When we wrote about how much we enjoyed our visit to Portland, a few of you said that we needed to see Bend. Bend, Oregon wasn’t even on our radar. I’m so glad we have you guys to point us in the right direction! Bend is as lovely as you said, and just the perfect size for jumping right in to explore.
There is no doubt that Bend is a ski town … even in October they were itching for snow …. but it’s different than Aspen or Park City. Bend feels like a real city that grew up for all the same reasons small cities do – but it just happened to be within a 20 minute drive of some great skiing. Contrast that with Aspen or Park City where tourism is the economy, and Bend carries the vote for “realness.”
Also known for its breweries and golf, Bend gets another high score for dog friendliness. Urban parks and trails, big fenced-in dog parks, hiking galore, and a great selection of eateries are all happy to have you and your dog as guests. And to top it off, they have a great sense of humor about some of the unpleasantries that can come with irresponsible dog owners. All along the Deschutes River Trail in downtown Bend they’ve installed Dog E Rest Stop waste stations with bags and a message that hits home.
You’ll find some of the best of the best in this not-too-big, not-too-small town. We’ve already told you about the fantastic RV park we can’t wait to visit again. Another of our favorites was the 10 Barrel Brewing Company. Clearly dog friendly from the moment you walk up, their outdoor patio was hopping, and their bar has both inside and outside seating!
The Old Mill District is the perfect place to spend an afternoon. Do a little window shopping at the pet friendly outdoor shopping center, grab a bite at one of the restaurants with outdoor seating, jump on the Deschutes River Trail for a nice walk, or pop over to the off-leash dog park to make some new friends.
When you’re ready to immerse yourself in the local grandeur, grab a map of the Cascade Lakes National Scenic Byway and hit the road. Though the route is only 87 miles, you’ll want to allow plenty of time to explore some of the 34 points of interest along the way, and perhaps take a short hike or two. The alpine lakes, peaks, and waterfalls are best experienced at a leisurely pace.
If you’re not (yet?) part of the RVing crowd, there are plenty of pet friendly hotels in Bend to choose from. We thought the Mill Inn looked interesting. It’s a bed & breakfast with a couple of pet friendly cottages available for rent. The rates seem quite reasonable, the non-refundable pet fee of $25 per stay isn’t exorbitant, and it’s right across the street from a quaint little winery. If you check it out on your next trip to Bend, let us know what you thought!
We might have cruised right by Bend if not for your suggestions … are there any other pet friendly gems you think we’d enjoy?
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