Some vacation destinations shine brightest in the summer, others put on their best show in winter. Known for its non-stop outdoor adventure, cultural abundance and craft beverage scene, Bend is delightful year-round.
Find your Bend basecamp at Tetherow, a full-service, pet-friendly resort that excels in all four seasons. Perched on the west side of Bend at the lower foothills of the mountains with expansive views of the forest and the desert, Tetherow is equally close to the scenic playgrounds of Mt. Bachelor and the Cascade Lakes, as well as the city’s thriving arts and food scene. Tetherow’s modern vacation houses (up to five bedrooms) and 50-room boutique hotel offer the opportunity to kick back and relax or go, go, go. Here’s some of what you can explore any time of year in Bend.
Summer: Paddle, golf, take a drive
The Deschutes River is the center of the action during a Bend summer. Rent a stand-up paddleboard, kayak or raft from Sun Country Tours or Tumalo Creek Kayak and Canoe and float right through town. Hold on for the splashy fun of the rapids through the Bend Whitewater Park, while you watch skilled surfers riding the waves.
A round of golf is a key part of your summer stay at Tetherow. The 18-hole championship course was designed by renowned golf course architect David McLay Kidd, who styled the course after his native Scotland. Try a golf board— a golf cart alternative that allows you to cruise the course in the easy style of surfing or snowboarding. After your round, grab a cocktail and a snack while soaking up views of the course and the Cascade Peaks. Then head to The Row for a selection of 12 beers on tap to pair with the juicy Bleu Diamond burger — with maple bacon, fried sweet potato crisps and Rogue Creamery bleu cheese — ranked as one of the best burgers in Bend.
For stunning views of Mt. Bachelor as well as Broken Top, the Three Sisters, Dutchman Flat and the Cascade Lakes, enjoy a leisurely drive along a portion of the 66-mile Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, which is only open between June and October, depending on conditions. Return to Tetherow to relax and recharge. Visit Tetherow Sport and Café for light bites (and a pool, open to guests), plus views of Paulina Peak.
Fall: Mountain biking, hiking and museums
Fall at Tetherow means cooler days, stunning skies and plenty of fun. Adjacent to the resort are miles of trails to explore by bike or on foot. The Phil’s Trail mountain biking network winds through the Deschutes National Forest. The Lair is a locals’ favorite free-ride course for bike jumping, just minutes from Tetherow.
If hiking is more your speed, try the Deschutes River Trail. Nearly 20 miles of trails — some paved, some singletrack dirt — have been developed along the river in and around Bend. Stroll through the Old Mill District or hike downriver into the canyon for a more rugged experience.
Don’t miss one of the area’s wildest attractions, the High Desert Museum, where exhibits interpret the history and culture of the high desert. Witness the life of settlers through living history demonstrations and see a raptor zoom overhead in live bird shows. Also south of Bend, the Sunriver Nature Center and Oregon Observatory are great choices for science- and nature-themed getaways.
Return to Tetherow with groceries — each vacation home has a state-of-the-art kitchen as well as an outdoor grill to make staying in and cooking gourmet easy. If your group is multi-generational, know that some of the five-bedroom homes have a great hangout space for the younger set, with an open room over the garage and a bedroom with two twin beds and a sleeper couch. Many of the boutique hotel rooms, meanwhile, boast views of the golf course and Cascade peaks. If you like to soak, request a room with a soaking tub and rejuvenate in style. Or unwind on your private patio with a complimentary in-room guitar loan; Breedlove and Bedell guitars are handcrafted in Bend.
Winter: Ski, snowboard, ride a dog sled
A snowy landscape is simply magical. Gather around the warmth of the fire pit at your luxurious Tetherow vacation rental and gaze at the snow-capped peaks, the rolling slopes of the golf course and the Ochocos, Paulina Peak and Pilot Butte rising from the desert floor.
Just 15 minutes away, Mt. Bachelor offers snowy bliss with 11 ski lifts and 101 runs across 4,300 acres of terrain for skiing and snowboarding, all with views of the surrounding mountains and lakes. On Nordic trails, dive and climb through the forest; the season runs mid-November through late May with lessons available for all ages, including special clinics for women only and men only.
For a winter thrill, take a sled dog ride with Oregon Trail of Dreams. Gliding on a sled behind dogs that have trained for races like the Iditarod, you’ll be blown away by the beauty and thrill of the experience.
Spring: Go fishing, dine out, see art
The 360-degree views from Tetherow are especially vibrant in spring. Cascade peaks rise to the west, while the high desert sagebrush steppe to the north and east shines in shades of green with pops of wildflower color.
As winter snow melts away, go fishing. From Tetherow, both Crane Prairie and Wickiup Reservoirs are accessible in spring for trout and kokanee fishing. The Deschutes and Crooked rivers are within reach to cast your line for trout. For a challenge, break out your fly rod on two of the region’s tougher fishing rivers, the Metolius and Fall rivers. Find a fishing guide at Fly and Field Outfitters.
Settle into the evening back at Tetherow, where you can reconnect over the warm glow of the fire pit on the lower patio. Then head to dinner at Solomon’s, one of the resort’s modern, elevated dining restaurants, for their rotating menu options (such as fois gras, elk rack or steelhead vera cruz).
On the first Friday of every month, downtown Bend comes alive for its Art Walk. Businesses host art exhibits and stay open late, while restaurants offer dining and drink specials. Find even more art at the Last Saturday event at the Old Ironworks Art District, distinguished by art openings and live music in converted historic buildings.
When you go:
• Especially for the summer season, book your accommodations far in advance — Bend and Tetherow fill up fast!
• TripCheck is your online source for Oregon road conditions, including the mountain passes that lead to Bend from Portland and the Willamette Valley. And before you head for the mountains, check Mt. Bachelor’s weather conditions.
• Consider booking a corporate retreat, wedding or special event at Tetherow’s 4000-square-foot Event Pavilion.
• And see what’s happening in town at Visit Bend’s calendar.