5 Great Ways To Love Bend Tours in The Summer | Helicopter Tours

Whether you’re playing outdoors, biking, fishing, skiing, or hiking by a river, Bend is pretty irresistible all year round. But summer is prime time to fall in love with the city all over again. It’s about being inspired by the creativity of the local arts scene, which is jam-packed with enough festivities to keep you busy all season. In between hitting the local trails, playing on the Deschutes River, flying in a helicopter, here are five fab ways to explore Bend anew during the hot summer months.

#1 Helicopter Tours and Charters Over The Cascades

Big Mountain Heli Tours was created to showcase the very best of Bend and Central Oregon by helicopter to the estimated 3 million guests who visit us each year. A helicopter tour of Bend and the cascades provides stunning views and a lifetime of memories for the whole family. Let’s fly!

#2 Summer Fun and Adventures Oregon Lakes

Dozens of lakes are scattered across Central Oregon, and a quintessential summer day here usually finds its way to at least one of them. Sure, you could paddleboard or kayak or hike while you’re there, but you could also relax by the water and bask in the warm sun, which is what makes a day at the lake idyllic. At a lower elevation than other alpine lakes, Suttle Lake is perfect for swimming. Just up the hill is tiny Scout Lake, which is typically brimming with floaties because its small size means warm water (for high lake standards). Be sure to check out The Suttle Lodge, which recently underwent a renovation. Minimalist, rustic-meets-urban décor blends into the log cabin-style lodge, and elevated food and cocktails mimic the aesthetic. Off Cascade Lakes Highway, Elk Lake has a large beach area with views of Mt. Bachelor to boot. Further down the road you’ll find Wickiup and Crane Prairie reservoirs, popular spots for camping, swimming and fishing. You can also get away from the crowds by hiking to a lake. Lucky Lake is only a short hike from Cascade Lakes Highway. Park at the Senoj Lake Trailhead and hike just over a mile to reach the lake, and solitude.

#3 Summer Concerts and Music Festivals

On select Sunday afternoons in July, Bend Memorial Clinic hosts Free Summer Sunday Concerts on the lawn at the Les Schwab Amphitheater in the Old Mill District. Pack a lawn chair and enjoy live music from local acts. You can also find free shows at Munch & Music on Thursday nights in July and August. National acts come to Bend all summer for outdoor shows at the Les Schwab AmphitheaterAthletic Club of Bend and the Century Center. Check online to get tickets for Bend favorites such as Michael Franti & Spearhead, the Avett Brothers and more.

#4 Bend’s Pet Parade July 4th

This is one of Bend’s oldest (and weirdest) traditions. Dress up your dog, turtle, goat, horse, or other family pet that can handle large crowds and join the 4th of July Pet Parade in downtown Bend. The streets are lined with people watching the furry, feathered and scaled pets of Bend dressed up to celebrate. After, head to Drake Park for an old-fashioned festival with local food vendors, drinks, games and live music. There’s also an arts and crafts fair, where you can find locally made goods.

#5 Rent a Tent Trailer Camper and Explore

There’s no better way to really get off the grid than renting a rugged tent trailer camper here in Bend. While trekking miles with pounds of gear on your back can seem daunting, a tent camper rental can get you to the wild and scenic trails around Central Oregon to get you started. Off Cascade Lakes Highway, Doris Lake, about six miles from the Six Lakes Trailhead, is a good adventure for beginners in tent camper rv rentals since there isn’t much elevation gain. The Teddy Lakes Trail, about four miles from the Winopee Lake Trailhead, is a lesser-known trek in the Three Sisters Wilderness. You can continue along the loop for a longer hike before (or after) setting up camp.