It’s been a week since Daylight Saving Time ended and we all fell back with a collective groan. Ugh. The days are shorter, it’s dark by 5, and our sleep cycles are wonkier than a three-legged badger on a bike.
While most of us are reeling from the old “fall back” routine, there’s plenty to look forward to in Bend this time of year. Here are six of my faves.
Seasonal cuisine at its prime
Restaurants in Bend have officially phased out their summer menus to favor heartier fall and winter fare. Bend eateries are brimming with cold weather dishes like the scrumptious spätzle mac and cheese at Boxwood Kitchen or the Fall Guy pizza at 10 Barrel (basil pesto, mozzarella, artichoke hearts, roasted red peppers, delicata squash, chicken, goat cheese, pepitas).
Breweries on the Bend Ale Trail have been busting out popular seasonals like Deschutes Brewery’s Jubelale or the Salted Caramel Porter from Cascade Lakes. November’s an especially great time to plan your beerventure, since it’s Bend Ale Trail Month (and your opportunity to earn a trophy!
Not a beer fan? Local watering holes are slinging seasonal cocktails like nobody’s business. The Fall on Your Face at Rockin’ Dave’s Backstage Lounge is a swoon-worthy blend of fresh apple cider and Cascade Alchemy’s Chai Vodka. Pair it with a hefty half-pound of their famous bacon wings or a tasty hot pastrami sandwich and you’ll be rolling with the time change like a boss.
The Bachelor countdown begins
All right, let’s be honest—some folks have been counting down to Mt. Bachelor’s 2019 opening day since last season closed in May.
But the countdown starts in earnest in November when ski and snowboard fanatics know the odds are good they’ll be shredding the slopes sometime this month. Though Mt. Bachelor’s opening date varies depending on snowfall, they typically try to make it happen Thanksgiving weekend.
Tune your skis while you wait and keep an eye on the Mt. Bachelor webcam for an up-to-the-minute glimpse at conditions. You should also check out their deals page, since many rock-bottom discounts melt away when the season gets going.
Bring out the cold weather accessories
I’ll admit I’m grumpy about no longer heading home from work at 5 with plenty of time to walk the dogs. It’s so freakin’ dark!
But I’m cheered by some of the pup accessories I’m seeing this season, ranging from the 4 Paws Tech Nightlight LED Series dog collars spotted at Bend Pet Express, to their variety of glow-in-the-dark balls and toys. Nothing like turning the dog park into a disco club!
Ruffwear also makes a cool series of glowy dog products ranging from beacons to lighted harnesses. Check them out at the new retail location in Northwest Crossing.
For humans, Bend’s boutique shops are brimming with cozy scarves and warm boots. Brows our Bend shopping page to find the right retailer for you.
Time to get indoorsy
Bend is best known as an outdoorsy town, but there’s plenty to do when the weather turns chilly enough to make outside play less appealing.
The arts and culture scene goes into full-throttle this time of year, with The Tower Theatre boasting an impressive lineup of music, theater, films, and other fabulous entertainment.
Folks of all ages will enjoy a leisurely stroll around the High Desert Museum for a close-up view of native wildlife including river otters, a bobcat, porcupines, and oodles of raptors. You can also check out exhibits like an authentic homestead and sawmill from 1904 as well as hands-on exhibits for all ages that bring history and science to life.
For more ideas on indoorsy things to do in Bend, check out this post.
Plan for the big events
Some of Bend’s most iconic events happen after we switch to Daylight Standard Time in the fall.
Touted as one of the largest Veteran’s Day parades in the state, Bend’s event takes place November 11 this year and marks the 20th annual Veteran’s Day parade.
10 Barrel’s annual Pray for Snow party is a must-do for winter sports fanatics, and this year’s event features the release of “Hold My Beer…,” the second winter film produced by 10 Barrel Brewing and its athletes.
For more ideas on what’s happening in Bend, check out our Event Calendar.
Fall hiking at its finest
During sweltering summer months, some of Bend’s nicest hikes become a little…unpleasant.
That’s a delicate way of saying it’s hotter than Hades in the Oregon Badlands Wilderness or hoofing it up Pilot Butte on a 90-degree day in July. Autumn and winter, on the other hand, are ideal times to trek your favorite trails in those areas.
For more ideas on awesome winter hiking, check out this post.