On the Road: Bend, Oregon

Bend Oregon

When you live in the PNW the opportunities for bad-ass vacations in your backyard are endless. Leavenworth, San Juan Islands, Astoria, Vashon Island, Tofino, Crater Lake, Olympic Peninsula; the list really is endless. This month we decided a trip to Bend with a good group of friends was in order. A friend's weekend needs a few key things to be successful: good food, good bars, good activities, and good people. Luckily, Bend can give you all of this in one adorable Oregon mountain town. If you don't have cool friends, well.. Bend could probably help you with that one if you like hippies or skiing...if not, then you're on your own. 

So, now let's get into how to do Bend right. You're going to need to pack your drinking pants and possibly your snow gear (in winter) or hiking gear (in summer) if you want to work off the many calories you are about to consume. 

Where to Stay

McMenamins - Old St. Francis School

McMenamins are an all-time favorite of Rain or Shine Guides. These incredibly unique and transformed hotels are always a treat to spend the night in. No rooms are the same and they have incredible detail and flare that you can't find anywhere else. McMenamins are often referred to as the adult resorts of the PNW. Old St. Francis School in Bend is no different. They offer a beautiful soaking pool, movie theater, several bars on site with live music on most nights, and of course enough art on the walls to keep you busy perusing for days. 


We are huge fans of Airbnb - especially when traveling with a group. There are great Airbnb's all over Bend. We would recommend staying in Bend's Westside neighborhood or Downtown because Bend is a great town to walk and bike! In the summer scout out homes that come with bikes and in the winter definitely prioritize a hot tub with your rental. 


If you aren't coming to Bend for the food and beer (primary reason for us), then you are probably coming for the outdoors. This is a spectacular part of Oregon, with Mt. Bachelor looming in the distance and so much to see and do in the area surrounding town. If you like to camp we would recommend Bend-Sunriver RV Campground. It's clean, has good prices, and additional things on site to keep everyone entertained. 

Where to Eat 


Spork Bowl Bend

Alright, so Spork is the number one place to eat in Bend on Yelp, which means it isn't revolutionary of us to recommend this spot, but holy S$^@%-balls, it's just so damn good that you can't even understand how life existed before you ate here. This quaint Mexican-Asian fusion restaurant is full of so much amazing flavor and spice you will wonder how Asia and Mexico didn't figure out their cuisines went together sooner. It's one of those places that once you take your first bite you think, "I don't need to eat anything else the rest of my life. If I had nothing but this pork all day every day, I would be completely happy." The vibe in the restaurant is modern meets boho (yes, you should absolutely sit in the egg shaped booths carved out into the walls). 

Our favorite: Shredded Pork Rice Bowl

The Brown Owl

The Brown Owl chili

The Brown Owl was recommended to us by our kombucha-tender at Humm (This what you call the person who serves you kombucha instead of beer, right? No? Oh, just go with it). What's great is this food truck/bar is located right by Atlas, Crux, and Immersion, so you can drink a bunch of beer and cider, get good and hungry for some comfort food, and then go demolish everything on the menu at Brown Owl...which is absolutely what we did. The homemade corndogs were the main attraction, having had only the state fair variety we obviously had to see what this was all about. But beyond that, everything we tried just tasted better then the last. Mac n cheese loaded with onions and peppers? Fire. Fire roasted tomato and beef chili with a side of deep-fried cornbread? Bomb. Beer pretzel made by someone who studied pretzel-making in Germany? Do we even need to say it? Ok we will - it was damn delicious people. 

The bar you can take your food porn into is also super cool. Beautiful log walls with decor that brings the outdoors in, canoes hanging above the bar, taxidermy animals (wearing sombreros), and long wood tables fill the space for you too relax in after a long, hard day of day-drinking.

Our favorite: Homemade Corndog


Drake is where you go to get your nice dinner in Downtown Bend. This spot is trendy, but not pretentious, with a stacked menu that will please just about anyone in your party, from the vegetarian to the steak eater who can't avoid the filet mignon on any menu. First, head to the bar for a drink. Their bartenders are fun to watch as they expertly craft creative drinks. Things are set on fire and transformed into unique drinks you can only find at the Drake Bar. Once you're finished at the bar, head to a table and start on the small plates - don't miss out on the roasted cauliflower! From there the entrees are waiting for you. Beware - they are big. Prepare yourself for half of a chicken when you order the fried chicken or a bone-in pork chop as big as your face. We respect anyone with the self-control to not eat it all and lick the plate - it's so good it's worth feeling a little miserable after. 

