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Posted on Dec 15, 2013 | 11 comments

A Day in Bend, Oregon

A Day in Bend, Oregon

Winter is a great time of year to spend a day in Bend, Oregon. Magnificent, snow-capped peaks adorn this high-desert’s skyline to this welcome mountain getaway. Come prepared for cold and snow as you’ll want to head out for both outdoor recreation and the city’s center for a day in Bend, Oregon.

A Day in Bend Oregon

Among the trees near Bend.

A former mill town, now the largest city in Central Oregon, Bend has been given a full makeover into an adventure playground. The city sits at 3,623 feet, providing an average of 300 days of sunshine a year. Even in winter, you better bring your sunglasses if you don’t want to be blinded by the sun reflecting off the snow.

Many come to Bend to spend the morning skiing or snowboarding through fresh powder and head into town for the afternoon. Not us. We came to spend a day in Bend to get away from the crowds, kick-back, and unwind.

A Day in Bend Oregon

During the holidays, Eagle Crest turns their golf course into a free Christmas light show.

Where to Stay

We stayed just outside of town at Eagle Crest. It was a quiet place that offered plenty of toys to play in the snow, recreational trails, and a Christmas light show to drive through at night. Their hot tubs were perfect for relaxing in at night while snow quietly fell around us. Even during the winter, each unit came equipped with a BBQ that we were sure to put to good use. There’s nothing like BBQing your dinner in the snow.

Visit a Retro Candy Shop

Not being big shoppers, we stayed away from most of Bend’s downtown, except for a visit to Powell’s Sweet Shop. The shop is filled with every kind of vintage and candy of today that you can think of. There’s even a gelato counter. We enjoyed filling up bags with sweets and the cotton candy machine that made fresh, still warm, cotton candy.

Where to Eat

You won’t find much ethnic food in Bend, but surprisingly you will find great New York City style pizza. Drew loves pizza, especially New York City style. Cibelli’s had just that and Drew couldn’t be happier. He even loved the leftovers we had from the very large pizza the next morning.

A Day in Bend Oregon

We always enjoy a walk in the snow.

Spend Some Time Outdoors

With 71 parks and 48 miles of recreational trails in Bend, we enjoyed strolls during the day with brisk temps and bright sunshine interrupted by bursts of snow flurries. It gave us the opportunity to take in views of all of the mountains, Deschutes River, and local wildlife. To help keep us warm, we brought along a thermos of hot chocolate we made before setting off on our adventure.

Have you ever spent a day in Bend, Oregon?

All photography by Kimmy Hayes © 2013.

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About Kimmy Hayes

Kimmy Hayes is the founder and editor-in-chief of AfterGlobe; a site on becoming debt free and traveling the world as a married couple. In 2012, she planned and coordinated her own do-it-yourself destination wedding on the beautiful island of Maui while serving as a moderator for the on-line community, The Knot. She is passionate about traveling to experience new cultures, snorkeling the waters of the world and reading with her toes in the sand.


  1. I would love to spend more time in Bend. I passed through briefly and went to a few breweries. I would love to go and explore the outdoors options around Bend within the next year or so. Looks gorgeous with a blanket of snow :)
    Angela recently posted…From Cubicle to Travel – Using Vacation Days WiselyMy Profile

    • We are hoping to get back over there, too. There’s a few things we haven’t seen and done that we want to before we leave Oregon.
      Kimmy Hayes recently posted…Niihau: the Forbidden IslandMy Profile

  2. I lived in Bend for three years, and my parents just moved to Sisters. I love Central Oregon so much, it was hard for me to leave when I first went to Thailand. I’d love to end up back there one day! However, last time I was there I tried a new Thai restaurant downtown called The Wild Rose. It serves up northern Thai cuisine in a funky, super cute vibe and I thought it was quite authentic! Give it a try next time you’re in town!
    Jessica J. Hill recently posted…Things to do in BarbadosMy Profile

  3. You know, I was doing a quiz on Sporcle the other day about American cities, and Bend was one of the answers I had to look up on Google Maps (sssh). So, kinda cool to see a post about it! The pizza and sweet shop would be high on my to-eat list.
    Tom @ Waegook Tom recently posted…New Mexican Cuisine: Red, Green or Christmas?My Profile

    • The pizza was really good. Drew still talks about. Of course, he still hasn’t had real New York city pizza, yet. I think he will have a new love after that.

      The sweets shop is actually owned by a guy I went to high school with and we use to work at a pizza parlor together. small world.
      Kimmy Hayes recently posted…Kauai’s Spouting Horn BlowholeMy Profile

  4. I feel like I just keep missing out on Oregon – plans I’ve made to go there are always pushed aside at the last minute. I’ve had several trips to California, I’ve gone through Washington by train, I’ve roamed up and down the Canadian west coast. . . but never Oregon. I’m not sure why, because when I see pictures like yours, I’m sure I would love it there.
    Jess recently posted…North Pole, Alaska – The Most Christmassy Town on Earth.My Profile

  5. I love the first photo!!

  6. I lived in Bend, Oregon for 13 years. Loved it at first…13 long winters later, it was time to go back to sunny San Diego. I embraced the winters, skied, snowmobiled, raised llamas, horses and a family. When I became single, it was not so fun. Guys in plaid shirts, more interested in mountain biking than anything else….outdoorsy guys who weren’t educated…not for me. It was beautiful for sure, but as a single person, not enough culture to keep my interest, plus the growing season was less than 90 days….too damn cold!

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