Some places on this planet are so vibrant that you get a huge boost of energy while there. Bend, Oregon is one of these special spots. When you visit this lush mountain town, your spirits will soar. You’ll connect with your best self, the incredible aspects of nature, and a community of yogis who also savor the sweetness of life. Better yet, you’ll leave refreshed and inspired–which will prevent burnout and low-quality instruction as a yoga professional. This yogi’s guide to Bend can show you how!
During my month-long camping trip through the Pacific Northwest earlier this summer, I had the pleasure of spending five days of it in Bend. I had previously traveled through this town–once just after the total eclipse in 2017 and another short stopover in summer of 2018. Both visits seemed far too short for my liking, which is why I wanted to explore it further this time around.
What aspects of this place called me back? For one thing, the Deschutes River flows right through the heart of Bend and its a hub for numerous water activities. There are plenty of trails on which you can also bike or hike with the sound of rushing water by your side. And when you’re not indulging in nature’s playground, you can treat your palate to a custom-crafted coffee or local brew.
As if the good food and fun were not enough, Bend has an amazing yoga scene. With 20 plus options to choose from, you’ll find just the practice to suit your style. Below are some of my personal favorites in this sunny city!
WHERE TO PRACTICE YOGA
The name says it all! If you love a strong, flow-based class that will rock your mind and body (amidst an amazing playlist of tunes), then Groove Yoga is for you! The classes I took here were heated and challenging! They stoked my inner fire for my practice and my life! Just get there early to save your spot! This is on the list of local’s favorites for a reason, and the room does get packed!
Other perks: Friendly and knowledgable staff and plenty of street parking (if the lot is full). The only downside–no showers, so plan on a trip back to your hotel for a rinse and wardrobe change before venturing out for a meal or walk along the river.
The Yoga Lab
Yoga is a practice of personal exploration and this is well understood by the team at The Yoga Lab. This studio offers a wide variety of classes to meet you where you’re at–including everything from restorative yoga, to hatha flows, and heated vinyasa classes.
In addition to the high you’ll get when you practice here, the space is adjacent to the Old Mill District. This means you can easily find a delicious post-practice snack or meal within a few minutes walk. And the parking lot is huge–so you’ll have no problem hanging out in this section of town for a while!
Namaspa is a Baptiste Affiliate studio, but don’t let that scare you off if you’re not into power yoga. Their healing flow is balanced and uplifting, and the numerous yin offerings give you a chance to relax your body if you’ve worked it hard outside already. And, if a good strong flow is on your radar, they’ve got that too!
The best part is that they have two studios–one in Bend and the other in Redmond. So if you’re heading north to visit Smith Rock, you can pair a yoga class before or after your hike there.
Photo Credit: Namaspa
WHERE TO CAFFEINATE
I wasn’t sure to put this location down under the “where to eat” or “where to drink” section of this post, as I highly recommend doing both when here. It ended up putting The Sparrow Bakery in the beverage category because I had one of the best almond milk lattes while here–and it still ranks in the top five of my all-time favorites across the US. They serve Stumptown coffee, and the Hairbender beans will get you ready to rock and roll on your adventures throughout Bend.
As for the food items you’ll want to pair with your beverage, you have lots of options. Sparrow Bakery is best known for their signature Ocean Roll, which is croissant dough rolled with cardamom, sugar, and vanilla and then baked to buttery perfection! If savory is your thing, the daily selection of fluffy, creative quiches will hit the spot. And, if you’re doing the Paleo thing, their Paleo bar is a lightly sweet blend of chocolate, dates, and walnuts–topped with toasted coconut flakes. YUM!
Important note: This place is also a local’s favorite, and lines have been known to start as soon as the doors open here on weekends. It’s worth the wait here, though. So just be sure to schedule your visit here without being rushed off to your next adventure. The patio seating at their original location is charming, as is the modern interior of their NW shop. You’ll want to be leisurely about this visit and enjoy your stay!
Back Porch Roasters
This Bend-based coffee roaster was literally started on a back porch and has now grown to three amazing locations in town. Each cup of coffee is skillfully prepared. The staff is knowledgable and friendly. Plus, they have signature drinks like the honey lavender latte and salted mocha.
My favorite location? The Back Porch Roasters on SW Century Dr (west side of the river). Not only is this spot tucked away in a quiet nook, but there is The Village Baker just across the street if you want to pair it with a strawberry rhubarb tart, cinnamon hive,
Dutch Bros is a drive-through coffee chain that was founded just down the road from Bend, Oregon in Grant’s pass. While they originated in the Beaver State, they now have over 300 locations in seven states. And even though they may not be as fancy as the previous two, Dutch Bros serves consistently great coffee by some of the most positive people on the planet. If this is your first visit to Oregon, you definitely want to check out why this company is growing in leaps and bounds!