Our favorite: Mac n Cheese (be bad and add the bacon)

The Dough Nut

The Dough Nut Bend

Prepare for sugar overload because it's impossible not to over order when you visit The Dough Nut. They have everything from your staple Maple Bars and Apple Fritters all the way to Mayan Chocolate Cream Cheese and Banana-Rum Buttermilk Bars. Also not to be missed are their breakfast sandwiches. They sandwich your fixings (we recommend going for something with pesto on it) in between two doughnuts, they aren't sweet, just fried dough, but holy crap it's freaking amazing. 

Where to Drink

Crux Fermentation Project

This is kind of the place to visit when you come to Bend. The brewery is a little off the beaten path but patrons are rewarded with over 20 unique beers on tap and an amazing tasting room. They plan their happy hour specials around the sunset, hippies (and lovers of beauty) rejoice! Come enjoy a pint and watch the sun sink below the mountains. 

Our favorite: Crux Farmhouse

Atlas Cider Co. 

Atlas Cider Co.

Atlas is a great break from beers. Come to their tasting room to have some refreshing, crisp/tart/unique ciders. It's a perfect spot to go with a group - they have just about everything you need for a fun afternoon: pool, arcade games, tons of cider to work your way through, dogs running around eating popcorn that was accidentally dropped on the floor (the popcorns free (wee!) but drop in some dollars to support local charities), and don't miss their apple cider donuts, made with their apple cider - YUM. 

Our favorite: Blackberry cider

Deschutes Brewery

This is one of the big ones in town (10 Barrel is another big name you can visit). If you are in Bend to experience small-time craft brewing, then you can skip Deschutes, but we think they have good beer and their Public House in Downtown Bend also has a full menu of yummy food, which is needed when you're drinking all day, every day. There are several beers on their menu that you can only get at this location - so we would recommend sticking with those (they are clearly labeled) and get the elk burger or fried chicken sandwich if you have room in your stomach - they are both delish! 

Our favorite: Fresh squeezed IPA

Immersion Brewing 

Immersion Brewing makes the list because they 1. have good beer, 2. have good food, and 3. (this one sets them apart) they offer Brew-It-Yourself classes! You can book a two hour session with their team and brew your own beer, wait three weeks and come back to bottle it up and take it home to impress all your friends and family! 

Our favorite: Little Fawn Saison

Humm Kombucha

Humm Kombucha

We are PNW ladies, which means we obviously love Kombucha (we wrote about a local Seattle kombucha maker here), and we don't really ever miss an opportunity to drink this fizzy drink of the gut gods. We even each brew our own at home - kombucha addictions are hard on the wallet if you don't make your own. No shocker here, Humm's on tap was like 10 million times better than anything we've ever made. In their Bend tasting room they have their staple flavors that are available in a lot of grocery stores up and down the west coast. The way to go is to get a taster and fill it with the "Mix It Up" - these are their original flavors mixed into unique flavors. 

Our favorites: Sunburst and Berry Blast

What to Do

Explore Downtown

Downtown Bend is really stinking cute. It's full of coffee shops, restaurants, breweries, and shopping for everyone! We could walk the streets and along the river for an entire afternoon easily. Some really fun spots to highlight would be Looney Bean Cafe and The Commons. These are both great spots to hang out and sip some coffee or grab a light bite by the river with a view. They both have events too, so check out their calendars for when you're in town. 

They also have great shopping, including killer Birkenstock and Patagonia stores. Lark is a great outdoorsy store with functional and natural decor and clothing. Jubeelee is a fun women's clothing store to grab trendy clothing and jewelry, and if you want to take home some cool Bend swag we recommend The Bend Store

Note: We purposefully left off The Old Mill District from our list. It's full of chain restaurants and stores and although it is in a beautiful part of town, it isn't our favorite place to explore.


The area surrounding Bend is beautiful, so if you have some time, get outside and explore. Pilot Butte State Scenic Viewpoint (you can drive or hike to the viewpoint) and Shelvin Park are close to town and are both great options for easy hiking and beautiful views. About 20 miles outside of Bend, there is also a great waterfall hike, Tumalo Falls. Smith Rock State Park is also nearby and offers some of Oregon's most stunning scenery and beautiful hiking trails! 

Deschutes River Bend

If you want an easy stroll then we recommend opting for the Deschutes River Trail, this 12 mile trail runs right through the town of Bend and offers a paved or gravel trail, depending on where you are, along the river.


Mt. Bachelor sits about 30 miles outside Bend and offers some of the best skiing in Oregon! Don't ski? Well no worries, there are a ton of other activities on the mountain to enjoy including tubing, free snowshoeing tours, and..wait for it... sled dog rides. WHAT?! We haven't done this yet, but you better believe it's on the bucket list. (Remember that movie Balto? Such a heroic tale.)

