Bend, Oregon is located 3.5 hours Southeast of Portland and 5.5 hours West of Boise, making it the pinnacle of that PNW USA lifestyle: tons of nature & tons of craft beer! The neighborhood feel of this little city makes it the perfect weekend getaway. Shoutout to some of my best Idaho friends Emily, Arri, & Krista for a fun girl’s weekend in Bend! Here’s a few ideas for your next weekend away in Bend, Oregon.
Where to Stay in Bend
Because I was on a girl’s trip, we stayed in an Air BnB on the river, which was awesome! I’ve also read in SO many articles that Riverhouse on the Deschutes is a great hotel option. Quite honestly, Bend wasn’t that huge and felt safe, so you can’t really go wrong with where to stay.
What to Do in Bend
The number one thing to do in Bend, Oregon is to explore the outdoors! There is so much nearby nature, that you cannot and should not avoid hiking around the area. Smith Rock is a common hike, as well as the Deschutes River Trail, and the many trails in the Sisters Mountains. If you want to venture off for a day trip, Crater Lake is also nearby for some stunning west coast sights.
Visit Nearby Tumalo Falls
These falls are pretty family friendly because there is a short hike to get to the viewpoint! There are also nearby trails so you can extend your trip. Beware: parking can get pretty crowded on weekends.
Visit the Last Remaining Blockbuster
I can admit, this is an absolute novelty for any 90s kids! There is one blockbuster remaining in the continental United States, and it is located in a strip mall in Bend, Oregon. I would never travel out of my way to see it, but when I was there, you bet I took a trip inside! I explored the nostalgia re-living a fun Friday night of my youth. For me, it was worth the stop inside.
Float the Deschutes River
I didn’t get the opportunity, but if you do: you can float the river from Farewell Bend Park to Drake Park. I was visiting from Boise, where I often floated the Boise River, so I decided to skip. However, this is one of the biggest recommendations I hear!
Shop in Downtown Bend
Bend had many sweet little novelty shops in their downtown area, as well as same brand name options. I liked stopping in the little local shops to view their local goods.
Day Trip to natural Hot Springs
Now, this is an activity to do if you have time, because they do require a little drive. My friends were spontaneous, and we drove out to Terwilliger Hot Springs, which is nearly two hours away. They were very fun, I won’t lie! I would do it again given the opportunity
This activity is pretty unavoidable in Bend. The PNW of the US loves their beer! Bend is no shy of this, having a whopping 22 breweries in the Bend area alone!! I only got to try one (Crux Brewery), but the outdoor area was so lovely and the beer was great.
If you’re feeling up for it: definitely check out the Bend Ale Trail! There’s maps, passports & an app so that you can drink your way around the area.
There are many spots to catch a bite around town! While I was in town, we:
- grabbed a quick breakfast at Kanona Café before hiking
- ate delicious Thai at Wild Rose
- snacked at The Lot which is a food truck spot
- and caught brunch at The Lemon Tree
But I did get a few other recommendations while in town, that are highly acclaimed:
- Victorian Café
- Pine Tavern
- McMenamins Old St. Francis School
- Now, this is an old school/hotel turned museum, restaurant and bar. It was a neat spot and definitely worth the look around!
Whether you’re passing through the PNW and Oregon, or you need a little getaway close to home in Idaho or Washington, Bend is a great place to spend an extended weekend! If you visit, please comment and let me know what you did. Thanks so much for reading and until next time: happy traveling!
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