Off the Beaten Path Bend Activities That Are Completely Free

There’s nothing worse than returning from a dream vacation and discovering it’s going to take a year or longer to pay off the credit card debt you incurred. Vacations can be expensive, but if you do them right, there’s no need to quake over the arrival of your bill when you return home; making smart choices is easy when you start by renting one of our Bend Vacation Rentals vacation escapes. Our homes are beautiful, comfortable, and reasonably priced. And because you have our helpful staff at your side, we are providing this list of free Bend activities to help you save even more!

Visit the Arnold Ice Caves

Chances are you have never had the opportunity to visit an ice cave before and may not even know what they are; all of that is about to change! The simple answer as to what an ice cave is can be found in their name; the Arnold Ice Caves are caves filled with ice! The description doesn’t describe the sheer beauty you will find in these underground edifices found on the side of the Newberry Volcano, though, so visiting them is the only way to truly understand the wonders contained therein. The High Desert Museum in Bend has maps on how to get to the caves. This is an activity that should probably only be attempted by adults, so if you have young children, save the caves for next time! The caves are closed from November through mid-April.

Take a Day Trip to Painted Hills

You have to drive some ways for this next adventure, so, due to gas costs, it technically isn’t free, but it’s worth every penny. Considered one of the Seven Wonders of Oregon, the layers of colored hills will take your breath away! Hiking through the Painted Hills will give you the feeling you are on a different planet. To get here, follow US-26 E for 86.4 miles from Bend. You won’t need a sign to tell you that you arrived!

Walk in the Footsteps of Our Ancestors

The Bend area was a popular stop on the Oregon Trail, and Pilot Butte was once a landmark that allowed the travelers to gauge how far they had journeyed! Located in the Cascade Volcanic Arc, the cinder cone of a long dormant volcano marks the spot that offers the best sunset views in Bend and gives today’s visitors the opportunity to experience history at its finest.

Your Day’s Travels and Bend Activities Can Be Tiring

And once you are back in your Bend Vacation Rentals sweet escape, you’ll appreciate the premium beds that are cloud soft and topped with high thread count linens! Reserve yours today!

man on a mountain bike in the woods

Top 5 Spring Outdoor Activities in Bend

Located right in central Oregon, the town of Bend has become a favorite destination for those looking to explore everything the great outdoors have to offer. From beautiful mountain ranges filled with trails to sparkling rivers, there is truly something for everyone in Bend. If you’re looking to vacation in Oregon this spring, here are the top five outdoor activities in Bend you won’t want to miss.

Experience the Thrill of Mountain Biking

The first outdoor activity that we would recommend that can be fun for the entire family is some good old-fashioned mountain biking! Whether you’re a beginner just looking to get out and explore the majestic forests that surround Bend or are a grizzled veteran of the trail, there’s truly something for everyone. According to MTB Project, there are a total of 67 different bike trails in Bend of varying length and difficulty, so whether you’re looking for just a scenic view or the workout of a lifetime, Bend has you covered.

ATV & Motocross

Does hitting the trail sound fun, but you want something with a little more excitement? Rent an ATV or go motocross track riding! There are a number of places throughout Bend that offer motocross, ATV, and biking, and one place in particular we would recommend is the Central Oregon Adventure Park.

Hit the River for Some Thrills…

Whether you’re a traditional thrill seeker or just looking to get started, there are few better activities in the great outdoors than river rafting, and luckily for you, Bend is perfect for this! There are few things better to do on a warm spring day in Bend than take a wild ride down the Deschutes River, and there are a number of great local businesses that you can book a trip with, such as Sun Country Tours and Big Eddy Thriller.

Or Just Relax and Take It Easy

If getting out on the water sounds good to you, but you’re not ready to tackle something as fast as river rafting, why not check-out stand up paddle boarding? Fun and easy to learn, stand up paddle boarding has become one of the most popular outdoor activities in Bend. Experience the beautiful Deschutes River at your own speed, soak up the sun, and have a great time!

Wanderlust Tours

All of these outdoor activities might sound absolutely incredible, but we know what you’re thinking-you’re a little overwhelmed. After all, there’s a lot of amazing options! Our last recommendation is to check out a company that specializes in all things outdoors and will help you and your family in finding the perfect activities: Wanderlust Tours. From cave tours to kayaking, exploring the Cascades to breweries, Wanderlust Tours are experts in everything that the great outdoors of Bend has to offer! They will point you and your family in the right direction and guide you to the perfect spring vacation this year!

