Redmond, Oregon is Bend’s fast-growing sibling.
Located 20 minutes up the road from the city of 200,000, Redmond has doubled in size over the last decade and continues to be one of the fastest-growing municipalities in Oregon.
Home to around 35,000 people as of 2021, Redmond has several sights that make it worth visiting on its own – including several great breweries and the incredible Smith Rock State Park.
We lived in Prineville for half a year and visited Redmond many times. Here are some of the best must-see things to do in Redmond, Oregon:
1. Visit Smith Rock State Park
Smith Rock State Park is spectacular. It’s also largely unknown outside of Oregon. You’ll see plenty of Portlanders and Washingtonians in the crowded Smith Rock State Park lot on weekends, but we had never heard of it before living in the area.
There are several hikes you can do in Smith Rock State Park. The main hike everyone does is the Misery Ridge Trail, a short but steep hike to the top of the rock. Climb the trail, enjoy great views at the top, then descend the other side and wind down the River Trail, getting a great view of Monkey Face and its climbers as you descent.
If you don’t want to climb or even leave your vehicle, I still recommend visiting Smith Rock State Park. You get nice views of the rock and the Crooked River from the parking lot.
Parking is $5 for the day. Other than that, it’s free to visit Smith Rock State Park.
2. Do a Day Trip Loop Over the McKenzie Highway
Oregon Route 242 is known as the McKenzie Highway as it crosses the mountains west of Redmond. You can do a loop, crossing through the saddle of volcanic mountains and cruising into beautiful waterfalls and lakes on the other side.
Check out the Dee Wright Observatory at the top of the pass to learn more about the volcanic history of the region.
As you descend towards the junction with 126 (also known as the McKenzie Highway in this area), you’ll encounter waterfalls. I recommend visiting Sahalie Falls and Koosah Falls, both of which are located just off the highway. You can also visit Proxy Falls, which is a bit of a further walk to get to but also cool.
Finish the loop by driving back towards Sisters on Highway 20. End the day with dinner at Three Creeks Brewing Company in Sisters for great food and beer.
3. Picnic at Cline Falls State Park
Located on the other side of Redmond from Smith Rock, Cline Falls is a smaller and less dramatic state park, but it’s ideal for swimming, fishing, picnicking, and having a nice day along the Deschutes River.
Like other parks in the area, Cline Falls State Park is crowded on a hot and sunny day, and the infrastructure hasn’t caught up to Redmond’s surging population. Get there early or go during the week.
4. Explore the Redmond Caves
Redmond Caves is a community parkland with five lava tubes. If you’ve seen the lava tubes in Hawaii, then the Redmond Caves lava tubes are similar.
Park in the small parking lot, then poke your head into a few caves. You can walk into the caves for a great photo.
5. Eat Pizza at Cibelli’s or Grace and Hammer
Locals love Cibelli’s. They’re kind of obsessed with it. It’s a New York-style pizza place with two locations in Redmond (and a few more in Bend).
Alternatively, Grace and Hammer is a unique experience. Someone built a pizza place in a historic church. Located near downtown, Grace and Hammer is one of the busiest places in town on a Friday or Saturday night for take-out orders and dine-in. It has a nice patio and, like all good Oregon restaurants, an ample selection of local craft beers.
6. Catch a Flight
Redmond is home to the only major airport in central Oregon.
Redmond Municipal Airport (RDM) is better-connected than you would expect, given the small size of the city. You’re a single flight away from hubs like Portland, Seattle, Phoenix, Salt Lake City, Los Angeles, San Francisco, and Denver.
If you’re flying into or out of central Oregon, then RDM is your airport.
7. Visit a Brewery
Redmond, like literally every town in Oregon, has a surprising number of great breweries.
Start with a visit to Wild Ride Brewing. Located in the heart of downtown Redmond (yes, there’s a downtown Redmond), Wild Ride has a lively patio and a large menu of beers. It also has six food trucks and outdoor fire pits. Like literally every brewery on the west coast, it’s dog-friendly. If you’re looking for the Crux patio of Redmond, then Wild Ride is the closest thing.
We also spent many nights at Initiative Brewing for trivia. They also have a patio and firepits and surprisingly good food (try the Korean fries – I still crave them regularly).
If you want unique beers in Redmond, then Porter Brewing Co. is a must-visit. Located in the industrial part of town on the other side of the highway, Porter Brewing Co. has cask ales you won’t find anywhere else. They also have a food truck and a patio.
Other breweries in Redmond, Oregon include Cascade Lakes Brewing Company (good brewpub), Kobold Brewing (excellent beers and tacos worth visiting before or after Wild Ride), and Geist Beerworks (veteran-owned brewery where I had some tasty Oktoberfest beers last fall). Can’t decide where to go? General Duffy’s Waterhole has an extensive taplist of local breweries and a large outdoor space with multiple fantastic food trucks.
Is Redmond Worth Visiting? The Wandering Boozebag Says Yes
Redmond gets overlooked for Bend. It doesn’t have a glamorous downtown area. Most of the city seems to consist of increasingly remote suburbs.
We had plenty of good times in and around Redmond. Redmond is worth visiting for Smith Rock alone. Stop at a local brewery or any other must-see thing to do on your way back, and you can have a good day out in Redmond, Oregon.