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Bend vs. Sisters

Ohio
Level Contributor
51 posts
172 reviews
Bend vs. Sisters

Hubbie and I coming in July for 2 week visit around Oregon. Can't decide whether we should stay in Bend or Sisters. We love hiking, scenery, and want more Oregon charm than big city options. What are the experts' thoughts about which town to stay in?

Oregon/Washington
Destination Expert
for Portland, Sunriver
Level Contributor
11,861 posts
102 reviews
1. Re: Bend vs. Sisters

Either one would work well for you.

The drawback for Sisters is that the main road that goes through town gets very congested in the summer, especially on weekends, so it can be slow going and of course crowded even to just wander the town. That said, it is a great little town and there are some nice places to stay. When we go there, we stay a couple miles out of downtown.

The drawback for Bend of course is it's size. There are lots of great areas to stay though, including areas 15 minutes or so outside of town such as Sunriver, etc.

Both areas are hugely popular in the summer and so whatever you choose, I would suggest securing a place very soon. The good places book up to a year in advance. Hiking and scenery are easily accessible from either town, so you don't need to worry about that at all.

Portland, Oregon
Level Contributor
3,568 posts
49 reviews
2. Re: Bend vs. Sisters

How much of your two weeks here are planned for Bend or Sisters?

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Bend
Level Contributor
1,681 posts
20 reviews
3. Re: Bend vs. Sisters

While Sisters is the smaller of the two, Bend can certainly feel "small town" depending on what you are used to.

How long are you planning to stay in the area? If it's three or more nights I suggest one night in Sisters (perhaps at the Five Pine Resort, which has a small pub, movie theater, and other amenities nearby) and two in Bend (maybe at Ameritel/Hilton Garden or Seventh Mountain, depending on your budget).

These are just a "wild stab". Agree that if we knew more specifics then better recommendations will follow.

Oregon
Level Contributor
8,735 posts
42 reviews
4. Re: Bend vs. Sisters

Bend may be a little more centrally located. Fair amount to do south of Bend like Cascade Lakes Scenic Byway, Newberry Crater NVM. Though Campsherman is another good visit north of Sisters

Edited: 21 February 2012, 21:44
Ohio
Level Contributor
51 posts
172 reviews
5. Re: Bend vs. Sisters

We are planning to stay 2-3 days in the Bend/Sisters area - hope to see a few of the sights already mentioned in previous questions, as well as do some hiking, scenic drives, and just enjoy the beauty of the area. We'll be coming from Crater Lake, then after a stay in this area moving on to Mt. Hood and Gorge area. Ideally, we'd prefer to stay in the same place for the 2-3 days, but that's not essential. In reading replies, it sounds like there are more recommendations to stay out of town in either location. Would we primarily be coming in to B or S for dinner and evening fun then? How far apart are they? Could we stay at one but visit the other one evening? I appreciate the info on a need to reservations soon. Any other thoughts to share? Thanks SO MUCH for the help!

Oregon
Level Contributor
8,735 posts
42 reviews
6. Re: Bend vs. Sisters

I would just stay in Bend I have always like Riverside, on river and feels sort of out of town. Inn of 7th Mountain is nice and just out of town

Sun River south of bend and Black Butte west of Sisters great places to stay, but not centrally located.

Edited: 22 February 2012, 10:10
oregon
Level Contributor
94 posts
11 reviews
7. Re: Bend vs. Sisters

Bend for sure. Much more to see and do. You can always make a day trip to Sisters to check it out. Also check out Redmond and Smith Rocks.

Ohio
Level Contributor
51 posts
172 reviews
8. Re: Bend vs. Sisters

Okay, Bend is it then. Thanks so much for your input. You've mentioned several places, and I've looked them up online. How is the McMenamis (spelling?) that used to be a school? Also, it's probably listed under another thread, but do you have top recommendations for food? We love great food, but in a casual, fun want-to-hang-out-there kind of environment. Suggestions?

Chicago, Illinois
Destination Expert
for Bend
Level Contributor
1,681 posts
20 reviews
9. Re: Bend vs. Sisters

I haven't stayed at OSF (McMenamins) and I only know one person that has. They found it to be loud. The Ameritel is located in the Old Mill District and it has restaurants and shopping. To me, downtown is "walkable" from that hotel (it's maybe 1.5 miles, depending on which route you take. The Oxford Hotel is located downtown.

Food... now you're talking...

Old Mill District (mostly chains with a few standouts): Kona Mix Plate (Hawaiian), Cafe Yumm (rice bowls and healthy fare), Flatbread Community Oven (pizza, pasta)

In between Old Mill and downtown: The Taco Stand (lunch), Strictly Organic coffee (bakery, sandwiches), Sparrow Bakery (Stumptown coffee, artisan bakery, YUM!), Jackson's Corner (casual), Brickhouse (BEST steaks)

Breakfast or coffee downtown: Alpenglow (for sit down, full breakfast), Lone Pine or Thump (coffee), 10 Below (in the Oxford)

Some of my favorite lunch spots (I work downtown): Pizza Mondo (great lunch specials), Super Burrito (cheap, fast, filling)

Some good middle of the road, sit down places are:

Deschutes Brewery (just expanded and usually extremely busy but it's like mecca for fans of their beers), Brother Jon's Alehouse, Amalias

Other pubs downtown include: Silver Moon (great burgers and salads), JC's (their label is Wildfire), McMenamins (trademark slow/no service), The Summit (Burgers, sammies, pasta), Bend Brewing Company (pub menu)

For an upscale dinner try: Five Spice (sushi), Zydeco (dinner)

Dallas, Texas
2 posts
1 review
10. Re: Bend vs. Sisters

We stayed here last summer and just happened to find it on one of our drives. We loved our stay here! So peaceful and beautiful!

http://thelodgeatsuttlelake.com/