Best of Bend

Bend is an interesting and scenic town. With the snow-capped Cascades in the distance it’s close to outdoor activities and yet it has cool food and drink and places to stay.

1st off I have to highlight the Lara House Lodge B&B. I’d stayed there before years ago and it seems to me it’s only improved with time. I think it’s under new owners and it seems a little more upscale than it was the first time I was there (what was that, 2004?).

Lara House is an old house on a large lot right in the center of Bend. From the porch you can sit and watch the goings on in Drake Park just across the street. It’s also just a couple of blocks from the downtown area and you can walk to restaurants, coffee, shops and bars. The back of the house has a large outdoor patio. In the afternoon they set out some wine and cheese. In the morning there’s a pot of coffee ready and waiting. In either case, grab a drink and park it on either the porch or the patio. It’s August in Bend and the weather’s going to be good.

I’ve got a couple different shots of the interior of the house here. The style of the house both inside and out is primarily Craftsman. They’ve done a nice job restoring this house and keeping the interior looking nice.

Let me highlight a few other places in Bend that I would highly recommend.

As a traveler looking for interesting food and wine, you’re not going to be disappointed by a visit to the NewPort Avenue Market. I love going in this place. First they’ve got a great wine selection and 2nd they have a deli that’ll make you a great sandwich. Lots of cheeses to choose from too.

Bend is also home to a surprising number of craft beer places. They promote something called the “Ale Trail“. Check it out. I made it to only two of these during my short stay. The first was Deschutes brewpub in the downtown area. Enjoyed lunch there. The other, which I’d say I enjoyed even more, was 10 Barrel just a short walk from Lara House. I got the beer sampler, which you can see in a photo here. My favorite of that set was their Apocalypse IPA. Outstanding. That plus outdoor seating, live music and some pretty good pizza. What more do you want.

If you really want good food though, don’t miss a visit to Ariana. This place is small so you might need to get a reservation but I’ve been there twice now and each time the food was excellent. Both times I’ve had the pleasure of sitting out on the back deck with great weather too. I was still on Austin time so I was eating with the ‘early birds’ but no need for a reservation.

Finally just a quick mention of the bike shop that helped me out. I arrived with my Seven to do some cycling only to find I’d somehow messed up the headset when I reassembled it. This is not the first time. You’d think by now I’d have figured out how to adjust it right. I also needed to pump the tires since it’s not easy to bring a pump and the TSA is not fond of you bringing CO2 cartridges on a plane. Sunny Side Sports fixed up the headset in a jiffy though. And let me use their pump. Nice shop. I’d go there again.