A day in the life of an Austin local


As the state capital of Texas, Austin offers year-round entertainment and activities. Whether you are coming to Austin for the food, the outdoors, live music, or family fun, we have a Local Expert that can create a personalized travel itinerary just for you. From outdoor adventures, educational pursuits, or a little bit of everything, Austin Local Expert Holly is well-versed in everything the city has to offer for both adults and kids. Check out what Holly can be found doing on the perfect "Sunday Funday" in Austin and use promo code ATXLAUNCH for a free 2-day itinerary through October 31st!

A perfect family day in Austin

With young children, summer days often start earlier than you may like, but we always make the best of it because there is so much going on in the city. For my family, summers in Austin are all about spending time with each other, while beating the heat in one of the many many spring-fed pools and creeks around town!

My family's day begins with an early start at the Cherrywood Coffeehouse, an eatery offering eclectic eats, great coffee, beer and music. Our favorite on the menu is the Sol Taco, one of the millions of delicious breakfast tacos around town. For the kids, we start off with a granola parfait. As we’re finishing off our meal and enjoying the last moments of cool morning air, we catch a couple of songs by a local children’s band and the kids get a few wiggles out. We duck out of there with a coffee to-go just as it starts to fill up and head on to our next destination.

We head over to the hip, new Mueller development to let the kids burn off more steam at the Thinkery, a place where families and science play side by side. Austin’s large, modern children’s museum keeps the kids’ attention in a vice grip, while mom and dad leisurely follow behind, occasionally assisting in the building of a giant pulley system or creating a stop-motion video. After a couple of hours of indoor play, we’re ready to brave the heat again!

We arm ourselves with some ice cream from Lick, in one of their rotating flavors that appease both small palates and the more distinguished, and then wander over to the farmers' market on the edge of the “lake.” Stopping to feed the ducks and fish along the way is a family favorite! At the Mueller Farmers' Market, we grab Short Bus sandwiches for lunch, some snacks for our picnic later in the evening, and a Texas Keeper Cider while the kids eagerly await their turn in the Tiny Tails Petting Zoo. We snap the cutest pictures of them holding bunnies, hedgehogs, and tortoises!

After lunch at the Farmers' Market, it’s time to recuperate. We head back to the house to rest, cool off, and pack our picnic dinner. Once we’re all refreshed, we head south to claim a spot at the Zilker Hillside Theatre for their annual summer musical. We spread out a blanket to claim our spot, and then walk over to Barton Springs Pool where we brave the 70 degree water in short bursts, alternated by basking in the sun. As the sun begins to set, we dive into our picnic dinner while enjoying free musical theater, this year The Wizard of Oz, until we are all slightly drowsy. We duck out a bit early to avoid the crowds, get home and put the kiddos to bed, and still have have enough energy to enjoy a cocktail on the patio before we tuck in after a full day of family fun!

For your next Austin adventure, let Locals Compass do the planning for you! Our Locals can design a personalized travel itinerary based on your travel style and interests, and you’ll navigate Austin, Texas just like a local!

Bend Oktoberfest

As we head into mid-September and the official start of the fall season, there’s no better way to celebrate than Oktoberfest! As one of the most anticipated events of the year, Bend Oktoberfest kicks off at 3:00 pm on Friday, September 15th and continues through the weekend (ending Saturday, September 16th at 10:00 pm) with a jam packed schedule you won’t want to miss. From great beer, music and food, to the annual wiener dog race, there’s fun to be had by all!

This annual event is put on by the Bend Downtown Business Association, a small non-profit serving over 300 businesses, and is their largest fundraising event for the year. While event attendance is free, all money spent at Bend Oktoberfest goes towards this non-profit responsible for flower baskets downtown, street cleaning and snow removal, banners, holiday decorations, events, marketing, merchant education and much more!

While attendance is free of charge, it should be noted that this event is cash only, with OnPoint, US Bank and Wells Fargo as the closest ATMs. A Bend Oktoberfest stein must be purchased to try all brews, ($8 for a plastic stein plus a drink ticket) and all servings are pint pours, with brews from some of Central Oregon’s best breweries. Traditional Bavarian food and other treats will also be available throughout the event.

See below for the 2017 Bend Oktoberfest schedule of events, and don’t forget to swing by the Locals Compass booth to say hi if you’re downtown!

Friday September 15, 2017

5:00 pm: Kegs are tapped! Let the fun begin!

