If you’re thinking about moving to Bend, especially on a tight schedule, we highly recommend planning a weekend or at least a couple of days to visit the city, look around, and see what it’s like – and where you may like to be!
Of course, 36-odd hours isn’t a lot of time to get to know a city, so you should think about what exactly you want to see and explore while you’re there. Fortunately, we can help with this too: Here are the top things we suggest putting on your schedule for a weekend visit – and a local relocation company can always help with a more curated list if you prefer.
Take it a bit easy with a stroll around Downtown Bend. Note any clubs or bars for later perusal and be sure to check out favorite spots like Crow’s Feet Commons, Bend Brewing Company, Deschutes Brewing, and Dudley’s Bookshop Café. If you arrive on the First Friday of the month, there may be an art walk and free booze to enjoy, too! On the west you’ll run into Drake Park, which makes an excellent walk if you prefer to explore more natural surroundings (most incredible in the fall).
If your downtown exploration already found a brewery or other happening spot, great! If not, we suggest stopping by 10 Barrell Brewing for delicious food and beer (get there early for reservations), or the nearby The Lot for a more casual food truck option. The entire Friday experience can be done with a few miles of walking, if you are up for it!
If weather permits – and it usually does – we suggest exploring the Deschutes River South Canyon Trail off of Farewell Bend Park. It’s easy, only takes an hour or two depending on experience, shows off a bit of Bend’s wild side, and can loop back to Old Mill when you are finished for easy access to the city. If you’re feeling hungry, Jackson’s Corner is close by and a local favorite with delicious foods sourced from regional farms.
If it’s warm, we suggest stopping by Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe and picking up some river tube rentals to float the river – the Ride the River shuttle can help with that! Paddle-boarding or kayaking is also an option. In cooler weather, a walk down beside the Deschutes River through the heart of the Old Mill District is preferable and allows you to check out some of the best shops and more: Dog lovers should note the dog park bordering the west side of the Deschutes here. Stop by Crosscut Taphouse if you are feeling hungry or thirsty (or are interested in trying the best Detroit-style pizza on the West Coast at Abe Capanna’s).
Fans of great beer (as well as those with families) should head up to Crux Fermentation. With spacious lawns, amazing views of the sunset, and tasty food, it’s a perfect way to end the day. More serious foodies should make reservations at Spork, which offers plenty of outdoor seating and easily one of the best multicultural fusion menus in Bend. Those looking for a more romantic time may want to head to Old Mill for cocktails on the balcony at Level 2. Take a look for local band performances if you want to add some music in!
The best breakfast in town can be found at CHOW, a small breakfast cottage with brilliant, locally-sourced dishes and something for everyone – but be prepared to wait a bit for sitting. More casual coffee drinkers may want to stop by Thump, Strictly Organic, or Bellatazza instead.
If you have several hours, the High Desert Museum is a family favorite destination in Central Oregon and will teach a ton about history and the local flora and fauna (alternatively, Mt. Bachelor is close enough for sports-oriented families to make a trip up). If you have to catch a flight sooner than that, Pilot Butte is a central location for one last quick hike and one of the best views of the city – or you could stop by the excellent eastside Worthy Brewing for a last beer and meal.
Remember, Bend Relocation Services is happy to help with relocation services, advice on what to see, and the process of moving to Bend on the right schedule for you!