View from Smith Rock

View from Smith Rock

I have loved the Bend area since I was a little kid- especially because it brings back great memories of visiting my grandmother’s house in Sisters, roasting marshmallows by the campfire and shopping until I dropped in Bend. So when I had the opportunity to plan a surprise birthday weekend for my boyfriend, I chose Bend as our destination (of course).

We woke up bright and early on a Saturday morning and hit the road, excited to begin our adventure. Our first (and most important) stop of the day was at Sisters Coffee Company. They have a huge range of espresso drinks, and a fantastic coffeecake stuffed with apples.

Sisters Coffee Company is a great place to sit and relax as well, as it looks just like a cozy log cabin full of western decorations (including a giant bear rug on the wall).

Misery Ridge Trail on Smith Rock

Misery Ridge Trail on Smith Rock

Once we fueled up on coffee and snacks, we continued on our trek through Central Oregon. Next stop: Smith Rock state park. If you have never been to Smith Rock, it is a must see! We hiked the Misery Ridge trail, which was incredibly steep but well worth it when we got to the top. You can see green for miles, as well as part of the town of Terrebonne. My favorite part of this particular hike was the rock called “Monkey Face”. This area is popular among local rock climbers, and it looks exactly like the profile of a monkey.

Monkey Face

Monkey Face

Side note: I would recommend taking small children on the river trail rather than Misery Ridge, as it is incredibly steep and narrow, and some areas have a number of loose rocks that make the trail slightly more difficult.

After our great workout, we headed into Bend for shopping in the Old Mill District, and checked into our Bed & Breakfast. If you need a great place to stay near downtown, check out the Mill Inn Bed & Breakfast. Our room was very cozy, clean and quiet, and breakfast the next morning was incredibly delicious. Be sure to try the waffles- they are light and fluffy and have the perfect amount of cinnamon.

View from the top of Misery Ridge

View from the top of Misery Ridge

After checking in to our Bed & Breakfast, we headed to Merenda Restaurant & Wine Bar for dinner. Merenda is a French/Italian restaurant, and offers a wide variety of entrées from chicken and pork dishes to pastas and steaks. And don’t forget to order dessert there! The chocolate cake melts in your mouth, and has a melted chocolate center with a side of blackberry icecream. Yum!

A trip to Bend is definitely not complete without a visit to the Bendistillery Martini Bar downtown. I had their sangria, which included champagne and peach purée. They also offer a number of very authentic Oregon drinks, including the Oregon Trail and Pendleton Round-Up.

A chipmunk at the High Desert Museum

A chipmunk at the High Desert Museum

On the last day of our trip, we headed over to the High Desert Museum. I have been to the museum several times, but I enjoy it every single time I attend. My favorite thing about the museum is its outdoor exhibits. The procupines and otter always fascinate me, even though they were both sleeping when we visited. The animals, history and overall atmosphere make the High Desert Museum a great place for all ages.

It ended up being a great surprise trip to Bend, and I’m looking forward to going back this winter for another adventure…in the snow!

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  1. bill nichols says…

    we are looking for a rv site in or near bend to accomodate a 28′ travel trailer for a couple of days.

    Written on April 27th, 2012 / Flag this Comment
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