Maybe you dream of plunging off a lava cliff into a sparkling sea of fresh powder with snowshoes on your feet and a great-big grin on your face. Maybe your version of outdoor adventure looks like an extra-large latte as you clutch while trekking through open-air shops and restaurants.
We share your passion for playing outside, and Bend has you covered whether your journey unfolds under summer skies or star-speckled winter nights. There’s a reason Bend ranks as one of the world’s top spots for outdoor recreation. Make that a thousand reasons.
The list below boasts some of Bend’s best seasonal offerings, or scope out the Bend Adventure Journal for personal recommendations from a longtime Bend resident doling out tips on everything from hiking trails to Bend’s best biscuits and gravy.
Summertime in Bend bursts with soul-warming sunshine and a chance to give your inner child a taste of epic whitewater rafting, high desert hiking, or a river float with your toes in the water and not a care in the world. You’ll find a list of fun-filled summer activities here.
While the rest of Oregon is up to their armpits in rain, Bend’s winter climate is cool and dry with most of the precipitation showing up as snow. Skip the Gore-Tex ski gear and savor Bend’s sun-filled snow days and the driest powder in the Northwest. Central Oregon’s diverse climate also makes it possible to enjoy not-so-typical winter sports and activities like hiking and biking year round. Find winter sports and vacation ideas here.
Bend’s oft-overlooked shoulder seasons are some of the best times to visit, with milder weather, lower prices, and smaller crowds. You also score a double dose of outdoor fun by blending a morning of spring skiing with an afternoon of mountain biking. Fall brings more mixes of outdoor play with high-elevation snowshoeing and a low-elevation golf game, all in the same day.
Trust us, your kids are going to freak out (in a good way) when you tell them you’re planning a Bend vacation. Rediscover the magic of family time with a kid-friendly agenda packed with mini-golf and canoeing, go-kart racing and waterfall hikes. Hit the High Desert Museum for a glimpse at Central Oregon’s high desert creatures, or choose from dozens of family-friendly restaurants in Bend. Get started planning your family’s next Bend vacation here.
When you’re done exploring the mountains, lakes, and trails in Bend, head to one of the millions of events happening around Central Oregon. Summers are filled with beer festivals, running races, rock concerts, farmers markets, foodie crawls, and art walks. Winter brings Oregon Winterfest, cross country skiing, and ice skating as well as on-mountain events and concerts at Mt. Bachelor. Check out the Bend event calendar for the latest happenings here.