5:45 pm: Oompah music starts with The Mirko Pressler Band

7:00 pm: The Bend Oktoberfest Games begin with the 92/9 FM Yodeling Contest – Yodel for prizes!

7:30 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

8:00 pm: Natural Edge Furniture bendhamershlagen Competition – Race to hammer a nail for prizes!

8:30 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

9:45 pm: Beer and Stein sales end.

10:00 pm: End of alcohol sales. Event closes for the night.

Saturday September 16, 2017

12:00-9:00 pm: OnPoint Community Credit Union Family Fest including bouncy houses, games, treats, fun, & much more!

12:00 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

1:30 pm: Hutch’s Bicycles Tricycle Races – Get on a tiny trike & ride! Register at the event prior to start.

1:45 pm-3:00 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

3:00 pm: Wiener Dog Race Registration, presented by Bendy Dog, registration opens – Sign your dog up to run!

4:00-5:00 pm: Wiener Dog Races, presented by Bendy Dog – Watch as dozens of dogs race! Be sure to get here early to get a good view of the racing dogs.

5:30 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

7:00 pm: Brilliance in Branding Oktoberfest Spirit Contest– Your chance to win big, boffo prizes!

7:45 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

8:30 pm: Natural Edge Furniture bendhamershlagen – Race to hammer a nail for prizes!

8:45 pm: Oompah music continues with The Mirko Pressler Band

9:45 pm: Beer and Stein sales end.

10:00 pm: End of alcohol sales. Event closes.

CROP Farm Tours

Home to a large farming community, Central Oregon offers a number of programs and events to educate residents and visitors on agriculture in the High Desert. These programs are a great opportunity to get out and experience a different side of Bend and the surrounding area! 

A large advocate for this message is the High Desert Food and Farm Alliance (HDFFA), a 501(c)3 non-profit serving Crook, Deschutes and Jefferson Counties. The mission of this group is to “support a community based food system in Central Oregon to increase access to fresh healthy food, support sustainable farm land use, and foster relationships among farmers and consumers,” through various programs targeted towards cooking and gardening.

One of the HDFFA’s most recognized programs is a joint project with the Crook County Small Farm Alliance, known as Crook River Open Pastures (CROP) Farm Tours. CROP events include free farm tours and rotating farmers markets at different locations throughout Crook County from May through October. Not only do these events allow attendees to experience farm life in the high desert, purchase local products, and enjoy live music, but they’re free!

While summer is coming to an end, there are still two final CROP events left this season! From fresh veggies and herbs, to lavender and the cutest farm animals, these tours make a fun weekend activity for the whole family!

Upcoming Events

September 16: Dancing Cow Farm and Prineville Lavender
Dancing Cow Farm is a small farm in tune with nature and the community, with heritage breed animals, and Prineville Lavender is a beautiful farm featuring fresh lavender and vegetables, and other lavender products. 

September 30: Auntie Bean’s
Wrap up a bountiful CROP season at this diversified vegetable and beef farm. With veggies, herbs, pumpkins, beef and even handmade soap, this farm is fun for the whole family!

Previous Events

April 29: Bluestone Natural Farms
Central Oregon Goat Education Day. Fun for all ages!

May 13: Dancing Cow Farm and Prineville Lavender
Mother’s Day Celebration with heritage breed animals and a beautiful lavender farm.

June 10: Wine Down Ranch and Angels Rest Ranch
Come experience ranch life at it’s best. See the cows, pigs and chickens at home on the range. Includes a timber tour with a professional forester.

July 8: Bluestone Natural Farms
Goats, cows, piglets and vegetables!

July 22: Just 1 Acre
This farm specials in soaps and lotions made with milk straight from the farm.

August 5: Farm to Table Community Dinner

August 19: Good Bike Co.
Saddle up for this pop-up market. Purchase farm goods from your Crook County producers at this Prineville bike shop headquarters.

And the winner is...

Valued at $500, our Weekend Getaway to Bend, Oregon prize package includes a 3 day, 2 night stay at the Fairfield Inn and Suites in Downtown Bend, a 3-day personalized travel itinerary from Locals Compass, gift cards to some of Bend locals' favorites, including Sparrow Bakery, Wild Rose, and Bontà, and a 16” x 20” custom photo canvas from PixyPics.com to commemorate your trip. We are so lucky to have such amazing local partners and encourage everyone to check out them out on your next visit!

