Inn & Suites is across the river from the Old Mill District. It is near the Les Schwab Amphitheatre. Amenities include an indoor pool, fitness center and complimentary breakfast.

Pronghorn Resort

65600 Pronghorn Club Drive

Pronghorn is a four-star condominium resort near the Hooker Creek Events Center. Condos feature jetted bathtubs. Enjoy upscale amenities including a spa, two outdoor pools and tennis courts. Jack Nicklaus and Tom Fazio designed the two 18-hole championship golf courses. Thread your drives through lava formations and juniper trees.

Riverhouse Hotel

3075 North Business 97

You'll find the 221-room Riverhouse Hotel along the Deschutes River. Guests enjoy access to an indoor pool, spa tub and fitness center. The hotel is near the Bend River Promenade, River's Edge Golf Course and the Tower Theater.

Pine Ridge Inn

1200 SW Mt. Bachelor Drive

The Pine Ridge Inn is an all-suite hotel overlooking the Deschutes River. Enjoy complimentary beer or wine at check-in. Each suite includes a gas fireplace. The Pine Ridge Inn is near the Cascades Campus of Oregon State University. Enjoy quick access to the Deschutes River Trail System.

Red Lion Inn & Suites

1415 NE Third Street

Red Lion Inn & Suites is just west of the Bend Highway. The Tower Theatre, Pilot Butte State Park and the Des Chutes Historical Museum are nearby. Enjoy pillow top beds, an outdoor pool, a spa tub and a fitness center.

Plan Your Trip to Bend, OR, Today

Guest Reservations is an independent travel network offering more than 100,000 hotels around the world. Check out the recommended accommodations above, or browse all of our hotels in Bend, OR.

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