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Sitting on the eastern edge of the Cascade Range, Bend is Central Oregon's largest city. It is here where the ponderosa pine forests evolve into high desert dressed in sagebrush and junipers. Settled in the early 1900s, Bend was originally a crossing point on the Deschutes River. Beginning its life as a logging town, it is now seen as a tourist hotspot for outdoor activities. With a budding arts and cultural scene, it is a confusion of outdoorsy types, retirees and free thinkers who wish to live off the grid. The main income of this remote area is tourism, with huge resorts such as Sunriver and Mt Bachelor being the major employers in the town.
Sitting in the high desert at the feet of many mountains, this is where it is de rigueur to don your snowshoes in the winter months and your hiking boots during the summer. You can pursue any outdoor activity that your brain can conjure up from rock climbing, white water rafting, paragliding, fishing, hiking and camping - the list is never ending. There are plenty of handcrafted beer brewers dotted around to keep the most avid beer lover enthralled and for the wine lover, the Willamette Valley is close by to sample some of the local wines. If you don't feel like going out of town for a delectable drop of vino, then go to one of the tasting rooms around town to satisfy your palate. One of only 3 cities in the United States to have an extinct volcano within its city limits, you can visit the funky theater bar, the Volcanic Theater Pub, to say you have sat on a volcano.
Highlights of the year include Oktoberfest and Central Oregon Beerfest for those wishing to see the town in full swing mode. A note of warning, apparently the town is home to so many geese, that you will end up having nightmares about them chasing you down the street.
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