A very big thank you to everyone who participated in our giveaway, and a special congratulations to our winner Teresa P. We can’t wait to hear about your adventure in Bend!

Fairfield Inn & Suites Downtown Bend
Located downtown, Fairfield Inn & Suites is in walking distance of some of the best shopping, dining, breweries, museums, and other attractions in Bend. Aside from its convenient downtown location, this friendly hotel offers a number of amenities to make your trip an unforgettable one. From comfortable rooms, free wifi, complimentary breakfasts, to pool access and a business center to print your Mt. Bachelor ski pass, Fairfield Inn & Suites will make the perfect “home” base for your trip to Bend, Oregon!

Locals Compass
Locals Compass is Bend-based travel marketplace connecting Travelers with Locals for personalized travel itineraries, and we want you to make the most of your trip to Bend by taking travel planning off your plate! Your personalized itinerary will include what to see and do, where to eat and how to get from Point A to Point B. No need to spend hours (if not days!) sorting through the web trying to figure it all out. Worried about kids’ napping schedules? Just let the Local Expert know. Have any food allergies, we have that covered too! We know visiting a new destination is more than just going through a list of things to do. It’s about making memories, making the most of your time and truly navigating your destination like a local.

Bontà Natural Artisan Gelato
If you know Italian, you already know that Bontà is the term for “goodness or the quality or state of being good; the nutritious, flavorful, or beneficial part of something.” If you don’t, we can confidently say that this name is a perfect description for this downtown Bend gelato shop. What originally started from the inspiration of a one year trip abroad has become a dessert staple in the community. Handcrafted daily using some of the best local ingredients, Bontà Natural Artisan Gelato is not to be missed!

The Sparrow Bakery
Since opening in 2006, The Sparrow Bakery has been providing some of the best from scratch breads and pastries in town! You can pick up their breads and pastries from various locations around town, or you can visit one of their two Bend locations, the original Scott Street and Northwest Crossing, for additional breakfast and lunch options. Our recommendation, and probably everyone else’s too, is their signature Ocean Roll. This croissant-like treat has layers of cardamom, sugar and vanilla, which makes for a flavor you won’t forget!

Wild Rose Northern Thai Eats
If you have not yet enjoyed a meal at Wild Rose Northern Thai Eats, stop what you’re doing immediately and go! Open daily from 11 am to 9 pm (Friday and Saturday until 10 pm) this restaurant in downtown Bend is not to be missed. Owned and operated by the Itti family, this establishment serves traditional Northern Thai cuisine crafted from old family recipes, a true experience for all five sense. A friendly disclaimer - you won’t find Pad Thai here! Follow Head Chef Paul Itti’s advice and step out of your comfort zone, because “nothing haunts us like the things we did not order.”

This Bend-based benefit corporation is dedicated to helping their customers preserve life’s most extraordinary moments. They are changing the game when it comes to custom photo gifts by giving 20% of profits to their charity partners. When you make a purchase from PixyPics.com, not only are you capturing magical moments on a beautiful custom product, but your memories are bringing hope to a child who may be fighting life’s hardest battles at too young an age. Find them at PixyPics.com and join in by embracing living a life worth giving! Locals Compass readers also get 50% off site wide, using code LOCALS-50.

Don't get caught missing these Labor Day Weekend events

Believe it or not, the unofficial end of summer is right around the corner. If you're like us and still hanging onto every last ounce of sunlight, we have just the thing for you! Promo code LABORDAY gives you a free 2-day itinerary to any city! Must be redeemed by 8/28 to receive itinerary on or before 9/1. And while you’re at it, don’t miss out on these Labor Day Weekend events that will be sure to end your summer on the highest note!

Bend, Oregon

First Friday Art Walk
Friday, September 1, 2017
Join in the fun and celebrate local with Bend’s First Friday Art Walk. Featuring local an assortment of local artists, food and beverage, music and more, it’s a great way to kick off the holiday weekend!

Little Woody Barrel-Aged Beer, Cider & Whiskey Festival
Friday, September 1 - Saturday, September 2, 2017
In its 8th year, the Little Wood Barrel-Aged Beer, Cider & Whiskey Festival celebrates barrel-aged beverages from over 25 local and regional brewers in the northwest. For more information and tickets, visit their website here.

Central Oregon Saturday Market
Friday, September 1 - Saturday, September 2, 2017
The Central Oregon Saturday Market was first held in May 1974 and has been a staple for artisans since. Located in Downtown Bend, the market promotes economic and artistic growth for local vendors. Check out the two day event, special for the holiday weekend!

