Welcome to Bend, Oregon, your perfect destination for a memorable summer! Tucked away in the heart of Central Oregon, Bend boasts a vibrant mix of outdoor adventure, stunning landscapes, and lively local culture. With its long, sunny days and pleasantly cool nights, summer is an especially captivating time to visit. And who better to guide you through the myriad of summer activities in Bend than Bend Relocation Services, your local experts with insider knowledge of this breathtaking region.

Bend Relocation Services has years of experience in helping people discover the beauty and excitement of Bend, making us uniquely qualified to introduce you to the best the city and its surroundings have to offer. Whether you’re an adrenaline junkie eager for thrilling outdoor activities, a nature lover seeking serene landscapes, or a culture enthusiast hungry for local arts and cuisine, Bend, Oregon, has something for you.

Below we’ll navigate through the top summer activities that make Bend a paradise for visitors of all tastes and ages. From the dense, green forests of the Cascades to the soothing waters of the Deschutes River, from the buzzing streets of Downtown Bend to the tranquility of the high desert, there’s no end to the adventure and exploration that awaits in Bend this summer.

Whether you’re planning a short getaway, a long, relaxing vacation, or are considering moving to Bend, trust Bend Relocation Services to help you get the most out of your stay in Bend. After all, there’s nothing quite like local knowledge to transform your trip into an unforgettable journey. Join us as we embark on this virtual tour, and let’s explore what makes Bend, Oregon, a top choice for summer fun!

Exploring the Natural Beauty of Bend: Key Attractions

Deschutes National Forest

Dive into the great outdoors with a visit to the sprawling Deschutes National Forest. A haven for nature lovers, this expansive forest is an ideal spot for those seeking to immerse themselves in the wilderness of Central Oregon. Well-marked trails winding through the forest make for an exhilarating mountain biking experience, whether you’re a novice rider or a seasoned professional. Wanderlust Tours offers guided biking tours, providing insight into the local flora and fauna as you navigate the natural terrain. However, mountain biking is just the tip of the iceberg. With its abundant wildlife and stunning views, Deschutes National Forest is a gem of Bend that should not be missed.

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

Another noteworthy attraction in Bend is the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, home to unique geographical features such as the Lava River Cave and cinder cones. Summer is an ideal time to venture into the Lava River Cave, the longest continuous lava tube in Oregon. A self-guided tour allows you to explore this natural wonder at your own pace. Don’t forget to wear warm clothes — even in the summer months, the cave maintains a cool temperature. After the thrill of exploring the lava tubes, hike up to the top of the cinder cone for a panoramic view of the Cascade Mountains and the high desert.

The Cascade Lakes Highway and the Cascade Mountains

If you have a penchant for breathtaking drives, then the Cascade Lakes Highway is for you. The scenic byway offers stunning views of the Cascade Mountains and guides you to a string of pristine lakes, including Elk Lake and Paulina Lake. These lakes, nestled amid the mountains, are perfect for cooling off during the summer, whether you prefer a leisurely swim or an afternoon of paddleboarding. Along the way, numerous viewpoints offer panoramic views of the peaks, making it a perfect spot for picnic breaks.

Smith Rock State Park

Last but not least, make sure to visit Smith Rock State Park, one of Oregon’s natural wonders. Recognized worldwide as a rock climbing mecca, Smith Rock offers climbs for all skill levels. But it’s not just for rock climbers. The park offers plenty of other outdoor activities, including hiking trails with stunning views of the high desert, horseback riding, and even opportunities for spotting golden eagles and prairie falcons soaring overhead.

When it comes to exploring the natural beauty of Bend, the opportunities are as diverse as they are abundant. So, put on your hiking boots, grab a bottle of water, and let Bend’s stunning landscape take your breath away this summer!

Water-Based Fun in Bend: From River Excursions to Lake Lounging

The Deschutes River

The Deschutes River is an integral part of Bend’s summer appeal. It’s a recreational hotspot, offering fun for the whole family. At the Bend Whitewater Park, you can take a thrilling ride on a river tube or stand-up paddleboard, or for a more laid-back experience, enjoy a picnic while watching the river surfers in action.

For those keen on exploring the river at a more leisurely pace, the Deschutes River Trail is a delightful path that meanders along the riverbanks. And, for a guided experience, several companies offer exhilarating river rafting and kayaking trips. There’s nothing quite like the rush of navigating through the gentle rapids under the warm Oregon sun!

The Cascade Lakes

For tranquil waters and a serene setting, head to the Cascade Lakes, nestled amidst the magnificent Cascade Mountains. Elk Lake and Paulina Lake, easily accessible via the Cascade Lakes Highway, are perfect summer destinations.

Elk Lake offers a variety of water activities such as swimming, paddleboarding, and kayaking. If you’re looking for a quieter experience, Paulina Lake’s crystal clear waters are perfect for fishing, or you can unwind on its shores with a good book. Both lakes provide striking views of the surrounding mountains, making them ideal for capturing stunning sunset photographs.

Whether you’re seeking adrenaline-fueled water sports or calm, scenic spots for relaxation, Bend’s rivers and lakes provide plenty of options. You can spend a day riding the river rapids, enjoy a quiet lakeside picnic, or do a bit of both! The possibilities are endless in the water wonderland that is Bend, Oregon. After all, what could be more refreshing on a hot summer day than being surrounded by the cooling, tranquil waters of Bend’s finest waterways? The next section will take us back into town, to the vibrant and buzzing heart of Bend itself!

Experiencing Bend’s Vibrant Local Culture

Downtown Bend and the Old Mill District

Bend’s vibrant local culture shines brightest in its bustling Downtown area and the Old Mill District. Historic buildings, boutique shops, local breweries, and a range of dining options add charm and vibrancy to these parts of the town.

Start your cultural exploration at Drake Park, an iconic downtown Bend location that offers stunning views of Mirror Pond on the Deschutes River. The park is often the center of community events, including live concerts and arts festivals, which take place throughout the summer.

A stone’s throw from the park is the Old Mill District, a stylish shopping area with a historic twist. Once home to one of the largest sawmill operations in the world, this district is now a hub for shopping, dining, and entertainment. During the summer months, the Les Schwab Amphitheater in the Old Mill District becomes a hub for live music, hosting a variety of concerts featuring local and international artists.

Unique Bend Experiences

Take a detour from the bustling downtown to indulge in unique Bend experiences. Try horseback riding through the High Desert, or test your strength and flexibility at local fitness centers that offer a variety of classes from yoga to cross-fit. For a more relaxing afternoon, join the locals in their love for ice cream. There’s no better way to beat the summer heat than with a scoop of your favorite flavor from one of Bend’s popular ice cream shops.

In Bend, every corner has a story to tell, and every street is an opportunity to immerse yourself in the local culture. Whether it’s the sound of a live band echoing across Drake Park, the sight of the sun setting over the Old Mill District, or the taste of a locally-brewed beer, Bend’s local culture is sure to captivate you.

Looking to Move to Bend? Bend Relocation Services Can Help

We hope this guide has helped you visualize the limitless summer activities that Bend has to offer. From the rich culture of downtown Bend to the stunning natural beauty of the Cascade Mountains, this city has something for everyone. Whether you’re planning your first visit to Bend or your tenth, we’re confident that you’ll discover something new and exciting during your stay.

Looking to stay in Bend permanently? Bend Relocation Services helps those who want to move to Bend find rental properties in their desired neighborhood, along with offering a variety of other relocation services. We are here to make your transition to the Bend area as smooth as possible. Contact us today to get started!