When guests ask about don’t-miss activities for a Bend vacation, I always suggest a walk around Downtown Bend. It’s a great way to get a taste of the city’s historical buildings and scenic Mirror Pond, not to mention a bit of fresh air.
So what could make it even better?
There’s an app for that!
No, seriously. Several weeks ago, the Des Chutes Historical Museum launched the Bend Heritage Walk application for smart phones and tablets. It’s totally free to download, thanks to a generous grant from the Oregon Heritage Commission.
Go grab it right now for Apple products or for Android, then poke around through the audio narration, historical photographs, and trivia questions. You can do it without leaving the comfort of your couch, but it’s way more fun to enjoy it while walking between the seven landmarks on the tour.
I decided to take the app for a test run so I could tell you guys what it’s like. Because I’m a poor planner not terribly bright always eager for a new challenge, I set out for my heritage walk on an afternoon of single-digit temperatures in Bend.
Fortunately, the app makes it easy to pause along the way, stopping to warm up in downtown coffee shops or browse cool boutiques. You can restart whenever you feel like it or opt to read transcripts instead of listening to the audio.
You can even see the landmarks out of order by jumping around on the map. Go on, be wild and crazy like that. I won’t tell.
The tour features seven downtown locations, ranging from the oldest standing structure in Bend to the first “modern” school built by Bend residents.
Likewise, my stop at the Tower Theatre was a great chance to wander inside and check the schedule of performances for the coming months.
The app even lets you use Facebook or Twitter to check in at the various sites, and it’ll ask you fun trivia questions if you want. I’m pretty sure it can even shovel snow off your car, but I couldn’t find the button for that.
Wanna know something cool? The app was designed by SideStreet, which is the same company that created the Bend Ale Trail app. Just don’t confuse the two and go staggering around to historic sites with a bottle of Mirror Pond in-hand.
For more info about the app or the DesChutesHistoricalMuseum, check ‘em out here. And stay tuned for announcements about future apps for other areas of Bend.
Now go get that app!
Judging from the volume of traffic in the Bend Visitor Center this week, a whole lot of you have come to Bend for the holidays.
Either that, or you got lost en route to the North Pole.
Welcome to all of you, whether you’ve arrived by car or or by plane, with an assortment of kids or furry friends or imaginary pals in your trunk.
Now that you’re here, what do you plan to do? There are literally hundreds of options, and it’s up to you to decide. Here are five places you can go to get ideas, schedules, and more:
At the risk of sounding like a marketing geek, I’ll tell you nearly half the traffic to Visit Bend’s website comes from mobile devices. It’s a dramatic shift we’ve seen in recent years, and it signals more and more guests are using their smartphones to plan vacation activities once they’ve already arrived.
So what does that mean for you?
Assuming you have a smartphone, you have a magnificent array of travel ideas at your fingertips when you hop on visitbend.com.
Not a mobile user? Not a problem! The site is accessible from your laptop or desktop computer, and you can visit it from home or after you’ve arrived in Bend.
Maybe you’re already aware of all your options for snowshoeing, mountain biking, or shopping in Bend. Maybe you’re looking for something extra special that’s only happening right now. No problem! Visit Bend’s Event Calendar is one of our most popular web pages, and for good reason. Just plug in the date range of your visit and voila! The calendar will show you what’s happening around town during your vacation. You can also search for specific kinds of events or activities, ranging from sports to art to educational offerings.
No problem. We’ve got it. Well, Mt. Bachelor has it, and it’s looking pretty nice so far this year. Though the mountain won’t be open on Thanksgiving this year, they have oodles of lifts and terrain operating the very next day and beyond. To check up-to-the-minute snow conditions and operation schedules, go here for the current snow report.
We’re always looking for new friends, especially in the social media world. If you’re a Facebook user, keep an eye on Visit Bend’s Facebook page where we’re posting a minimum of two times daily (and usually more like four or five) with updates about activities, weather conditions, events, and oodles of scenic photos guaranteed to leave you drooling and planning your next Bend vacation before you’ve even concluded this one.
If you’re craving a cold brew and specific updates about the Bend Ale Trail, keep an eye on the Twitter handle @BendAleTrail or on the Bend Ale Trail Facebook page.
Thanks! We’re glad you like it. Did you know it’s searchable? We’ve been racking up weekly posts for nearly four years, so there’s a pretty good archive of info here at the Bend Buzz Blog. There’s a drop-down menu that lists “categories,” and from there, you can choose to scroll through posts about outdoor recreation, family fun, shopping, or whatever rolls your socks up.
Want to make sure you’re always in-the-know about new posts? Just plug your email address into the “subscribe” field for the Bend Buzz Blog and we’ll make sure you never miss another post.
Thanksgiving weekend means something different for everyone. For some, it’s a chance to eat your body weight in mashed potatoes, while others practice their karate moves in case Black Friday turns ugly. Maybe you’re lacing your sneakers for a Thanksgiving Day run, or perhaps you’re waxing your skis to hit Mt.Bachelor the day after Thanksgiving.