Portland, Oregon

Art in the Pearl
Saturday, September 2 - Sunday, September 3, 2017
In its 21st year, Art in the Pearl Fine Arts & Crafts Festival occurs each year on Labor Day weekend in the Pearl District’s North Park Blocks. Named as one of the Top 10 Arts & Crafts Festivals, Art in the Pearl is free to visitors and features art, theater, music and fun for all ages.

Bite of Oregon
Friday, September 1 - Monday, September 4, 2017
Bite of Oregon is an annual event featuring the best of the best from Oregon’s seven regions. You’re transported — from the coast, to the high desert, to the gorge, to the mountains. With its new date, and new home at the Rose Quarter, it’s bound to be the best year yet!

Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim
Monday, September 4, 2017
Just an hour east of Portland, the Roy Webster Cross Channel Swim is the Columbia River’s oldest and largest swim event, occurring each Labor Day at dawn. In is 75th year, brave registrants jump into the “refreshing” Columbia River for the 1.1 mile swim back to Hood River.

Seattle, Washington

Friday, September 1 - Sunday, September 3, 2017
Bumbershoot, at the Seattle Center, is a three-day music and arts festival that includes favorite pop music acts as well as comedy, dance, and literary events. It's been a fabulous weekend to end the summer since 1971. For a full lineup and tickets, visit their website here.

PAX West
Friday, September 1 - Monday, September 4, 2017
Home to PAX West, Seattle hosts one of the largest gaming conventions in North America. This event is dedicated to the culture and community of gaming and includes everything from “nerdcore” music, video games across all kinds of devices, tabletop games, lectures and exhibits.

Washington State Fair
Friday, September 1 - Sunday, September 24, 2017
Kicking off Labor Day weekend is the Washington State Fair! Less than an hour south of Seattle, located in Puyallup, Washington, this month long event is fun for the whole family. From concerts, rides, rodeo events, and treats, the Washington State Fair is not to be missed!

Washington, DC

2017 National Book Festival
Saturday, September 2, 2017
Calling all readers! Mark your calendars for the 17th annual Library of Congress National Book Festival. Held at the Washington Convention Center, the event will include over 100 authors, illustrators and poets! Attendees can expect presentations dedicated to kids, fiction, history, poetry, contemporary life and more.

Herndon Labor Day Festival
Monday, September 4, 2017
Located less than an hour outside the city, the Herndon Labor Day Festival is a fun way to close out the long weekend. Featuring Virginia wine tastings, craft beers, great music, a craft show, outstanding sponsors, delicious food vendors and lawn games, there’s fun to be had by all!

Labor Day Capitol Concert 2017
Sunday, September 3, 2017
Performed on the West Lawn of the U.S. Capital each year, The National Symphony Orchestra is back again for its annual Labor Day concert. This concert is free to all attendees and celebrates the beginning of the performing arts season. For more event information, visit their website here.

Central Oregon Eclipse Events

If you haven't heard (we're kidding, we know you have) the must-see event of the summer, the Total Solar Eclipse, is fast approaching! Set to occur on Monday, August 21st, there are a number of eclipse related events happening around Oregon in the coming week!

For those brave enough to venture around Central Oregon, a full event list complied by The Source Weekly, can be found here. From educational events, to eclipse viewings at wineries and music festivals, the options for experiencing the eclipse are endless! Be sure to check back frequently, as event information and updates are regularly added to their list.

For those staying put in Bend, have no fear! While not in the path of totality, there are a still a number of local events going on to give you give you an unforgettable eclipse experience. A couple of our favorites place can be found below:

While Bend is often associated with its massive beer scene, we can't let its ciders and wines go unnoticed. A personal favorite of Locals Compass Founder & CEO, ATLAS Cider Company is not to be missed! Dedicating the Saturday before the eclipse to the stars, ATLAS is hosting EDM "The Path of Totality" Night. Join in the fun with cider, lights, lasers and electronic dance music on Saturday, August 20 from 9:00 pm to 12:30 am! Free to those 21 and over. Check out their event page for more information!

Another favorite, Naked Winery, will be hosting a Solar Eclipse Black Out Party in their Bend Tasting Room. Opening early at 9 am, the party will be started with Solar Sangria, wine specials, snacks, music and more. Don't forget to wear black attire and grab your solar eclipse viewing glasses! Full event details here.

