I have to admit – I love living in the western USA. The diverse landscapes and incredible scenery draws me to the outdoors like no other place on earth.
Recently I’ve been exploring Central Oregon in the areas around the town of Bend, Oregon. What a place! Between the beautiful rivers and lakes and the nearby mountains, Bend is quite stunning. All of this natural beauty wraps a hip, kind of eclectic downtown that reminds you of old Americana.
I can totally get why Bend has been named as one of the best places to live in the USA. One limiting factor in visiting Bend as a tourist is the amount of hotel rooms. I found that the quality of rooms is excellent – it just seems that there is not very many vacancies. So, preplan if you’re going to stay any amount of time there.
If you want to stay downtown, the choices are slim but there is some rooms within walking distance of the majority of bars and restaurants. Also, in the Old Mill District, there is a couple of big name chain hotels represented. I’ve tried both and found all the rooms to be great – but there is not as much interesting activities in the Old Mill District – so plan on driving into downtown or taking a pretty long hike.
Some of the interesting explorations we went on were to go to the different caves around Bend. One south of Bend is very moderated and you can rent propane lanterns. But many others that are off the beaten path – you’ll need to bring your own. I highly recommend a propane lantern. We found the beam of a large flashlight to be too narrow and eery.
Other sites around the area are very numerous. The waterfalls west of town are fantastic and the mountain lakes are plentiful. Overall – I think I could spend weeks in Bend and not ever get bored. Take a look!