This post on things to do in Bend, Oregon is in collaboration with Visit Bend.
A few weeks ago, the Babes That Wander headed to our next adventure. We’ve done Chicago, Nashville, and Vegas, now it was time for some cold weather! I’d never heard of Bend, Oregon before this trip but it’s a place you’ll never forget. Today I’m going to share a few things to know as well as all the things to do in Bend, Oregon.
I flew United Airlines from Nashville to San Francisco and then boarded a smaller plane to RDM. The airport was small and the plane let you out and boarded on the tarmac. Roller carry-on bags didn’t fit in overhead bins so they had to be stored below with the rest of the luggage. Then when it came time to leave, it was a breeze checking in and getting through security. I got on another small plane and flew to Denver to get home to Nashville.
Of course, if you’re feeling ill or showing COVID symptoms, please stay home. Oregon still has indoor mask mandates so your mask must be worn whenever you’re inside. If you’re eating or drinking in a restaurant, you can remove your mask and enjoy your meal but put it on if you go to the bathroom or walk around a restaurant. Please be respectful of others and wear your mask and social distance.
Things to Do in Bend, Oregon
Where to Stay
Our hotel was one of the highlights of the trip! The Element Bend was built with environmental sustainability in mind.
Our rooms were in the Studio Commons, which is a four-bedroom suite with 4 king beds, a sofa bed, a full kitchen, a living room, and a dining room. It was the perfect amount of space for all of us to sleep, work and have some downtime in between activities. We also had our own food in the fridge. The location was also perfect since we were less than 10 minutes away from a lot of the things I’m listing below.
The Element had a pool, hot tub, exercise room, and a delicious breakfast every morning in the lobby. The staff was so kind and went out of their way to make The Element feel like home during our stay. Can I also just say the bed and shower were amazing. I was out like a light every night after a long hot shower and snuggling into the covers after a busy day.
What to Do
This experience was AWESOME. I have never been snowmobiling before and it was something I was looking forward to the most. We each got our own snowmobile and helmet and after a quick tutorial from our super awesome guide, Adam, we were off! We practiced in an open field to get a hang of the snowmobiles and then hit the trail. We were out there for about two and a half hours and the view at the top was incredible. It was such a beautiful day and the photos we took up there are my favorites that we have ever taken as a group. (P.S. I wrote all about what to wear here.)
We got to hang out with Katie of Wanderlust Tours for two days and she’s the coolest chick around. Request her if you book through Wanderlust Tours! Wanderlust Tours picked us up at our hotel and took us to the Prohibition Cave aka Boyd Cave. The cave is believed to be 10,000 years old and is an 1800 foot long lava tube 12 miles southeast of Bend. It’s called Prohibition Cave because it was used during prohibition to hide alcohol in because it’s so cool and keeps drinks at the perfect temperature. As I said, it’s chilly down there to dress appropriately and wear shoes with good traction. Also, wear something you don’t mind getting dirty since you crawl over the lava rocks on your adventure.
Another cool activity we did with Katie and the Wanderlust Tour team in the Bonfire on the Snow tour. It’s at night so you start off by the Wanderlust Van picking you up and taking you to a cabin for dinner. A chef made soup, roast, mashed potatoes, and carrots. It was the perfect, warm meal since it was so cold! Then Katie gave us all headlamps, helped us put on the snowshoes provided and we were off. After less than a mile, we were at the bonfire. We warmed up, enjoyed some hot cocoa, and looked at the stars. Then we headed back to the van. Good snow fun!
After being outside for a few days, my back needed some attention. Luckily we were having a spa day at Anjou! They set us up in their sanctuary suite and we were pampered and treated like queens. We enjoyed rosé, a cheese board, facials, foot soaks, and a massage. I’m not going to lie, I was so relaxed I fell asleep while my masseuse was rubbing my feet! In between sessions we also enjoyed the sauna and hot sand sauna. Anjou Spa was the perfect way to end the trip!
Visit The Last Blockbuster
None of us knew that the last Blockbuster in America is in Bend! The location was around the corner from our hotel and we knew we had to stop by. Being in Blockbuster was so nostalgic. Reminded me of Friday nights as a kid when we would go to our local Blockbuster and each pick a movie to watch that weekend. If you live in Bend, you can still go and rent movies from there!
Where to Eat
Every place we ate in Bend was extraordinary. They have such a wide range of choices! We headed to 900 Wall for dinner one night and we all got something different. Some got fish and oysters, some got pizza! Megan and I split a pizza and it was the perfect size to share.
After a morning of shopping and exploring, we were all weak with hunger! We headed to Greg’s to enjoy their lunch menu. Greg’s Grill is in the Old Mill Shopping Area and you have a great view of the river and greenway. We shared a bunch of starters like the Garlic Cheese Bread and then I had the Tillamook Cheeseburger with fries and a soda.
The cutest little breakfast spot in Bend was Lemon Tree. The inside was so quaint and charming and filled with, you guessed it, lemon everything. They had a wide variety of items from Avo Hash Smash to Steak Benedict. I don’t like a heavy breakfast so I got the house coffee with a homemade croissant and it was so flaky and delicious!
Where to Shop
Girls just wanna shop! We spent half a day at the Old Mill District shopping and exploring. Head to the Ticket Mill for local Bend souvenirs like magnets, mugs, t-shirts, stickers, and more. They have stores to shop in like REI, Buckle, American Eagle, Lulu Lemon, Victoria’s Secret, and Athleta. The best part was shopping local in stores Hello Sunshine and Vanilla Urban Threads! We got lots of great items to bring home and remember our trip by.
There was also murals scattered throughout the Old Mill District. I’ll have a post up soon on my favorite murals and where to find them!
Grab a Drink
On our first night in Bend, we got all dolled up and officially started the trip at Domaine Serene Wine Lounge. This is a new wine lounge in Bend that is so chic and sophisticated. We got to try lots of wine, learn more about the Domaine Serene brand, and even take a tour. We learned the space has a ghost named Matilda who makes herself known at times, how cool is that? After the tour, we dined on oysters, popcorn chicken, cheese and charcuterie plate, crispy Brussels, and french fries. It’s the perfect spot to have a glass of wine, split some appetizers, and catch up with your girlfriends.
On our adventure with Katie and Wanderlust Tours, we stopped inside Oregon Spirit Distillers. We toured their distillery, enjoyed their craft cocktails, and tried some of the whisky and gin they made. I will say their bourbon maple syrup is DELICIOUS. We all bought some to take home and were putting it on everything, cheese, crackers, charcuterie, you name it. Stop by for a cocktail and check out their cool mural outside.
If you’re shopping and exploring the Old Mill District, stop by Va Plano for a wine tasting! Red wine is my favorite so our flight was full of red wines made in Oregon. We learned all about this company and loved that it’s predominantly women-owned and run! We tasted quite a bit of their wines over a charcuterie board. My favorite ended up being their rosé and I took a bottle home for myself!
The Babes That Wander’s final outing in Bend was cocktails with the Visit Bend team at the Dogwood Cocktail Cabin. This was the spot to be on a Thursday night and had good music, fabulous cocktails, and a great vibe. Stop by for drinks with friends or even for after-dinner drinks with a date.
Well, there you have it. All the things to do in Bend, Oregon. I loved our visit here so much, I want to come back in the summer for kayaking and hiking. The city is also extremely dog-friendly. I found a dog almost everywhere we went to pet! Another fun Bend fact is that they have the cleanest water in America. Even right from the sink, it’s delicious!