Bend is like Eugene’s cool older brother. You know, the one who cuts math class to hit the slopes in his obnoxiously turquoise, overpriced puffy coat that he totally pulls off. Oh, and he still manages to ace the algebra test. But you can’t hate him for it.

What’s not to love about this high desert, outdoorsy wonderland of a city?

Fittingly, our most recent trip to Bend was on Earth Day. My boyfriend Jon had a work event and I tagged along, because, Bend.

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We booked a room for a night at McMenamins Old St. Francis School, easily one of the coolest hotels I’ve ever stayed at.

Jon dropped me off and headed to his event. I took a deep breath of the crisp air and Mcmenamins’ signature wood-fire scent. That with the warming sunshine and cooling wind felt like perfection.

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Before checking in, I plopped down at a small bistro table on the front patio and ordered a cup of French onion soup. Delicious.

I visited our awesome room, then headed back outdoors to the hidden little cigar bar for a beer.

Soon enough Jon returned. Since the hotel is right in the very walkable downtown area of Bend, we set off on foot looking for dinner. We decided to check out Silver Moon Brewing, which is located a few blocks off the upscale downtown streets. A local’s spot, no doubt. I give it two thumbs way up.

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The fish tacos were good, but the smooth, hoppy beer definitely stole the show. I ordered the flagship IPA 97, and it was strong and refreshing.

The chill vibe at Silver Moon was equally refreshing. I’m obsessed with the huge mural of Bend.

We called it an early night after a dip in the open air soaking pool.

Have you ever walked through a crowded pub in a fluffy white robe? Now I can say I have, and it was silly and wonderful.

The next morning, we got our complimentary coffee from the secret bar hidden in the broom closet.

No, I’m not kidding.

It was hard to say goodbye to McMenamins Old St. Francis School, an uniquely Oregon hotel.

(For those that don’t know, the Old St. Francis School is a former 1936 Catholic schoolhouse whose classrooms were converted into hotel rooms, pubs and even a movie theater — in true McMenamins fashion.)

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For brunch we stopped at the Craft Kitchen & Brewery in Bend’s Old Mill District. We enjoyed great food and great views of the Deschutes River and nearby McKay Park.

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Speaking of the Deschutes River, which runs straight through Bend, after brunch we witnessed people surfing — on the river! Next time I visit Bend I’m bringing my wet-suit to play at Bend Whitewater Park.

These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

About the Author: Rebecca Marx

Rebecca Marx is a freelance writer living the unincorporated county life on the outskirts of Eugene. She’s the lifestyle blogger behind RebeccaRadish.com, where she writes about running, reading, food and travel. She spends a lot of time on road trips all over Oregon, exploring running trails by tagging along with her husband Jonathan, who does statewide sales for Claim 52 Brew. Barley, their Golden Retriever, is usually invited for the adventure.

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