Top 10 Places to Visit in Oregon

Fascinating sights and experiences in and around Bend, are just waiting to thrill and entertain visitors. Guests can join in a range of activities and events during their stay, including some of the top places to visit in Bend.

Outdoor adventures in any season in Bend  are great to explore and be inspired. Try fly fishing, hiking, biking, floating the river or learn about the high desert while staying in one of the nation’s top vacation destinations.

Riverhouse on the Deschutes staff has compiled a list of the top 10 best places you will want to see on your visit to Central Oregon.

1. Deschutes River
Deschutes River which flows through Bend and the Riverhouse on the Deschutes property. Visitors come to fly fish, kayak, canoe and white water raft. One of the local favorites is to float down the river on hot days from the Old Mill District to Drake Park Downtown on your favorite inflatable or inner tube. When you’ve finished, grab a bite and dine alfresco on the CURRENTS patio and watch as the water as it flows past the rocks.

2. Tumalo Falls
Cascading water plunges almost 90 feet into a pool at Tumalo Falls. One of the top places to visit in Bend, great place to explore for hikers, mountain bikers and photographers of all ages and skill levels. Enjoy the majesty of the waterfall from the viewing platform at the bottom or continue the hike up the hill to see many more waterfalls and experience the beauty of Deschutes National Forest.

3. Smith Rock State Park
A magnificent outcropping of red and orange rock towering above the Crooked River, Smith Rock is another great place to explore in Central Oregon. Located 30 minutes from north of Bend off Highway 97. The state park offers hiking trails, climbing and bouldering routes for climbers of all abilities and great views of the Cascades from the top. The infamous monkey face rock formation is located around the corner of the Crooked River and can be accessed by the trail along the river. Beginners and experts will find perfect places to climb, all the while taking in the fantastic views. If climbing or biking isn't your thing, there are plenty of hiking trails or places along the river to enjoy a picnic with the family. Mountain bike trails are nearby to get the blood pumping. Spring and autumn are prime times to visit the park with cooler temperatures and less people.

4. Mt. Bachelor
When it comes to skiing or snowboarding, Mt. Bachelor is places to get your snow fix and enjoy winter. Blessed with ample snow, plenty of lifts and more than 25 major runs and trails, cross-country ski lodge and trails and three snowboarding parks, there’s bound to be a route that suits every skier or boarder of every ability. Ski school and private lessons are available to help take you to the next level. In the summer, Mount Bachelor transforms to offers chair lift rides to Pine Marten Lodge offers lunch with views, sunset dinners, Frisbee golf course and mountain biking trails are also available in the summer months. 

5. Lava River Cave
Go exploring the Lava River cave, an adventure you’re sure to remember and one of the top places to visit in Central Oregon. Lava tube holds geological wonders for the entire family. Make sure to bring flashlights and sturdy shoes for sure footing and a warm jacket it can be chilling underneath ground. It's a great adventure on a hot summer day.

6. Les Schwab Amphitheater & The Old Mill District
When it comes to outdoor music concerts and venues, the Les Schwab Amphitheater located close by in the Old Mill District hosts a variety of musical acts, local bands as well as top national performers. Find out who is coming to Bend this summer. The Old Mill District offers shopping, dining and movies all while along the Deschutes River. Paved trails are available for biking and walking. Bike rentals are available in the Old Mill as well.

7. Lava Lands Visitor Center & Newberry National Volcanic Monument
There are a number of volcanic features in and around the Bend are that were created thousands of years ago. Lava Lands Visitors Center lets you learn with forest rangers about the volcanic activity in the area, explore trails and interpretive displays. Newberry National Volcanic Monument seeks to preserve these sights with its 55,500 acres encompassing trails through lava fields with past cones, vents and a caldera. It’s a great place to learn about the destructive and creative forces of nature and geology. Go to the top of Lava Butte, to view extinct cinder cone or walk along the lava lands interpretive trail.

8. High Desert Museum
Bend has long been known as where the forest meets the desert. Learn about the history and wildlife of the dry environment at the High Desert Museum. With art shows, living-history exhibits and animals such desert dwellers as bobcats, porcupines and birds of prey to greet visitors, the museum is a local Bend favorite. It's a combination of zoo, museum and entertainment. Changing exhibits means there is always something new to explore and discover. It's great for all ages.

9. Bend Ale Trail
Bend has been dubbed Beer City USA boasting over 15 craft breweries to visit and try out. Through the Visit Bend Visitors Center located downtown you can pick up your passport to get stamped at each location, or download a Bend Ale Trail passport and learn how to win cool prizes for visiting all of our breweries. Try a variety of brews and ciders to find your favorite one! Are you a light beer or dark beer person? Great food and menus for you to try out as well!

10. Pilot Butte
Another photo opportunity is Pilot Butte, an extinct cinder-cone located within Bend’s city limits. With its panoramic views of the city and the Cascade Mountains, Pilot Butte is the most-visited Oregon State Park east of the Cascades. It’s a short, steep hike to the top but the rewards are great. In the summertime, the road to the top is open and you can drive your vehicle to experience the views from the top.

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