Summertime in Bend brings with it not only beautiful weather but also an abundance of activities to enjoy.
With the forests, mountains, and rivers, there is no shortage of outdoor adventures to be had. Or if you prefer something a bit more “civilized,” take a trip to the downtown area or the historic Old Mill district and catch up on your shopping, grab a beer, or listen to some great music.
Searching for something to do on vacation or simply looking to mix things up a little? Check out our list of the best things to do in Bend, Oregon, in summer.
The Best Bend, Oregon Summer Activities
Bend, Oregon has an abundance of activities to enjoy in the summer. Explore the great outdoors or simply enjoy a night (or day) in the town. There is a little something to be had for everyone.
Shop at Bend Farmer’s Market
Farmers markets are a great way to check out local artisans and food purveyors. So, why not pay a visit to Bend’s farmers market downtown?
They are open every Wednesday from 2:00 pm to 6:00 pm between May 1 and October 9. They are known for their great local vendors and are quickly on the rise to becoming one of Oregon’s leading farm-direct marketplaces.
Even though most of Bend is dog-friendly, the Bend farmers market organizers ask that you keep your furry friends at home to maintain the cleanliness of the venue.
Are you a local wanting to sell your goods at the Bend Farmer’s Market? You can apply to be a vendor at the farmer’s market on their web page.
May 1 – October 9, 2019
Wednesdays, 2:00 pm – 6:00 pm
Behind the Tower Theater,
Brooks Alley between Oregon and Franklin St.
Bend Summer Festival and Concerts
If you are visiting Bend, Oregon in summer, you should also check out the local sound. They are known for having some great concert festivals like the Bend Summer Festival, the BMC Summer Sunday (Free) Concerts, or events at the Les Schwab Amphitheater.
For 29 years running, the First Interstate Bank Bend Summer Festival has kicked off the summer season with concerts and food every weekend between June and July.
The music is spread across three stages, which feature a variety of blues, jazz, and rock music. You can also find gourmet food and wine while listening to live jazz. How classy!
Be sure to also check out The Souk, the eclectic market located at the festival site.
July 12 – July 14, 2019
Friday 5:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Saturday 11:00 am – 11:00 pm
Sunday 11:00 am – 5:00 pm
NW Minnesota Avenue
You can’t visit Bend, Oregon in the summer without cooling off with a local brew. And there is plenty of beer to be had in Bend. In fact, they’ve even created an easy way for you sample every brew you could wish for.
The Bend Brewfest brings 200+ craft beers, cider, and wine from Central Oregon together in one convenient location.
Admission to the event is free, but to take advantage of the event by participating in beer tastings, you will need to purchase a souvenir mug, which comes with tasting tokens. Additional tokens are available for purchase.
One of the nicest things about the event is that it is family-friendly. Children (under 21) are just asked to leave the venue by 5:00 pm each day. Read more about the famous Bend Beer Fest and find out all the details here.
August 15 – 17, 2019
Thursday4:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Friday/Saturday 12:00 pm – 11:00 pm
Les Schwab Amphitheater
Summer Activities on the Deschutes River
The Deschutes River is a popular attraction, particularly for summer activities in Bend, Oregon. And while there are several locations to access the river from, the most popular is Bend Whitewater Park.
Located near the Old Mill District, this park offers easy access to various sports and water recreation. Try stand-up paddleboarding, bodyboarding, kayaking, tube floating, or even the unique river surfing sport.
This area of the river is made up of 3 channels. The Passageway Channel adds a few rapids to your floating experience. The Whitewater Channel adds a bit of a challenge, a popular destination for whitewater enthusiasts.
The third channel – the Habitat Channel – is not open to people or pets as it is a preserved area to protect the river’s health and provide a natural habitat for local wildlife.
Oregon Summer and the Cascade Lakes
In addition to the Deschutes River, there is an abundance of lakes within Bend and the surrounding areas – Elk Lake, Wikiup Reservoir, Lucky Lake, Suttle Lake, and Scout Lake, to name a few.
Take a leisurely hike up to one of these areas to relax by the shore with a picnic lunch. Or you can get out on the lake itself on a paddleboard or kayak. Some of these areas will even allow swimming and fishing if that is what you’re looking for.
A trip to the lake is perfect for those who wish to enjoy some water play activities but seek something a bit more mellow rather than the Deschutes River’s rushing waters.
Relax in Central Oregon’s Natural Hot Springs
What’s better than combining the beauty of nature with the relaxation of a nice hot soak? Well then, why not pay a visit to one of the several natural hot springs in Central Oregon?
If you want to plan a short day trip from Bend, there are several pools to choose from that range from an hour to three outside the city.
Some of these areas allow nudity (like the pools along the North Umpqua River), so be sure to do your research before you visit so you go somewhere you are comfortable.
Check out Bend Magazine’s list of hot springs in the area to find your next adventure.
