Fall has officially reached Bend, and this chill in the air has me scurrying for my wool mittens and a comfy spot beside a fire.
Visitors may be disappointed to learn most lodging establishments frown upon guests building campfires in the center of their hotel rooms. Fortunately, Bend has plenty of great spots where locals and guests can toast their toes beside an open flame.
If you’re hitting the Bend Ale Trail, you’ll find toasty fire pits at both Crux Fermentation Project and on the patio at O’Kanes near at the back of McMenamins Old Saint Francis Pub. You can also cozy up by the massive outdoor fireplace at 10 Barrel Brewing Company on Galveston.
There are oodles of great fire pits in the Old Mill District if you’re there shopping or dining this time of year. Pastini Pastaria offers two vertical, standing outdoor fireplaces. Fireside tables are offered on a first-come, first-served basis, though the restaurant offers plenty of overhead heaters and cozy blankets for diners craving a little extra warmth.
Also in the Old Mill District you’ll find one large outdoor fire pit at Greg’s Grill, and a whopping THREE fire pits at Anthony’s. The Anthony’s fire pits light up when the sun goes down, and can handle about 12 diners seated around each with the stone sides at the perfect height for setting your cocktail. Over at Greg’s, the large stone bench around their fire pit can hold about 20 people cozying up for an after-dinner snuggle as they gaze out at the river. Both restaurants keep the fire pits going long after wintertime chases diners inside, so you can still watch the flames through the window of the dining room, or while you’re out for a bit of holiday shopping.
Breakfast-goers at Victorian Café won’t be left in the cold if there’s a line for an indoor table. Their outdoor fire pit is a great show of Bend hospitality, offering a place to toast your toes while waiting for a seat.
Shopping on the north end of town? The Cascade Village Shopping Center has one of the most impressive fire pits in town. At nearly 13-feet tall and 7-feet wide, it has six sides and tables surrounding it. The space is in front of Shinsei Sushi, though it’s there for all shoppers and diners to enjoy. Don’t go looking for it just yet though—a water feature occupies the space during warmer months, and the fire isn’t in place until late October.
Not in the mood to have the frost nip at your nose? No problem! Plenty of Bend hotspots have indoor fireplaces. The aforementioned at O’Kanes near at the back of McMenamins Old Saint Francis Pub has a groovy indoor pot-belied stove that gets so hot sometimes it glows red.
Pilot Butte Drive-in on Bend’s east side not only boasts some awesome breakfasts and lunches, but a cozy gas fireplace in the center of the restaurant. Scanlon’s Restaurant in the Athletic Club of Bend has a fireplace with a bit of history. Located in the aptly-named Fireside Room, the large brick fireplace came from a historic Bend hotel that was razed in 1973. The room seats 25-30, and you can reserve a single table, or dibs the whole room for a special event.
If you find yourself on Mt. Bachelor for a bit of winter recreation, head for the Clearing Rock Bar at West Village. There’s a lovely fireplace there where you can warm your snow-chilled toes while sipping a mug of cocoa and schnapps.
Up for a bit of a drive? Brasada Ranch offers both indoor and outdoor fire options at their Ranch House Restaurant. Sip a glass of wine by the indoor fireplace while you wait for your table, or order the s’mores for dessert so you can head outside and toast your own marshmallows.
If Nordic skiing is your thing, head for the Virginia Meissner ski area. The trails are dotted with several huts, many with wood-burning fireplaces that make for cozy snuggling on chilly winter nights.
For a different snow-play option, book a Bonfire on the Snow snowshoe trip with Wanderlust Tours. Your naturalist guide will take you to a quiet spot in the snowy forest where you’ll bask at a glowing bonfire in the middle of an amphitheater hand-carved into the snow. They provide the treats, gear, transportation, instruction, and fireside stories, while you provide the manpower to snowshoe your frostbitten backside to and from the site.
Is anyone else feeling a bit chilly? Where’s your favorite spot to snuggle by the fire in or around Bend? Please share!
And pass the cocoa, please. It’s getting cold out there.