Central Oregon’s top mountain resort town is crammed with summer tours and adventures waiting for you and the entire family this year. Bend is the perfect summer location for weddings, romantic weekends away, and family vacations. With sunny hot days and cool evenings we’re the perfect balance between snow-capped mountains and the deserts of Central Oregon. This same location is what makes Bend awesome to visit any time of year, whether you want to hike, mountain bike, raft, enjoy the outdoors, fly in a helicopter, or just relax.
Tours, Things to Do, Summer Activities
Take a Helicopter Tour of Bend – With stunning snow-capped Cascade Mountain views to our left and right our helicopter pilots will take you and your friends on a year round scenic helicopter tour of Bend, Oregon “Beertown USA.” You’ll be thrilled by the iconic stacks of Bend’s Old Mill District, our all new Deschutes River Water Park, and other exciting sights from the air. On this scenic helicopter tour you’ll fly to our local lava flows at Lava Lands State Park a National Volcanic Monument where you’ll experience scenic views of over one million acres of pristine wildlands.
Summer Lake Adventures – Dozens of lakes are scattered across Central Oregon, and summer days here usually find visitors on one of them. You can 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. 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. 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 Crane Prairie reservoirs, popular spots for camping, swimming and fishing. You can also get away from the crowds by hiking to a lake as well.
Explore Downtown Bend – Downtown Bend is booming and filled with pleasant nooks and little boutique shops that make a destination choice for so many, one visit is never enough to fill a vacation. For shoppers, downtown Bend is fun to wander with lots of local storefronts as well as a few smaller chains in the mix, too. For the artsy, you’ll find plenty of galleries to wander. And if you’re gearing up for a getaway in the mountains or on the rivers, stores like Patagonia will get you ready to go. There are also plenty of places to eat and stay right downtown, and it makes a great base for exploring the area overall.
A River Runs Through It – The Deschutes River is one of Oregon’s most iconic. It’s even got a brewery named after it (and their beers are wonderful). Bend is the perfect base for white water rafting on the river, or even just floating in an innertube if rafting is too adventurous for you. But make no mistake, you don’t have to be a river expert to go rafting. Tour companies like Sun Country Tours, Riverstone Adventures or Ouzel Outfitters run rafting trips for all skill levels on the Deschutes as well as other area rivers.
Visit Smith Rock State Park – There’s no shortage of gorgeous natural landscapes in and around Bend, but Smith Rock State Park is something special. The park is the perfect place to rock climb, hike, bike or view wildlife. The craggy rocks throughout the park make great photos, too. Or, if you choose, take a helicopter flight to this iconic destination with Big Mountain Heli Tours.
Outdoor Summer Concerts – Les Schwab Amphitheater is a fabulous outdoor concert venue that’s great to add in to any visit, if there’s a show in town while you are. The amphitheater plays host to some pretty big touring headliners. Most shows involve general, opening seating/standing. Bring along a low chair or a blanket and kick back on a sunny afternoon to some tunes. Check the calendar before you go.