ABOUT BEND, OREGON
For an epic Winter trip, I decided to step out of my comfort zone and join along with my fellow Babes of the Babes That Wander and venture out to Bend, Oregon. We were invited by Visit Bend to spend a week in Bend, Oregon and experience what it is like to vacation in Bend during the Winter season.
At first, when we began planning for this trip, I was a little nervous. Bend is known for its adventurous wonder and though I love the wonder, I am not truly the outdoor adventurous type. But this trip changed my complete outlook on spending time exploring outdoors because there is so much beauty to see in nature, and in Bend, Oregon, you get a front row seat to it.
As you get ready to plan your trip to Bend, there are a few things that you need to know. Bend, Oregon is a very sustainable area because they want to maintain the natural beauty of the location. So it’s essential that you are committed to doing your part and being a responsible visitor.
Also make sure that you pack the essentials, especially if you are heading out for one of the adventurous tours and want to snowmobile, hike, snowshoe, dogsled, etc. but even if you don’t want to full commit to buying certain items, many of the tour providers have essentials that you can rent as Bend is a place where everyone looks out for one another and takes care of each and every person. So without further ado, here is a Winter Travel Guide for Bend, Oregon.
How to Get TO BEND, OREGON
BY AIRGetting to Bend via a flight is actually quite easy, especially if you plan ahead. You’ll want to fly into the main airport in Bend, Oregon – Roberts Field Airport (RDM) which is a small airport so once you land, you’ll be cruising right through and you’ll probably get your bags pretty quickly. From the East Coast, you may find some direct flights, but, for the most part, you’ll end up finding flights that have layovers like Los Angeles or Seattle. Some of the major airlines that will take you in to Bend are Alaska (which I highly recommend for this trip), United, Delta, and American Airlines. Once landed, you’ll be able to rent a car from many car rental services such as Enterprise or Hertz. But if you’re not looking to rent a car, it’s super easy to call an Uber or Lyft to get to your destination.
DRIVINGIf you’re planning to drive to Bend, then you’ll end up either on US Highway 97 or Sate Highway 20 depending on which direction that you are coming from. Most people who drive are coming from Portland since the distance from Portland to Bend is not too bad, and to give you an essence of the time to get to Bend from Portland, expect is to be around three hours or less along a very scenic route.
Where to Stay IN BEND, OREGON
The Element in Bend, Oregon is central to where you want to be when visiting Bend. This Marriot Hotel takes on the sustainable element of Bend and provides great care to the guests who choose to stay at this hotel. During our stay, we stayed in Studio Commons, which is a unique room type to the Element brand. The Studio Commons is a 4 King bedroom suite that connects each room to a common living area with a full kitchen. Each room has it’s own bathroom, mini fridge, TV, and a spacious closet. In addition to the amazingly, comfortable rooms, Element offers great amenities such as breakfast available each morning that can be made to order, complimentary wine in the evening, as well as a pool, gym, and other great amenities to make it feel as if you are living right at home.
YOU CAN ALSO STAY AT…
RESORTLot of people like to stay at resorts and you’ll find some great ones in Bend, Oregon. For a resort option look into staying at the Riverhouse on the Deschutes or Mount Bachelor Village Lodging by Meredith.
HOTELI highly recommend staying at the Element Bend in Bend, Oregon for your hotel option, but if you’re looking for others, depending on the central location you want to be in, you’ll find a lot of options such as The Oxford Hotel and LOGE Bend.
AIRBNBLooking to book an Airbnb in Bend, Oregon there are a lot of enticing options out in the Bend area along with other vacation rentals that would fit larger families. With all the options out there, you may end up having a hard time choosing but start with looking at Desert Pine Properties, Alpenglow Vacation Rentals, or Meredith Lodging Bend.
Things to Do IN BEND, OREGON
SNOWMOBILING IN BEND, OR
While in Bend, it’s almost essential to do a snow activity, and if you’re taking a trip in the Winter, then it becomes a point that the majority of your trip should involve snowy fun! In Bend, Oregon, one epic thing to put on your itinerary is to go snowmobiling up the Cascade Mountains. During our trip, we went snowmobiling with Central Oregon Adventures who did a wonderful job of taking us up at our own pace and leading us to the most majestic places to see immaculate views that you can only find in Bend. For snowmobiling with Central Oregon Adventures, they’ll provide you with a helmet and googles, and they do have the option of purchasing other snow gear if you don’t happen to have it yourself. You’ll go on a two-hour guided tour via trails up the mountain where you’ll be able to stop at different areas to have some open space fun on your snowmobile.