No matter where you fall on the spectrum, there are plenty of ways to celebrate Thanksgiving weekend 2013 in Bend. Here are a few ideas.
For a lot of people, Thanksgiving is all about the food. If you’re visiting Bend for the holiday, plenty of restaurants serve a tasty Thanksgiving meal that won’t require you to scrub dishes or make gravy. You’ll find a complete list at this link.
Bend landmark Pine Tavern Restaurant (that’s the place with the two big pine trees in the middle of the restaurant) is offering plated Thanksgiving dinners from 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. featuring entrée options like traditional turkey, prime rib, steelhead, or mushroom risotto. Go here for pricing and reservation info.
For a totally tasty Thanksgiving buffet, head to The Restaurant at Awbrey Glen. Their lineup will include freshly baked soft rolls and mini croissants, gourmet baby greens with three dressings, Waldorf salad, penne pasta salad, mandarine ambrosia, fresh fruit, cheese displays, hot artichoke dip with crostini, crudités, cold poached shrimp with cocktail and lemon, wild rice pilaf, buttermilk whipped potatoes with giblet gravy and traditional sage dressing, brown sugar and citrus glazed yams topped with toasted mini marshmallows, French green bean casserole topped with crisp shoestring fried onions, butternut squash winter vegetable medley, oven roasted turkey, ham with cherry glaze, salmon cakes with citrus saffron cream (gluten free), quinoa vegetable cakes (gluten free), a kids’ table with house-made mac-n-cheese and chicken tenders, and assorted deserts including pies, sundae bar, chocolate dipped strawberries, and more.
I feel full just typing that.
The Awbrey Glen meal is offered from noon to 4 p.m. and costs $27.95 for adults and $10.95 for kids 6-12. Kids under 5 are free.
To peruse the list of other Bend restaurants with Thanksgiving meals on the agenda, check out this link.
The bad news: Mt.Bachelor didn’t have quite enough snow to open for full operations by their original target date of Saturday, November 23.
The good news: They’re still planning to have a limited opening on Nov. 23, including Snowblast Tubing and a TerrainPark with multiple lines (rails and boxes) under the Sunshine Accelerator lift.
Even better news: They’re currently aiming to open the rest of their early-season operations the day after Thanksgiving (that’s Friday, November 29). Everyone cross your fingers really hard while doing the snow dance, OK? And keep your eyes posted here for up-to-the-minute news on mountain conditions and operations.
If you’re not in the mood to kick off the day slouching on the sofa with a turkey leg in one hand and a remote control in the other, consider signing up for one of the Thanksgiving morning runs in Bend.
There’s the Central Oregon Thanksgiving Classic kicking off at 9 a.m. with a timed 5K and 10K course as well as a family friendly Gobbler Walk. Proceeds go to the Boys & Girls Clubs of Central Oregon.
The I Like Pie Thanksgiving Day Run/Walk is another popular race that starts at 9 a.m. This one even includes a baking contest and raises money for NeighborImpact.
Once you’ve licked all the crumbs off your pie plate, it’s time to get to the serious business of holiday shopping. Bend’s Old Mill District features stores like Victoria’s Secret, Banana Republic, Bath & Body Works, Zumiez, and more. Check out their Black Friday Specials page for info on who’s opening at midnight, 2 a.m., 3 a.m., 5 a.m., and other more sane hours. If you need to confer with the big guy, Santa will arrive via helicopter around 10 a.m. to begin his tour of duty at Santaland. For more info on Old Mill holiday offerings like carriage rides, carolers, kids’ activities, and more, go here.
Things kick off early at the Bend Factory Stores, where gift card giveaways start at 9 p.m. Thanksgiving evening before select shops open from 10 p.m. to 2 a.m. Then everyone re-opens at 6 a.m. Friday morning for more shopping fun. Shops include hotspots like the Coach Factory Outlet, Nike Outlet, Eddie Bauer, Columbia Outlet, and much more.
For deals at hotspots like Best Buy and Cost Plus World Market, head north to the Cascade Village Shopping Center. And if big-box stores like Macy’s, Kohls, and TJ Maxx are on your agenda, be sure to hit the Bend River Promenade in the middle of town. While you’re on the north end of town, pop into Pomegranate Home & Garden, a locally-owned shop in a historic farm house, for some really unique gifts.
To help you spread things out a bit, many shops in Downtown Bend are participating in Small Business Saturday. Check out their page for details about shops and specials, including deals at great spots like Hot Box Betty, Local Joe, and Tres Jolie.
If you’re tired of Thanksgiving leftovers, the time might be right to cleanse your palate. Check out the Well Traveled Fork for a wide array of culinary tours and cooking classes designed to hone your cooking skills or introduce you to the secrets of Bend’s culinary scene.
