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With some of the most scenic training routes you’ll ever encounter and a lively foodie (and microbrew!) culture, Oregon’s high desert is a huge draw.
In summer or fall—the city sits at more than 3,600 feet, so it has a high-desert environment with about 300 days of sunshine every year.
You can get to Bend’s Redmond Municipal Airport via one of four airlines (American, Alaska, Delta, United) with a direct flight from Denver, Los Angeles, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City or Seattle.
The cozy rustic-meets-simple luxury Hilton Garden Inn is conveniently located in the Old Mill District, steps away from more than 30 stores and plenty of restaurants. (Rooms start around $180/night.) Hiltongardeninn.com
It’s easy to eat like a locavore in Bend with an array of farm-to-table restaurants. Grab a healthy but hearty brunch at local favorite Chow (Chowbend.com), where toast plates—like the Ricotta Cheese French Toast with vanilla bean ricotta, caramel and apple butter—are done with housemade bread, and the creative egg dishes can be ordered with eggs from a nearby farm. The dinner menu at the lively, family-friendly eatery Jackson’s Corner (Jacksonscornerbend.com) features seasonal salads, fresh pizzas and pastas made with organic ingredients.
Grab a pint
Beer for days
Bend is home to the most breweries per capita in Oregon, so take advantage and explore the offerings. For a safe and fun way to sample and get a behind-the-scenes look at some of Bend’s best, book a tour on the Bend Brew Bus ($65, Bendbrewbus.com). Or follow the free Visit Bend app (Visitbend.com) that will take you to the 14 breweries along the famous Bend Ale Trail. See our top brewery picks above.
Bend Brewery Top picks
Crux Fermentation Project pours great beer in a cool industrial atmosphere with outdoor seating.
Boneyard Beer tasting room is a must-stop if you’re doing a brew-tour.
Deschutes Brewery serves up fantastic beer with a quality food menu.
The Ale Apothecary creates unique barrel-aged beers (tasting room to open in 2015).
Professional triathletes Linsey Corbin, Heather Jackson and Jesse Thomas have made Bend their training home base. Full-time resident Thomas says the Deschutes River Trail is as good as it gets for long trail runs, and his favorite ride is “straight out Cascade Lakes Highway, past Mount Bachelor to the meadow at Green Lakes Trailhead and back—it’s a beautiful, smooth climb with low traffic and epic scenery, lakes and mountains.”