Catch a concert/live performance

Les Swab Amphitheater sits on the river and gets a lot of the big name performers in Bend. Check out their lineup to see if you can snag tickets for a show. 

The Volcanic Theatre Pub is another great venue in Bend for live music. They also have a theatre if you're more interested in plays! 

Many bars around town have live music throughout the week, including Northside Bar and Grill and McMenamin's Father Luke's Room. 

That wraps up the top spots in Bend to check out when you visit. If you have any must-see, must-drink, or must-eat locations let us know so we can visit them on our next trip to Bend!

Salish Lodge and Spa: A Relaxing and Rejuvenating Weekend Getaway

We all love to get out of the city every once in a while. Luckily in our area it's fairly easy to do. We are surrounded by remote, beautiful landscapes full of small, quaint towns. Snoqualmie is no secret; it's a great place to visit and slow down for a weekend, but what I think a lot of people don't know is it shouldn't be treated as a day trip. Oh, no. Because nestled above Snoqualmie Falls is Salish Lodge and Spa and it's an attraction in itself. Book a night and experience the history and beauty of the area. We promise you won't regret the decision. 

Here's why. 

Every room comes with the guarantee of relaxation. 

If you look up relaxation in the dictionary, it will basically say, "Why are you reading this dictionary, go to Salish and you'll know what relaxation means." It won't... but seriously, just wait you are going to be so relaxed. 

Almost every room at the lodge comes with a view of the Snoqualmie River. Every room has a jetted bathtub and goose down feather bedding. Every room has a fireplace that burns real wood. This gives off an amazingggg smell of firewood. Oh, and the rooms also come with either a balcony or a window seat, which means fresh air and waterfall sounds. See? Told ya. 

The staff are wonderful and they truly love the place they work. 

No one wants to get to their relaxing hotel getaway and have a "too cool for school" hipster staring back at them. Leave that in Seattle and arrive at a place that is happy. Salish is full of people who are proud to work in a place of esteem and history. Smiles and good humor are in abundance, which makes visiting that much more enjoyable. 

The restaurants on the premise are full of delicious food and beverages.

Salish has two amazing restaurants. The main restaurant, The Dining Room, serves up PNW fare in a stylish dining room. The best seats in the house overlook the falls, giving you the opportunity to eat your country breakfast or pan seared pacific cod while enjoying a great view. The bar in Salish, dubbed The Attic for its top of the line views from the peaks of the lodge, is great for more low-key dining. Grab a flatbread and the famous honey hopped ale for a casual night... wait for it... enjoying the view. 

honey ale on tap at Salish Lodge

The spa seems to be a place you could go to and then die happy.

Getting the "spa level" package when you stay at Salish will take your experience to a whole new level. Their therapeutic soaking pools and full suite of spa services will leave you zen AF. 

The soaking pools at Salish are calling your nameeee. Photo cred: Salish Lodge and Spa

The soaking pools at Salish are calling your nameeee. Photo cred: Salish Lodge and Spa

They are committed to the environment. 

In 2011, Salish decided to commit part of their property to start an apiary for honeybees. They've now tripled their hives and these bees pollinate 80% of their flowering crops and provide the lodge with their (now famous) honey. They also have an 800 sq. ft garden that provides the on site restaurants with organic, locally-raised produce. #HealthyLiving

Even the breakfast comes with a bit of history.

Salish has been around since 1916, which means it has a teeny bit of history attached to it. Back then it was just a small eight cabin lodge offering a place to stay and a big breakfast for travelers about to head through the mountains. Now it's a beautiful, award winning hotel that is a popular destination for travelers near and far. Be sure to appreciate the native art that decorates your room and the wood-burning fireplaces.

Salish Lodge back in the day! 

Salish Lodge back in the day! 

Salish's best tradition happens in The Dining Room -- The Country Breakfast. Prepare your stomach and you'll walk away a happy camper. It's a four course breakfast that will take you at least an hour and half to finish, but it comes with a history of nourishing hungry travelers and the last course gets you a healthy serving of the local honey. Definitely well-worth the price tag. 

Who doesn't love a good waterfall? 

When you stay at Salish you literally sit right on top of one of the most spectacular waterfalls in Washington State. At 268 feet, Snoqualmie Falls is truly a sight to see. The park that is built around it offers great views and a nice history lesson. Don't forget to watch out for the Peregrine Falcons that nest nearby. And also the selfie sticks, those things come out of nowhere. 

The gift shop is on POINT.

We do our christmas shopping here because it is full of all the best goodies. This isn't a place you go to buy a tacky t-shirt and an orca stuffed animal. It's the real deal. Think luxurious bath bombs, beautiful ornaments, and the best honey products made with love from the Salish honeybees. You'll want to budget to leave behind some of your weekend spending money here. 

honey from Salish Lodge

Check out our post "5 Things to Check Out in Snoqualmie, WA" for ideas if you have time to kill.