We also recommend checking out Worthy Brewing, a local brewery who has dedicated their entire week to the event. Having recently experienced their newly opened Hopservatory (read more here) we know their dedication to the eclipse will be a huge success!

Presented by the Worthy Garden Club, Worthy Solar Eclipse Week will take place August 16-21st. The theme of this special program is "See the Light" and will consist of speakers from various disciplines that will address a number of topics for five consecutive nights before the Total Solar Eclipse.

Below, you'll find the full Solar Eclipse Week schedule, as outlined on their website:


Eleanor Latham PhD.: Someone Will Save Us 6:30-7:15pm
Popular culture typically reflects the hopes, fears, and interests of "the ordinary person" in whatever culture is producing the popular work-this is true whether we are looking at Classical Greek Tragedy or Wonder Woman.  Science Fiction, once called "Speculative Fiction," is particularly prone to this tendency, since it is not bound by requirements for realism.  Science Fiction, of course, includes many sub-genres (such as mutations, science experiment gone wrong, future history, and alternative history).  In honor of our current interest in the solar eclipse, I will focus on Science Fiction involving outer space. This talk will examine a few important movies in five categories: 1. Space: The Final Frontier; 2. We're the Good Guys (even when we are the bad guys); 3. Dying Earth; 4. Limits of the Human; and 5. Against All Odds.

Bob Grossfeld: Eclipse Craziness - What's the hoopla all about? 7:30-8:15pm
What is all the fuss about this upcoming eclipse? Let’s look at the history of these magical events and see why they are so special. We will take a look at what to expect here in Bend and the surrounding communities. Then look at the best way to view or take pictures of the eclipse.


Brandon Overstreet, M.S., Ph.D Candidate: Sun and Ice Sheet Rivers - An expedition to measure meltwater production on the Greenland Ice Sheet 6:30-7:15pm
Each summer, melting snow and ice form a complex network of rivers on the Greenland ice sheet. In many ways, these streams behave like temperate rivers in hyperdrive, efficiently carving channels and canyons into the ice surface. Flow in these rivers are highly sensitive to solar irradiation and temperature and accelerated melting on the Greenland ice sheet has led to consistent increases in global sea level. The rivers on the Greenland ice sheet provide efficient conduits for transporting meltwater to the ocean but the amount of water conveyed through these river systems is difficult to measure and not well understood. This talk describes recent expeditions into the interior of the Greenland Ice Sheet to gain intimate view of the relationship between temperature and the behavior of the rivers on the ice surface. The data collected will help refine estimates of meltwater production and sea level rise in the future and shape our shared understanding of global climate change.
Roger Worthington: Colonizing Outer Space - Is it All About Planting the Flag? 7:30-8:15pm
Is space travel and colonization an imperative for the survival of the human species? Can we get to the nearest “Goldilocks” planet? Even if we can colonize other planets, should we? What are the costs and benefits?


Scott Fisher PhD.: Darkness in Daytime – the Upcoming Total Solar Eclipse” 7:00pm
On the morning of August 21, 2017, central Oregon (and a 60-mile swath across the continental US) will witness one of nature’s most spectacular events, a total eclipse of the Sun. As the shadow of the Moon moves across the US from Lincoln City, OR to Charleston, SC it is expected that as many as 50 million people will travel to see this incredible spectacle. Dr. Scott Fisher from the University of Oregon Department of Physics will be one of those travelers, he will be near Madras taking part working with a team of NASA scientists on eclipse observations.

Before the event, on August 18th, Dr. Fisher will be giving a public-level talk about the eclipse in conjunction with the Worthy Garden Club and the Hopservatory. In this fun and informative talk Dr. Fisher will explain how eclipses occur, describe what we should expect to see, and talk about how to view the eclipse safely.

Please come out to hear one of our local experts talk about this once in a lifetime opportunity to see an eclipse in our own backyard!


Joann Eisberg PhD.: Science in the Moon's Shadow - a Brief History of the Science of Solar Eclipses 6:30-7:15pm
From ancient Greece and China to the present day, astronomers have used eclipse data to explore the architecture of the solar system, the physics of the sun, and the bending of space itself.  This talk briefly surveys some of the highlights of eclipse science.

