One of most intriguing travel destinations in the central region of Oregon, Bend offers a wide range of attractions for anyone. Emerging from humble beginnings as an unknown lumber town, it has dramatically transformed to become a thriving community which openly welcomes all tourists with a sense of adventure and an outdoorsy attitude.
Known as “the outdoor playground of the West”, Central Oregon with its incredible volcanic terrain, green forests, rivers, lakes and snowcapped peaks is a place where tourists can go to explore the rich and fascinating area. Golf-courses, hiking and biking, world-class skiing, whitewater rafting, rock-climbing, fishing are just some of many things that tourists can enjoy.
If you feel like doing a bit of shopping or exploring the nightlife then the heart of the town is the place for you as it houses dozens of shops and restaurants.
Bend is home to Goody’s Chocolate and Ice Cream Factory that was voted as one of America’s best ice cream factory tours by travel guidebook series Frommer’s.
Popular Attractions in Bend
Old Mill District and Downtown
While visiting Bend, explore its downtown, Old Mill District, check out art galleries, and enjoy locally-made craft beer and food in one of many restaurants and bars. The city as known for numerous arts in public place including the Roundabout Art Route. Print the map or pick it up at the Bend Visitor Center.
Drake Park and Mirror Pond
Drake Park is located in the historic city's downtown on the bank of Mirror Pond. The pond is a result of the Deschutes River impoundment and dam, located just 0.5 miles upstream of the park and used for irrigation and recreation activities. Also, Mirror Pond is home to wildlife including ducks and Canada geese.
The park is open year-round for kids, hikers, walkers, and dogs.
Pilot Butte State View Point
Pilot Butte is a 500-foot (150 m) extinct volcano remnant in the city of Bend, formed during a volcanic eruption approximately 188,000 years ago...
Bend Escape Room
If you’re looking for more brain stimulation than brain freeze then a great attraction for the whole family is the Bend Escape Room; a giant interactive puzzle to scratch your head over which requires teamwork and skills to try and locate and solve its hidden objects and clues.
358 NE Marshall Ave #1 Bend OR 97702
High Desert Museum
For those interested in discovering specific information about where the town comes from and how it has grown there are a number of museums including the much-loved winner of Trip Adviser’s number one attraction in Bend, the High Desert Museum, which is set across a staggering 135 acres and features a wonderful surprise with its huge selection wild animals including bobcats, otters, snakes, and birds of prey.
59800 US-97, Bend, OR 97702
Recreational Opportunities in Bend
Bend is a travel destination that’s made to be explored by anyone with a sense of adventure and a passion for the outdoors. It also has many options for children
with its summer activities and is definitely not one to miss for anyone traveling through the northwest region of America.
Bend, located on the bank of the Deschutes River, has 23 officially listed nature parks within the confines of the mountainous region. Choose from skiing on Mount Bachelor, cycling, hiking, or even trailing through the Urban Trail System. If you’re even more daring you can attempt some of the more extreme air and water-based adventure activities such as a fly boarding or whitewater rafting.
The scenic 90-foot Tumalo Falls on Tumalo Creek is located about 13 miles west of the Bend downtown. The waterfall is visible from the parking area. The lower overlook platform that located nearby provides the best view toward the waterfall. You can climb a quarter-mile on North Fork Trail to the upper viewpoint and the waterfall top. There are a few hiking and mountain biking trails. Hike upstream along the creek and you will find a couple of smaller waterfalls.
Cascade Lakes Highway
The Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway is a recreation roadway starting in Bend as Century Drive and winding 70 miles (112 km) through east slope of Cascade Range wilderness. It terminates on the Highway 58, 38 miles southeast of Oakridge. Cascade Lakes Highway passes Mount Bachelor and leads to dozen high-altitude lakes known for their excellent hiking, biking, boating, swimming and fishing opportunities.
Lava River Cave
Formed by the volcanic activity about 80,000 years ago, Lava River Cave is the longest known lava tube in Oregon stretching approximately 1.5 miles from the entrance through Echo Halls, Low Bridge Lane, Two Tube Tunnel to Sand Gardens.
Lava Cast Forest
Newberry Caldera & Paulina Lake
Paulina Creek Falls
Located in Newberry National Volcanic Monument, the double plunge 80-foot Paulina Creek Falls on Paulina Creek drains from Paulina Lake. There is an accessible trail to picnic sites and a viewpoint. Hike 0.25-mle down to the waterfall base for the best view and stunning photos.
Bend – Outdoor Playground of the West
Before the first pioneers arrived at the beginning of 19th century, the territory along the Deschutes River was home to Native Americans, their hunting and fishing place for almost 12,000 years.
Points of Interest Nearby