It’s a mite bit chilly in Bend right now. That’s not a bad thing, mind you. It’s kinda tough to go skiing and snowshoeing when it’s 80-degrees and sunny.
But after a long day of ice skating and making snow angels, you need to spend time warming up. Here are 8 of my favorite ways to get toasty in Bend.
Grab an adult beverage
I said “get toasty,” not “get toasted,” so moderation is key when it comes to imbibing in Bend.
But it’s true the city’s abundance of distilled spirits makes for some darn fine belly warmers this time of year. One of my personal faves is a shot of Bendistillery’s Crater Lake Pepper Vodka mixed with something tropical like pineapple, passionfruit, or mango juice. The peppery kick will warm you from the inside out, while the tropical flair will make you feel like you’re on a warm sandy beach.
If it’s a hot beverage you’re craving, there’s plenty to pick from. The spiced rum from Oregon Spirit Distillers is scrumptious in a mug of hot apple cider, or try blending Bendistillery’s Hazelnut Espresso Vodka with some warm cocoa and a dollop of whipped cream.
If beer is more your scene, a hearty stout or porter is just the ticket this time of year. The Tough Love Russian imperial stout from Crux Fermentation Project is particularly outstanding, or go for the classic Black Butte Porter from Deschutes Brewery.
Or try a non-boozy belly warmer
Alcohol isn’t a requirement when you’re aiming to warm yourself from the inside out. Plenty of spots in Bend offer non-boozy belly warmers that are perfect for kids, teetotalers, or anyone else who’s laying off the sauce.
Bend has oodles of terrific coffee shops, which also double as great spots to cozy up and get warm in the steamy, coffee-scented air. I’m a big fan of the intimate vibe found at both Thump and Lone Pine, but you’ll find a full roundup of Bend coffee shops here. Pick one that looks like your special scene!
Tea drinkers will be happy to hear that both the aforementioned Thump and Lone Pine sell Metolius Artisan Tea, which is my absolute favorite. If you spot some, make sure you grab a jar of their Signature Blend made with lavender, blueberries, bachelor’s buttons, Madagascar vanilla bean, chocolate pieces, and three kinds of black tea. So good!
For the kiddos in your life, you’ll find hot cocoa at nearly every coffee shop on the list above. You can also grab Bubble Tea (either warm or cold) at Townshend’s Tea in Downtown Bend.
Try some hot yoga
Whether you can execute a perfect Bakasana in your sleep, or you’re only dimly aware that yoga isn’t something you top with granola for breakfast, you’ve probably at least heard of hot yoga.
It’s the practice of executing yoga poses in a high-temperature environment (typically 105-degrees) and it’s one way to boost your body temp on a cold winter day.
You’ll find drop-in hot yoga classes at Bikram Yoga Bend, Steve’s Hot Yoga, and Juniper Yoga, all of which offer slightly different pricing and approaches to the practice. Check out their websites and find the spot that looks like your ideal spot to get sweaty.
Find a fire pit
If you want to get warm but you’re not ready to head indoors just yet, you’ll find plenty of outdoor fire pits that make the perfect place to toast your toes.
The abundance of wood-burning pits on the patio outside O’Kanes at McMenamins Old St. Francis make it a popular wintertime hangout for those craving a brew and a pile of hot Cajun tater tots. You’ll also find a cool gas-powered fire feature just outside Jackson’s Corner Eastside, which makes it a great place to nibble a breakfast sandwich.
You’ll find quite a few large fire pits scattered throughout the Old Mill District, with plenty of room to snuggle up and mingle with locals and fellow travelers from all over the world.
For more ideas on where to find fire pits around Bend, check out this blog post.
Soak your bones
Plenty of Bend hotels and vacation homes have on-site hot tubs, but there’s another option for visitors staying someplace without one.
McMenamins Old St. Francis School boasts a beautiful tile soaking pool surrounded by shimmering turquoise tile, luminous stained glass, breathtaking murals, and an open-air ceiling that lets you check out the night sky. It’s filled with soft, buoyant saltwater, which makes for an environmentally friendly soak.
While guests staying at McMenamins have easy access to it, it’s also open to the public for your soaking pleasure. Check the website for fees and hours of operation.
Grab some comfort food
Warm yourself from the inside out with a big, heaping bowl full of whatever makes your tummy smile.
If mac and cheese is your comfort food of choice, Blacksmith has a terrific trio featuring a small portion of each of their three varieties (smoked cheddar, bacon, and truffle mac and cheese).
You’ll find tummy-pleasing soups at most Bend restaurants, but my personal fave is the Phở (pronounced “phuh”) at Phở Việt & Café. It’s a hot beef-noodle soup that’s a staple of Vietnamese cuisine and culture, and it’s oh-so-good on a cold winter’s day.
If you’re up at Mt. Bachelor, I have it on good authority that the Nacho Mountain in the Clearing Rock Bar will change your life (or at least improve your day significantly).
And I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention my all-time favorite comfort food in Bend, the Grilled Cheesy at Crux Fermentation Project. It features asiago-cheese crusted panini with mixed ricotta, pepper jack, and white cheddar with diced bacon and spicy pickles on Italian country spent grain bread from DiLusso Bakery. Pair it with a beer sampler tray and prepare for one of the best meals of your life.
For more ideas on comfort food in Bend, check out this post.
Do a good deed
Ever notice how doing a good deed makes you feel warm all over?
Visit Bend’s Visit Like a Local page is chock full of ideas that’ll warm more than just your heart. From voluntourism opportunities, to ideas for leaving the hiking trail a little nicer than you found it, you’ll see oodles of tips that will leave you feeling good all over.
Watch this video
Can’t make it to Bend right this moment? You can experience that blend of tingly chill and toasty warmth by watching this short video titled, “Warmth.”