Things to Do in Central Oregon This Summer

Enjoy good brews, bites, music, and festivals when you visit Bend and Sisters, Oregon, this summer.

The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show.

Jerry Baldock

Central Oregon in the summer means lots of outdoor recreation—and some citified pleasures as well.


Bangers & Brews sits in a nondescript shopping center, but the fare is a national treasure. Order the wild boar sausage with a dish of chimichurri sauce if you can: It goes fast. 

Food carts at the Podski offer fried pickles, pierogi, crispy pork belly sandwiches, and more.

At the south end of downtown, Mantra Indian Kitchen can get overlooked. But the lamb vindaloo will be all you talk about on the way home. 

Craft brews at the Podski.

Toni Toreno


Performers such as the Grateful Bluegrass Boys and Leo Kottke rock the Belfry, a concert venue housed in a converted 1914 church. Folk, rock, world music, DJs: Expect it all here. 

Thursdays from mid-July to mid- August, head to Drake Park in Bend for Munch & Music, a free open-air concert coupled with bounce houses and food carts. Find out why Dump City Dumplings has the longest line.

Summer brings the annual Pickin' and Paddlin' festival, an outdoor concert series on the banks of the Deschutes River to benefit the Bend to Paddle Trail Alliance.


Desert Reflections: Water Shapes the West, at the High Desert Museum through September 29, explores the influence of water on the region. Other exhibits focus on Oregon's rich natural history. (AAA members get a 10 percent discount on admission.) 59800 U.S. Highway 97, Bend.

The Sisters Outdoor Quilt Show, one of the biggest in the nation, unfolds July 13. And the Sisters Fall Street Festival takes over Oak Street Aug. 31 and Sept. 1 with numerous craft vendors and antique dealers.