10 Things to do in Bend, OR for First Time Visitors

If you’re planning on traveling to Oregon, you should know it’s easily one of the most beautiful states in the entire country. More specifically, if you’re planning a trip to Bend, there are plenty of things to do there to keep you busy. Below are just 10 of them. You may not have time to do all of them, but you certainly won’t be bored if you follow this list.

1. Mt. Bachelor

If you like skiing, what better place is there to be? Not only are there more than 1,000 acres that you can ski on, but there are also 10 separate ski lifts that you can enjoy. Take your pick, it doesn’t matter if you’re a novice skier or if you consider yourself an expert, there is something here that will challenge everyone.

2. Pilot Butte


If you love the great outdoors and you enjoy hiking, you’re probably going to feel like you’ve really found your element here. The hike is beautiful, to say the least. It’s also rather challenging in places, so if you’re looking for something that will test your resolve, this is a good place to find it.

3. Drake Park

This park covers about 13 acres and it’s a great place to relax and enjoy a lazy afternoon. They have a special sanctuary there for owls, an amphitheater and even picnic tables. It’s a great place to get together with the family and allow things to calm down for a day. If you’ve been hitting all of the other adventures in the area, you’d probably be grateful for this time to relax in such a beautiful place.

4. Lava Butte

This one might sound similar to Pilot Butte, but it’s actually a lot different. There’s really no hiking here, so if you want to enjoy a spectacular view without the fear of needing an oxygen tank in order to get to the summit, this is probably your better option. This is because you can simply take a shuttle to the top of the summit, enjoy the view, and then return back to the visitor center.

5. Tumalo State Park

One of the special things about this area, aside from the many hiking trails that you can enjoy, is the special swimming area. There’s a natural swimming hole there that’s been a popular attraction for visitors and locals alike for years, and if you’re going during the warmer months of the year, it’s an absolute must in order to make your trip complete.

6. High Desert Museum

This is an especially good stop if you have kids. It’s actually a cultural museum that talks about the history of the West, such as in the Old West. That being said, it’s sort of geared toward kids so they do a lot of special work to get them interested, making it a great stop for families.

7. Lava River Cave

Just as the name implies, this is actually a mile long cave that was created by a tube of lava. Today, people can do self guided tours through the entire thing, something that the more adventurous people are bound to love.

8. LaPine State Park

If you like the idea of being able to camp in an area that’s a little bit more secluded, this is a great place to start. There’s plenty of small cabins in the area and it definitely gives you the opportunity to get away from everything and be at one with nature. It also has a pine tree in the area that stands over 160 ft tall.

9. Sun Country Tours

Here’s another one for the adventurous type in your family. It’s a white water rafting trip that you can take, provided that you’re willing to get a little bit wet from time to time. The truth is, you can get as adventurous as you want with this one.

10. Deschutes Historical Museum

This is a great historical museum and to make it even more interesting, it’s in a school that was built in 1914. If you love history or you merely like being inside old buildings, this one is bound to make you happy.


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