Joann Eisberg fell in love with astronomy when she had the opportunity to study its history and to see how the ideas captured between the covers of science textbooks actually grew out of the actions of real people exploring nature.  She earned her PhD. in the History of Astronomy at Harvard University, and she is now Professor of Astronomy at Chaffey College.  She is interested in issues of science teaching, women in science and the role of science in modern society. She enjoys presenting the excitement of astronomy and its history to a wide range of audiences, from college classes to amateur astronomy clubs and scout troops.

Brad Hughes PhD.: The Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence 7:30-8:15pm
Since the start of the SETI program, scientists have been searching for signs of intelligent life. Rather that just be passively listening for ET to call us, Astronomers are capable now of identifying planets that may harbor life. This will be a tour through some of the most recent discoveries in SETI, including planets that may have the right conditions for life to arise.

After earning his Undergraduate degrees in Physics, Philosophy, and Mathematics from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, Dr. Hughes went on to earn his Master’s in Physics and Master’s in Education at BGSU. After a brief stint teaching High School, Dr. Hughes completed his Phd work in Physics at UC Riverside. He then held a number of teaching posts at the College level until joining Chaffey College in August 2016 as a Professor of Astronomy

Grant Tandy: Sunday Solar 12-4pm - Starhop Night 9-11pm
Grant’s love for astronomy began with his innate curiosity of the natural world, wondering how things work and why. Once discovering the vastness and wonder of astronomy it quickly became a passion for him, leading to a career in teaching public astronomy programs. Grant will lead a telescopic journey starting with our Sun for Solar viewing Sunday at Noon. Grant will also be offering a special open house viewing Sunday night, no need to register for this. Just show up the night of and take the stairs directly to the 3rd floor Hopservatory. Suggested $5 donation for visitors aged 7 and over. Kids free.


Great American Eclipse of 2017

Did you hear? The Great American Eclipse is set to occur on August 21st. In case you’ve been living under a rock, or haven’t but want to have as much information as possible, here’s a recap from what we learned during Bend’s Chamber of Commerce What’s Brewing event, Solar Eclipse edition.  


Jim Todd, Director of Space Science Education at the Oregon Museum of Science and Industry (OMSI) had lots to share about what makes this eclipse such an unique opportunity. First, the last time there was a total solar eclipse visible within the continental United States (Washington, Oregon, Idaho, Montana, specifically) was back on February 26, 1979 and, unfortunately, the spectacle was dampered due to overcasted skies. Second, an event like this won’t happen for another 154 years. So, unless you’ve found the fountain of youth and are willing to share it with the rest of us, the odds of being around for that, are not in our favor. Lastly, it is being referred to as the Great American Eclipse because it will move across the entire continental United States, coast to coast. Out of all the cities in the path of totality, the city of Madras in Central Oregon is said to have the best chances of clear skies to view the eclipse.

Sun - Moon - Earth

A solar eclipse occurs when the Moon passes between the Earth and the Sun, thereby totally or partly obscuring the image of the Sun for a viewer on Earth. If you are in the path of totality, you’ll be able to see the corona, the outermost part of the sun’s atmosphere. And the hype about it, is real. He emphasized that there is nothing in this world that can compare to it, which is why so many people form all over the world are traveling to see it. So, it is good to know that, if you are not in the path of totality, you won’t see the corona and, the farther you are from the path, the less of the coverage you’ll see. Check out NASA’s Eclipse 2017 page for more information, including an interactive map with exact time of total eclipse based on coordinates


Kristin McConnell, Industry Relations Manager at the Central Oregon Visitors Association (COVA), shared some insights and tips.

Don’t get suck on highway 101

For those not familiar with Oregon’s coast, it’s important to note that, along with the colder weather, the coast is also known for the fog that rolls in during the earlier hours of the day. Given that the eclipse is set to occur in the morning hours, chances are you’ll miss the whole event if you are stuck on Oregon’s highway 101.

Communications plan

Although the State of Oregon has been preparing for this event for several years, there’s a chance some services may be interrupted, including cell reception. It was shared that most carries are set to bring additional resources to supply the increase in demand for network bandwidth but, it is encouraged that individuals have a communications plan. If all else fails and you can’t reach anyone by cell phone, what’s your plan?

2-1-1 phone number

A 211 number will be set up to handle general information questions from the community and visitors alike. For example, if you are needing to know where to dump waste water from your RV, or if a shelter is set up for any reason, you may receive information by calling that number.

Children and eye safety

This may be one of the most important pieces of information to be shared. Whatever you do, please make sure children understand and are kept safe from the eye damage that direct viewing of the sun during the eclipse can cause. Here are four ways to safely view a solar eclipse from the American Optometric Association.


