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Top 10 places for inspiration in Bend, Oregon

When I think of what places have inspired me most I try to think back of where I felt most alive and in my body. Here is a short list of some of my favorites that I have discovered and enjoyed while being here. These spots infuse their magic into my artworks, so if you want to see some of the inspirations behind my art, head on adventure to these places:

Kristine Cooper getting married at Smith Rock State Park in Central Oregon. Wedding Event
My wedding day at Smith Rock State Park

I know I refer to this place a lot, but it's for good reason I tell you! I was married here in October 2023, and this place has always stood out to me as other worldly. The rock formations are unique, and there is something for every outdoor adventurer here. Big hikes, small ones, and plenty of climbing spots. My favorite time to go here is in the summer evenings when the crowds thin out, the frogs start to sing and the sunsets cast warm colors onto the rocks.

One day I went to the Flamingo Room Lounge in Bend and stumbled upon this group. My husband and I joined in the dancing and had a wonderful night out. They rotate to different location venues, and are so welcoming and fun. Even if you're not a great dancer, you are welcome here. This is a fun activity to partake in.

This yoga studio located in Redmond, Oregon is welcoming to anyone who walks in the doors. If you have never touched a yoga mat before, this is your spot. If you've done yoga for years, this is your spot. My artwork is adorning the walls of this soulful place, and it's where I regularly go for community and yoga. There is something special in the air here, and you can feel it when you show up.

This mountain offers a really neat way to learn the ropes of snowboarding or skiing. I did the ride in 5 (which is a special program that teaches you how to snowboard). The instructors were kind and energetic. I had a blast learning how to snowboard, and my journey on the mountain made my winters a whole lot more fun. I don't go as often as I wish I could, but this mountain is a really special way to enjoy the day.

Although I don't have my personal artwork hanging in this space, I love visiting and enjoying the afternoon here. Some of my favorite small makers including Amulette Studios & Sansarc sell their goods out of this location. There is a plethora of fun finds and groovy gifts, and I usually find something I can't resist here.

A short drive south of Bend is this beautiful trail, one I find easy to do on my own on an afternoon spontaneously. I love the landscape at this location with the lava rocks and mountain views. There's even a neat fire lookout to explore at the top. Definitely one of my favorites.

Not only have I been a vendor at this market for the past 2 years, I also genuinely LOVE this market. There are so many micro businesses to support that are crafting up creative food, gifts and ideas that it's blossoming with vitality here. I enjoy being a part of this market just as much as getting to attend it. It truly is local community.

Kristine Cooper, Bend Artist showing her work at Northwest Crossing Farmers Market
Northwest Crossing Market

My favorite music venue in town. I have always felt like this spot is a hidden gem in the community. The acts they bring in are great small independent artists and I really enjoy the vibe of the location. If I need a pick me up or inspiration, I usually look up whose playing music at the volcanic.

This special place with the wood plank walls, smell of firepits and the unbelievable soaking pool make it one of my favorite little hangouts in town. This location has so many fun things to do, from watching a move in their old theatre to enjoying a firepit with friends. I always leave here more relaxed and in good spirits after spending the day or evening here.

This lake is one of my go-to spots in the summer. The icy blue lake and the sweet lodge that offers snacks makes it an easy spot to lounge, read a book and paddle board the day away. Definitely worth planning a getaway or a day trip if you haven't been here before.

This is my short list- there are SO many more places I could tell you about! Which ones of these are your favorites? Let me know in the comments below!

Suttle Lake Central Oregon Discover a new destination to travel to.
Hanging out with the art at Suttle Lake

Top 10 places for inspiration in Bend Oregon

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