Insider’s Tip: If you’re traveling with your dog, ask for a puppachino. They totally dig furry friends and want to make them just as happy as you when you visit.
WHERE TO EAT
Fix and Repeat
Delicious smoothies? Check. Savory breakfast bowls? Check. Avocado toast? Check and check! Fix and Repeat has it all! The decor is just as bright and inviting as their food and the freshness of it all will leave every cell of your body singing a celebratory song of great health! An additional perk about this place is they use Laird Superfood Creamers in their teas. This is exactly what I do at home with my matcha tea lattes!
My suggestion: If you get The Standard, sub almond butter for peanut butter. This way the nuttiness won’t overwhelm the flavor of your smoothie. And, you can refuel right after class–as it’s in the same complex as The Yoga Lab.
While Spoken Moto might be originally associated with a love for vintage motorcycles, that passion has oozed into a broader life philosophy of slow-paced, community-centered hub. And that includes craft drinks at their indoor brewery or custom food from any number of trucks on site.
What to get when there? Try the Inferno truck, which is a farm-to-table vegetarian experience that will leave your tastebuds satisfied with your decision.
If you’re looking for an upscale meal in this laid-back town, then 900 Wall is my suggestion. It’s in the heart of downtown with a rustic vibe. Their fried green beans are out-of-this-world… as are any of their stone oven pizzas! And you can’t go wrong with any of their entrees, either! Just be sure to make a reservation, as you’ll definitely want to eat here without the long wait that often accompanies this gem!
The Deschutes Brewery and Public House
When I first met my husband, he introduced me to Deschutes Black Butte Porter–and both he and this smooth, chocolatey beer stole my heart! Turns out the food at The Deschutes Brewery is just as delightful as their brews. If you start with their smoked pork and grits, or their obsidian mac and cheese, you won’t be disappointed. And any one of their juicy burgers will surely please the biggest of meat-lovers in your family.
My suggestion: Enjoy this location in the afternoon, as the outdoor seating offers some fantastic people-watching on sunny days!
WHAT TO DO
As you know, Kai travels in the van with me everywhere. That means I seek as many outdoor adventures as I can that are dog-friendly. Shelvin Park is one of the best places we found. It’s a 652-acre preserve with extensive trails that are perfect for hikers and mountain bikers. As for Kai and me, we enjoyed a tree-covered walk along the Tumalo Creek trail.
Going there in the winter? These trails turn into the perfect place to cross-country ski!
By the time the third local told me about Smith Rock, I knew it had to be on our agenda during our time in Bend. This State Park is just north of Bend by about 25 miles and well worth the drive. You’ll pass through lovely, high-mountain farmland and be able to see the amazing rock walls as you approach this destination. Once you arrive, you can take a relaxing walk down by the river. Or, you can get your game face on and hike the mile uphill on Misery Ridge to gain a 360-degree view of the entire region. Whether you walk, mountain bike, rock climb, or just want to get a better perspective of central Oregon, this spot is for you.
Plus, there are stunning views of the mountains to the west at Smith Rock. You’ll see Mt. Bachelor to the southwest, Mt Jefferson to the northwest, and the Three Sisters in between!
What I love most about Bend is that they make it extremely easy and safe to navigate the Deschutes River. They have the “Ride the River” shuttle that will transport you to Riverbend Park, where you wade into the water via a sandy beach. You do have to get out of the water, to avoid rapids, partway downstream. But there are large signs (and likely lots of other fellow travelers) that will clearly indicate your exit and re-entry points.
Insider’s Tip: Wear strapped sandals, like Chacos (of which I have two pairs) when floating the river. Flip flops often fall off and you’ll want something sturdy on your feet when getting in and out of the water. As a shameless plug for Chacos, when I had sole issues with my first pair, I was able to send them in for a free repair. Great customer service and an amazing shoe for water and land sports alike!
PUTTING IT TOGETHER
Bend, Oregon is an outdoor-lovers paradise. With access to water, mountains, and everything in between, you’re sure to find an activity that will ignite the fire of your spirit. And, you’ll have numerous places and opportunities to practice yoga–which can also fuel your creativity and passion for the practice all over again! Just use this yogi’s guide to Bend, Oregon to help you make the most of your trip to the area!
Take Action Now:
- If you live in Bend, or have traveled there yourself, leave a hot tip about what you love most about this city in the comments section below.
- Try one of my matcha lattes at home, and/or
- Explore something or someplace new in your own city this week. You don’t have to venture far to get that emotional boost from trying new things.
Also, make sure to join me in the coming weeks as we explore:
- How to use yoga for golfers
- Why getting better 1% at a time can be the best approach to progress, and
- 5 powerful metrics to gauge your business success