Well situated for outdoor adventures, Bend also has thriving urban neighborhoods. Expect a variety of streetscapes in this fast-changing place: you can find xeriscaped, modernist properties not far from pine cabins that evoke the region’s logging history. An ever-hip and evolving array of new restaurants and shops graces Bend’s Westside (anything west of 3rd street or the Bend Parkway); on the dustier Eastside, a more salt-of-the-earth, laid-back vibe appeals to a different set. With plentiful short-term rentals throughout the city, you can settle in and get a feel for this city with ease.
Here’s our guide to the best neighborhoods in Bend.
Access nature easily from Northwest Crossing
A neatly planned neighborhood, Northwest Crossing and its adjacent developments like Broken Top are some of the newest and most desirable neighborhoods in the region. Easily accessible via a short drive are dazzling outdoor attractions like Tumalo Falls; the conifer forests of Phil’s Trail; and Shevlin Park’s crystal-clear waterways and pristine ponderosa pines.
This homey neighborhood also offers a nice range of fine-dining choices, like La Rosa, Washington and The Grove. On Saturdays, explore the seasonal Northwest Crossing Farmers Market, where craft makers and farmers from all over the region meet to share their goods. This is a great space to check out for the day – or to work from home for a season.
Take in the charm (and many amenities) in historic Downtown
Walking, shopping and browsing the sidewalks of Downtown make for an essential Bend experience. Stock up on outdoorsy threads at Tactics (an original Oregon-born retailer), REVOLVR or Patagonia Bend, before skipping over to the Deschutes County Historic Society, then to Drake Park to enjoy a walk around Mirror Pond. There, you can watch all the floaters reach dry land, as the geese make a fuss and the ducks quack it all off.
Be sure to stop into Looney Bean or The Commons Cafe for your morning latte – and take it by the porch, by the peaceful Deschutes River. Stay at the Oxford Hotel for the a stylish boutique experience; budget travelers can book the Bunk + Brew Hostel, which doesn’t disappoint.
Galveston and Newport Aves might have Bend’s premier restaurants
Bracketing the River West corridor, the streets between parallel Newport and Galveston Aves offer plenty of options for date night. Start by raising a glass at Sunriver Brewing or longtime favorite Brother Jon’s Alehouse, Spork. New American cuisine tempts at Chow or beloved brunch spot The Victorian Cafe (or just The Vic). After hours, refuel at ever-popular cantina Taco Salsa or at The Lot, Bend’s first food cart pod.
By day, take a river walk by traversing Harmon St, across the river from Drake Park and Mirror Pond. Enjoy the steamboat play structure in the park and the footbridge and boat launch at Nashville Ave. The view of the stars from here is especially romantic after dinner.
Enjoy microbreweries and food trucks in up-and-coming Box Factory
Anyone wanting to be equidistant from Downtown, the Old Mill District and the river will love this neighborhood. Anchored by an impossible-to-miss bright-red industrial building that used to be an actual box factory, this emerging district has some of Bend’s most exciting new shops and restaurants. Famous climbing brand Black Diamond just opened a storefront, while new microbrewery Immersion Brewing and cider company Avid have recently set up shop. Food marketplaces Podski and Crosscut Warming Hut #5 offer delicious bites to go with your libations. One of Bend’s largest and most recently built hotels, SpringHill Suites is across the street from all the action – and just a short walk to the water sports at Bend Whitewater Park.
The Orchard District (or Midtown) has a pioneer vibe plus mid-century modern architecture
An appealing mix of mid-century-modern bungalows, post-industrial buildings and quaint pioneer charm, this Eastside was once a working ranch. The trophy greenway of the Orchard District, Hollinshead Park boasts a historic barn that can be rented for functions like weddings and more.
If you’re hungry, head to the Midtown Yacht Club – where you won’t find any boats but will find delicious bites; Rockin’ Dave’s Bistro or Backporch Coffee offer notable breakfast and lunch service. Hot soaks, sauna sessions and pool play await at Juniper Swim and Fitness Center, followed by a facial at Melted Brow Bar & Skin Care.
Stay in Pilot Butte for a daily volcano hike
Locals and visitors love Pilot Butte Neighborhood Park for its super-easy access to the local (dormant) volcano. With red cinder lining its summit, Pilot Butte is one of hundreds of cinder-cone volcanoes found in Central Oregon, with trails to the summit found around the perimeter. At its base, a large grassy knoll and inviting park with swings and play structures let non-hikers enjoy the site, too. There’s even an underpass for bikes connecting Pilot Butte to the premier Eastside promenade, the Larkspur Trail.
After your hike, head over to Worthy Brewing for a delicious bite, a cold one and a tour of the night sky from the “Hopservatory.” You may even hear live music from a band performing at the brewery’s outdoor stage. For delicious grab-and-go low key options, River’s Place offers a huge variety of bites and beverages via a rotating roster of food trucks and taps.
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