Staff Picks Blog

The BestNews and tips

Check in here all year long for tips and news from our staff on what’s new, what’s going on and what’s happening in Bend, Central Oregon and our Best Western Premier. There’s so much to do and learn, we don’t want you to miss a thing.

Bearded Musician Playing Guitar

Kick Back with Bend's Best Beats

Here in Bend, we believe the best way to get by is with a cold brew in hand while kicking back to the beats of a live band. With festivals, free shows, and live music fundraisers, August is the month of music.

Show your support for Oregon Adaptive Sports—an organization that provides opportunities for individuals with disabilities to enjoy the outdoors—at the Bigstock Music Festival. This year, Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers will headline, joined by other local and world-class musicians, a silent auction, food, drinks and more. For a fun night out, head to Drake Park each Thursday for the Munch & Music Free Concert Series. Bands performing this month include Rising Appalachia, The Itals, and Super Diamond. Celebrate Folk the first week of September at the Sisters Folk Festival. With a stellar lineup—including Justin Townes Earle, The Dustbowl Revival, and Banda Magda—a song academy and a free concert series, it’s sure to be the cherry on top of your summer!

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Moon in the Night Sky

Catch Constellations, Speeding Comets and Spaceships

Let your imagination take off to new heights at the Worthy Garden Club’s HopservatoryThe WGC formed in 2015 with the intent to inspire with the beauty of our planet and space while encouraging people to preserve it. Set the tone for your voyage through the three-story Hopservatory in the Transporter room—an area inspired by Van Gogh’s Starry Night and decked out with comets, spaceships, and planets. 

When you reach the deck on the third floor, take a minute to soak in the panoramic view from Mt. Bachelor to Mt. Hood. Follow the tour guides as they use lasers to highlight constellations in the night sky. Then, sneak a peek through the 16-inch telescope to catch a glimpse of some of the night sky’s lights—a moment that will take you deep into the past. Of course, the night sky changes with the seasons, so you can come back again and again and always see something new!

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Hand holding an ice cream cone

Take in the Tastes and Tunes of June

Bite of Bend is back for another year of beer, bands, and enough food to keep you going until the next Big Bang. Take in the warm weather as you wind your way through a taste of some of the Northwest’s best vendors. Sample $2 bite-sized bits—from ice cream to burgers and everything in between—as you go. Work off the food at the annual beer run—a 5K with local brew samples along the route and a full beer at the finish. Or, cheer on the under 21 crowd at the Root Beer Run.

When you need a break, listen to the line-up of more than a dozen local bands or watch chefs battle it out in Bend’s very own version of Top Chef. But the fun doesn’t even stop there. When the festival ends, keep savoring the flavors with demonstrations, classes and chef’s dinners at the 6th annual Bite Week!

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Snow Covered Mountains with Pine Trees

Savor Backcountry Brews and the Spring Snow

The summer sun is starting to emerge, melting all that pristine powder that once coated the Cascades. But there’s still time to soak up some of the snow before the warm weather takes over. If you’re looking for something a bit beyond the battered tracks of the typical trekker, Strap on your snowshoes and sneak in one last jaunt through the snow with Wanderlust Tours.

Wanderlust has you covered from the parking lot to mid-trip pints. The 4-hour, professional naturalist guided tour will take you deep into the woods to little-known lookouts with views of the surrounding mountains. While you take in the view at your destination, cool off with a local micro-brew. Underage adventurers are welcome to join the fun with root beer. All you need to bring are warm clothes, sunglasses, and a camera that will capture the moment for years to come!

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Hand holding barley next to pint of beer

The Trail to Bend's Ale

Bend has more breweries per-capita than any other city in Oregon and has been nicknamed “Beer Town USA.” So it’s no wonder the Bend Ale Trail - a walking tour of all of Bend’s 16 breweries - is one of the most popular things visitors want to tackle while in Bend. Pick up your Bend Ale Trail Atlas and Passport at a participating brewery, the Bend Visitor Center or the ticket mill at the Old Mill District and begin the journey. 

With 16 breweries along the route, you don’t have to do them all in one day but acquiring a stamp at each brewery is rewarded with prizes; just make sure you read the rules of the trail before you head out because if you don't follow the rules, you don't get a souvenir. Ten stamps gets you a commemorative Bend Silipint (an unbreakable silicone drinking glass); if you get stamps from all 16 breweries you’ll receive the Silipint and a Bend Ale Trail bottle opener. No purchase is necessary to get a passport stamp.

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