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5 must-have Bend gifts you didn’t know existed

Downtown Bend Shopping

Your dad already has enough ties. Your mom may oooh and ahhh over that Starbucks gift card you got her, but deep down, she’s wishing you’d put a bit more thought into her holiday gift. You know, chosen something unique.

At the Bend Visitor Center we not only sell unique gifts, but gifts that offer a tangible reminder of Bend. You can snag one of these products anytime between 9 a.m. and 5 p.m. weekdays, or from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. on weekends, so if you’re in Bend for the holidays, consider us your one stop shopping center.

Then consider these five items for the loved ones on your holiday gift list.


Soap made from beer or lava

Admittedly a bar of soap isn’t the most unique gift on the planet, but everything changes when the soap is made from something cool like beer or volcanic materials.

Stuff someone's stocking with soap made from beer or volcanic materials.

Stuff someone’s stocking with soap made from beer or volcanic materials.

Boneyard Beer soap made by LeCol’s is an amazing, fragrant, wonderfully lathery bath bar made with beer from Bend’s own Boneyard Brewing. In case you don’t know, beer soap is known to be supremely moisturizing. The hops and amino acids soften and soothe irritated skin, while the the polyphenols have antibacterial properties.

The result is an amazing soap guaranteed to be a hit with beer lovers and non-beer lovers alike. My personal fave is the Dirty Girl, mostly because I like telling everyone I showered with a dirty girl, though I also adore the Chocolate Espresso Stout. It smells so delicious you’ll want to bite into it (note: don’t do this. It doesn’t taste nearly as good as it smells. Not that I tried it or anything).

Another unique option on the soap front is Lava Love. These soaps are made from natural volcanic ingredients, including bentonite clay, zeolite, and activated charcoal. The ingredients come from Oregon volcanoes, and promise to restore your body to its natural balance, leaving your skin clean, soft, and kissable.

Is it a mitten? Is it a beer koozie? It's a moozie! And we sell them at the Bend Visitor Center.

Is it a mitten? Is it a beer koozie? It’s a moozie! And we sell them at the Bend Visitor Center.

Last Christmas I gave my sister-in-law a bar of their Black Heart Vegan Volcano soap made with volcanic ash (bentonite, zeolite, pumice). She’s skincare professional in Seattle, and was so smitten with this soap that she immediately went out and bought several more bars of it to take home. We sell three different kinds of Lava Love soap in the Visitor Center, and they also make bath powder, body masks, and more. Stock up and stuff those stockings!


A “moozie.” Yep, a mitten koozie.

You know what a mitten is. You’re familiar with the beer koozie. Presenting—the “moozie!” This is a hand-crocheted garment that combines the hand-warming properties of a cozy mitten with the best insulating properties of a beer koozie. Show up with this bad boy on your hand at the next tailgating party and you’ll be a hit with all your pals.

We carry them in several colors in the Bend Visitor Center, including hues representing OSU, U of O, WSU, UW, and several other colleges. Stop by and purchase an in-stock moozie for just $15, or ask about a custom-made moozie in the colors or patterns of your choice.


A belt buckle that doubles as a bottle opener

Have you ever found yourself standing around at a party and had a sudden, insatiable need to crack open a cold one using an article of your own clothing?

Of course you have!

And since they haven’t invented bottle openers made from underwear, you need the next best thing in the form of an official Bend Ale Trail belt buckle with built-in bottle opener.

These heavy-duty accessories come in three finishes (copper, bronze, and silver) and can be purchased in the Bend Visitor Center for just $28. You know you want all three of them.


Bracelets and ornaments made from bike parts

Bracelets and ornaments made with recycled bike parts? We've got 'em!

Bracelets and ornaments made with recycled bike parts? We’ve got ’em!

Got a cycling fanatic in your life? He or she will totally dig the unique designs from Bike Spoke Bracelet. Made from 15-gauge steel bike spokes, these bracelets are handcrafted with beads, semi-precious stones, or simple metals. They’re lovely even if you’re not a bike fanatic, but I’m told they make an extra special gift for someone training for an athletic endeavor.

Need a made-from-bike-parts gift for someone who’s not into wearable bling? We also sell groovy Christmas ornaments handcrafted with bike parts. They’re made with recycled bike cogs and feature a cool etched-glass center with the Bend logo. We have several colors to choose from, and they’re priced at $20.


The growler to trump all growlers

There are several companies in Bend making high-end, airtight growlers with double-walled construction that keep your drink cold for up to 24 hours.

And while they’re all pretty fabulous, the folks at DrinkTanks have taken the game to a whole new level with the 128-ounce Juggernaut.

This big daddy has a large, sturdy handle and a clamp-on lid with a double-bail locking system that’s guaranteed to be totally leak-proof. Turn it into your own personal mini-keg by adding the Keg Cap Kit with a hose and CO2 cartridges and you’ll be the life of any party.

We carry the 128-ounce Juggernaut in three colors in the Bend Visitor Center for $115, or you can start smaller with the 64-ounce DrinkTanks growler for $69. You can add the Keg Cap to either model for $45. Trust me, the beer lover in your life will lose her ever lovin’ mind if you stash one of these things under the Christmas tree.


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