No, we’re not talking about nightclubs and singles bars; we are talking about Mother Nature’s wildlife, the majestic beasts, birds, and aquatic creatures that can make an otherwise ordinary Tuesday turn into a magical experience. If you’ve never experienced that moment when your quiet hike through the woods suddenly became a story you would tell for years to come as a gentle doe and her fawn wandered into your path, your vacation in Bend may be the change you never knew you needed. We’ve compiled this list of the top five places to discover Oregon wildlife just for you.

The High Desert Museum, 59800 US 97

While the denizens of this wildlife sanctuary are no longer living free, a visit to the High Desert Museum should be the first stop on your Bend bucket list. Featuring an otter exhibit, a Birds of Prey Center, and an injured animal “hospital,” this museum offers an opportunity to get closer than you ever dreamed possible.

Tumalo State Park

This is one of the main Bend Oregon points of interest and an excellent place to watch wildlife. When you want the magical experience described above, a hiking tour through Tumalo State Park may be one of your best opportunities. This is truly where the wildlife is, and your chance of enjoying quiet moments with deer, colorful birds, or even an otter or two happens surprisingly often!

The Sunriver Nature Center, 57245 River Road, Sunriver

Located just a little bit down the road from your Bend Vacation Rentals vacation home away from home, the Sunriver Nature Center offers nature walks, live animal exhibits, and a plethora of other wildlife related activities guaranteed to satisfy the animal lover in you. The live raptor program is fascinating to children and adults, while the Saturday Bird Walks may awaken the ornithologist in one of the members of your family!

Birdwatching in the Old Mill District

Surprisingly, the Old Mill District is known for more than darling boutiques selling the latest in Oregon high fashion; it’s also a great spot for birdwatching! The Ticket Mill offers lists of birds you can watch for and rents out binoculars for free if you haven’t brought your own!

Wanderlust Tours, 61535 S Highway 97 #13

Offering canoe, kayak, and snowshoe tours (depending on the time of year you visit, of course!), the chances of running into a random creature or two is highly probable as you explore the wilderness regions of Bend and the surrounding areas. Your naturalist guides are knowledgeable about the Oregon wildlife you may encounter and can give you fascinating tidbits on beavers, otters, hawks, and any animal tracks that you are curious about!

Watch Oregon Wildlife from Your Porch

You may not have to do anything more strenuous than sit out on the back porch of your cozy cabin with a cup of coffee and a quiet mind at dawn, or a glass of wine and the thoughts of your day’s adventures at sunset. Both of these times are the magic hours, and our homes are designed to capture the magic; reserve yours today and get close to Mother Nature without having to venture far from your vacation escape!