Bend is often referred to as “the outdoor playground of the West” and for a good reason. It is one of the four US cities, which have an actual volcano within the city limits, a town with the highest concentration of breweries per capita, and has nearly 300 days of sunshine per year.
The city is located in the middle of the State of Oregon, east of the Cascades, where the Ponderosa Pine forest meets the High Desert.
If you are taking a ride to Bend from the Willamette Valley, you will see how the Oceanic climate of the Valley with all its lush greenery transitions into the Continental climate of the Cascades, and then into the Steppe climate of Deschutes County.
Bend is the seat of Deschutes County named after the Deschutes River, which flows through it. The river itself received the name in the early 19th century from the French-Canadian trappers of the Hudson’s Bay Company who named it Riviere des Chutes (French for “River of the Falls”).
Despite the modest size compared to other US cities, the city remains the largest city in Central Oregon with 87,0143 people living there according to the 2015 Census. Bend Metropolitan Area is the fifth largest in Oregon, with 165,954 residents as of 2013.
Within the past 10 years, Bend and Deschutes County have experienced the fastest growth compared to other communities. After the end of the logging era, tourism stood at the forefront of the city’s economic development. It is now considered the "outdoor playground of the West", where one can find everything one’s heart can possibly desire – from art to exquisite dining, from spas to hiking, skiing, snowboarding, fishing, hunting, rock climbing, rafting, and golfing.
The Downtown area is full of art, restaurants with the nation’s most innovative and accomplished chefs, and unique shops. A variety of activities and events, including professional live theater, music, galleries, museums, and art festivals are available throughout the year.
The city is also home to 18 breweries, four wineries, and three cideries. Among them is the Deschutes Brewery, the US 6th largest craft brewery. The city hosts numerous beer-related events every year, such as the Bend Oktoberfest, the Little Woody Barrel-Aged Brew and Whiskey Fest, and Bend Brewfest.
Among the city's countless “nation’s best” designations, there is another one worth mentioning. Dog owners would be delighted to learn, that in 2012, Bend was named the nation’s dog-friendliest town by Dog Fancy. This distinction is well-earned indeed, considering the many off-leash dog areas and pet-friendly businesses and establishments one can find in the city.
Bend – Things To Do & See