If you’ve wandered around visitbend.com, odds are good you’ve stumbled across our Bend FAQ page. It’s packed with frequently-asked questions ranging from Bend history and elevation to Sno-Park permits and airports.
Useful stuff, to be sure. But the Visit Bend team fields plenty of less-commonly-asked question on Facebook, Twitter, or in the Bend Visitor Center. Many of them have to do with finding the best place for a particular activity. It might not be the sort of thing you’d see in a normal FAQ, but we think it’s worth sharing in case you have the same plans.
Here are three not-so-frequently-asked questions about Bend (along with the answers—because we’re helpful like that).
Question: Where can I find a place that’s open late, serves beer and wine, and offers free wi-fi?
Answer: Believe it or not, we’ve fielded this question more than once. Though a lot of free wi-fi spots are coffee shops that close a bit earlier, here are three excellent options for night owls craving an internet fix and an IPA.
- Jackson’s Corner in Downtown Bend offers delicious breakfasts, salads, pastas, and pizzas with a flair for locally-sourced products. They’ve also got a great selection of wine and beer, both on-tap and in the enormous bank of coolers lining one wall. Add all that with free wi-fi and hours of operation that span from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. and you’ve got yourself a great spot for an evening of internet surfing. If you’re in the mood for pizza, grab the Bianca—it comes with pancetta, fresh mozzarella, olive oil, cream, and sage, topped with sea salt and pepper. Divine!
- McMenamins Old St. Francis Pub is another great spot for late-night sipping and internet surfing. With several pub and restaurant areas to pick from, you can set up your remote office Sunday through Thursday from 7 a.m. to 11 p.m., and Friday & Saturday from 7 a.m. to 1 a.m. They’re right in the heart of Downtown, and packed with cozy booths and quirky artifacts from the days this was a Catholic school. Added bonus—their double happy hours, which go from 3 p.m. to 6 p.m. and then again from 10 p.m. to midnight. Grab a pint of Ruby, a basket of Cajun tots, and settle in for the evening.
- River Rim Coffeehouse is the newest addition to this list, but their nice hours and unique location in southwest Bend make it a great spot for those staying outside the Downtown area. They’re open at 7 a.m. daily, closing at 7:30 p.m. Monday through Wednesday, ‘til 9 p.m. Thursday through Saturday, and ‘til 5 p.m. Sundays. Though the name says coffeehouse, they have four beers on tap (all of them from Oregon) as well as a great selection of tapas and 15 or 16 wines by the glass. They often feature live music, so you’ll be tapping your toe while you tap the keyboard.
Question: Where can I go to watch the big game?
Answer: Though I’m not a fan of televised sports, I’m aware that there’s always a “big game” no matter what season it is. Luckily, Bend has a nice selection of sports bars offering you the opportunity to belly-up to the bar, sip a cold one, and watch men in tight pants run around on a field.
- The Summit Saloon is located in the funky, historic O’Kane building in Downtown Bend. They boast 10 high-definition flat screen televisions, as well as the largest HD projecting screen in town. If you get bored with that, they’ve also got some pretty cool gaming, including Golden Tee golf, Big Buck Hunter, Indiana Jones Pinball, and a tournament size pool table are available in the upstairs bar. They open daily at 11 a.m. and stay open ‘til 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday and until 1:30 a.m. Thursday through Saturday. This is one of my favorite happy hours in town, so time your visit between 4-7 p.m. if you can, and order an extra hummus plate for me.
- The Hideaway Tavern is tucked away on SE 2nd Street behind Chan’s restaurant on 3rd. If you’re looking for something a little more low-key than the Downtown scene, this is the spot for you. They offer eight flat screen TVs and a comfortable lounge area with couches, darts, shuffleboard, and more. Their real claim to fame is their creative culinary offerings. I dare you to try the Dave Semenko Poutine (house French fries, smoked duck gravy, cheddar cheese curd, and scallions) without swooning. Wait, do people who watch sports swoon? No matter. It’s really very good. So are the 17 beers they have on tap, along with a full bar. They open at 11 a.m. daily, except on Saturdays and Sundays when they open at 9 a.m. for brunch. Closing hours vary, but count on 11 p.m. most nights.
- Rivals Sports Bar is another great spot if you’re looking to be a bit outside the bustle of Downtown. They’re on Division Street just across from the river, and they’re open from 11:30 a.m. to 2 a.m. Monday through Saturday , and ‘til midnight on Sundays. Besides offering 15 big screen TVs, they also boast a VIP room for those special occasions. Rivals also has daily poker tournaments and live cash games. I’m a frequent visitor on Friday and Saturday evenings, when I go to watch my friends do karaoke. When it’s warm outside, I adore the Stiegel Grapefruit Beer they have on tap. Hand me a plate of their cream cheese jalapeño wrappers stuffed with applewood smoked bacon, cream cheese, fresh green onion, and jalapeño, and I’ll be in heaven.
Question: Where can I take my dog to frolic off-leash?
Answer: You’ve come to the right place, in case you missed the news that Bend was named the nation’s dog-friendliest city by Dog Fancy magazine.
One of the key things that earned Bend the DogTown USA title is the city’s abundance of off-leash areas—seven, in total! DogPAC has an awesome map of them here. My favorite is the Bob Wenger Off-Leash Area in the northeast part of town. It features more than 17 acres of fenced terrain with trails and grass.
Don’t forget to review the dog park rules at Bend Parks & Recreation District website.
If you’re hoping to hike in the great outdoors without the constraints of fences or leashes, there are a few great options. In the winter months, Wanoga Trail is Oregon’s only groomed ski/snowshoe trail that allows dogs. During the summer months, check out the Three Sisters Wilderness between the South Sister climber’s trail and Broken Top.
Dogs are also allowed off-leash all year long while in the river from Meadow Camp to Benham Falls. The area between the Entrada Lodge and Widgi Creek Golf Course offers the best water access in the summer, with just a short hike to the river.