The more you know about wildlife and their habitats, the more you tend to put an effort into their preservation and protection, and the mission of the High Desert Museum in Bend is to help us explore all that is natural, including the landscape, wildlife, and even the history of Bend to help us connect and discover our responsibility to the future. Voted one of the best things to do in Bend by visitors like you, a trip to this part of our nation would be lacking without a visit to the High Desert Museum. Be sure to set aside a few hours or more for exploration of this unique and fascinating establishment; there’s so much to see, learn, and do it may even take a few visits to experience it all!
The exhibits at the High Desert Museum in Bend are always evolving and ever changing; just as nothing in life stays the same, so goes our exhibits. Art lovers will enjoy the wildlife art we exhibit, but the art pales in comparison to the real thing! Meet giant tortoises, porcupines, owls, and otters in interactive exhibits that allow you to touch and pet some of the live animals that make their home here. Take an evening walk on the grounds of the museum and search for bats; they aren’t as creepy as their reputations have made them out to be!
2019 brings a couple of fascinating exhibits to the museum. Fueling the Future is an exhibit that runs from September 14th to March 8th. The exhibit teaches visitors about the technological advances that have been made in the last two centuries and how they effect the lives of Oregonians. The exhibit includes demonstrations of future technology. You will also have the opportunity to make a wind turbine. You can ride a stationary bike that powers different objects.
The Moon Country; Oregon and the Space Race exhibit, is currently at the museum. It runs until November 10. Central Oregon played an integral part in the space race of the 1950s. The volcanic terrain just outside of Bend is where the astronauts practiced their moonwalk.
You will learn all about the moonwalk at this exhibit and you will learn a bit about the culture of Central Oregon in the 1960s and the space programs struggle to maintain funding in that turbulent time.
Visit a genuine wickiup, an Oregon Trail Wagon, and learn about the history of the Native Americans that once lived and flourished in this area. The Spirit of the West exhibit allows you to get an up close and personal look into the lives of fur trappers, explorers, and miners who lived in Bend during pioneer times. The By Hand Through Memory Exhibit features the history of the Plateau Indian Nations as they learn to adapt to life on the reservations after being robbed of their lands.
Permanent outdoor exhibits of the High Desert Museum in Bend include the Miller Family Ranch, and interactive live exhibit that involves a recreation of life in 1904. This is where your children can learn to wash clothes with a wash board, learn how to plant a garden, or just play some of the games that were popular with kids in this era. Touring the Lazinka Sawmill is another permanent outdoor exhibit. Built in 1904, this sawmill is still in use today, and you have the opportunity to see how much operations have changed, and yet, stayed the same after over a century in use!
Directions and Hours
Located at 59800 US-97, Bend, OR 97702, the museum is easy to reach from Bend. Simply take US 97 S for 6.3 miles until you see the signs for the museum. From April 1 to October 31, the museum is open from 9:00 am to 5:00 pm each day. The admission is $17 for adults and $14 for students and seniors. Children under 12 are admitted for just $10 and kids under 3 are free. From November 1 to March 31, they are open daily from 9:00 am to 4:00 pm. General admission is $14, and it is $12 for students and seniors. Children will be admitted for just $9.
The High Desert Museum in Bend itself has a small café where you can buy sandwiches and snacks. If you want something a bit more substantial, you can go to anyone of several nearby restaurants.
Dang’s Vietnamese Restaurant
This eatery is located at 1180 SE 3rd Street, Bend, OR. The digs may not be impressive, but the food is excellent. Be sure to try the vegetarian salad rolls which are served with a spicy tangy peanut sauce and one of the kitchen’s innovative rice dishes. The rich and roasty iced coffee is the perfect accompaniment to the spicy food.
Located at 920 NW Bond, Bend, OR 97701. This popular restaurant serves some tasty Mexican and Peruvian fare. Try the Causa Limena, which is a spicy tuna and potato cake. The sweet and tangy cheese enchiladas are also worth a taste.
Seeing all the work that went into everyday living in 1904 sure makes you appreciate the amenities and luxuries that are an integral part of your Bend Vacation Rentals modern vacation getaway! Reserve yours today and revel in the convenience of indoor plumbing and air conditioning in the summer!
Contact us to learn more about the best things to do in Bend, Oregon.