So come and see why Bend has become the ultimate playground for those looking to get outside and experience the great outdoors! These are just a few of the incredible options that open up to you once you decide to stay in Bend in one of our amazing vacation rentals!

heart shapes made out of wood

Oregon Valentine’s Day | Valentine’s Day in Bend

When you’re planning this year’s Oregon Valentine’s Day celebration, there’s a lot of pressure—we get it! You need to make this one perfect and the most memorable yet. Well, we’ve got an idea for you: Why not spend this year’s Valentine’s Day in a romantic winter wonderland in the mountains? This year, spend your Valentine’s Day in the Bend area!

Enjoy a Romantic Getaway in the Mountains

One of the best reasons to spend your Valentine’s Day in Bend is because of how romantic the area can truly be during this time of year. In February, the temperatures are just starting to heat up back up (average temperature of 44 degrees on average), but this doesn’t mean the snow has gone anywhere! One of the best things that you can do for your significant other on Valentine’s Day is provide them with an experience that is unforgettable, and so why not give them the perfect Valentine’s Day in a winter wonderland?

Speaking of Perfect Winter Wonderlands…

If there’s one place in particular we would recommend in this area for the ultimate Valentine’s Day getaway, it would be the beautiful Mount Bachelor, located just minutes outside of Bend. Featuring a mix of absolutely picturesque landscape, some incredible fine dining, and some of the best skiing you’ll find in all of Oregon, Mount Bachelor is truly the perfect place to create special memories on your next Valentine’s Day. Spend a day hitting the slopes, come back and experience some of the incredible local breweries and restaurants you’ll find in town, and end the night with beautiful views of the fresh powder on Mount Bachelor and the Two Sisters—sounds perfect to us!

Check Out the Local Music Festival Next Oregon Valentine’s Day!

If you’re looking for something a little different and unique to do for this upcoming Valentine’s Day, why not spend it at a music festival? This year in Bend we will be having the Sunriver Music Festival Valentine’s Day Dinner & Concert at the Sunriver Resort Historic Great Hall. With a romantic setting already set in this historic great hall, this event will feature saxophonist Patrick Lamb, a hosted happy hour, a gourmet multi-course meal from our world class resort chefs, dancing, and more! This is one event that will truly be memorable and will be the measuring stick for all future Valentine’s Days to come!

These are just a few of the awesome experiences waiting for you when you decide to spend your Valentine’s Day here in one of our Bend vacation rentals! So come swing by and see what Bend has in store for you.

2-story mountain house

Home Spotlight: Five Peaks

Hidden away in central Oregon lies the small bustling town of Bend, a city known for its pristine natural beauty, crystal clear lakes, and an innate sense of adventure that comes with the wealth of outdoor activities that are available year-round. There are many different options to choose from when deciding where to stay in the Bend area, but nobody will be able to provide you with the comfort and service that Bend Vacation Rentals can. With a plethora of different home styles and sizes to choose from, combined with our guarantee of world class customer service, when you choose Bend Vacation Rentals you’ll be sure to be treated like family. While Bend Vacation Rentals has a number of stunning homes available for rental year-round, there’s one home in particular we want to highlight today: our Five Peaks property.

One of Our Most Stunning and Luxurious Properties

From the moment you first walk up to our Five Peaks property, you’ll be in awe at the majesty and beauty of our custom-made home. Featuring vaulted ceilings, big beautiful windows that allow incredible views and fill the home with warm sunlight, and a wood-burning fireplace, Five Peaks truly is a wonder to behold. Featuring five bedrooms, this property is one of the largest vacation homes that we have to offer; it is suitable for up to 12 residents at once. We haven’t forgotten your furry family members either—it can also hold up to 2 pets! The property also features a gorgeous kitchen with stainless appliances, a breakfast nook, and a private patio.

Right in the Heart of it All

For those looking to come to Bend to get outside and explore everything that this incredible area has to offer, Five Peaks is certainty a choice that should be at the top of your list. The property is located on the outside perimeter of its neighborhood, bordering the Deschutes Natural Forest. This means easy access to some of the most incredible hiking and biking trails that the region has to offer, and even means that most of the rooms in the home provide breathtaking views of the Cascades!

