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Top 10 Awesome Things to do During a Bend Summer

Summer is once again upon us. Warm days. Cool nights. Flip flops come out of hiding. It’s time for adventure!

We asked Newport Avenue Market employees and customers what some of their favorite Bend summer activities are. They spanned a range from weird (pet taxidermy, anyone?) to wild (living off the land for 45 days). What circled ’round over and over again, however, are these Top 10 Awesome Things to do During a Bend Summer:

1. Fly fishing
According to Fly Fisherman Magazine, Bend is a Top 10 town for fly fishing. Maybe it has something to do with the plethora of amazing rivers we have flowing through our mountains. Local anglers agree that some of the best rivers to cast your line into are the Deschutes, Metolius, Fall River and Crooked River.

Take along Epic Brewing’s Elder Brett Golden Ale; perfect for chilling in the water or storing in that weird pocket on your fishing vest.

2. Kayaking the Cascade Lakes
Drive 30 minutes up into the Cascades and you will find some of the most pristine mountain lakes anywhere in the world, with heart-stopping views that belong on a motivational calendar. “Gliding in paradise,” is how one customer describes it. The best places to kayak? Sparks Lake and Hosmer Lake for the win!

What tastes great during a paddle, while you pause for a moment and take in the breathtaking scenery? Humm Kombucha, of course!

3. Hiking South Sister
Get out your hiking poles, sunscreen and sheer determination. South Sister, the third highest peak in Oregon, beckons all adventurers. At 12.4 miles round trip, it’s no easy jaunt. The 4900-foot elevation gain comes at you fast and furious. The loose shale can be maddening (bring gaiters!). But, the view from the top? It will blow your mind.

Make sure to pack plenty of food for the journey. Our favorite? Good, old-fashioned peanut butter sandwiches, made with Jem nut butter, on Dave’s Killer Bread.

4. Caving
One thing about Central Oregon during the summer… it gets hot, seriously hot. The good news? Under the Central Oregon desert is a system of lava tubes that naturally stay at an ever-so-cool 45 degrees. Nature’s refrigerator. Favorite area caves for exploring include Lava River Cave, Boyd Cave, Arnold Ice Cave, and Hidden Forest Cave. Adventure is right under your feet… literally.

What should you stash in your jacket for a quick snack while exploring the underbelly of Bend? How about Setton Farms’ Pistachio Chewy Bites? Yummy, quick energy and no crumbs!

5. Cycle Pub
Part of the Bend experience is pedaling the Cycle Pub around town with your 12 closest friends. Tour the city, wave at sidewalk gawkers and enjoy some of the best Bend breweries along the way. Glass bottles and hard liquor are not allowed, so be sure to fill your Hydroflask with great-tasting beer for the ride. We recommend Crux Double Cross, Silver Moon GetSum and Atlas Apricot Cider.

6. Conversation around a fire pit with friends
One thing about Bend life that appeals to so many people is our ability to relax and enjoy the good things in life. There is nothing better than a warm summer evening with friends around a fire. Telling stories. Laughing. Sharing a bottle of wine. Or two. Our favorite wine for friends and conversation? Oregon’s own Evolution Wine.

7. Drinking beer at one of our many breweries
Mmmmm… a frothy cold one, on a patio, hanging with friends on a balmy Bend night. Life doesn’t get much better.

Bend has some of the best outdoor patios for gathering with buddies and soaking up good vibes. The Lot, 10 Barrel, Bend Brewing Company, and Good Life Brewing are some of our favorites.

8. Stargazing
There is something spellbinding about a desert sky filled with brilliant stars… and Central Oregon skies are perfect for stargazing. Head up to the Oregon Observatory at Sunriver, the Pine Mountain Observatory (a short, 30-minute drive to the east), or the Badlands to experience spectacular starry nights.

Don’t forget to take Newport Avenue Market’s world-famous OMG Brownie. You’ll want something divine to chew on while staring up at nature’s greatest show.

9. Concerts at the Les Schwab Amphitheater
One thing Bend-ites appreciate is good music in an awesome location. Hello, Les Schwab Amphitheater! Check out the great shows they’ve got lined up for Summer 2014:

Michael Franti & Spearhead  6/28
Steely Dan   7/3
Ringo Starr   7/17
Amos Lee   7/18
Jack Johnson   8/24
Dave Matthews Band   8/26

Don’t forget the free Sunday Concerts that run from June 9-August 4.

While the Amphitheater does not allow outside food or drink, there are amazing food carts inside offering up delicious food. Our favorite? Spork!

10. Biking
Bend is Bike Town USA! Whether you fly down the numerous world-class mountain biking trails or cruise the Westside and Downtown with your kids in tow, there is a place for all kinds of bikers in Bend. If you are feeling especially patriotic, swaddle yourself in red, white and blue and join the masses for the 4th of July Freedom Ride.

Stash a Picky Bar in your pocket for a quick burst of energy while riding.

What did we miss? Tell us in the comments about your favorite Bend summertime activities!

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