If you’ve still got the urge to do some holiday cooking, there’s an awesome new book on the market called Sizzle and Buzz. Capturing stories, recipes, tips and tricks from acclaimed kitchens and personalities in Seattle, Portland and Bend, the book features photos, recipes, and exclusive stories from 50+ restaurants. Tons of great Bend hotspots are featured in the book, including 900 Wall, Ariana, Spork, Barrio, Bellatazza, Chow, Jackson’s Corner, Brickhouse, Pine Tavern, Jackalope Grill, The Victorian Cafe, Noi Thai Cuisine, and The Hideaway Tavern. Nab your copy today to start cooking up your own taste of Bend. Proceeds benefit local hunger prevention organizations.
The Downtown Bend Christmas tree lighting is one of those nostalgic holiday traditions that’s been happening longer than anyone can remember. This year, the tradition is changing just a little bit with a brand new tree in a more spacious locale. Crews just planted a lovely new live tree at the top of DrakePark by Brooks Street and Franklin Avenue.
Tree lighting festivities get underway at 6 p.m. on Saturday, November 30. There will be caroling and free samples from Luv’s Donuts, and Santa will light the tree at 6:50 p.m.
My personal tradition involves hauling the whole family to Bend Brewing Company immediately afterward for some tasty dinner and brews. They have one of my favorite kids’ menus in town, and I’m crossing my fingers the seasonal sour Ching-Ching will be on draft.
This is a great time of year for hiking around the Oregon Badlands Wilderness, so head east to explore this untamed area of Central Oregon. Tumalo Falls is another great hiking spot that shouldn’t be too snow-covered this time of year, or check out Cascade Hiking Adventures for other ideas.
Keep in mind you’ll want snowshoes if you venture too far toward the mountains. Why not book a guided snowshoe trip with Wanderlust Tours to get the most out of your outing? The Shoes, Brews, and Views tour pairs craft beer with an awesome snowshoe trek. Book early to make sure you get a spot!
Don’t see exactly what you’re looking for in that roundup of ideas? Check Visit Bend’s event calendar for more great ideas. Happy holidays, guys!
Welcome to your seventh edition of Mind Bend-ers, a special feature offering you the inside scoop on quirky Bend history and offbeat trivia.
Bend has a reputation for unique public art, and you can see plenty of it if you stroll around town or travel the Roundabout Art Route.
But one of the city’s most beloved pieces of art is actually, well…Art.
“Art” is the nickname given to the statue at the corner of Franklin and Wall in Downtown Bend. Created by artist Richard S. Beyer, this seven-foot cast aluminum sculpture was named The Traveler when it was placed there in 1982.
Since “The Traveler” doesn’t fit well on a driver’s license and makes an awkward match.com profile, he’s been called Art for as long as anyone can remember.
The sculpture was commissioned by Art in Public Places as part of an effort to rejuvenate Bend’s downtown area following a long recession. It was designed to capture Bend’s historic ambience, with the bench serving as a friendly gathering place for downtown visitors.
The artist modeled Art after a homeless acquaintance he’d met while working on a similar project in Seattle. He added a few ducks from nearby Mirror Pond to keep Art company, and depicted Art staring into his empty wallet.
The wallet seldom stays empty.
Bend visitors and residents are fond of filling it with all manner of treasures, ranging from coins to flowers to popcorn.
Rarely a day goes by that Art doesn’t pose for photos with a visitor’s arm slung fondly around his shoulders, and folks are keen on dressing him up, too.
Bend photographer Jill Rosell has photographed Art numerous times over the years, and posts many of the photos on her Facebook page. She’s seen people adorn Art with everything from umbrellas to a pumpkin hat to custom-knitted accessories courtesy of Bend’s resident “yarn bomber.”
Others have reported spotting Art wearing bunny ears, Santa hats, Valentine sweaters, and lacy lingerie. Though he vehemently denies the latter, he insists, “not that there’s anything wrong with that.”
After years of suspecting Art longed for a lady friend, Rosell took matters into her own hands last weekend. She arranged a date between Art and her friend Maeve Perle, then photographed the date for posterity.
Though Art was a bit stiff at first, he warmed up eventually.
We’re expecting a June wedding.
It’s that time of year when Bend’s dry air can wreak havoc on our skin, and bundling up in winter coats and boots can leave you feeling less than glamorous.
It’s also the time of year when people start requesting ideas for locally-made holiday gifts.
Why not mash the two ideas together? Below are suggestions from five fabulous Bend women offering up their favorite locally-made products that help them feel fantastic!
Who am I?
Operations Director for Visit Bend
What made-in-Bend beauty product do I love?
Angelina Organic Skincare Double Action Ayurvedic Cleansing Grains and Youth in Bloom Hydrating Cleanser with Hyaluronic Acid.
Why do I love it?
