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High Desert Museum, Bend

(4.6/5 based on 1,300+ 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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Reviews
TripAdvisor
  • So much to see and learn, while having fun. A win-win in all respects. Well worth a day visit; and good for all ages. 
  • The High Desert Musuem is very popular in the summer with families, but we enjoyed it in the snow last week. They have rotating exhibits inside, all of which are excellently done. Outside, we enjoyed ...  more »
  • I took my 93 year old mother who was visiting from Nebraska, to the museum for something fun to do. She absolutely loved it and was surprised that a museum of tihis quality was in such a small town. I...  more »
Google
  • 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, Otters are great could watch them all day! Other animals and exhibits great too. The food was wonderful also!
  • 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.
  • If you enjoy history, geography, and wildlife you will enjoy this museum. Clean, has a snack bar, outdoor exhibits.