The community of Bend is one of the more popular getaway destinations in Oregon. The city has a lot to offer in terms of great places to eat, fun activities, informative historical attractions, and beautiful outdoor areas. One of the beauties of Bend though is that it is centrally located to a number of other attractions. It is very easy, and sometimes a nice change of pace, to get in your car and head out from Bend on a daytrip. If that sounds good to you, here are five awesome attractions within an easy drive of Bend.
The community of Sunriver is a very popular destination for weekenders looking to get out of town, those going on vacation for awhile, and many people who live there during the warmer months. It sits about 15 miles south of Bend and is home to the Sunriver Resort and a small village where most of the commercial development is located. Sunriver caters to vacationers of all sorts and has been a particular favorite of a few famous names. This is a true getaway and offers a great vacation experience.
Crater Lake is the name given to the lake that sits atop what remains of the volcano Mount Mazama. The mountain erupted, blowing off its top, and collapsing within. Over time, the crater filled with water and is now a popular scenic place to visit. You can reach Crater Lake from Bend as part of a drive that usually takes less than two hours. When you go there, visit the historic lodge and maybe get a bite to eat. Once you’ve viewed this amazing sight from the scenic overlook, you can do my favorite part of a visit there. Take the time to drive the Crater Lake Highway and Rim Drive that goes all the way around the lake. When you go there, get ready for stunning scenic views and be sure to bring your camera.
Newberry National Volcanic Monument
Newberry National Volcanic Monument can be found just a short drive south from Bend and located with some of the easternmost expanses of the Deschutes National Forest. It features over 55,000 acres of land that is littered with lakes, lava flows, and small mountain peaks. A drive up to the top of Paulina Peak treats you to views of the lava fields, the thick forest beyond, several lakes, and cinder cones. Lava Butte is a 500 foot tall cinder cone that has a well equipped visitor center located right next to it. Our favorite part though is Lava River Cave where you can explore Oregon’s longest known lava tube which stretches for more than a mile underground. If you choose to do that, bring your lanterns or flashlights and no matter what time of year it is, wear something warm. Newberry National Volcanic Monument is a truly special place to visit.
Tumalo Falls is a 90 foot tall waterfall located in the Deschutes National Forest just a short trip west from Bend. Everyone likes going to see waterfalls and Tumalo Falls does not disappoint. The drive through the forest to get to the falls is enjoyable itself and once you reach the parking lot for the trailhead you know it can only get better. The rewards come fast here as the first viewpoint to see the falls from is just 50 feet from the parking lot. Don’t stop there though. A somewhat easy trail continues on from there and zigzags all the way up to the top of the falls where you can see it from an entirely different point of view. Kids and adults both appreciate this short hike and gorgeous waterfall. It’s just one more reason that makes Bend a great getaway destination.
The Cove Palisades State Park
Located north from Bend and just of Highway 395, The Cove Palisades State Park is a fun place to go to participate in all kinds of outdoor recreation. When you get there you can go swimming, hiking, fishing, boating, camping, and more. You can even spend a night or two on a houseboat while you are there if you would like. The water of Lake Billy Chinook is very inviting and the scenery of Oregon’s high desert region is unforgettable. A quick trip up to The Cove Palisades State Park is a nice excuse to get out of town during a visit to Bend.