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High Desert Museum, Bend

4.7
#1 of 100 in Museums in Oregon
Natural History Museum Art Museum
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 Traveler Rating
1,462 reviews
Google
4.7
TripAdvisor
  • Loved the exhibits... many live animals with close up viewing. The bird show was very interesting. The river otters where hysterical and a must see.  more »
  • We spend a wonderful afternoon here on a family outing. It had fascinating exhibits. Loved seeing the eagles, owls and hawks.  more »
  • High Desert Museum has grown since our last visit several years prior. It had a good combination of historical education, interactive exhibits and live animals to keep everyone engaged. The river otte...  more »
Google
  • Pretty neat place with lots of exhibits that are updated regularly. The campus is very nice and they offer lots of community days so you don't have to pay full price. They also do a lot of work with the community and rescue injured animals. My kids always enjoy this place.
  • Great experience! Very informative and the grounds are beautifully maintained. Good for young children and parents and anyone who wants to learn. Bring your own lunch, cafe is a little pricey.
  • The volunteer who gave us a short tour was VERY informative and VERY friendly, so a very good experience with him. On our own, the museum had tons of information to offer in the sights, the signs, and the animals. There are lots of authentic historical objects and great info about the High Desert climate. Good special exhibits, good kids area, even a cafe. A full five stars for sure, this place is a great experience.
  • What a neat museum! We took our 6 yo and 18 mth old and they both had a blast. There are inside and outside exhibits and plenty of live animals (the otters are so cute!) mixed in with the history to hold a young kid's interest.
  • Had a lot of fun here with the family. The actors were really fun for us and kids to interact with. I want to come back when the old fashion mill is in operation. I was impressed with the variety of exhibits and animals available to see and learn about. I was impressed with the raptor exhibit and talk. Parents of small children should maybe be aware that the handlers will feed the birds live food during the exhibit. Maybe small children would benifit from sitting further away. It wasn't graphic or blood and the trainer did the feeding quickly but there was some blood she had to wipe on a paper towel. Personally I'm a fan of kids learning the truth about nature not the Disney version but some kids are very sensitive about blood/death etc...

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Where to stay in Bend

Since many people come to Bend to experience the outdoors, it's no surprise that many lodges and bed and breakfasts here are designed to resemble log cabins. Consider a stay near the scenic Deschutes River for scenic views. You'll find a few chain hotels with comfortable standard rooms in the downtown area.
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