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Exploring Central Oregon

After meeting in college, moving in together, and spending what seemed like a lifetime
in Corvallis, Oregon, we finally decided to pursue a change in scenery and move to Bend.

Two and a half years later, we have never looked back. 

We encourage those of you who are not from 
the area to stay a bit longer and spend some time 
exploring the little town we now call home. 

Below, we have compiled some lists of our favorite things to do in the area, and hope you
can use this page to set up your own itineraries. Please feel free to contact us with any 
questions or for more suggestions. 

This park is by far our favorite place to visit in Central Oregon. There are many ways to explore 
Smith Rock, whether you are looking for a challenging hike (with some seriously rewarding views 
at the top), or an easier trail around along the river, we believe everyone should make sure to visit 
this natural wonder during their stay. Don't forget to bring your camera! Learn More

Tumalo Falls, just outside of Bend, is one of the largest waterfalls in the area, and is extremely
easy to access with a short, paved hike to the top (lasting less than 5 minutes). If you are looking
for more of a challenge, you can continue the hike along the river to Happy Valley, which is about
 four miles away. We recommend this quick trip to everyone in the area. Learn More

One of our favorite things about the summer is floating the Deschutes River, which runs throughout
Bend. From the Old Mill District, you can put in at Riverbend Park or McKay Park, and float all
the way downtown to Drake Park where there is a bus to take you and your rafts back to the
beginning. You will need cash for the bus, $1.50 per person. There are also places to rent rafts at
both access points for those of you who do not have your own. Learn More

If you are planning to stay closer to Sunriver throughout your stay, you can still float, canoe, or
kayak on the Deschutes. Equipment can be rented at the Sunriver Marina, and you can float from
Harpers Bridge to the Marina which is 1.5 hours, or all the way to Benham Butte, which is a 3.5
hour float. You will need to arrange your own transportation at your end point. Learn More

The Pilot Butte trail head is only a few minutes from our house, so we take this small cutback trail 
often. If you have time, we recommend hiking the mile to the top for panoramic views of the entire 
city of Bend and the surrounding mountains. There is also a spiral road that cars can take up to the 
top of the butte if you are short on time. Learn More

A visit to this unique area south of Sunriver is highly recommended during your stay. The volcano 
erupted 13,000 years ago leaving behind black and grey volcanic glass that ranges from smooth to 
spongey. This easy hike is partially paved and reveals beautiful views of Paulina Lake at the top, not 
to mention a foreign landscape, making it well worth the adventure. Learn More

This hike begins in the Camp Sherman area just south of Sisters and leads you along the beautiful 
Metolius River to the Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery. The terrain is primarily flat with a few subtle 
inclines and is very tranquil with the river running beside you the entire time. We recommend
stopping at the Camp Sherman store for a sandwich when you are done. Learn More

Lets start with Pat's favorite subject, beer. Beer is a huge part of the culture in Oregon, and Bend
is no exception with over 19 breweries, and counting in the area. With so many to choose from you
can easily spend an entire day, or weekend, sampling the local brews, and we absolutely recommend
 doing so while you are here! Follow along with our list of favorites in the area, or grab an Ale Trail
map and get started. Below are our must visits:

Crux Fermentation Project: Crux is definitely pumping out some of the most innovative beer in the
region, and with so many flavors to choose from, we have a hard time narrowing down our favorites.
A good problem to have! We recommend grabbing a sampler platter (or two) and seeing for yourself.

GoodLife Brewing: One of our favorite hangouts, especially in the summer with their giant outdoor
area (complete with lawn games). The beer is delicious too, Sweet As being one of my faves.

Boneyard Beer: Probably one of the most popular breweries in Bend, and dare I say Oregon?
Boneyard is all about the beer. No restaurant, no distribution outside of the NW, a tasting room and
that is all. Put this one on your list as a must.

Silvermoon Brewing: This brewery is right off of the beaten path downtown, has some of the best
beers around, and is a super mellow place to hangout, often with live music.

Deschutes Brewery: The largest brewery in Bend, and an Oregon staple. Make sure to check out the
 tasting room in Old Mill for free samples, we prefer this experience over the packed restaurant.

Worthy Brewing: Just a short walk through the neighborhood from our house, Worthy is one of our
frequent stops. The Eruption is their best beer in our opinion, but they have many delicious choices,
including the constantly rotating taps from the Heart and Soul series.

Bend Brewing Company: Overlooking Mirror Pond downtown, BBC has some great beers and
some really solid menu options as well.

Wild Ride Brewing (in Redmond): This fairly new brewery is no fuss and has some delicious beers
like Hopperhead (Pat's favorite), and Big Booty. Make this one a stop on your way back from Smith.

The Victorian Cafe: The best eggs benedict and bloody mary's... need we say more? The lines can
get pretty long here, so be prepared to wait. Luckily, there is drink service before you get your table.

McKay Cottage: Fresh homemade scones, local ingredients, weekly specials, always delicious, and
often a bit easier to get in to since they are a little off the beaten path.

