Are you planning a long weekend in Bend, Oregon this summer? Great idea! Bend is an outdoor-lover’s paradise, and is the perfect spot for a fun weekend trip. There’s so much to see & do there!
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Bend Trip Overview
- PTO/Vacation Days Needed: 0-1
- Cost: $
- Nights: 2-3
How to Get to Bend, Oregon
If you live in the Pacific Northwest, you are likely in a reasonable driving distance to Bend. Otherwise, these are your best options for flying there:
- Redmond Airport (RDM): 25 minutes to Bend
- Portland Airport (PDX): 3 hours to Bend
- Eugene Airport (EUG): 2.5 hours to Bend
Redmond Airport is the most convenient, as it’s only 25 minutes away from Bend. You can get direct flights there from LAX!
Once you fly in, you’ll definitely want to rent a car for the weekend.
Best Time to Visit for a Weekend in Bend Oregon
Bend is a year-round destination! In the winter, people flock to Bend to ski & snowboard nearby Mount Bachelor. In the summer, hikers and adventure-lovers visit to explore all the nature sites. This blog is about visiting for a summer weekend in Bend!
Where to Stay in Bend, Oregon
There are plenty of hotels and Airbnbs to choose from. Here are a few I recommend!
- Riverhouse on the Deschutes: this hotel is located right on the Deschutes River! Great views on the patio.
- Oxford Hotel Bend: This nice hotel is located right in the center of town near Main Street, walking distance to tons of restaurants, bars and shops!
- Cute House on the River: This cute house on VRBO is located right on the Deschutes River (so you can hang out in the backyard and watch people floating by!) and is also walking distance to downtown Bend. Great spot!
Best Things to Do During a Summer Weekend in Bend
There are SO many awesome things to do in Bend during the summer, you will just be scratching the surface by being there just for a weekend. But here’s how to make the most of your time, with a list of my favorite things to do in & near Bend in the summer.
1. Float the Deschutes River
One of the most quintessential Bend things to do in the summer is to float down the Deschutes river that runs through the middle of town! If you’re spending a weekend in Bend Oregon, you need to do this. I recommend starting at Riverbend Park and getting out at Drake Park. There’s two ways you can do this:
- Bring your own tubes, and if you have two cars, park one car at Riverbend Park and the other at Drake Park
- Rent tubes & take the shuttle from one end to the other through Tumalo Creek
The float takes about 1.5 hours. Bring some drinks, sit back, and relax! It’s super fun. Make sure you bring a waterproof phone holder if you want to take pictures on your float without risking it!
If you’re up for more of an adventure… you can also go whitewater rafting along the Deschutes River instead!
2. Tamolitch Falls (Blue Pool)
This spot is incredible! It’s a 1 hour drive from Bend. This 3.9-mile hike (351 elevation gain) through a forested trail leads you to the most incredible blue pool at the end. Follow the trail around the lake and down to the shoreline and jump in if you’re brave! The water is FREEZING at 37 degrees so it’s definitely cold-plunge level. This is definitely one of the best hikes in Bend. It’s beautiful!
3. Visit Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock State Park is just 30 minutes north of Bend, and offers scenic canyon views, hiking trails, mountain biking, and rock climbing. An adventure-lover’s paradise! It’s definitely worth checking out during your weekend in Bend.
If you’re feeling up for a leg-burning hike with epic views, check out Misery Ridge. This 5.5-mile loop hike has an elevation gain of 1,800 feet but the views are worth it! Your weekend in Bend Oregon is not complete without stopping by this epic (and close by!) state park.
4. Dinner and Drinks in Downtown Bend
While you’re spending the weekend in Bend Oregon, I highly recommend taking an early evening stroll around the cute downtown area. Pop into some shops, get happy hour, dinner, late night drinks, etc. There’s so many good spots! A few that I recommend:
- Wild Rose (Thai restaurant)
- Spork (Asian Fusion restaurant)
- San Simon (cute bar tucked in an alleyway. great cocktails and charcuterie boards)
- D&D (fun late-night dive bar)
- Broom Closet (speakeasy)
- Bend Brewing Company
5. Check Out the Last Standing Blockbuster
Ready for some nostalgia? The last standing Blockbuster in the world is in Bend, Oregon. If this was a part of your childhood (like it was mine!) you definitely should stop by while you’re spending a weekend in Bend Oregon! Walking through those doors brought me instantly back to those home-town friday night vibes as a kid. They rent movies here of course, but they also sell merch!
6. Crater Lake National Park
While you’re in Bend, if you haven’t already been to Crater Lake National Park, you should definitely take the chance to see it! It’s about a 1.5-hour drive from Bend to the northern entrance of the park. Leave early in the morning and be ready for a full day of exploring! Crater Lake is unique as it’s the deepest lake in the U.S., and was formed by a volcano erupting. The water filled in from decades of rain and snowmelt – there are no streams that flow into the river. This means that it’s SO still that you can see the most epic reflections on the water.
You can see most of the highlights of Crater Lake National Park in one day. Make sure you take the trail down to the shoreline and jump in!
Want more? Check out my post on The Best Things to Do in Crater Lake National Park.
7. Umpqua Hot Springs
On your way to or from Crater Lake, you NEED to stop by Umpqua Hot Springs (about a 40 minute drive from the north entrance to Crater Lake National Park). These hot springs are absolutely incredible! It’s a 0.8-mile (350 ft elevation gain) hike from the trailhead to these insanely gorgeous natural hot spring pools that are set on a cliffside overlooking a river and trees. There are a few different pools to choose from. We went on a Friday morning and there were a few people there, but we had no problem getting a pool all to ourselves. It’s super peaceful and the scenery is amazing.
8. Toketee Falls
Just 15 minutes from Umpqua Hot Springs is Toketee Falls, which is another must-see nature spot near Bend. This 0.8-mile (170 ft elevation gain) trail leads you to this epic waterfall surrounded by trees. The first spot you go to is a viewpoint where you can view the falls from above. However, I think the best view is from eye-level down at the water’s edge. To get down here, while it’s not an official trail, is pretty easy to find. Part of the fence is broken/flattened, so you can see where to go down. It’s a slight scramble down (and back up afterwards) to get to the water-level, but it’s so worth it!
Other Great Bend Activities
If you’re looking for other awesome activities to do during your weekend in Bend, check out:
What to Pack for Your Bend Trip:
- Nano Puff Jacket (packs up small and keeps you warm when it gets chilly at night!)
- The COLDEST Water Bottle (seriously – it stays colder than Hydroflask!)
- Hiking Boots (these are my fave)
- REI Soft Cooler (I have this and love it!)
- Cliff Bar Energy Chews (great to give you a boost of energy on hikes!)
- Sony A6000 (I’m just starting to learn photography, but this is the camera I’ve been using! I love it)
- Day Pack
- SmartWool Hiking Socks
- Close-Toed Water Sandals: These are the ones I have, they’re great! Will be useful for walking down to the water’s edge at Tamolitch and Crater Lake
- Waterproof Phone Holder: will be super useful when floating down the Deschutes River!
There are still so many other spots to see near Bend that I didn’t have time for on my trip, but I’m already thinking about planning my next trip back to Bend! It’s seriously amazing. Hopefully this post helps you plan your own weekend in Bend Oregon!