Five Peaks is just one of the incredible rental properties that we have to offer here at Bend Vacation Rentals, and we invite you to check us out and see all of the options we have in store for you! For more information on our rentals or to check availability and book today, give our reservation specialists a call!

Haunted Attractions in Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon is known for its beautiful weather and amazing outdoor locations, but one thing that seems to get overlooked are the amazing holiday attractions. One of the most fun holidays around Bend is Halloween. Since the area is chock full of old historical buildings, there are plenty of ghost stories to go around. Take a look at just some of the amazing scary attractions in Bend.

Lara House Lodge

The Lara House Lodge is a historic lodge that lies in Bend, Oregon. This historic residence is now a quaint bed and breakfast—and it is believed to be haunted! Guests staying here have reported a ghostly visitor to their rooms at night who has been known to move objects around and make unusual whispering noises. This little lodge has become a local legend, attracting thousands every year to stay within its walls, hoping to get a glimpse of something paranormal.

Platypus Pub

This converted church now houses a tavern, but has played host to a variety of restaurants since the 1970’s. The building is supposedly haunted, with staff and diners alike reporting a shadowy apparition and an unseen presence. Some say that the apparition is a prior cook, while some say it’s the owner from years past. Whatever the case may be, Platypus Pub is one of the local favorite haunted locations that is a must see if you are looking for an encounter with the paranormal.

O’Kane Building

On the top floor of the O’Kane Building, people have reported seeing weird lights from outside the building, and hearing voices and seeing smoke when there is no one around. In the restaurant, the ghost of a waitress can be heard shouting orders, while the apparition of an old man haunts the basement. This interesting building is the home to many different ghost stories, all more terrifying than the last.

Des Chute Historical Museum

This historic museum was formerly a schoolhouse and is believed to be haunted by the apparition of a man who passed away back in 1914. Known to staff as ‘George,’ he is responsible for moving objects around the building or making them disappear completely. Some also claim to have seen a misty white apparition drifting through the hallway after hours. There are many that have reported mystical events at the museum, but nothing concrete. Try out your stomach for the paranormal at this spooky location.

The Top Five Brunch Spots in Bend, Oregon

There’s something about the word brunch that just makes us smile. Maybe it’s the thought of sleeping in a little later than we normally do, or the idea that champagne can be a morning thing just by adding orange juice. Maybe it’s the realization that your meal choices have leaped from the standard eggs and sausage to the much more fulfilling breakfast sandwich that often includes a juicy burger. Or maybe, just maybe, we find satisfaction in the blending of the words breakfast and lunch; whatever the reasons, brunch in Bend will forever change the way you think about this oh-so-important meal!

Jackson’s Corner, 845 NW Delaware Avenue

If the name conjures up images of cozy diners serving hearty brunches created from farm-fresh ingredients, you are not going to be disappointed, because that’s exactly what Jackson’s Corner is all about! All their food is organic, local, and unbelievably delicious; we recommend the country breakfast!

McKay Cottage Restaurant, 62910 O. B. Riley Road #340

We love historic cottages and we adore great brunches, and when you combine the two, you get McKay’s and a very happy stomach! Located inside a bungalow built in 1916, you’re going to need reservations if you want to taste their crab and sweet potato hash; this place is extremely popular and totally worth the extra wait!

Brunch in Bend at The Victorian Café, 1404 NW Galveston Avenue

What happens if you stand inside the Victorian Café and repeat Bloody Mary three times? You will get three of the best morning beverages you have ever tasted, making this charming eatery one of our all-time faves! Garnished with skewers of prawns, you may not really need to order anything else, but we recommend that you wear your comfy pants and order the carnivore omelet as well!

The Breakfast Club, 378 NE Greenwood Avenue

Simply delicious are the two words that come to mind when we think of the food served at The Breakfast Club. The servings are hearty, the food is fresh, and their biscuits and gravy could have come from the kitchen of your southern grandma!

Your Bend Vacation Rentals Cozy Cottage

Your vacation rental is not just a place to rest your head at night; it’s a home that deserves to be lived in fully! Pick up some brunch items at the Bend Farmers Market, a bottle of champagne at the Newport Avenue Market, and some orange juice at the Market of Choice, and your best brunch may just be the one you’ve created yourself! Reserve your Bend Vacation Rentals cozy cottage today; your Oregon vacation promises to be one for the record books!

