Central Oregon is home to many adventure sporting events for athletes of all ages and levels. You’ll find enough trail runs, mountain bike races, half marathons, climbing competitions, cyclocross and ski races to make even the most fluent outdoor athlete giddy.
Some of the most exciting sporting events in Bend include:
- USA Climbing: Bouldering Nationals
- Hood To Coast High Desert
- US Open National Qualifiers
- Subaru Outside Games
- Mt. Bachelor Big Wave Challenge
- Cascade Cycling Classic
- Haulin’ Aspen Trail Half & Marathon
- Pole Pedal Paddle
- Outdoor City USA
This is great news for athletes and a big reason why outdoor sports enthusiasts flock to Bend, along with their families and significant others. Because Bend is such an incredible vacation destination, often these events turn into an extended stay for couples.
If you love someone who loves adventure sports, chances are you’ll find yourself in Bend to help support their epic weekend. And it won’t take you long to realize this isn’t just another sports city on your partner’s race calendar.
A piece of advice: If your partner invites you to support them on a sporting event in Bend, GO!
Yes, it will likely involve travel, motivational support, ice pack retrieval, water bottle filling, and lots of cheering. Of course, offering this kind of support is very fulfilling when you are helping a loved one succeed in something they love. But you may find yourself with blocks of alone time as your partner hits the training circuit, goes to bed early, and attends pre-race events.
So how will you fill your free time when you’re not adventuring with your partner?
The answer is, in Bend—easily!
Bend has to be one of the best places to land for an adventure weekend with your partner when you don’t participate in their sport or pre-race events. The problem won’t be how to fill your time, it will be “how do I get more time to spend having fun in this amazing place?”
Here are some things to do while your partner is having an adventure weekend:
Hit the driving range, book a golf lesson or shop for some new clubs
If you enjoy playing golf, the driving range at Pronghorn Resort is one of the best ways to pass some time. Grab a bucket of balls and spend the afternoon working on your swing in a beautiful high desert setting. If you have some extra time, consider booking a private lesson with Jeff Ritter in the Pronghorn Academy, named a “Best Academy In the West” by Golf Digest. Inside the Pronghorn Academy, you’ll also find incredible equipment from True Spec Golf’s club fitting studio.
Take a spa-day pool-day
If you’ve had a long day of travel, your first to-do should be relaxation. Your partner will likely be tied up with pre-race events and last-minute prepping, so take advantage of this down time before the race. Head to The Spa for a relaxing massage and then spend the rest of your time lounging by the pool. You’ll be in your most blissful state, which means you’ll have the energy you need to fully support your partner on race day.
Take a bike ride
Trail or paved, long or short, manual or electric, mountain or road bike, it’s all here! Seriously, Bend is a bike-enthusiast’s dream. Here at Pronghorn Resort, you don’t have to go far to find a path that suits you. Grab one of our many styles of rental bikes and either ride our paved bike paths or hit the BLM land that surrounds the resort. Or you might choose to take a half-day and visit one of many world-class mountain biking trails in the area including Phil’s Trail.
Head downtown for lunch and shopping
Bend’s charming downtown district is perfect for a leisurely afternoon, starting with a delicious lunch at one of the many fine restaurants and cafes. Fuel up for a day of shopping downtown’s unique boutiques, bookstores, toy stores and wine shops. Cross through the breezeway on Wall Street for a coffee and some lingering at Crow’s Feet Commons, followed by a walk through the iconic Drake Park.
Take in the views and trails at Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock State Park is one of the most awe-inspiring landscapes you’ll see during your visit to Central Oregon. A haven for rock climbers, this park also boasts a beautiful trail system that’s perfect for a day hike. Just be sure to bring a camera for lots of landscape photos and selfies, because you’ll want to share this magical place with your partner when you reconnect.
Spend a few hours at a coffee shop on Mirror Pond
The Looney Bean and Crow’s Feet Commons are two of our favorite coffee shops in downtown Bend. Order a warm drink, and depending on the season, cozy up to their fireplace or head outside to the lawn overlooking Mirror Pond. Grab an adirondack chair and settle in for beautiful views and a satisfying cappuccino. These are both great places to meet Bend locals and get a feel for authentic Bend.
Soak in the hot pool at McMenamins Old St. Francis School
The soaking pool at The Old St. Francis School is a sparkling gem, and especially inviting on a rainy or snowy day. Shimmering turquoise tiles and stained glass make it feel like a luxurious European bath house, made even more magical when snow falls through the open ceiling. The pool is open to the general public during specific hours so be sure to check the current schedule. You’ll also find a movie theater and multiple bars and restaurants here, so it could easily be your home base for several hours.
Enjoy an independent film at the Tin Pan Theater
Nothing says weekend more than a movie, and the Tin Pan Theater is one of the most unique small theaters you’ll find. Tucked into an alley in downtown Bend, this theater is an authentic old-school experience with limited seating and the best movie popcorn. Tickets are first-come, first-served so you’ll want to plan ahead if you’d like to catch one of their first-rate films.
Got kids? Take them to the High Desert Museum or trampoline park
You might be traveling with kids in tow and if that’s the case, more power to you! There are so many kid-friendly activities in Central Oregon. Our first stop with kids is always the High Desert Museum. You’ll get to see and learn about the plants and animals of the high desert, as well as historical reenactments and a live birds of prey exhibit. For active kids needing to get the wiggles out of their system, check out Trampoline Zone for an active indoor experience for all ages.