GET A MASSAGE IN BEND, OREGON
If you’re looking for a little relaxation while visiting Bend, go on and have yourself a luxurious day of relation and have yourself a spa day. For our last full day in Bend, we went to Anjou Spa to have a full day of ultimate relaxation which is much needed after doing many Winter activities in Bend. So for those looking to get a massage in Bend, Oregon, I highly recommend going over to Anjou Spa where they not only offer massages, but you can also get facials, have a foot soak, and take advantage of a number of other services and spa areas such as the steam room and the sand room. And depending on what time of the year you head over to Anjou Spa in Bend, Oregon, you may be able to take part in their monthly specials and service offerings. During the time that we were there, they had a special “the Cocoa Comfort Massage” that I didn’t take advantage of, but sure wish that I did.
VISIT THE LAST BLOCKBUSTER IN BEND, OR
Bend is known of many things and one of the places that is a must visit while in Bend, Oregon is Blockbuster. In Bend, you’ll find the very last Blockbuster that exists in the world. This Blockbuster isn’t just available as a tourist spot to come in and get souvenirs and and reminisce about the times when this movie rental business fully existed, this Blockbuster is still fully operational. You can go into this Blockbuster and rent movies with a membership card just like you did decades ago. The location also sells plenty of gifts that you can buy in store and buy online, but the best part is being able to walk through the Blockbuster because it is such nostalgic moment.
SNOWSHOE IN BEND, OREGON
Another snowy activity that you should do while in Bend for your Winter vacation is to head out snowshoeing. For our trip, we went with Wanderlust Tours on a snowshoeing expedition that first started with having a dinner in a warming hut made right on site by a chef. After dinner and some wine, our tour guide outfitted us with snowshoes and a light to take a trek through the snow. There are a few options for snowshoeing, you can do a daytime adventure or go at night and even find yourself having a bonfire in the snow. We ended up doing a starlight trek after dinner where we walked through the snow and stopped to appreciate the clear night sky and marvel at starlight before finding ourselves at a bonfire in the snow for hot cocoa and dessert.
EXPLORE CAVES IN BEND, OR
Another tour that you can take in Bend, Oregon with Wanderlust Tours is the cave tours. Like the snowshoeing, there a few options for your cave tours depending on what you’re interested in. You can do a cave tour at night, one during the day, and even have one where you learn the history of the Prohibition in connection with the caves which then leads to visiting a distillery afterwards. Each tour takes you through lave tube caves which are caves made by lava from a past volcanic eruption. Before going into the cave, you’ll be given a helmet and light because there is no light once you go deeper and deeper, and the tour guides will take you as far as you would like into the caves while giving you history on the cave itself.
VISIT OLD MILL DISTRICT IN BEND
If you’re looking for some downtime and simply looking to some shopping in Bend, Oregon then Old Mill District is where you’ll want to go. Less than 10 minutes from downtown Bend, you’ll find this shopping district this filled with a variety of stores, eateries, and places to relax and have a variety of experiences. Old Mill District is also where you’ll find quite a handful of location businesses such as Vanilla, Ticket Mill, and Hello Sunshine. While we were out and about shopping, I was thoroughly impressed by the local shops and came home with quite a few gifts for my family. You can spend a whole day in Old Mill District because of the shopping options, dining options, and even the movie theatre. We spent almost a half a day at Old Mill District and probably could have stayed longer. I also appreciated the views at Old Mill District. Depending on what restaurant you visit, you can sit outside and take in the sights along the water.
DRINK WINE IN BEND, OREGON
In Bend, Oregon you’ll find quite a few wineries and each one has their own specialty and story as to how they make their wine and where they make it. So depending on where you are, stop in to a winery in the area and enjoy the wine. Bend is known for their wine because of the amazing water quality that they have in the area, and with great water comes great wine.
VA PIANO WINERY
Located in Old Mill District, you’ll find Va Piano which is a small winery where you can indulge in some bites and sip on some wine. You can stay and order by the bottle or enjoy flights, but if you end up in Bend during a warmer day, make sure to sit out on the patio and enjoy the view.
Domain Serene has multiple locations around Oregon including one in downtown Bend where you can head in to sit by a fireplace, the bar or where you feel most comfortable and enjoy their wine. The Domaine Serene Lounge in Downtown Bend is also a great place to dine.
VISIT A DISTILLARY IN BEND
Along with the wineries, there are also quite a few distilleries in Bend, Oregon. For the same reason that there are so many wineries, the distilleries are plentiful because of the quality of water. Because we took part in the Prohibition Tour with Wanderlust Tours, a visit to a distillery was on our itinerary which lead us to Oregon Spirit Distillery for a tour of the facility where they make their bourbon along with a tasting. Of course, you don’t need to take the tour to go into Oregon Spirit Distillery, and I recommend visiting not only for the bourbon cocktails but for the bourbon maple syrup that you can only purchase at that location. We were able to taste it and if I had more space in my suitcase, I probably would have come home with a lot of maple syrup.