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10 things to do in Bend before summer ends

Sparks lake near Bend, OR

With days getting shorter and kids back in school, perhaps you’ve begun believing summer’s over. Don’t be fooled! 

Fall 2019 doesn’t arrive until September 23, and Bend’s warm temps typically last well until then. If you’re craving a few final tastes of summer before we call this one a wrap, here’s how to find more delicious summery morsels in Bend.


Paddle the river

Drifting down the Deschutes is a quintessential Bend experience, and summer months give you endless options for how to do it. Should you rent a kayak from Tumalo Creek, score a standup paddleboard from Stand on Liquid, or float the river in an innertube? The answer is a resounding YES. Though the river shuttle has ceased running for the season, there are still bountiful ways to cruise the river, and plenty of sunshine to make it an oh-so-blissful experience.

Low Profile Chairs at the Les Schwab Amphitheater

Just a couple more opportunities to catch a summer concert at the Les Schwab Amphitheater for 2019.


Hit an outdoor concert

As of September 5, we’ve got two concerts left on the docket at the Les Schwab Amphitheater. Gary Clark Jr. is performing September 14, and Robert Plant & The Sensational Space Shifters are on deck October 3. Tickets are still available for both shows, so nab ‘em quick and make a plan.


Plan a high-elevation hike

It won’t be long before snow starts flying, and it piles up earliest at higher elevations. If a hike along the Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway is on your agenda, now’s the time to squeeze that in. Ditto that for a visit to Newberry National Volcanic Monument (with an added side trip to Lava River Cave, since that closes for the season at the end of September). Go here for more hiking ideas.


Score summer sips and eats

Those fresh-from-the-garden goodies you’ve been enjoying at places like Worthy Brewing and Chow are fading fast. Ditto that for summer beers at all your favorite spots along the Bend Ale Trail. If there’s a seasonal special you’ve been meaning to try, better make those dinner plans now.

Squeeze in one more round of summery cocktails, stat!


Take the Bend Pledge

Whether you’re toting water in reusable containers or being careful to stay on trails instead of forging your own, you’re probably already following Leave No Trace practices. Why not earn a shot at a free Bend vacation for pledging to do more of that? Go here to take The Bend Pledge to make sure you’re in the running for one of two prize drawings we do each year.


Go barefoot in the grass

Sometimes it’s the simple pleasures that make summertime settle into your bones. If walking barefoot in the grass is your catnip, Bend has more than 80+ public parks to offer your toes the ultimate bliss.


Schedule those tours

You’re getting down to the wire for booking those summertime-only adventures on your bucket list. Maybe whitewater rafting with Sun Country Tours is on your agenda, or perhaps you’ve been dreaming of a starlight canoe outing with Wanderlust Tours. Better book now to make sure snowfall and cold temps don’t shut down your dreams.


Don’t forget the souvenirs

End-of-summer sales make for great souvenir shopping, so don’t dilly-dally. Head to historic Downtown Bend or the scenic the Old Mill District to snag that one-of-a-kind necklace or that special wall plaque you’ve been coveting in the window. Go on, treat yo’self.

couple dining on 900 Wall patio

Now’s a good time to relax with a romantic dinner outdoors before the snow flies!

Eat outside

Outdoor dining is one of the primo summer pleasures in Bend, so now’s the time to book those reservations. You’ll find river view dining at places like Anthony’s or Greg’s Grill in the Old Mill District, or savor the bustle of Downtown Bend from your perch at an outdoor table at 900 Wall or Zydeco. You’ll also find plenty of breweries along the Bend Ale Trail offering cozy patios where you can sip and nosh as you watch the sun go down.


Give back for your good times

You know those well-marked trails you love exploring around Bend? Keeping our wild places in tip-top shape is a task that falls to nonprofit land managers like Deschutes Trails Coalition, and wouldn’t it be nice to help them out? To help ensure Bend’s wild places are protected and accessible next summer and for many summers to come, text 44321 and type WILD4BEND to start the process of donating a buck or two to the cause. To learn more, check out Pledge for the Wild.

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