I’m absolutely obsessed with skincare products and Angelina Organic Skincare makes some of the best! These two put together make for a great morning cleansing ritual. Here’s what I do: 1. While I’m standing outside the shower waiting for the water to warm up, I stick my hand under the water just long enough to make a paste with the Cleansing Grains and do a quick exfoliation as I’m getting into the shower. 2. After rinsing, I massage in the Hydrating Cleanser with Hyaluronic Acid and let it sit on my face until just before I’m ready to turn off the water and get out. I feel like this is an anti-aging double- whammy! Another great thing about the Cleansing Grains is that you can also use them to mix up a facial masque.
Who am I?
Marketing Manager for the Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center, Crossings Restaurant, River’s Edge Golf Course AND Blogger at Working Mom Goes Green.
What made-in-Bend beauty product do I love?
Nashelle necklaces that benefit charities.
Why do I love it?
I love that Nashelle uses recycled 14k gold fill and sterling silver material, which fits perfectly with my family’s green/eco-friendly mission. Made in the USA, they also support many charity causes including Feeding America, Food for the Hungry, the Family Access Network, KIDS Center and their Pay it Forward line which benefit causes that are close to their heart, such as East Coast Disaster Relief in the wake of Hurricane Sandy.
Who am I?
The girl behind the curtain at LuLish Design (aka Founder & Creative Director)
What made-in-Bend beauty product do I love?
Traveler’s Spray Natural Sanitizer from T’s Tonics
Why do I love it?
This natural spray sanitizer is a favorite local product that I picked up year’s ago at Green Plow, a coffee house in Redmond, while waiting for my latte. I spray it on my yoga mat, in the car, on airplane seats, and occasionally huff it – it smells oh-so-good! It’s made with seven therapeutic essential oils shown to kill 99% of all air-born bacteria. I can be a germ-phobe so this made-in-Powell Butte product keeps me sane and comfy while traveling the world or just Highway 97. Plus, 25-percent of all profits go to help international student travel.
Who am I?
PR & Communications Manger for Visit Bend (and the regular author of this blog)
What made-in-Bend beauty product do I love?
Dirty Girl soap from LeCol’s Soap Bar
Why do I love it?
This amazing beer soap is made with beer from Boneyard. It smells fabulous and lathers up beautifully. The anti-bacterial, anti-inflammatory components in hops make it great for skin, and the amino acids are very moisturizing. Best of all, we sell it at the Bend Visitor Center for only $5, so I can easily grab a bar when we run out at home. Oh, and lest you think it’s strictly a girly product, I should tell you my fiancé loves this beer soap, too (especially the one made with oatmeal stout).
Who am I?
Social Media Marketer, Tour Coordinator, and Beertender at Worthy Brewing
Planning Board Member and Social Media Coordinator with Central Oregon Beer Angels (a local women’s beer group)
What made-in-Bend beauty product do I love?
Hopped Up Jewelry
Why do I love it?
Central Oregon beer is a career and a hobby for me, and this line of jewelry is the best way to represent that! First of all, they’re SO cute. I get compliments on them constantly while pouring beers at Worthy Brewing. I love the fact that I can show my hop love with more than just a typical t-shirt. And they’re made locally by a super sweet lady, which is a big bonus. I’m currently coveting their new hop necklaces. If you’re reading this and want to buy me one, you get a free hug!
While some folks arrive with oodles of cash to spend on a Bend vacation, others find themselves rummaging between the car seats for change to buy a pint.
Hey, I’m not judging. I already revealed my cheapskate habits with last year’s blog post about Bend’s best lunches for $6 or less.
In that same spirit, I wanted to offer tips for guests looking to save serious cash on snacks and appetizers. Behold, here are some of Bend’s best cheap eats.
You’ve gotta know where to look, but it’s possible to find free eats in Bend. I’m not talking about the basket of bread that precedes your dinner (though for the record, I’m a sucker for the sourdough at Anthony’s in the Old Mill District).
For a small but tasty nibble, head to Drake and nosh on their delicious herbed popcorn. It’s free when you’re drinking or dining there, something I recommend doing if you’ve got a little pocket change to spare (and if that’s the case, their Shrimp-n-Grits with roasted peppers, caramelized onion, bacon, herbs, and pan sauce is TO. DIE. FOR).
But if you’re really scrimping and saving, your best bet is the D & D Bar and Grill. Please understand I use the expression “dive bar” as a term of the utmost fondness and affection when speaking of The D. They have some of the cheapest eats in town, and your best bet is during happy hour. From 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, you’ll find a warmer tray of free (yes, FREE) appetizers. I’ve seen everything from pasta dishes to stuffed tater skins to quesadillas, and they’re free (yes, FREE) for customers drinking or dining. Well drinks are $4 during happy hour, and beer prices range from $2.50 for Pabst Blue Ribbon to $3.75 for microbrews.
There’s tons of great food on the happy hour menu at 10Below Restaurant & Lounge on the lower level of the Oxford Hotel, and you’ll find plenty of items for $4-5 whether you’re hitting happy hour from 4-6 or the one from 9-close.
