Fall is one of the best times to be in Bend. It’s less crowded than summer or winter months and the weather has cooled down, both of which make it the perfect time to be enjoying your favorite outdoor activities in your favorite spots. It’s also the start of holiday season, so there will be plenty of festivals and events to attend. And, the entire area is bursting with the Bend fall colors, bright oranges, yellows, golds, and reds of fall foliage.
Enjoy the Fall Foliage
Get outside and take a hike or mountain bike ride. Or go fishing – fish are more active as the water cools down. A few hikes with especially good fall foliage are the Metolius River (try the West Metolius Trail or the Metolius River Trail) and the hike to Tumalo Falls, where you can enjoy waterfalls and colorful fall foliage all in one.
Pack a picnic lunch and head to one of the many Bend parks. Shevlin Park is perfect for jogging, hiking, nature watching, and fishing. At Mirror Pond/Drake Park, right downtown, you can enjoy a pumpkin spice latte while you enjoy the view of the Three Sisters. Hike to the top of Pilot Butte for an amazing view of downtown Bend and the Cascades. This extinct volcano is great for migratory birdwatching too.
Hike all or part of the 12-mile multi-use Deschutes River Trail as it runs alongside the river, over footbridges, through downtown Bend, wide canyons and basalt rock formations, and through groves of beautiful aspen trees, red osier dogwood, and choke cherry. Watch for wildlife and migratory birds along the way too.
Or stay in your car and take a scenic drive. One popular drive is the Santiam Pass/North Santiam River Loop. You’ll see lava fields full of colorful maples.
Enjoy Local Fall Flavors
It’s time for pumpkin spice everything! At the end of the day, or maybe as a break from all that shopping, head to a local brewery, distillery, coffee shop or restaurant for their autumnal offerings.
Local distilleries like Oregon Spirit will be serving up their own seasonal brews for your tasting. Their interesting Oregon Spirit Autumn Harvest is distilled from pumpkins, then aged. And of course, the local craft breweries will be offering their seasonal brews too. Head to the Deschutes Brewery for a taste of their popular Jubelale Festive Winter Ale or their popular Black Butte Porter. The Bibbidi Bobbido Boo from Riverbend Brewery and the Twisted Gourd Pumpkin from the Silver Moon are just two more seasonal brews to sample. Any stop along the Bend Ale Trail will yield seasonal goodies!
Visit a local pumpkin patch and pick your own pumpkin. Besides pumpkins, DD Ranch in nearby Terrebonne offers pony rides, a petting zoo, hayrides and more. And Smith Rock Ranch’s Halloween activities include a pumpkin patch, pony rides, live music, and a pumpkin cannon.
And local farmer’s markets will be showcasing local area fall produce like delicious apples, those ubiquitous pumpkins, tart cranberries, squash, and more for a few more weeks. Once you’ve made your own fresh cranberry sauce, you’ll never go back to the can.
Enjoy a Fall Festival or Holiday, Bend Style
On the last weekend of September each year, the Bend Fall Festival fills downtown with arts and crafts, food, beverages, live music and more. Stock up on Bend souvenirs and start your gift buying early and support local artists while you do.
During Oktoberfest, downtown Bend turns into a family-friendly Bavarian festival. The streets will be overflowing with locally crafted beer, vendors and booths, kids’ activities, Bavarian wines and food, traditional Bavarian music and dancing, and fun events like the Yodeling contest and the Bendhamershlagen (a race to see who can hammer a nail the fastest). And a wiener dog race too!
For Halloween, head downtown to give your kids a safe and fun trick-or-treat experience. Most downtown Bend businesses will be handing out treats, and many will be offering free trick-or-treat bags and Halloween specials.
And your family can still enjoy their traditional Thanksgiving meal while in Bend. Each of our lovely Bend vacation rentals feature fully equipped kitchens, making it easy to prepare and serve Thanksgiving dinner to your family. Of course, you’re on vacation, so why not take advantage of a local Bend restaurant? Dine in, or order a family meal ahead, then enjoy turkey and all the fixings out on your deck, at your leisure, with the Three Sisters and the Cascades framing the bright blue sky.
Experience the Fall Attractions in Bend
Bend Oregon in the fall is colorful foliage, perfect weather, and cool nights that are meant to be spent in front of a roaring fire or snuggling out on the deck watching for shooting stars. Enjoy all of this and more during your fall vacation here in Bend. Give us a call today for help in finding the perfect Bend vacation rental for your stay!