Ah, Bend Oregon… we saved the best stop for last in our spring road trip series. Okay, we are a little biased since Bend is the home of Drink Tanks. But seriously, if you haven’t visited Bend, you owe it to yourself. Whether you love the outdoors, good food and drink (especially beer), or just want a fun but laid-back place to chill, you’ll find all that and more in Bend.
To help you plan your road trip to Bend, we put together a short list of awesome places to stay, eat, and play here. It wasn’t easy because there are so many amazing options to choose from, but we hope we’ve provided a good starting point for you.
And before you pack the car and hit the road for Bend or anywhere for that matter, make sure you check out this article on tips for an epic road trip!
Where to Stay:
- Central Oregon Vacation Homes: If you prefer vacation rentals over hotels, COVH is definitely a website you’ll want to check out. Set up much like those larger vacation home rental websites, COVH is actually a locally-, independently-owned, and managed vacation rental group with multiple properties in Bend, Sunriver, Eagle Crest, and Brasada Ranch giving you excellent options no matter your choice of adventures! And BONUS! Many of their properties are dog-friendly! A few of our favorite dog-friendly properties include The Wildflower Getaway which sleeps up to 12 guests, Gleneden Getaway sleeps up to 8 guests and is within walking distance to downtown Bend, and Florida Street Getaway which is a super cute cottage-style home that sleeps up to 4.
- Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast: This 10-room boutique hotel located in historic downtown radiates charm and comfort. You’ll be within walking distance of marquee Bend attractions including the Deschutes River and Les Schwab Amphitheater — and along the way, you can enjoy plenty of beautiful parks. The Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast also features a hot tub and cocktail deck, making it an ideal place to relax after a day of outdoor adventuring.
- Tumalo State Park: Disclaimer: there are so many awesome camping options around Bend, so if you’re interested in that, do your research. We chose to highlight Tumalo State Park because of its proximity to Bend. It’s four miles north of Bend, putting you close to all the action. You can camp year-round at Tumalo State Park and enjoy hot showers and flush toilets while taking in the beauty of the Deschutes River and surrounding wilderness.
- McMenamins Old St. Francis Hotel: This former Catholic school turned hotel in 2004 is located in downtown Bend and features a pub/restaurant, a movie theater, and a soaking pool. Oh, and it’s also pet friendly. Paying homage to the building’s past as a school, the Old St. Francis Hotel is adorned with photos and memorabilia, making it a gallery of sorts. If you are looking for some unique digs, it’s worth checking out this fun and quirky hotel.
Where to Drink:
Yes, this section is supposed to be about great restaurants to check out, but Bend is known for Craft Beer! It is the reason DrinkTanks exists, after all. Three Bend-based breweries you’ll want to be sure to check out are:
- Bevel Craft Brewing: The team behind Bevel are pro disc golfers turned brew-masters and are aimed at creating the best hop-centric microbrewery, period. Their brewery, located on the east side of Bend, features about a dozen beers on tap, a variety of ciders, wines, as well as non-alcoholic beverages, and 4 food trucks with a variety of options.
- Crux Fermentation Project: This brewer-owned and cooperate company believes there’s a beer out there for everyone and does not compromise when it comes to quality. Their tasting room offers a wide range of lagers, ales, and experimental beers, as well as house-blended wine, whiskey, cider, and a beer-inspired menu of eats.
- Silver Moon Brewing: The third oldest brewery in Bend, Silver Moon has been creating delicious brews since 2000. Their lineup consists of a mix of IPAs, Mexican Lagers, and Pale ales as well as various specialty releases throughout the year. Their brewery, located near downtown, is a little off the beaten path but worth the visit!
Where to Adventure:
- High Desert Museum: Get up close and personal with Central Oregon’s high desert region. Located just five minutes south of Bend, this museum boasts more than 100,000 square feet of exhibit space. You’ll learn a ton about the native wildlife, see an authentic ranch and sawmill from the early 1900s, and meet historic characters who share stories about early Oregon homesteaders in Central Oregon.
- Smith Rock State Park: Considered the birthplace of modern American sports climbing, Smith Rock is a rock climber’s dream. Located about 26 miles northeast of Bend, Smith Rock State Park also features miles of hiking and mountain biking trails. And if just admiring the view is more your pace, Smith Rock State Park offers stunning views of deep river canyons and sheer cliffs, leading it to be dubbed one of the “7 Wonders of Oregon.”
- Bend Ale Trail: If you enjoy beer, Bend is going to blow your mind. There’s so much good beer to be had everywhere you look. What better way to try a bunch of them than embarking on the Bend Ale Trail? Consisting of 30 breweries throughout Bend and surrounding areas, there’ll be a perfect beer for everyone. It’s highly unlikely you can hit up every spot on a trail in a day, so it’s perfect to spread out over a few days. Just remember to drink responsibly and definitely have a DD or use a ride service. Cheers!
Road trips are an adventure. Drink them up — all the way to Bend!