Visiting Bend, Oregon

bend-oregon-fall-landscapeBy – Suzanne Rogers

At one time Bend, Oregon, was a well-kept secret for outdoor enthusiasts but today, after a period of rapid growth, it has become one of Oregon’s most popular tourist vacation spots. With year-round sporting activities and renowned resorts, it is the best of the great northwest.

Getting There

Redmond Municipal Airport has daily connections to Portland via Horizon Airlines and United Express and is just 16 miles from Bend by car rental. Bend is well connected to the rest of the state. The east-west highway 20 meets the north-south highway 97 in Bend making the town and other central Oregon locations easy to access from Portland, Eugene, and Ashland, west of the Cascades, Pendleton in the north-east, or Klamath Falls in the south. Though there is no rail service in Central Oregon, Greyhound coaches do connect Bend to the other major towns in the state.

Key Attractions

Although the town itself is complete with theaters, shopping, fine dining and unique micro-breweries (all of which are perfect after a long day of outdoor fun), main attractions lie beyond the city limits but are easy to access through car rental from Bend. A great place to understand the Central Oregon setting is the High Desert Museum. In this combination museum/zoo you’ll find everything about the plains between the Cascade and Rocky Mountains, from landforms to Native Americans and early white settlers, as well as living wildlife which includes a birds-of-prey show.

Out and About

The Bend Visitor and Convention Bureau provides maps for the 87-mile loop Cascade Lakes Highway. One of the most popular outings, this National Scenic Byway, will take you by wonderful panoramas of the Cascades. You can easily get there via rental car from Bend and will pass lakes and reservoirs which are good for a swim or picnic after hiking one of the many trailheads nearby. With cross-country trails and more than 70 downhill runs, it’s no wonder that Mount Bachelor Ski and Summer Resort is a mecca for snow lovers. Just 22 miles west of Bend, Bachelor has one of the longest ski seasons in the States (November to July).

Leisure Options

Whether you want a half-day, full-day or overnight hike, there are plenty of places around Bend. The Deschutes River Trail and Three Sisters Wilderness offer rugged and moderate trails in secluded nature. In the summer, Mt. Bachelor is open for mountain biking with the option of ascending the mountain on the ski lift for a thrilling bike ride down. Many other areas are open for riding. If you want someone else to do the work, several companies, including the famous Sunriver Resort, offer horseback riding. You will find national travel deals to Bend on the internet.

The Deschutes River and additional streams, lakes, and reservoirs offer pristine fishing. Also, with 25 golf courses at all fee levels, there are almost as many wonderful greens as there are perfect fishing holes in and around Bend. Any or all of the above can be combined with camping trips ranging from developed areas to primitive sites. For the more adventurous, white water rafting is available, and Smith Rock State Park in Redmond has some of the best traditional and sport climbing routes in America. While you’re in Central Oregon, a beautiful drive south will take you to one of the Seven Natural Wonders of Oregon, Crater Lake National Park.

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Steven G Hamburger
6 years ago

I think the AMAC Newsletter has a good mix of senior and conservative articles. After all, it is meant to be a conservative alternative for seniors. I would like to see more articles addressing why current presidential candidates are or are not strong conservatives. We have a very strong line-up, and it is difficult at times to try to identify who may or may no be a strong conservative President, not just a conservative candidate.

Ivan Berry
6 years ago

Another Blue State for red blooded conservative Americans to visit.
Yep, I’m pessimistic this week, but Amac’s newsletter is becoming more lame as time goes on. Anyone reading these articles blind would be hard pressed to determine that the target reader was or was supposed to be conservative. It just seems it’s for the aged.

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