Cafe Sintra: With locations in both downtown Bend and Sunriver, Cafe Sintra is a great breakfast
option, serving up dishes with a Mediterranean twist. Their rosemary bread is not to miss.

D&D: This place is seriously low-brow, but don't be discouraged, the breakfast is better than you
might expect! Giant plates of exactly what you want, eggs and buttery hash-browns. They also
have these homemade veggie bloody mary's that are delicious! Not a foodie spot, but a good cure
after getting a little wild at the wedding reception, for example.

Jackson's Corner: Part grocery store, part bakery, part coffee house, and always delicious. Jackson's
is great for breakfast, lunch, and dinner, but we prefer to go after the breakfast rush for sandwiches,
salads, pasta, or pizza, and in my case, the best mimosa in town. There are locations on the West side,
 and East side (right by our house).

Brother John's: Bro Jo's has two locations, one right downtown, and one off of Greenwood, both
sporting slightly different menus and beers on tap (the one downtown usually has The Duchess, my
favorite). We recommend pretty much any of the sandwiches, the ruben in particular.

Crux: Yep, that's right, breweries are making the lunch list too. Not only does Crux have some of
the best beer in town, but they also have some pretty solid menu items (wraps, salads, etc).

Worthy Brewing: We listed worthy under beer, but the food is really where it's at. We have yet to
find something on the menu we didn't like. Order a flatbread and the warm beat salad, the halibut
tacos, or a sandwich, or wrap.

The Lot: The Lot is an outdoor locals hangout with 5 food carts, 16 taps, a fire pit, and entertainment
in the evenings, like live music and trivia. We love hanging out here. Fries A La Carte, and the sticky
chicken from Real Food Street Bistro are definitely worth checking out.

5 Fusion (Sushi): Definitely the best sushi around. We typically order a seaweed salad, a Steve
 McQueen roll (among others), a bottle of Sake and hang out for a while. Highly recommended.

Noi (Thai): This place is seriously delicious! Order a bunch of plates to share (making sure you
have some coconut rice in there somewhere) and you won't be disappointed.

Barrio (Latin-Inspired Tapas): Barrio is one of the most unique spots around with dishes from
pork carnitas served on plantains, to various tacos, and seafood and chorizo paella. These plates
are small, (paella aside), so be prepared to share a few. After dinner order the churro, you can
thank me later. Barrio also happens to be catering our wedding, so get ready for some tasty bites!

Zydeco: Definitely some of the best food in town with several dishes to choose from. I love the
redfish, while Pat usually goes for the wild boar. Make sure you save room for their creme brûlée.

Ariana: Arguably the best restaurant in Bend situated in an old craftsman home. The space is small
and intimate, perfect for small  groups, and we are yet to have a less than amazing dining experience.

Black Smith: Steakhouse style dining with some pretty awesome seafood dishes and desserts. An
appetizer and one entree to split over a bottle of wine is the route we usually take. Pat also loves
their Manhattan Sampler Trio.

Drake: Drake serves dressed up southern inspired comfort food. We recommend the fried chicken
(sides change weekly), mac & cheese, and the shrimp & grits. They also serve popcorn while you
wait, have special milkshakes, and delicious cocktails.

Dogwood Cocktail Cabin: Simply put, we love this place. A delicious menu, and an awesome
space make this one of our favorite spots to grab a drink before or after dinner. They also have one
of the latest happy hours around! This spot can get pretty busy, so be prepared to wait patiently for
your order, it will be well worth it. The Beetnik, Romeo & Julietta, and Thai One On are must tries.

10 Below: Located below The Oxford Hotel downtown, this is another of our frequented spots for
pre or post dinner cocktails. They have a pretty good late night happy hour menu in the bar area as
well for snacks. Or just order their homemade ice cream trio, trust me...

Velvet: Also downtown, this place reminds me of Portland, or maybe its my days in Ashland.
Drinks in mason jars, beer cocktails, "The Hipster Special", and snowboarding or surfing videos
on loop in the background. Might as well check out a board game, get cozy, and hang for a while.

Level 2: Up above Saxon's in Old Mill, Level 2 is a great place to stop in for a cocktail, or a snack,
while you are shopping. Their happy hour menu in particular has some pretty good drinks and bites.

Addy Mac's Ice Cream: If you know me well, you know that ice cream is one of the fastest ways
to my heart, so when this ice cream truck opened I was ecstatic. Delicious homemade ice cream
with local ingredients and collaborations around town? What's not to love. Stay with me here...
chocolate stout ice cream. Mind blown.

Goodies: What seems to be a staple in the area, Goodies is an old school candy shop with home
made treats like ice cream and caramel corn, and has several locations, including downtown Bend,
and Sunriver.

Powell's Sweet Shoppe: I love this place, its like a child's paradise. Candy as far as the eye can see,
and Willy Wonka constantly playing on loop. You are sure to find some brands you haven't seen in
decades while wandering through this shop.