Things to See and Do in Bend and Central Oregon

Friday September 9, 2011 at 12:12 AM | 3 Comments

"Deschutes River" "Central Oregon"

Kayak or canoe the Deschutes River in Central Oregon

Beer drinkers delight in Bend Ale Trail

Will your travels take you to Central Oregon? Visitors definitely won’t want to miss The Bend Ale Trail.  Bend probably has more microbreweries per capita than any other city in the state!

You can download the free app for iPhone or Droid, and get a passport from Visit Bend so you can make the rounds gathering stamps and beer samples. If you’d prefer not to meander on your own, and easy way to knock out four of the seven bend breweries in a fairly short time is with The Bend Brew Bus from Wanderlust Tours.

Wanderlust actually has a TON of really fabulous tours, ranging from caving to moonlight kayak and everything in between.

For visitors interested in trying mountain biking, the folks at CogWild offer great tours for riders ranging from first-timers to experienced cyclists.

Traveling with kids?

If you are traveling with kids, there is SO MUCH to do in Bend. I’ve mentioned before that my husband is from Oregon and I went to school at University of Oregon. There is plenty of activity to keep the kids busy from the Lava River Cave at Newberry National Volcanic Monument to whitewater rafting the Big Eddy Thriller. Kids can feed the fish at Wizard Falls Fish Hatchery in Camp Sherman or take pictures with eagles at the High Desert Museum.

Bend, Oregon eats

Velvet and Astro Lounge are two  “typically Bend” hotspots if you’re looking for a way to kick off an evening with good drinks and appetizers. The food is a little better at Astro, the service is better at Velvet. If you’re trying to hit happy hour, start at Astro. Theirs goes ‘til 7 p.m. and is particularly good.

Blacksmith feels a tiny bit more upscale, but still has a really cool feel and excellent drinks and apps. Good history, too.  High end Bend dining? Try Ariana Restaurant.

McMenamins at the old Saint Francis school is a neat place. Their soaking tub is pretty cool, and O’Kane’s at the back of the property offers a nice place to sit by the fire pits at the end of an evening and sip a local craft beer. There’s also Brother Jon’s, 10 Barrel Brewing Co. and Zydeco – get the house-smoked trout dip!

"trout fishing in Central Oregon"

Fish on in Central Oregon! Kyle Connolly reels in a 6 pound, 25 inch trout

If you want to squeeze in a nicer dinner, try 900 Wall.

Another AMAZING restaurant that’s a little outside the downtown area is Trattoria Sbandati. Still walkable from downtown, but a bit off the beaten path. Some of the best food in Bend, but the location is teeny-tiny, so you’ll need reservations.

Best bets for breakfast or lunch, close to downtown, Jackson’s Corner is a great local fave, as is Alpenglow. Ditto for Chow. All three specialize in locally-produced ingredients, super fresh, unique food. You might also like:

  • Bellatazza, downtown Bend
  • Thump, downtown Bend
  • Backporch, two locations in Bend
  • Nancy P’s Bakery
"horseback riding by Deschutes River"

Debi Smith of Seventh Mountain Resort Stables, horseback riding on the banks of the Deschutes River


Looking for a little spa time after all that outdoor exercise? Check out Anjou Spa in Bend or Shibui Spa at FivePine Lodge in Sisters, Oregon.

When you want to send a home made postcard  from Central Oregon, get your picture taken at Smith Rock State Park with the monkey face in the background. (You’ll know what I’m talking about when you see it.)

The Old Mill District in Bend offers great views and is the best place to watch or experience headliner and free summer concerts, in addition to annual sporting events!

Looking for a little exercise? Try the Upper Deschutes River Trail - also a good place to go fishing.

The Bend Bulletin is the local paper in town. Go Magazine is published on Friday’s. The Source Weekly is, well, the weekly newspaper.

There’s always something going on in Bend/Central Oregon.

  • 2011 USGA of Cyclocross – The Deschutes Brewery Cup – Bend, Oregon, December 10th and 11th, 2011
  • Munch n’ Music
  • Bend Farmer’s Market

Pole, Pedal, Paddle take place in the spring time, as does pond skimming at Mt. Bachelor (you gotta see it, to believe it.)

Visiting Bend in the summer? Join in on Downtown Bend’s Old Fashioned Fourth of July Pet Parade.

"world class golf in Central Oregon"

Did you know that Central Oregon is known for world-class golf? Thomas, four-years-old, from Portland, Oregon, takes a swing.