Top Spots to Satisfy Your Sweet Tooth Near Bend, Oregon

Bend, Oregon is the perfect vacation location for those looking for natural beauty and rich nature preserves. The natural beauty of Bend is full of beautiful nature trails and wildlife preserves that you can explore while on vacation. While you are off visiting the forest trails and natural landmarks, you are sure to build up an appetite. If you are like us and love a great dessert, Bend is the right place for you. Here is a list of the best dessert and sweets locations in Bend, Oregon.

Powell’s Sweet Shoppe

Visitors to Powell’s will be transported back to their childhood—you will literally feel like a kid in a candy store! Pick from any one of their amazing options to satisfy your intense candy cravings. Powell’s has pretty much all candy options. Take a look at their candy by decade chart to see if they have the best candies from your childhood, or maybe even something your grandparents remember eating. Have you tried an Idaho Spud or a Twin Bing? You can travel back in time with this candy heaven.

Ben and Jerry’s

Everybody has a soft spot when it comes to Ben and Jerry’s. Between their unique yet funny flavors, it is a fan favorite. Even though you can grab a pint to bring home at the store, nothing beats poking your nose into the freshly made ice cream at the parlor. Come in today!

Bonta Gelato

Serving up hand-crafted artisan gelato and sorbets that trump all other desserts, Bontà Gelato sources its ingredients from local farms and companies. The ice creamers at Bonta Gelato make their own gelato base using fresh milk and cream from local farms. They then take this amazing base and craft their unique flavors like Dulce de Leche, Vanilla Bourbon Pecan, and Peanut Butter with Theo Fudge. If you are looking for a more health conscious or vegan option, try one of their flavors made with organic coconut milk. Some of the top vegan options are Chocolate Coconut, Toasted Coconut, and Espresso Coco Chip.

Top Restaurants in Bend

Bend, Oregon is paradise for the outdoorsman. Adjacent to the Cascade Mountains, Bend offers 300 days of sunshine each year, offering plenty of opportunities for outdoor adventure! Enjoy skiing along the mountainsides, kayaking in the river, or hiking among one of the many trails. Whether you visit in winter or summer, there is seemingly endless things to do in Bend. When you aren’t enjoying the natural landscape, settle in for a delicious meal at one of our top favorite restaurants in Bend, Oregon!

McKay Cottage

McKay Cottage is a local favorite amongst the residents of Bend for its menu full of comfort food classics. It has been voted the best breakfast in Bend every year since 2010! Open daily for breakfast and lunch, McKay Cottage offers eggs benedict and stuffed French toast alongside homemade scones, pecan sticky buns and more! During the weekend, expect a wait but you may be treated to Bend hospitality in the form of a sample from the bakery case!


From its humble beginnings as a restaurant on wheels in a 20-foot Airstream, Spork finally opened a brick and mortar location in 2013. Luckily, however, Spork did not lose any of its casual charm. A local favorite for lunch or a quick take out meal, chef and owner Jeff Hunt offers food inspired by his travels to South America and Southeast Asia. Enjoy curry, short ribs, and more served alongside refreshing craft cocktails.

Pine Tavern

First opened in 1936, Pine Tavern is one of the oldest restaurants in Bend and is practically a local institution! Comfort food and a rustic atmosphere makes you feel at home in the mountains. The signature centerpiece of the Pine Tavern, and its namesake, is the Ponderosa Pine growing the center of the dining room. Enjoy classic American cuisine here for both lunch and dinner.

Jackson’s Corner

Make sure to come to Jackson’s Corner with an appetite and be prepared to leave nice and full! Their farm to table menu features pizzas, pastas, and delicious craft brews! All of the dough is house-made and the menu changes each season to reflect the seasonal ingredients sourced from local farms. Eat here for breakfast, lunch, dinner, and a special weekend brunch.

Primal Cuts Meat Market

Perhaps one of the most unique eateries in Bend, Primal Cuts offers an all in one experience of a butcher, deli, meat market, and restaurant. All of their meats are from locally cultivated, sustainably raised livestock. The superstar of this restaurant is their “porkstrami” sandwich, featuring pulled pork and 1000 island dressing on a homemade hoagie. They also have amazing happy hour specials, featuring a $5 charcuterie board and $4 pints!