Today’s CITY GUIDE post is brought to you by Steven Stevens of Bend, Oregon. Enjoy!

Bend, Oregon is very local. Everything about it screams small local community but with a population of around 80,000 people it is anything but small. Bend is so local and loves everything about small business they even coming up with the phrase “Make Local Habit.” It is a touristy city located east of the mountains in the high desert so there is a lot to do.

1. The first thing you must know is people from Bend (or Bendites) love their coffee. Every where you look there is a coffee connoisseur ready to answer any question you might have about your cup of joe. But even though you might not know much about coffee you better believe there are a plethora of places to go have some of the best tasting coffee you’ve ever had. One such place is Backporch Coffee Roasters. It is owned by Dave and Majell Beach and there are two locations (both in Bend). You are always greeted by smiling faces, good smelling coffee, and facial hair and sweet looking mustaches.

2. Bend is also the place for beer. One such places that should be on your Bend to-do list is take the Deschutes Brewery tour! It pretty much is one of the best free things to do that involves walking and drinking free beer samples. You get to sample their different types of beers on tap and see the factory in which they do the different processes to end up with the malty goodness. Just make sure you bring your DD with you.

3. After your stomach is full of beer and coffee it would be good to walk. Good thing you’re in Bend! There are literally hundreds of walking trails. Every where you look you will find a beautiful place to walk. The mountains and hillside rocks make a perfect scenery to take a nice stroll. Bend is also one of the most dog friendly places you can be! Most businesses and places even put a dish of water outside of their business for all your fury friends.

4. Finally, one of the things that makes Bend, Bend is the community. There is a very lively downtown area with lots of community events. There are events from the Wiener Dog race, Brewfest!, a ton of bike races, and a huge farmers market all throughout the year. For all of these events most people come out, eat, drink, and have a great time! There are also huge parades down the main street of downtown Bend.

For being such a tucked away city in central Oregon it is definitely a great place to visit, and one of the best places to live. Lots of beer, coffee, community, and facial hair.

*All photos taken by Steven and his Polaroid. Featured image by andrewghayes.

December 27, 2011