Most folks flocking to Bend this time of year are in search of one thing: snow.
You’ll find no shortage of it this season, but what about those who (gasp!) don’t care for the cold stuff? I know…I should give up my Bend resident card just for writing that, but sometimes I crave a break from winter’s chill.
Whether you’re a cold-phobic like me, or just looking to thaw out after a day on the slopes, here are my top tips for getting warm in Bend this time of year.
Fire it up
I had a thorough roundup of Bend’s indoor and outdoor fireplaces in this post a few months ago, and it goes without saying a cozy fire is the ultimate way to toast your toes. I’m less apt to visit the outdoor fire pits in single-digit temps, but there are tons of great indoor options for cozying up to a fire.
Pilot Butte Drive-in on Bend’s east side not only boasts some awesome breakfasts and lunches, but a cheery gas fireplace in the center of the restaurant. Scanlon’s Restaurant in the Athletic Club of Bend has a unique, antique brick fireplace that was rescued from a historic hotel that was razed in 1917.
If you’re journeying the Bend Ale Trail, be sure to hit O’Kanes near at the back of McMenamins Old Saint Francis Pub. They have a groovy indoor pot-belied stove that gets so hot sometimes it glows red. En route to or from the mountain? Swing by the 3,000-foot Cascade Lakes Lodge for a tasty pint and a chance to thaw out beside their massive stone fireplace.
Soak your bones
Few things warm me up faster than soaking in a nice, hot bubble bath. Though I can’t invite you all back to my place to join me in my tub, there are plenty of alternatives.
The soaking pool at McMenamins Old St. Francis School is a gorgeous, semi-enclosed saltwater pool crafted in shimmering turquoise tile work. Check out the stars through the open ceiling as you bob in the warm, non-chlorinated water.
If you’re a hot springs fan and don’t mind a short drive from your Bend home-base, Belknap Hot Springs is one of my favorite spots along the McKenzie River. Make the 1.5-hour trek westward in the morning, spend the day soaking in two mineral hot spring pools and exploring acres of gorgeous gardens, and head back to Bend in time for a fab dinner. Roughly the same drive-time headed north will get you to Kah-Nee-Ta Resort where you can soak in their double Olympic-sized hot-springs fed mineral pool.
And don’t forget to check the handy chart onVisit Bend’s lodging page to scout for digs that boast hot tubs or in-room Jacuzzis.
A tropical vacation in Bend?
It’s no joke. You can stroll a warm, tropical garden in Bend in the middle of January. Through April 7, the High Desert Museum is featuring their popular Birds and Hummingbirds exhibit. Breathe the warm, fragrant air as exotic hummingbirds and butterflies flutter around lush plants. It’s a great way to learn about biodiversity, migration, navigation, plant interactions, and conservation of these fascinating insects and birds.
Or forget all that, and just figure it’s a darn fine way to get warm!
Make your body feel warm & fuzzy
You deserve a spa day. Luckily, Bend boasts a wide array of full-service day spas willing to pamper you silly in a warm, cozy space. Treatments like hot stone massage or luxurious facials are offered at more than a dozen spots and provide a wonderfully warm respite.
Opt for the ultimate cold-day pampering at Spa W ith their Moor Mud Body Mask. The treatment kicks off with a dry-brush exfoliation, followed by a purifying moor mud mask spread all over your body to cleanse pores and improve muscle tone. Then you’re wrapped up in a cocoon before enjoying a facial, followed by a serene Vichy shower and moisturizing application. Sixty minutes of warm heaven for $90 – what a deal!
For something a little different, try a Thai Yoga Massage. It’s an ancient, therapeutic full-body massage that combines supported assisted-yoga stretches, acupressure, gentle twisting, soothing rocking, and meditative, rhythmic massage. It’s performed fully clothed and oil-free on a comfortable mat in a cozy room, and I’ll confess I actually wept tears of bliss after my 90-minute treatment one blustery day last month.
Heat things up with red-hot romance
Visiting Bend with your paramour? There are plenty of ways to heat things up with some frisky romance. Bend boasts a number of fashionable lingerie shops like uber-classy French lingerie boutique Romantique in Downtown Bend, or the popular Victoria’s Secret shop in the Old Mill District. If you’re seeking something a little naughtier, Tres Chic in Downtown Bend offers lingerie with a more risqué twist.
If a nice bottle of wine is what it takes to get you feeling warm and frisky, Bend offers several great wine shops near Downtown and the Old Mill District. The folks at Good Drop Wine Shop are spectacular at picking the perfect wine to pair with your romantic dinner by the fire, or opt for a little Latin spice when you visit Elixer Wine Group (Previously Southern Wine Group), specializing in Latin American wine. Cheers!
So what’s your favorite way to keep warm in Bend when the weather outside is frightful? Please share!