Why Knot: Explore Bend

Over the long MLK weekend a couple friends and I decided to head to Bend to continue my birthday celebrations and explore Bend in the winter time. One of my friends grew up in the town and knew all the best places to go. We mostly drank enough beer to sink a ship (Bend has a crazy amount of breweries) but we also walked all around downtown and got to see a free concert on Friday night! I equate Bend to a Mary Kate and Ashley movie (the one where they go to the ski resort town) because everyone was decked out in ski gear, fresh off the mountain and ready to party. It was everything you could hope for in a smaller mountain town. 

Here's how the weekend went down:
 We started the drive by going through Mount Hood, which is always a little sketchy due to ice, but beautiful nonetheless. It was a straight up wintery wonderland out there! 

Then things got even more sketchy when we had 0 visibility on the other side of the mountain. We were all cheering that we had made it down the mountain safely when up ahead we saw this thick blanket of fog awaiting us. My friend drove like a pro and we made it through but it was definitely hairy there for a minute (or 20). 

 Once we had made it safely to my friend's moms house, we dropped our things and headed into downtown. I proceeded to make a fool of myself and take photos like this. After quite a few hours of driving, I was excited to be stretching my legs. We went to 10 Barrel Brewing and Bend Brewing Company (SUCH good nachos!!) that night and finished the night at a bar where all the locals go. 

The next day we rolled out of bed and headed to Smith Rock State Park. If you haven't been, drop what you're doing and make some plans now! This place was beautiful and I can't wait to go back once the weather gets nicer and actually hike it. The sun peeked out for a minute while we were there and I was very grateful. 

We ended the day by walking along the Deschutes river in the old mill district and it turned into a beautiful but chilly day. We stopped at Cascade Lake Brewing to watch the first NFL playoff game and then went to a sports bar to watch the second game. Honestly this day contained all of my favorite qualities to a day: friends, football, hiking, exploring a beautiful town, a little shopping, some coffee and beer and a cloudy blue sky. :)

On my list for next time is to ski Mount Bachelor at some point and in the summer, I want to tube down the Deschutes and hike Smith Rock. 
What are your favorite things to do in Bend, OR?

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