Have you stayed at Salish Lodge? We would love to hear your favorite memories and tips in the comments! 

Mailbox Peak

It's true we are no strangers to hard hikes (see: Grouse Grind), but we wouldn't say we exactly seek them out. What we do love here at Rain or Shine Guides and what we WILL seek out is weird stuff (see: Hat N' Boots). When we heard there was a 4,800 foot+ mountain peak with a mailbox installed on it, we decided, yes, that's weird and we must see it. It didn't matter that Mailbox Peak is arguably one of the hardest hikes in the Snoqualmie area. Weird stuff is always worth it.

Our office dog, Maggie, crushed the trail

Our office dog, Maggie, crushed the trail

Nobody knows exactly why a longtime letter carrier decided to install a mailbox at this particular mountain, but it is what gives this peak its name and is what made it famous. There are two ways to get to the top of the mountain. You can go the old way, which is so steep it's considered a vertical incline, gaining almost all of that 4,800 feet in 2.5 miles. Fair warning's unrelenting. It's torture. It will make you call your Mom crying. The trail will start with a well worn path but quickly becomes a mess of trees, and you must follow the white diamonds stapled to the trees to find the rest of the way to the top. Your other option is the new trail, which was built not too long ago as a result of all the injuries and rescues that were occurring on the old trail. So, why would you even consider the old trail, you ask? The new trail is nothing but a sea of switchbacks and will take you over twice the distance (9.4 miles roundtrip). We decided to take the old trail up and the new trail down, and this worked out well. It cut the distance a bit, but felt safer overall. No matter what option you take, remember to take your time. Your quads, knees, back, calves and sanity will thank you.

When you do finally reach the top, give yourself a pat on the back, crack open one of those beers you remembered to pack, and take in the 360 degree panoramic views.

Insider tip: People leave all sorts of interesting things in the mailbox. It's fun to bring a small token with you to leave or to swap out for something different. We brought a Marshawn Lynch themed poker chip because nothing is more beast mode than this hike. Also, don't forget your Discover Pass!

5 Places for the Adrenaline Junkie in Seattle

"If you don't feel like you are going to puke at least once a week, you aren't living life hard enough." - Mother Theresa 

Seattle is full of natural wonders that will get your blood running. You can hike back country trails, ski down mountains, and kayak with whales. If you are the type of person who loves getting your adrenaline rushing and that "Oh shiz, my stomach is in my throat" feeling then we have the list for you. 

Paragliding off Poo Poo Point

Paragliding off Poo Poo Point

Parafly Paragliding 

If you have ever hiked to the top of Poo Poo Point you might have noticed those people strapped to gliders jumping off the mountain. If you have ever wanted to feel like you were a bird and see the Pacific Northwest from an aerial view this is going to be your jam! Takes 2-3 hours from start to finish, tandem flights cost $220.

Skydive Snohomish

Skydiving is not for the faint of heart. The scariest part is willing yourself to jump out of a plane (not usually a good thing). Your brain might be screaming no, but quiet that voice and jump! You'll never experience a feeling like this any other way. Skydive Snohomish has very friendly, trustworthy staff and a great history of jumps that put safety first. Takes 3 hours and costs $225 for a tandem jump.

Sound Excursions 

Sound Excursions hosts a wide variety of events, one of which is white water rafting class IV rapids on the Skykomish River. The great thing about Sound Excursions is they plan everything, including transporting you from Seattle to the landing sight, food during the outing, and a guide for the whole thing! Oh, and you can BYOB too (Shots! Shots! Shots!) Cost is $139 for a nine hour excursion.

Canopy Tours NW

This zipling company located on Camano Island is home to a course of 6 ziplines. If you've never been before this a great starter zipline course, and it doesn't require too much stamina. The walking is all done on forest trails, so it's great for all ages (well unless you are under 12 since that's the age minimum). Plus you get transported to the ziplines in one of these-- COOL. It takes about 2.5 hours and costs $103. 

iFly Seattle 

We all know the weather can put a damper on plans sometimes. This means we have a lot of indoor options for things that are usually outdoor activities. Swimming pools, mini golf, and now skydiving have moved indoors! if you are over the age of three (who has an adventurous toddler??) and in good physical health this is open to you. It takes 1.5 hours and this summer they have a deal that only costs $49.95. 

What do we hope to see soon in Seattle that isn't currently here? Bungee jumping. All we are saying is there are a lot of bridges and cranes in the area...seems like someone should use them for our entertainment.