But for the cheapest, tastiest treat of all, go for an order of deep-fried green olives for just $2. Deliciously salty with a crisp outer coating, they’re the perfect cheapskate complement to one of 10Below’s divine happy hour cocktails.
A few blocks away at 900 Wall, you’ll find another one of Bend’s tastiest happy hours from 3-6 p.m. nightly. There are ample eats in the $5-10 range (choose the deep-fried green beans at $5 for a splurge) but you’ll also find plenty of options on the lower end of the price spectrum. For just $1.50, choose from an oyster on the half-shell, a jumbo peel & eat shrimp, deviled eggs (you get three halves), tofu fritters (you get two), or a basket of fresh bread. While none of these alone offers a huge portion, it’s a good way to nibble without breaking the bank. The deviled eggs are my personal fave, particularly when you order them spicy and accompanied by a glass of crisp white wine.
For the biggest bang for your buck in this price range, head to Kayo’s Dinner House & Lounge on Monday evening. Starting at 4 p.m., you can get a tasty cheeseburger with fries for just $2.50. The price goes all night through the end of football season. You’ll find cheap deals on other nights of the week as well, including 50-cent oysters on the half-shell Wednesdays and Fridays, and two tacos for $5 on Tuesdays. Their other happy hour prices are pretty reasonable from 4-7 p.m. Monday through Friday, or hit ladies’ night on Thursdays for happy hour pricing all evening.
The newest brewery on the Bend Ale Trail scene also has one of the best options in town for cheap eats. Head to Worthy Brewing every Thursday at 5 p.m. for their Firkin special. They tap a Firkin (about 10 gallons of beer) and dole out $3 pints and $3 snacks until the Firkin runs dry. These are no wimpy snacks, either. Choose from chicken strips with fries and a choice of dipping sauce, mini corndogs with fries, cheese sticks with marinara, or a crudités plate with dipping sauce. The $3 pricing lasts until the Firkin is empty, which usually takes about two hours.
Another budget-friendly option for grub is the slider menu at Caldera Grille. They have several dozen varieties to pick from, ranging from Hawaiian (ham, pineapple, swiss, and sweet & sour) to BBQ Beef (roast beef & grilled onions smothered in BBQ sauce topped w/smoked cheddar). Ordinarily, the price for two hearty sliders ranges from $4.50 to $5.50, but if you catch them during happy hour from 4-7 p.m. daily, you’ll pay only $3.50 to $4.50. There are 11 varieties at the $3.50 rate, so there’s bound to be something you’ll love. You can check out their entire slider menu here.
Craving something with a bit of Asian flair? Head to Dojo for their delicious happy hour from 4-6 p.m. daily. At the $3 price point, you can get a heaping pile of salted edamame, a hot bowl of miso soup, or my personal favorite, their spicy Thai cucumber salad made with red onion, chili, and cilantro. Their happy hour menu includes a number of tasty items like sushi rolls and sweet potato fries in the $4-$6 range as well, and their delicious coconut martini is always worth a splurge.
Broken Top Bottle Shop is another local hotspot offering some inexpensive options. They specialize in unique, healthy food, with plenty of vegan, vegetarian, and gluten-free dishes. Grab a cup of their delicious homemade soup for just $3.50, or opt for a single slider for the same price. Flavor combos vary, but recent offerings included a cream of mushroom soup and a slider with grilled zucchini, red pepper, portobello, provolone, and basil pesto. If you’ve got a little extra pocket change, pony up a full $9.50 for a trio of sliders. You can mix and match from the mouthwatering menu.
You know Bend is awash in amazing craft beer, and there’s a good chance you’ve clutched your Bend Ale Trail atlas while wandering from brewery to brewery gathering stamps to earn prizes.
But if it’s craft beer you’re craving, you don’t have to stick with breweries and bars to get your fix. Here are five not-so-typical places you can grab a cold, frosty beer made right here in Bend.
It might seem odd to order a beer at the same place you buy tires for your road bike, but believe it or not, Bend has two spots you can do that. Hub Cyclery is Bend’s newest bike shop, offering bikes, parts, accessories, repairs, and of course—beer! Come in for a tune-up or a little shopping, and belly up to the bar for a cold draft of Crux beer. There’s no charge for customers of legal drinking age who are there to shop or await some repairs.
Hub Cyclery isn’t the only game in town combining bikes and beer. Just a couple blocks away, Crow’s Feet Commons offers a full-service custom bike and ski community, café, and tap room all under one roof. Order a local brew to enjoy while you browse their impressive selection of bikes and winter gear. They sell beer from several local sources, including Deschutes, Boneyard, Good Life, Ale Apothacary, and Three Creeks, in addition to beer from outside Central Oregon. The café offers a hearty selection of nibbles and coffee drinks for those who require something beyond beer, but why would you?