Did you know that Central Oregon is also known for world-class golf? Surrounded by the Cascades, most offer spectacular views, but the following are stunning gems in the fall:

  • Crosswater Club at Sunriver Resort
  • Aspen Lakes in Sisters
  • Crooked River Ranch
  • Black Butte Ranch

Come to Central Oregon for skiing, snowboarding and other snow-play at Mt. Bachelor in the winter.

What are your favorite things to do in Bend, Oregon?

Related Posts:

Things to See and Do in Sunriver, Oregon

Horseback Riding at Long Hollow Ranch, Sisters, Oregon

Thanks to Kristine and Visit Central Oregon and Tawna and Visit Bend for assistance with this post.  Photos and YouTube video by Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown

Sea Pines Golf Resort, Los Osos, California Golf Review

Friday September 2, 2011 at 12:12 AM | 1 Comment

Sea Pines Golf Resort, Los Osos, Calfornia, golf,

Sea Pines Golf Resort Golf Course Review

Sea Pines Golf Resort – perfect for beginners

Sea Pines Golf Resort in Los Osos, California just outside of Morro Bay, is a neat, little tune up course and perfect for beginners. The par 31, nine hole course is a casual place to have a quick, laid back round with friends accompanied by a friendly, lenient pro-staff. The Sea Pines Golf Resort does a great job with all it has to offer, from deceptive greens, a forced carry and other water hazards, to picturesque views of Morro Rock and the Pacific Ocean. To have the opportunity to introduce your kids to golf on a modest little nine hole course in the central California sun is a chance you won’t  want to miss.

What are your favorite things to do in Los Osos, California?

If You Go:

Sea Pines Golf Resort 1.888.732.7463

1945 Solano Street
Los Osos, CA 93402


This review of Sea Pines Golf Resort is a guest post by Evan Brown. Evan is a high school student and avid golfer. Evan was a guest of Sea Pines Golf Resort.

Related Posts:

Best Things to Do in Cambria, California

Best Things to Do in San Luis Obispo, California

Photo courtesy of Sea Pines Golf Resort website.

Kigo Edge Footwear Travel Gear Review

Friday August 26, 2011 at 12:12 AM | 0 Comments

"Kigo" "Edge" "footwear" "Nancy D. Brown"

Kigo Edge travel gear review; slip-on footwear designed for active men and women

Kigo Edge footwear for active men and women

Imelda Marcos had a fascination with shoes. Lately, I have had an attraction to athletic footwear. I bonded with my personal butler in Los Cabos, Mexico, as we were both wearing our Sanuk surf sandals. My butler, when  not working at Marquis Los Cabos Resort, is a surfer. I, on the other hand, am a poser. I am a woman seeking comfortable, sporty-looking footwear.

Kigo lightweight footwear

Today, I find myself wearing Kigo footwear. I recently wore them to Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean. This Atlanta, Georgia-based company has its roots in Carbondale, Colorado; home to active outdoor sports enthusiasts. For myself, I was attracted to the Kigo Edge for its lightweight (five ounces per shoe) and comfortable fit. If I were a barefoot runner, which I am not, I imagine the Kigo shoe to be an attractive choice where footwear is required.

"Kigo Edge" "footwear" "Nancy D. Brown"

Kigo travel gear review; lightweight footwear for the active traveler

For the active traveler

Are you an active traveler looking for comfortable, breathable and lightweight footwear that packs flat and is easily worn through airport security lines? If the Kigo Edge fits – wear it! The shoe offers good traction on sail boats, is EPA approved water and stain resistant and features an anti-microbial removable EVA insole, good for river-rafting.

If you are interested in special sales or discounts, friend the company on Facebook or follow Kigo on Twitter.  You may also follow Travel Writer Nancy D. Brown on Twitter for all things travel related.

"Kigo Edge footwear" "Curacao"

This Kigo Edge footwear traveled to Curacao in the Dutch Caribbean by land, sea and air

If You Go:

Pack your Kigo footwear. Priced at $69.99, the Kigo Edge packs flat and doesn’t take up much room. Better yet, wear your Kigo’s on the airplane. They slip on and off easily going through airport security and while you are seated on the airplane.

Kigo supplied me with this travel gear for review.

Related Posts:

Kuru Shoes Travel Gear Review

Sanuk Footwear Travel Gear Review

Travel Gear Review of Naot Sandals

Travel Tips on raveable