Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Top 10 things to do in Bend, OR.

Cowgirl Cash has a goal.  I want Bend visitors to google "Top 10 Things to do in Bend, OR" and I want Cowgirl Cash to show up on the list.  This was not my idea.  My very talented friend who assists me in all of my marketing said it first, and since then, a few customers have mentioned it. 
My store is authentic, true to the area, and unique. A must see right?

The goal inspired me to make my own list.  This is a "Top 10 things to do in Bend, Or. in the Winter" list.  The summer list will be out in a few months.

1. Pilot Butte: (not the burger joint) I love sending newbies to Bend to hike Pilot Butte.  It's a great way to stretch your legs after a long day of traveling and it gives a very good lay of the land.  Learn the names of the mountains, and see how the high desert truly meets the mountains on this easy, but heart rate raising jaunt.  I would do this hike right before sunset with two local brews in my backpack.  (Don't forget an opener, the local brews are not twist offs.)

2. Newport Market: This market is dangerous for me.  That's why I don't shop here, but if I was visiting Bend, this would be a great place to stock up on fruit, cheese, crackers, nuts, chocolate, spreads, and wine.  The basics for great lunches and high class tailgating.

3. Mt. Bachelor: I know this isn't unique, but it's a must do right?  I'm at the mountain weekly.  It's why we live here, it's what we do, and it's amazing.

4. Cowgirl Cash: Whether you visit Downtown at the beginning of your trip, or near the end, I hope you make it into Cowgirl Cash.  My shop is a Western Vintage Boutique that strives to carry items that are authentic, practical, and beautiful.  I'm a local Bendite who returned after 20 years away to raise my family.  I needed a job, couldn't find the right fit, so created a store around my Bend roots and things I love.  Vintage cowgirl boots, pearl snap shirts, one of a kind buckles, jewelry, and art. 

5. Mcmenamins St. Francis: This would be my first choice for lodging. The Inn of the Seventh Mountain, The Oxford, or a friends vintage trailer complete with cozy down comforter would be good options as well.  Mcmenamins wins for 3 reasons. 1. Mineral soaking pool to die for. 2. Cheap movies with the option to eat dinner while you watch. 3. The fire pit.  I love this place, but don't eat here. There are too many other good options in Bend (unless you're seeing a movie).

6. Jackson's Corner: This neighborhood eatery is amazing.  Simple healthy lovely food set in a relaxed anything goes setting. Don't plan to eat here Friday night.  Too busy.  Breakfast is great as well.

7. Tumalo Mountain: This hike will make my summer list as well.  When you climb Tumalo which is directly across the street from Mt. Bachelor, you feel as if you just summited a Cascade Peak.  The views are incredible and you earn them.  This hike requires snow shoes in winter and lots of water and snacks.

8. Sparrow Baking: This coffee shop is off the beaten path and worth the search. It feels very European and you haven't tasted anything until you try an ocean roll.

9. Pine Mountain Sports: This is the spot to rent snow shoes if you want to take my recommendation and hike Tumalo.  This locally owned shop is on Century Drive on your way up to the mountain.  It's a great place to pick up necessary Bend wear like bright puffy jackets, cute beanies and sun glasses.  All of this works well with your vintage boots from Cowgirl Cash.

10. Goodwill: Bend's Goodwill is clean, loaded with stuff, and the music is not bad.  Goodwill fundamentally irritates me, but this is where locals donate their good used gear and household stuff.  They make drop off so easy and painless that they get the good goods.  Be patient, put your head down, and dig.  I guarantee you'll find a treasure.

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