Hit the Trails and go Mountain Biking
The Cascades have so much to offer when visiting Bend, Oregon in summer. One of those things is a vast network of biking trails.
Hit the slopes and rough terrain as you bike your way through Bend. Choose an easy slope if you want a leisurely ride or if you are new to mountain biking. Or you can seek out more of an adventure on one of the rockier trails.
One of the best places to visit for biking is the Mount Bachelor bike park. This area offers 13 miles of downhill track with options for all skill levels. Their regular season runs from late June to early September, but they have early and late season hours as well.
Explore the Trails while Hiking
In addition to the bike trails, there are plenty of areas where you can enjoy a nice stroll or a hike while visiting Bend, Oregon in summer. Keep to the high desert area or trek into the lush forest, making sure to see all of Bend’s natural beauty along the way.
There are a variety of trails to check out, varying in difficulty from easy to difficult. Some trails – like the Deschutes River Trail and the Oregon Desert Trail – have several entry points from state parks, which can change the length of the hike.
If you plan to hike, you will definitely not want to miss Tumalo Falls or Smith Rock State Park during your visit.
Fishing in Central Oregon
With all the natural waterways in Bend – from lakes to rushing rivers – there is plenty of fishing to be had during the summer. You can even venture just outside of Bend, visiting areas like Prineville, Sisters, LaPine, or Redmond, for more options.
Spend a leisurely morning out on the boat or the shore of the lake, listening to the bird’s chirp and taking in the beauty of Central Oregon while you cast your line.
Golfing in the High Desert
Another great activity to enjoy in Bend, Oregon (and the surrounding area in Central Oregon) during summer is golfing. In fact, there are three top-100 courses located within Bend itself: Pronghorn, Crosswater, and Tetherow.
Most of the golf courses are part of resorts or homeowners’ associations, but most of them do allow guests without the need for a membership or a resort stay.
Be sure to check out our Guide to Golf Courses in Bend, Oregon.
Try Rock Climbing
For the real daredevil, biking and rafting may not be enough to satisfy your need for adrenaline; instead, you may need to try rock climbing. And Bend has been named a “bona fide climbing town” by National Geographic Adventure magazine.
Smith Rock is a popular rock climbing destination for those worldwide, with rock faces reaching 550 feet. A daily permit to access the park is only $5, and there are yearly passes available for locals and regular visitors.
Spring and autumn are the most popular (and amenable) climbing months as winter reaches freezing temperatures and summers can reach upwards of 100 degrees. However, early summer can be a great time to check out Bend, Oregon’s rock climbing locations.
Some people prefer guided tours rather than solo exploration when visiting new places. Luckily, Wanderlust Tours in Central Oregon has you covered, serving the Bend, Sunriver, and Sisters areas.
These tours can include both outdoor and cultural activities, from visiting a lava cave to a bus tour of Bend’s finest breweries.
Wanderlust even has seasonal tours, with summer tours including canoeing and kayaking the Cascade Lakes, helicopter tours, and nature photography.
The Cycle Pub
Bend, Oregon is well known for some unique experiences, things you won’t typically find in other cities around the country. A visit to a tour of the Cycle Pub is one of them.
The best way to describe the Cycle Pub is that it is a rolling pub on wheels. Explore the town of Bend – both the Old Mill District and Downtown – by bike and stop at some of the best breweries along the way.
With your tour, you get a bike for your two-hour tour, a professional guide, a tour highlighting Bend’s best sights, music to keep you going, and a growler caddy to keep your drinks safe. You will need to be sure to bring your own non-breakable cup if you aren’t investing in the Cycle Pub silipint.
What better way to see all that Bend, Oregon has to offer?
Big Mountain Heli Tours
If a tour on the ground isn’t enough to satisfy your desire to see the sights of Bend, Oregon in summer, book a helicopter tour instead with Big Mountain Heli Tours. The tours range from wine tasting tours to scenic and outdoor tours starting from the Bend Municipal Airport.
By visiting their site, you can choose your tour experience based on the activity and/or duration you are looking for. Book a scenic tour of the city and lava lands or try to catch a glimpse of Bigfoot and Sasquatch as you fly over the thick forests.
Big Mountain Heli Tours has seen a lot over the years, including midair proposals and helicopter golfing, which just goes to show that anything is possible on an aerial tour of Bend.
Kids Summer Camps and More
Bend, Oregon in summer doesn’t just include fun for the adults; there is plenty of fun to be had for kids as well with summer camps, museums, parks, and pools.
There is quite a variety of camps available during the summer, from sports, art, science, and theater camps. Some are available for all ages – like those run by the Bend Parks and Recreation center – while others start at elementary school.
With museums and indoor play areas, you also have options to escape the elements while still keeping your kids busy.
Be sure to check out our complete list of Best Things to Do in Bend with Kids.