One of the upsides of living in Bend for nearly 20 years is that I’ve developed a sort of Christmas-morning-like excitement about the surprises our autumn weather has in store. Will it dump a foot of snow on Bend the way it did in early-October 2009? Or is the weatherman right in his prediction that our temps this weekend will hit an unseasonably-warm 77-degrees?
You kinda never know, which keeps me in a constant state of giddy excitement this time of year. Here are six other things I dearly love about October in Bend, Oregon.
Fall colors abound
The fall foliage is in full bloom right now in Bend, dazzling us with glorious rainbows of red, gold, orange and everything in between.
Some of my favorite spots to see autumn’s glory include Drake Park and nearby Pioneer Park. Cruise along Mt. Washington Drive for another scenic swatch of color, or stroll Downtown Bend or the Old Mill District (assuming high winds don’t knock all the leaves down over the next few days).
For a good roundup of where to see fall colors in Bend this time of year, check out this blog post.
Snow Watch 2016
If you follow the Facebook pages for Mt. Bachelor and Visit Bend, you know this is the time when we’re all breathlessly posting images with captions like “first snow!” and “more fresh powder!”
Even if you’re not a winter sports enthusiast (raises hand) you can’t help but feel giddy about the changing seasons and the beautiful skiffs of white stuff piling up in the mountains.
Snowball fight, anyone?
Maybe the pumpkin-flavored lattes popping up in the coffeehouse chains this time of year aren’t your thing, but there are plenty of other ways to get your fill of this festive gourd in Bend.
For a pumpkiny twist on the Bend Ale Trail, check out seasonal faves like Twisted Gourd from Silver Moon Brewing or Big Ol’ Pumpkin from 10 Barrel.
When lunchtime rolls around, try the Thai Curry Squash Soup at Barrio. If your sweet tooth starts calling it, answer with Pumpkin Spice Gelato from Bontà.
For more ideas, check out this roundup I wrote 2 years ago featuring 10 great pumpkin-flavored treats in Bend.
Wallow in creativity
I’ve always loved the weekend of the Bend Film Festival (October 6-9, 2016) when the air is crisp, the leaves are bright, and there’s a hum of creative energy buzzing all over town.
And since I also get my creative fix later in the month when the Swivel Digital and Creative Marketing Conference rolls around (Oct. 10-11, 2016) I was tickled when someone came up with the idea of pulling it all together under one creative umbrella.
Tenth Month is a month-long celebration of innovation in art, film, marketing, technology, and design. It incudes the events I just mentioned, plus Bend Venture Conference and Bend Design Conference. Check out their website to find out what’s happening and to plan your ultimate creative getaway in Bend this October!
Get goosebumps on a Historical Haunts Tour
I almost hesitate to mention this one, since the tours always book up fast and I want to make sure my family doesn’t miss out.
But the Historical Haunts Tour from the Deschutes Historical Society is offered for only a brief time each October, so you’ll want to mark your calendar if you love spooky ghost stories as much as I do.
The tours are guided by volunteers and staff at the Deschutes Historical Museum, and last about an hour. You’ll be taken to a variety of historical buildings and sites around Downtown Bend, and you’ll hear spooky tales guaranteed to raise the hair on your arms.
The 2016 tours are happening Friday, October 28 and Saturday, October 29 with the first tour beginning at 4 p.m. and the last departing at 7:30 p.m. Call early on the day of your tour to pre-pay and reserve a spot, and be sure to bring a flashlight and wear good walking shoes. For pricing, registration info, and more, go here.
Save a few bucks during shoulder season
Not everyone outside the tourism biz know the term “shoulder season,” but those who do know it’s the best time of year to score great deals on lodging and activities.
In Bend, our shoulder season happens from late-fall to early-winter and then again in early spring (by contrast, peak times are summer break, winter break, and spring break).
In other words, October is pretty much the perfect time to plan a Bend vacation. Crowds are smaller, prices are lower, and the weather is still pretty mild.
For the inside scoop on shoulder season deals, check out our Deals and Discounts page.