With its combination of winning weather, outdoor fun for all seasons, great local breweries, mountain views, and central location in the Northwest, it’s no surprise that Bend, Oregon is a popular spot for vacation rentals. In fact, services like Airbnb report that it has one of the highest Airbnb rates per capita in the entire country.
Bottom line: If you’re interested in finding a vacation rental in Bend for a stay, you’re far from alone. But if you’ve never been to Bend before, it can be difficult to know where the best spots are around the city, what to expect, and how to plan.
What to Expect from Rentals in Bend, Oregon
With so many vacation rental options in Bend, you’ll have no problem finding what you want. Whether it’s a place close to the mountain so you can hit the slopes early every morning, or a quiet cottage in the woods where you can relax, you’ll find it here. And with the highest average number of sunny days in the state (sitting around 160), you’ll find plenty to do and see in the summer, too.
More a fan of the high desert? Plenty of lodges around the area specialize in a desert experience, including canyon tours and horseback riding – plus important amenities like full spas and excellent golfing opportunities.
Prefer more of the small city life? A wide range of short-term rental options can be found throughout Bend itself, including houses near downtown Bend, places only minutes away from the luxurious Old Mill District, scenic spots overlooking the Deschutes River as it winds through the city, and many more…all the better to sample Bend’s plentiful craft brews and the ambitious food culture. Schedule your vacay to coincide with one of the many city festivals for an amazing trip!
How to Find the Best Vacation Rentals in Central Oregon
You have several options depending on how you prefer to search. First, if you have a particular resort or lodge in mind – such as Mt. Bachelor Resort, Black Butte Ranch, Brasada, Sunriver Resort, Inn of the Seventh Mountain, etc. – you can contact them directly and reserve a stay depending on what you want.
You also have the option to use an aggregate service that gathers rentals from many different parts of Bend along with resort areas, such as Bend Vacation Rentals or Alpenglow Vacation Rentals. Or, you always have the option to go solo and use Airbnb or VRBO to look for individual rental options.
Types of Vacation Rentals in Bend
- Cottages and Cabins: These are more isolated rentals, often found in wooded areas and higher elevations, typically at lodges or offered by individual owners. They have a natural cabin feel, often employ rustic and wood styles, and are great for getting away from it all. Amenities like heat and Wi-Fi are important to check.
- Renting at a Resort: Resorts offer easy vacation rentals with comprehensive packages and plenty of excellent amenities. Resorts around Bend may have limited reservations during popular times, but there are usually a range of options. They tend to be a significant drive from the city.
- Guest Suites: These are guest bedrooms that are a part of an existing house or property, typically with their own entrance, a popular Airbnb offering and an easy way to save for one or two people. They are in a wide number of neighborhoods, and amenities vary on a case-by-case basis.
- Studio Apartments: These are more separate apartments or lofts, often with easier access to the city, but these types of vacation rentals can be more difficult to find.
- Townhouses: Townhouses are smaller homes connected by an inner wall, usually in groups of two or four. They can be a fun vacation option if you don’t need tons of house space but still want your own dwelling. Many come with small yards, and this is another option more likely to be found in in the city.
- Home Rental: Full house vacation rentals are similar to renting a cottage or cabin, but tend to have more modern designs and be located much closer to residential areas. They often have extra amenities like hot tubs, full kitchens, additional bedrooms, and so on. They are good options for family trips or traveling with a group of friends but can also be more expensive than other options.
- Unique Options: There are several unique rentals you can look for if you feel like something special. These include dome houses, historical ranches, tiny houses, converted RVs, and similar options.
Top Tourist Attractions in Bend, Oregon
There’s so much to offer here that we highly suggest you peruse several of our past blog posts get a better idea of what there is to do in Bend and around Central Oregon. It’s a very long list, but you can expect things like:
- Outdoor recreation of all kinds, including plentiful winter and summer activities. That includes river and lake activities, all types of biking and hiking, climbing and bouldering, skiing and snowshoeing, and lots more. If you’re looking for something very simple to begin, newcomers are often pointed to the easy hike up to the top of the central Pilot Butte, which overlooks the city and mountains. If you love the water, you can rent floating devices and float the Deschutes River through Old Mill as an easy start.
- Local breweries: Bend has the most craft breweries per capita in the country, which means there is always something new to try. Breweries and beer gardens are often paired with some delicious food choices as well, plus a variety of fine dining options around the city. If you’re serious about your beer, plan a route on the Bend Ale Trail.
- Look up local band events, as Bend can attract many bands during the warmer months. If you want to go big, check out the schedule for the local Hayden Homes Amphitheater and get some tickets for one of the big names.
- Like shopping? Plan a walk through Downtown and the Old Mill District. You’ll find plenty of shops, and more than a few ideas of what to eat and drink next.
- Check out local art shows, museums, theater shows, and more. From outdoor showings to the popular High Desert Museums, there’s always something to try, especially during the busier seasons.
Things to Keep in Mind When Vacationing in Bend
- Tour or go solo: Bend’s Wanderlust Tours and other services offer a wide variety of tours, including hiking, climbing, and kayaking tours, photo tours both day and night, bus tours to explore the Central Oregon region, and plenty more. You can also choose to save a bit of money and plan your trip solo, although this will take research and prep time.
- Festivals: A resort city loves its festivals, and Bend is no exception. It’s common to vacation here for a few days to enjoy everything from Summerfest and Brewfest to the Bend Film Festival. Note that most festivals require an entry fee, although some large events like the Bend Fall Festival are free for everyone.
- Transportation options: Public transportation in Bend is limited but can be useful when used for certain activities. That includes the shuttles that carry people up and down the inner-city Deschutes River for floating or paddle-boarding during the warmer months, as well as the shuttles that carry people up to Mt. Bachelor for snow sports. There are also buses that regularly make trips to Portland and other surrounding areas at affordable prices. However, for exploring around town it’s a good idea to grab a bike or call an Uber if you don’t have a vehicle.
- Pet rules and fees: Pet rules can vary from rental to rental. Vacation rentals don’t usually allow pets, but if they do, always ask about the fees involved. On the trails, pets are often allowed but should generally be leashed. Local dog parks will have specific areas where leashes are not necessary.
- Trail rules and fees: Most trails in Central Oregon will require a pass or request a fee for use. Basic trail etiquette always applies – stay on the trail, always pick up after yourself, give bikes a wide berth,
- Reservations: Check if you can get reservations, especially at lodges and fine dining, well ahead of time. The waits can be long for the more popular spots.
- Safety: Common sense safety will go a long way, from avoiding driving in icy conditions to not drinking when you float the river. Always choose the safest option.
- Parking: As parking options continue to develop in Bend, you may have to search for an available spot in busy locations. When in doubt, expand your search by several blocks, or plan on riding bikes, etc.
- Rentals can be limited by weather: Resorts and lodges are generally equipped to deal with winter weather without issue, although you will want to be careful if you prefer to drive and don’t have a lot of experience with icy roads yet. Airbnb rentals and other individual vacation rentals can vary on this point: Some in higher elevations can get blocked by snow. Contact owners for more info if you are planning a stay during the winter months.
Fell in Love with Bend?
There’s plenty more where that came from! To learn more and explore the possibility of relocating (we wouldn’t blame you), we encourage you to explore Bend Relocation Services. We provide a wide range of relocation services, including finding a long-term rental, info on local school districts, employment in Bend, and more. You can also sign up for one of our packages designed for everyone from families with young kids to corporate relocations.