Cradled in the mountainous high desert of Central Oregon, Bend is best known for its abundance of scenic beauty and recreation – and plethora of craft beer breweries. Some of these double as Bend event venues, while the area's outdoor playground offers everything from world-renowned rock climbing at Smith Rock and hiking, biking and skiing in the Cascade Mountains, to running on Bend's cutting-edge Urban Trail System.
Roberts Field - Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM) is 16 miles north of Bend. The airport is served by Delta, Alaska, United and United Express, with daily direct flights to Denver, Oakland, Portland, San Francisco and Salt Lake City. RDM is also served by American and has direct service from LAX.
The meeting venues in Bend are its hotels. (The only non-hotel meeting facility in the area is the Expo Center at Deschutes County Fair Grounds in neighboring Redmond. It is a full-service facility, with 114,000 square feet of meeting and trade show space and three arenas.) The largest space is found at the 220-room Riverhouse Hotel & Convention Center, which rests on the Deschutes River and offers 36,000 square feet of meeting space.Another popular meeting choice is the 59-room Oxford Hotel, which provides 3,000 square feet of meeting space.
The Oxford often partners with next door neighbor 117-room Phoenix Inn Suites, which has 2,327 square feet of meeting space. The Mount Bachelor Village Resort provides 130 guest rooms and 5,400 square feet of meeting space.
Vibrant energy and natural assets have attracted worldwide attention to this mountain town, and special event venues in Bend reflect the city's penchant for history and style. Groups can rent out the circa 1940 466-seat Tower Theatre or gather in a variety of indoor and outdoor spaces at McMenamins Old St. Francis, which began as a Catholic School in 1936 and can host up to 140 people in its 6,424 square feet of function space (the property also has 23 guest rooms). On the craft brew side, Deschutes Brewery has a variety of spaces, including the Mountain room, which can host a reception for 150 overlooking the Cascade Mountains.
In keeping with Bend's approach to life, the dining scene is hip and full of variety. A couple of good downtown restaurants are 900 Wall, with a casual vibe and Southern European cuisine, and Five Fusion, popular for its sushi and Asian-inspired dishes. At Trattoria Sbandati, diners find authentic Italian cuisine in an intimate setting, and Ariana is quintessentially Bend: a cozy spot with locally-sourced food. Pine Tavern, a Bend staple since 1936, is best known for its good food and the two pine trees jutting up through the middle of the restaurant.
It is easy to entertain groups in Bend, with a number of specialized tours available. The Bend Ale Trail shows off the city's craft beer scene and a new tour, The Local Pour, takes the group to one brewery, one winery and one distillery. The Farm and Ranch Tour offers an up close look at local organic farms, an alpaca ranch, a vineyard and a cattle ranch. There are also volcano, snowshoeing, dogsledding, kayaking and caving forays.