Situated 170 miles from Portland, Oregon, Bend offers visitors 300 days of sunny outdoor recreational opportunities. Warmer months provide miles and miles of mountain biking and hiking trails and scenic rivers along with golf courses, and rock climbing. Add 30 craft breweries, a growing dining scene, and tax-free shopping and you’ve got a perfect day in Central Oregon.
If you arrive in Bend in time for breakfast, locals recommend Palmer’s Cafe. This unassuming mom & pop style cafe offers a reasonably priced and varied breakfast menu with ample portions. In particular be sure to check out their rotating specials or go with a simple breakfast like two eggs, hash browns and two strips of bacon. They open at 7 am and serve breakfast until 2 pm.
Get to know this Timbertown up close and personal with a Segway tour with the Bend Tour Company. Prior to departing, they offer a mini-lesson, so you will be able to maneuver a segway with ease. As you cruise all around Bend, you’ll get a guided tour of the city’s sightseeing points of interest in the Old Mill District and along the Deschutes River. Take in a view of the city’s past as you cruise by some of its latest developments.
Grab a quick lunch at Pilot Butte Westside, a local diner known for its six-ounce hamburgers and thick shakes. A veggie burger option is available for those desiring a healthier lunch option.
Then get yourself ready for action with a whitewater rafting adventure down the Deschutes River with Sun Country Tours. Their Big Eddy thriller leaves multiple times each day from Bend for a 1.25-hour ride down 3 miles of up to class three rapids. This trip costs $46 for children 6 to 12 and $53 for adults 13+.
Calm down from this action-adventure by relishing in the offerings from 5 Fusion & Sushi Bar. Here two-time James Beard Foundation award finalist Chef Joe Kim has created a menu and ambiance that helps to place the Bend restaurant scene on par with the seafood available at San Francisco and Seattle. Request their chef tasting menu for a sampling of the range of their Asian inspired offerings.
Conclude your day with a visit to Crux Fermentation for a view of the sunset well worth capturing. Their tasting room is in the middle of this craft brewery, a vantage point that allows you to get immersed in the action. Swivel your bar stool to the left for a look at the brewdeck, fermenters and oak barrels containing the next Banished-series beers. Behind you is the hop cooler while before you is their conditioning tanks and their ever-changing menu of beers on tap. Order up a tasting sampler of their latest seasonal offerings. If you want something to eat, pair your sampler with their Project Board, a platter of artisan cheeses, cured meats, seasonal fruit, bacon wrapped figs, Tough Love bacon jam, and a Crux spent grain baguette. Their Sundowner Hour offers Crux beer specials & $2 off starters a half hour before and a half hour after sunset.
While one could make this into a day trip, consider spending the night so you can drive back in the morning relaxed and refreshed.
Getting there from Portland: Start your day from Portland by driving along with one of the most scenic road trips in Oregon. Traverse Mt. Hood National Forest, desert canyons, lava lands, and petrified forest. Take the more common travel road Route 26, a slightly quicker way that can still enable one to soak up the scenery along the way.
Heading Back to Portland: On the way home, vary the scenic route by taking Route 20 and 22. This route runs through the tree-stump-studded Detroit Lake, Deschutes National Park and Mt. Jefferson.
What & Where
5 Fusion & Sushi Bar; 821 NW Wall St., Bend, OR 97701; 541-323-2328
The Bend Tour Company; 550 SW Industrial Way #105; Bend, OR 97702; 541-480-8477
(The segway tours are 1.5 hour and leave daily at 8:30am, 11am, 1:30pm and 4pm)
Crux Fermentation Project; 50 SW Division St., Bend, OR 97702; 541-385-3333
Sun Country Tours; 531 SW 13th St, Bend, OR 97702; 541-382-6277
Palmer’s Cafe; 645 NE Greenwood Ave.; Bend, OR 97701; 541-317-5705
Pilot Butte Drive In – Westside; 320 SW Century Drive, Suite 410; Bend, OR 97702; 541-323-3272
Visit Central Oregon; 800-800-8334