There’s nothing like the simple pleasure of curling up with a pint of craft beer and a good flick on the big screen. Bend offers not one, not two, but THREE fabulous movie theaters that let you enjoy a brew with your meal.
First up is Tin Pan Theater, a cozy little downtown theater showing a wide range of indy films and older movies in their small but quirky venue. Pick your spot among the old-fashioned theater seats, then buy a pint of local craft brew and an order of popcorn to savor with the show.
If you prefer to sprawl on a sofa to enjoy craft beer and a flick, snag a comfy seat at McMenamins Old Saint Francis. Order a full meal to wash down with a pint of Ruby, or just nosh on an order of spicy tots to go with a glass of Terminator. Movies range from second-run flicks to indie films, and you can even catch a kiddie movie earlier in the day.
Bend’s newest addition to the lineup of theaters offering beer is Volcanic Theater Pub. You’ll not only find an impressive lineup of movies and Bend craft beer, but some live music and theater. The tap lists are impressive here, too, and you can opt for a cozy chair or sofa near the front, or a bistro table near the bar.
It might seem odd to head to the gym for a pint of IPA, and for the record, I’m not actually suggesting you hop on the treadmill with a Hydro Flask of Hop Venom. But Scanlon’s restaurant at the Athletic Club of Bend has one of the most impressive happy hours in town, and their beer selection always includes tasty local craft beer. Pick a spot near the bar where you can watch sweaty club members en route from a vigorous workout. Then laugh, lift your pint high, and have another round of house-made lamb sausage over penne noodles (my personal favorite!)
For more than ten years, Bond Street Barber Shop has been a beacon of guy-ness in Downtown Bend. That’s not to say ladies can’t enjoy a pint of ale while getting their bangs trimmed, but this place definitely caters to a more testosterone-fueled crowd. Customers get a complimentary glass of 10 Barrel beer while enjoying haircut for $21 or a hot shave for $20. They also offer kids’ cuts for $18, though I think we can safely assume your toddler won’t be offered an IPA. If beer isn’t your thing (pardon me while I shudder at the thought) they also offer Tequila Tuesdays and Bloody Mary Saturdays.
Sounds like the setup for a weird riddle inquiring what those three things have in common. Give up? All three are locations of some of Bend’s growler fill stations.
The Growler Guys have two locations in Bend, and both are housed in gas stations. The Eastside spot in particular has an impressive bar-like setup where folks can gather for a few yummy samples before filling a growler with tasty craft beer to take home. Both locations have more than 30 taps to choose from, so you’ll have quite a selection to pick from.
Another oddly situated growler fill station is Gorilla Growlers in Northeast Bend. Tucked in the same complex as the Empire Car Wash, it’s a great spot to get suds for yourself and your vehicle. They have 29 beers on tap, and allow you to sample a variety before you make your final selection. Bonus: free use of the vacuums when you get your car washed, so you can take care of three chores at once when you fill your growler here.
Not to be outdone as an unusual locale for scoring craft beer, Growler Phil’s shares space with Primal Cuts Meat Market. This fabulous little butcher shop is known for unique local specialties like bison, ostrich, duck, pheasant, rabbit, and elk, and the 29 taps at Growler Phil’s are changed out daily. Grab a few samples, pick your favorite craft beer to take home, then turn around and take five steps to the meat counter to stock up on local meats and cheeses. Voila! You’ve got dinner to barbecue at your Bend vacation rental.
It’s only a matter of days until they’re all completely naked.
No, I’m not promoting a nudist event in Bend. I’m talking about the trees and this wonderful, magical period when they go from leafy green to vibrant bursts of yellow, red, and orange.
Want to catch some fall colors before all the trees drop their tops? Here are a few spots worth exploring.
This historic park is centered around the sparkling gem of Mirror Pond. It’s on the must-see list for most Bend visitors any time of year, but it’s especially worth a stop in the fall. The leafy trees lining the banks of the Deschutes cast their golden reflections on the water, with pockets of vibrant orange and red scattered throughout the 13-acre park. Leaves are beginning to fall now, so this is a good time to go kick through a big pile of them. Wander north toward the Veteran’s MemorialBridge on Newport to do double-duty with a stroll into tiny little Brooks Park tucked on the other side of the bridge.
Just a bit downstream on the Deschutes is DrakePark’s quieter, less flashy cousin. PioneerPark is a meandering, five-acre, riverfront oasis tucked away in the junction of Portland Avenue and Wall Street. It’s been one of my favorite Bend spots since I moved here in 1997, which is probably why it’s on the short list as a site for my upcoming wedding.
The park contains a formal rose garden, grassy hills for kids to roll down, and an awesome paved path meandering all the way to the new bridge at the First Street Rapids. You’ll see a nice blend of fall colors in PioneerPark, ranging from striking yellow aspens to leafy red maples. I’m particularly fond of all the picnic areas tucked among the trees, so bring a cozy jacket and a warm lunch to enjoy while you take in the fall colors.
