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- 20 Sep 2019, 3 nights
- 2 Guests
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If you like your outdoor pursuits interspersed with great food, craft beer and strolls around art galleries, Bend should be on your bucket list. Fast becoming known as an adventure-seeker's playground, this small Oregon city is an optimal base for hiking, kayaking, skiing and rock climbing in glorious sunshine (for around 300 days of the year). With the Cascade Mountains as its backdrop, every photo you take in Bend is a keeper, whether you're in the foothills or taking in the panoramic views from the peaks themselves.
Staying in a Bend hostel is a great way to get to know other travellers, and swap stories and tips with people just as keen for adventure as you are. You'll be treated to accommodation with fantastic views and have handy extras like free breakfast and free Wi-Fi. Stay in the city's first and oldest brick building or look for Bend hostels with social spaces like outdoor terraces.
Bend has plenty of exciting neighbourhoods to explore. Downtown has cobbled streets lined with colourful buildings and independent shops that make for enticing browsing. It's also where foodies and craft beer aficionados will find their happy place. You'll find an entertainment hub by the river in the Old Mill District, with regular concerts and art shows. The neighbourhood of Awbrey Butte is upscale and has incredible mountain views. If you're up for a round of golf, this is the place to be.
Whatever your ability, you'll find plenty of outdoor activities to learn, practice or master in Bend. You can kayak and even surf on the Deschutes River, which runs through the city. Head to Smith Rock State Park if rock climbing is your vibe, or hike or ski in the Cascade Mountains. For an easier ride, take the chairlift to the top of Mount Bachelor and catch the sunset from a soaring 2,370-metre-high vantage point. Learn about Native American history at the High Desert Museum, take a walking tour of the neighbourhood art galleries and explore local craft breweries on the Bend Ale Trail.
Roberts Field Airport receives domestic flights and is a 20-minute taxi, shuttle or Cascades East Transit bus away from the city. Amtrak trains will bring you right to the centre of the town or if you're driving from Portland it's about a 3.5-hour trip. Renting a bike is an easy way to get around and there's also a local bus service.