Bend vs. beach: 10 reasons to do spring break in Central Oregon
Scheduling your family’s spring break plans can be a daunting task, and families in the Pacific Northwest often waffle between east versus west. In other words, mountains or coast?
Here are 10 reasons you should pick Bend for spring break.
Escape the rain
Growing up in Oregon, I had one pair of grandparents on the Oregon Coast and one pair in Central Oregon. I loved visiting them all, but I’ll admit that most of my beach memories are clouded with rain. Clear, sun-kissed days were a rarity on the coast, but they’re standard fare in Bend. My Central Oregon childhood memories are shades of sunshine & snow, or sunshine & desert heat. That can be a blessed relief this time of year if you hail from an area where rain is a springtime staple.
Shop ’till you drop (with no sales tax)
Not only will you save some money by not shelling out for sales tax when you visit Bend (or anywhere else in Oregon), but this time of the year, retailers are unloading winter gear at discounted prices for you to take advantage of. Whether you’re looking to get some new outdoor toys at REI in the Old Mill District, or finding a unique keepsake at one of the local shops downtown, Bend’s shopping scene is sure to keep you (and your wallet) happy.
No sand in your shoes
Have you ever found yourself still vacuuming sand out of your backseat a month after you visited the coast? There are lots of great things about snow in Bend, but one of the best is that it melts instead of turning your floor mats into sanding blocks.
Bend gets written up a lot for having a killer culinary scene, which is unusual for a landlocked city of 91,000. But with oodles of award winning chefs calling Bend home (not to mention specialty options ranging from gluten-free to vegan dining) your palate will be pleased if your spring break plans bring you to this high desert culinary oasis.
No need to make tough choices
To ski or to golf? To snowshoe or to mountain bike? These are difficult decisions to be sure, but you’re not forced to make them in Bend. Marmot recently touted Bend as one of seven places in America that have mastered the art of three sports in one day, so pack your snowboard and your trail running shoes. There’s a good chance you’ll need both.
Sled dog rides on the beach?
Yeah, that’s not a thing. But if a once-in-a-lifetime sled dog adventure is on your bucket list, you can make it happen in Bend.
Sunrises look better with snow-capped peaks
When it comes to snapping sunrises and sunsets, nothing beats Bend’s bounty of rugged eye candy. The glittering Cascade Mountains are the perfect backdrop for family photos and duck-face selfies, so get ready to bust out the good camera. For ideas on where to snag quintessential Bend images ranging from waterfalls to mountains, check out this post.
Want a break from the outdoors?
If you’ve had your fill of wallowing in snowy fields, there’s plenty of fun indoorsy stuff to do in Bend. Hit the High Desert Museum and soak up tons of natural history and cool critters. Visit the Mountain Air Trampoline Park to get the wiggles out. Enjoy arcade games, bumper cars, and a family game of bowling at Sun Mountain Fun Center. Solve a mystery together with the clock ticking at Bend Escape Room. For more ideas, check out this post.
The best of après ski
From an umbrella bar with a removable roof at Mt. Bachelor to the post-ski bashes held at Crow’s Feet Commons, Bend’s après ski scene is on point. There’s even an entire Bend Ale Trail for you to tackle. Which brings me to my final point…
The Bend Ale Trail
There’s a reason Bend’s craft beer scene is has been written about in publications ranging from the Washington Post to USA Today. Yes, we make great beer, but do you know why? One reason is the abundance of pure water, courtesy of Central Oregon snowmelt. Check out this awesome video from Wanderlust Tours to learn more.