You can travel this stretch of road by car, but wouldn’t you rather enjoy the journey at a leisurely pace without fretting about your fellow motorists backing up behind you? This is a great spot for a bike ride (go here for info on rentals). Pedal your way along this pleasant, winding road on Bend’s Westside, taking in endless rows of colorful trees that range from red to yellow to orange to green. At the end of your ride, reward yourself with a stop at Portello Wine Café for something to sip and an order of their delicious bruschetta.
Colorado Avenue itself has a lovely sprinkling of colorful trees dotting the roadway and medians, but I’ve found even nicer gems on the side streets just off the main road. Pick one at random and weave your way around narrow neighborhood streets and small riverfront viewpoints.
You’ll spot plenty of splashy oranges and vivid yellows, and it’s a great way to discover quiet pocket parks and lovely little avenues you never knew existed.
If aspens are your fall foliage of choice, this is the place to be. They’re practically neon yellow right now, and you’ll see oodles of them scattered around this park abutting 647 acres of old growth forest. This is a great spot for trail running, so if you’re up for some exercise, lace up those running shoes and set out along sparkling Tumalo Creek to enjoy the views.
Bend tourists typically only venture into northeast Bend when visiting Pilot Butte or Costco, but there’s a lot more to discover in this quieter, less-showy part of town. Take Greenwood out of Downtown, but hang a left at the light on Eighth Street before you get to Pilot Butte.
Soak in the views along Eighth as well as the little offshoot streets (an area known as Mid-town), then loop your way through the roundabout at Eighth to head East on Butler Market. Tamarack Park subdivision is on your right, and this ‘80s era neighborhood is chock full of mature trees bursting with vibrant fall hues. Drive slowly to avoid annoying residents, and to give yourself the best possible views of all the lovely, leafy colors.
Whether you’re a hardcore film buff (my fiancé) or someone who typically falls asleep during movies (guilty as charged) there’s something magical about the BendFilm Festival each October.
Maybe it’s the unique energy of all those independent film fans gathered in one place, or maybe it’s the excitement of chatting with real, live filmmakers about their creations.
Heck, maybe it’s the parties. I won’t rule that out.
Bottom line, there are tons of great reasons to make sure you buy passes for the 2013 BendFilm Festival October 10-13. Here are five of them.
You know how your mama taught you not to care what other people say about you? Ignore that, at least if you’re BendFilm. See, they’ve been racking up a lot of great buzz lately in places that matter. In April, MovieMaker magazine named BendFilm one of the top 50 film festivals in the world. It was the only film festival chosen in the Pacific Northwest, so it’s kind of a big deal. The judging pool included more than 5,000 film festivals around the world, and evaluated factors including history, prizes, judging panel, audience, subsequent success of alumni, and submission fees.
The buzz doesn’t stop there, though. Earlier this week, The Huffington Post did a fabulous interview with BendFilm director Orit Schwartz. It’s a pretty awesome piece not only because she shares a lot of cool insights about BendFilm, but because she speaks glowingly about Bend itself. There have also been some pretty cool mentions in the September issue of Horizons (the Alaska Airlines in-flight magazine) and this cool article at Indiewire. Sometimes it’s nice to have everyone talking about you, eh?
As if BendFilm weren’t exciting enough, this is the festival’s tenth year of life. What better way to commemorate the occasion than skimming the schedule and ponying up a few bucks to buy tickets to a few films that pique your interest. Better yet, buy an event pass for the whole thing. A milestone like this only happens once, and you deserve to celebrate in style. It’s worth noting that festival winners will be screened on Sunday, so save some of your film-going energy for the final day. You’ll also want to save room on your agenda for one of the panel discussions, which is always a highlight for film buffs.
Do you dig being one of the first people to see a hot new indy pic? This year’s BendFilm Festival is your personal playground. Out of 82 official selections, a whopping 72 are premiers. There are nine world/US premieres, 15 West Coast premiers, 38 Pacific Northwest premiers, and 10 Oregon premieres. That’s a whole lotta premiere action. Go here to check out the schedule.
I know, I know…it’s supposed to be about the value of independent cinema and the artistry of it all. Still, I feel I should confess the parties are usually my favorite part of BendFilm. This year’s lineup of festivities seems particularly impressive. The opening night kickoff party at the Oxford Hotel promises an abundance of hors d’oeuvres, cocktails, wine, beer, and shoulder-rubbing with filmmakers and supporters. That starts at 7:30 p.m. October 10, and you’ll need to buy tickets here.
Another fabulous party takes place that same evening immediately following the opening night reception. You won’t want to miss X Party: The Party of the Decade! From 9:30-midnight, stop by the BendVisitorCenter on the corner of Lava & Oregon, pay $10 at the door, and prepare to dance yourself dizzy. There will be music by Flip-Flop Sounds, no-host libations from Twist Cocktail Catering Co., and a dance vibe so fabulous you won’t be able to stand it.
