Some might say October is the best month to visit Bend. Summer crowds have dissipated. The weather is perfect—a crisp yet sunny invitation for puffy jackets and wool socks to come out and play. While the rest of North America gets ready to hunker down for a long winter’s nap, Bend comes alive.
The best part? October is Tenth Month in Bend, a wall-to-wall series of events exploring art, culture, film, tech and business. Play. Learn. Explore. Let “adventure” be your verb of choice.
And if you’re looking for a few off-the-beaten-track, sunrise to sunset experiences—stuff you won’t find in every “been there, done that” guide to Bend—check out these 10 ideas and things to do:
Photo by Nate Wyeth Photography
1. WAKE UP AND GO
Across the street from the Box Factory and on the fringe of the iconic Old Mill District is Bend’s newest hotel, Springhill Suites by Marriott. A contemporary warehouse factory aesthetic and outdoorsy vibe greets guests the moment they walk through the door. Rooms are thoughtfully designed and guests consistently remark about how comfortable the beds are—which is the perfect way to honor a day’s worth of adventuring.
2. YOGA TIME
If you are seeking a bit of yogic invigoration, Wren & Wild in downtown Bend is your sweet spot. The first aerial yoga studio in Bend, Wren & Wild allows you to try new poses with the assistance of colorful silks hanging from the ceiling. From supported inversions to savasana in a silken cocoon, one class will add inches to your frame and a heaping dose of good vibes to your day.
Classes begin as early as 6:30 a.m. and end as late as 7:30 p.m. Ideally, you’ll want to register ahead of time for classes. Post yoga, enjoy a ‘clean’ makeover by one of Wren & Wild’s makeup specialists.
3. DRINK COFFEE, DO THE THINGS
One of the best things about Bend is its pockets of commerce and community. Tucked away in Bend’s newest NE hub is WildRoots Coffeehouse. Locals call it “adorable” and “a great spot to perch with a computer for a few hours or meet with a friend.” Featuring coffee from Stumptown and pastries from Bend goodie purveyor Fearless Bakery, WildRoots is quickly becoming a cozy alternative to the popular downtown coffee houses.
4. ZIP AROUND TOWN
One of the best ways to explore Bend is on a bike. Not a trail thrasher? Not a problem. Pedego Electric Bikes will help you conquer all of downtown, the Roundabout Art Tour or Bend’s famous Ale Trail without breaking a sweat. Take a tour with the folks at Pedego or explore on your own. Electric bikes with pedal-assist are both addictive and delightful, allowing you to cruise effortlessly in style…sans spandex shorts.
5. THE MOUNTAINS ARE CALLING
The Cascade Mountains are an outdoor playground for those seeking lace-up-your-boots adventures. Grab your favorite dog, fill your water bottle and take advantage of the beautiful bouquet of fall colors that await.
One of the best, most overlooked trails is the North Fork Trail to Happy Valley. The hike begins at the ever-impressive Tumalo Falls. After a short, steep climb, the trail mellows out and climbs gently along Tumalo Creek. You’ll see waterfall after waterfall after waterfall—seven to be exact. Mountain bikers also share the trail, but it’s set up so that they must ride clockwise (one way uphill on the North Fork Trail only).
Most people don’t go any further than a few miles, so you’ll have the trail to yourself in no time (with a ton of primo selfie opportunities along the way). Bonus? No mosquitoes this time of year.
Rather bike than hike? Cog Wild offers tours, shuttles and rentals.
6. FOOD CART LOVE
Not every meal in Bend requires a knife and fork to enjoy. The food cart scene is hopping, providing on-the-go food lovers with a wide range of feasting options. The Food Pod, located next to Spoken Moto, is a cluster of quick eats and yummy treats. Favorites include:
Himalayan Bites: introducing food from Nepal and Tibet
Scoutpost: offering soups, salads and flatbread sandwiches made with locally-sourced ingredients
Curb B Q: serving up barbecue, West Coast style
Addy Macs: featuring small-batch, handcrafted ice cream
7. OOH LA LA
Tucked away in a cozy neighborhood that skims downtown Bend and Drake Park is The French Market, a farm-to-table restaurant and locals’ gathering place. The menu consists of fresh dishes made from local ingredients. Panini or pizza is the perfect lunchtime nosh, while dinner serves up small plates (to be shared, of course) and entrees such as Braised Beef Crepinette or Grilled Quail.
8. YOUR TASTE BUDS WILL WISH THEY HAD TASTE BUDS
Looking for a high-end Bend dining experience? Bos Taurus is a boutique American steakhouse located in the heart of downtown, where big city posh meets rustic chic. The mouthwatering menu resembles a wine list, with each cut of beef (imported from cattle ranches in the United States, Japan and Australia) presented in descriptive detail. Bos Taurus is a dinner-only establishment and reservations are recommended.
9. RETAIL THERAPY
Head to the smokestacks—otherwise known as the Old Mill District —for a charming shopping experience. Over 40 stores are nestled along the banks of the Deschutes River, surrounded by miles of paved paths. The grand opening of Athleta, a high-end performance and lifestyle clothing brand for women, opened on October 5. Athleta perfectly complements the Bend lifestyle and vibe, where work-to-workout-to-weekend is a blurred line. Bend’s one and only Orangetheory Fitness will be opening in November right next door to Athleta, too.
10. DON’T FORGET THE BEER
Top off your day of adventure with a snifter of beer at Monkless Belgian Ales. Located in NE Bend, in the urban brewer’s district, Monkless brews refined and smooth Belgian-style beers that are meant to be experienced, enjoyed and appreciated. The expanded tasting room invites you to indulge in beers rooted in Trappist brewing traditions and styles, from an Imperial Wit to a Dark Strong to a bold Quad. If you’re really serious about beer, mark your calendar for Bend Ale Trail month happening every November where you can win a trophy — plus other prizes — for just drinking beer!
We hope to see you in Bend at next October’s Tenth Month celebration — build your itinerary of favorite fall events, from conferences to urban adventures to outdoor escapes.