Staying in town this summer? You’re having a staycation. But don’t worry—there are plenty of ways to have fun in Bend.
With summer approaching, many Central Oregonians are rushing off to vacation spots to unwind. But don’t feel bad if school obligations or lack of funds have you homebound this summer; here are some staycation spots that will make your summer worthwhile without emptying your wallet.
Letterboxing attracts treasure hunters of all ages, it is a pastime growing in popularity in the US. Letterboxers strategically hide boxes and post clues for seekers, who then embark on a journey to find the hidden box. There are websites completely devoted to charting letterbox clues in every region; 95 boxes are listed in Bend on atlasquest.com. Families interested in becoming letter-boxers need to first come up with their “trail name” which they will use to identify themselves within the letterboxing community. Materials needed include: a personal rubber stamp, pen or pencil, logbook, ink pads and compass.
Smith Rock is a sanctuary for outdoor enthusiasts to hike, mountain bike, trail run and climb. This sport climber paradise features 1800 climbing routes for all difficulty levels. The 6th annual Smith Rock Sunrise Summer Classic, a sanctioned half marathon open to runners and walkers, is scheduled July 7. The state park features deep river canyons views and is inhabited by an array of wildlife including, golden eagles, prairie falcons and river otters. Parking passes are required, and available for purchase at the trailhead. Visitors with adventurous appetites can end their excursions at Terrebonne Depot to sample the infamous buffalo cheeseburger.
Float the Deschutes
On days when temperatures surpass the 80 degree mark, many Bend residents can be found floating the Deschutes River through the Old Mill District, down to Mirror Pond. Shuttles run every 30 minutes transporting floaters back up to the put-in at Farewell Bend Park. On Saturdays and Sundays when temperatures are forecast to exceed 90 degrees, buses commit to running every 15 minutes from 1 to 6:30 p.m. as part of the “Heat Wave Service”. Things to remember when floating the river include: wear proper footwear. Water-shoes or sandals that strap to your feet are advised. Also, pay attention to the signs approaching the Columbia Avenue bridge where floaters must exit the river. Tubes can be rented by several outfitters conveniently located along the river, but some floaters find that an inflated air-mattress does the trick just fine.
Free summer concerts
Les Schwab Amphitheater will host free concerts every Sunday Starting June 10 until Aug. 12. Concerts feature local Bend musicians MOsley WOtta and Harley Bourbon along with many other great artists including The Portland Cello Project, The Farewell Drifters, Y La Bamba The Features and Paul Thorn. All Sunday concerts are free. Gates open at 12 p.m. and music starts at 2:30 p.m.
The High Desert Museum
If you have kids or an interest in history, the High Desert Museum might be the stay-cation spot for you. With exhibits dedicated to living history and local wildlife, the museum is family friendly and educational. Some of the features include indoor and outdoor exhibits, nature walks, a ranch, and playgrounds where kids can run, climb and burrow like their favorite animals.
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