Not that you need an excuse, but here it is. There’s something cool about strolling through Downtown Bend this time of year as you make your way from one film venue to the next. You’re snuggled in your colorful new sweater as you kick your boots through piles of leaves and smile at fellow film-goers wearing the telltale pass around their necks. It’s a great opportunity to browse downtown boutiques for some souvenir shopping or to grab a bite to eat in one of Bend’s fabulous restaurants. Later in the evening, grab a beer at McMenamins and cozy up by the fire as you chat up filmmakers and fans. It’s the ultimate autumn event in Bend, so savor it.
Oh, Bend Visitors—you’re in for a special treat this Friday.
Well, pretty much any day you stop by the Bend Visitor Center during the next six months, but let’s focus on the October 4 Friday Art Hop for now, shall we?
This Friday, we’re unveiling our newest Pillars of Art installation featuring artist Kaycee Anseth.
In case you’re unfamiliar with it, Visit Bend’s Pillars of Art program features one local artist commissioned to create unique chalk drawings on the cement pillars in the lobby. The artist also gets to display and sell framed artwork in the Bend Visitor Center.
During the October 4, Art Hop, swing by the Bend Visitor Center on the corner of Lava and Oregon from 5-9 p.m. to enjoy a tasty sample from Atlas Cider, and of course, Kaycee Anseth’s artwork.
We had a chance to sit down with Kayce to chat about art, inspiration, and the beauty of Bend. Here’s the inside scoop:
Where did you grow up, and how did you end up in Bend?
While I was born in North Dakota, I claim Middle Tennessee: I’m a Southern girl who has the wide open space in her blood. Shortly after I graduated from college, I felt strongly called to the West, and Oregon felt like it had all the things I needed: namely a wide sky. (Some friends say it was the Volcano Vortex calling, hmmm…) I never made it to Portland, the supposed final destination, because Bend just immediately felt like home. That was ten years ago August 15th, and I am still crushing hard on this place.
Tell us about your artistic training.
I’ve been drawing and painting since childhood. I studied art at MiddleTennesseeStateUniversity and have a BFA in painting. I also feel like time spent working at a frame shop for five years, handling art and design every day, was another form of training in itself, as well as involvement with the PoetHouse and other arts organizations in town.
How would you describe your artistic style?
I use discarded fashion and home decor magazines as fodder for creating intricately detailed and brightly colored collages that explore the realm of myth and fairytale as they pertain to personal narrative. My process is akin to painting with paper, incorporating the eye-popping palettes of high gloss magazines into intricate patterns and whimsical figures. It aims to be both illustrative and expressive.
What’s your favorite medium?
Who are your artistic influences?
The German Expressionists, especially Franz Marc, were probably the most influential to my early artistic development. I am in love with color more than anything. The Bay Area Painters continued influencing that respect for knowing color. The figurative work of Marlene Dumas. Lately I’ve been looking at Emily Carr, and considering her connection to the Northwest. Illustration and narrative photography are both very influential to me, especially when overlapped like the work of Dave McKean, or a young artist from Norway named Uli Kestere. Textile design and pattern are very influential. Non-visually, story and song are a huge influence, especially when they have a Southern Gothic creepiness to them.
What do you like best about living in Bend, and how does it influence your artistic style?
I adore both the landscape of this place, and the people that are drawn here. You can’t ignore the tremendous beauty all around. For a while, I shied away from “beauty” after so much Art Criticism and Philosophy, but I feel like living here has allowed me to realize that beauty doesn’t have to be a facade or shallow or manipulative like so many critics argue. The beauty here has a depth to it that resonates with me and feels very nurturing and wild. I aim to channel that (even though my meticulous process is quite the opposite of wild).
What do you enjoy doing in Bend when you’re not creating art?
I do lots of yoga. I try to be outside as much as I can with my dog, usually exploring and dabbling in all the sports here. I also sing harmony with a few local bands: the rural demons, The Sweet Bonnie Gayle Band; and I write music and attempt to play guitar with The Gold Rust. All three are country-ish, so I keep my Southern accent in use.
What’s your impression of the Bend art scene, and how do you think the Pillars of Art program fits with that?
I feel like the art scene in Bend is youthful and curious, and I am constantly amazed and inspired by how many people are creating in unusual ways. Art doesn’t just live in gallery walls in this town, and there is a thought that permeates with a kind of “what else can we explore in a beautiful and lovely way?” I think the Pillars is a great champion for that curiosity.
As for the rest of you, we look forward to saying hello when you stop by the Bend Visitor Center on the corner of Lava and Oregon for the October 4 Art Hop. We’ll be here from 5 p.m. until the crowds dwindle down around 8 or 9, and Atlas Cider will be pouring tasty samples.
If you can’t make it this Friday, stop by the BendVisitorCenter during regular business hours to check out Kaycee’s artwork. You can also see one of her pieces as part of Bend’s Tin Pan Alley art collection.