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High Desert Museum, Bend

Categories: Natural History Museums, Specialty Museums, Museums, Nature & Parks
Inspirock Rating:
4.6/5 based on 1,200+ reviews on the web
See indoor and outdoor exhibits of wildlife, culture, and the spirit of North America's high desert country at High Desert Museum. Take a guided tour of The West, past dioramas of historical settlements, through a fort, and into a mine. Learn about Native American cultures, get close-up with the animals of the region, and see a collection of 18,500 objects, from artifacts to vintage cars. There's a cafe with indoor and outdoor seating on site that offers sandwiches, burgers, wraps, salads, and soups. Put High Desert Museum on your schedule, and learn what else deserves a visit by using our Bend vacation builder.
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  • It has been years since we were there. This time there was lots to see, although with the wind/rain we didn't go to outside exhibits. It is a beautiful place to explore the high desert 
  • We stopped here after visiting Newberry National Volcanic park after talking with someone at another stop and glad we did! This place has something for every one, history exhibits, animals, play area,...  read more »
  • We love this place. Took my 85 year old mother there and they even had a wheelchair so she would be able to see more of the exhibits! 
  • Wonderful place to visit. Full of interesting facts items even animals. The art statues are fantastic and a must to experience! Very reasonable admission price too. Kind of scary to get back out on hwy but well worth the chance.
  • The High Desert Museum redefines what a museum ought to be. It's a rejuvenating playground for your imagination, but even more than that, it is a respectful tribute to our history and our heritage. It is full of love and life. And those feelings become contagious. So much more than a museum, it is a beautiful interactive indoor/outdoor facility. Plan on enjoying 4 or 5 hours to experience most of what there is to offer, but there are four extraordinary exhibits that will make your visit exceptionally exciting and memorable. We, and our 5 and 14 year-old kids, were enthralled by the old-west and Native American recreations. These are two dedicated exhibits that make you feel like you've gone back in time. Intricately detailed, room after room, historical stories are visually told during your meditative journey. It's better than being on the set of a Hollywood movie. It IS real. Outside, there was a surprise for our little ones! Our teenagers were wowed by the very last thing they expected: A live-action old-tyme settlement, complete with a quaint farmhouse and a lumber mill. Actors invited us to help out with some chores while chickens and other local wildlife scurried around our feet. Back inside, we caught a glimpse of the birds of prey area. The handler was sharing a great-horned owl with the spell-bound spectators in the breathtakingly beautiful auditorium. The walls disappeared and unveiled a summer evening that brought everyone even closer to nature. There are a couple of play areas that the kids can use to blast off some energy, and there are dozens of other exhibits, activities, and events for the young-at-heart. We visited on a late-summer afternoon during the week. It was not at all crowded, and we were able to move at our own pace. It was a very personal adventure, and our entire family enjoyed it. We will make a point to stop in again the next time we are in the neighborhood.
  • Amazing natural museum. Birds of pray and otters, what could make the day better? A decent amount of exhibitions and a changing schedule of temporary shows makes for a great experience.
  • Neat little museum. I would not say it's amazing but for being in a smaller city it's pretty nice. Cool exhibits and worth spending 3 hours to check out.
  • Great place to visit between Bend and Sunriver. Loved the otters and porcupine. The staff is friendly and informative. Great public speakers. Not a place you need to go to every year but fun for sure.
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