If you live in Central Oregon or will find your way to our area for the eclipse, Sergeant Nathan Garibay, Deschutes County Sheriff's Office Emergency Service Manager, shared what to expect and how to prepare.

Due to the high number of people expected to come through (about 1,000,000 are said to be coming into Oregon for the event), he emphasized the importance of preparedness. He asks “can you survive for five to seven days without going to the supermarket, gas station or pharmacy?” If the answer is no, you have some preparing to do.

Food, gas, and medications

Although an eclipse is not a natural disaster, he urges citizens to treat is as one when it comes to preparedness.

  • For food, make sure you have enough available in case you can’t make it to the store, or food becomes scarce.
  • Given the expected influx from people driving into, through and out of Central Oregon, and how difficult it may be for gas providers to reach gas stations due to high traffic, it would be prudent to make sure you fill up your tank a few days before the eclipse. If possible, safely store a gas container with extra fuel, just in case. As a note, the highest percentage of visitors are expected to arrive on Friday, August 18, so plan accordingly.  
  • It is also suggested you make sure you refill (if need be) any medications you may need during a period of 3-5 days before and after the eclipse.

Stuck on the road?

Please, please, please exercise good judgment. Central Oregon is, and will probably still be, on high alert for wild fires. If you are on the road please don’t throw any cigarette butts out the window. Also, please don’t stop your car in the middle of the road if you happen to be stuck on the road during the total eclipse. Chances are very high that there will be lots of cars on the road a few days before, the day of, and a few days after the eclipse. We need everyone’s help to stay safe, keep our surroundings safe, and help everyone get home safely.

Locals Compass is a travel marketplace that connects travelers with locals for personalized travel itineraries. Visit our website to learn more!


A day in the life of a Seattle local

Surrounded by water, mountains and lush forests, Seattle is the perfect mix of big city and outdoor paradise. Rain or shine, the options are endless in this ever evolving Pacific Northwest city. As someone who has always called this city home, our Seattle Local Expert Margaret is here to share her perfect summer day in the city!

A perfect day in Seattle

In Seattle, I’m often looking skyward to guess how many layers of clothing I’ll need. It’s all right if I don’t see the sun right away, sunny days often emerge after a cloudy morning in the city. I start my day with a freshly brewed coffee at Caffe Vita on Capitol Hill, and then I’m ready to venture out among some of my favorite urban sights, and meet friends for an afternoon at the beach!

I take my coffee to-go, and walk through Cal Anderson Park on the path to the reservoir and water feature, often referred to as “the volcano," and then cross Broadway to catch the First Hill streetcar that runs by Seattle University, winding through to Chinatown and Pioneer Square. At Occidental Avenue and Jackson Street, I arrive at a favorite city promenade where I’ll meet some friends, and plan a day at Alki beach in West Seattle. First, I stop at the Glasshouse studio to watch local artists creating brightly colored wall plates and figurines in the hot shop, and then I take a few minutes and try to forecast the next move in a chess game played with giant pieces on an outdoor board in Occidental Park.

My friends arrive and we gather at a park table, under the old London Plane trees, to review the water taxi schedule and make the most of our time in Pioneer Square. As we walk toward Yesler Way, viewing art gallery windows and admiring historic brick buildings, we stop at the Pioneer Building and the bronze bust of Chief Seattle for whom our city is named. Small groups cluster around tour guides for the Underground, but we move around them to get to Full Tilt Ice Cream, which is sold from a small window shop on Yesler Way.

Next, we walk under Highway 99 to the waterfront where the King County water taxi departs. Once aboard, we find chairs on the aft deck allowing us to see Seattle’s panoramic skyline as the boat turns westward. The picturesque view includes Mount Rainier, the Smith Tower, the Great Wheel, and the Space Needle. It’s only a 15 minute crossing to West Seattle, where we notice people splashing around in wetsuits at the scuba diving park at Seacrest landing. Nearby is a kayak rental shop that also has bicycles and roller blades available, but today we’re taking it easy with a free shuttle van to the beach!

A ten minute ride through the Admiral neighborhood and we arrive at Alki, the birthplace of Seattle. We carry paper trays of fish n chips to a driftwood log, and with our toes in the sand, we reminisce about the summer while gazing west to the Kitsap Peninsula. A low-tide beach walk makes us thirsty for watermelon and cucumber margaritas at Cactus, and then we return to the beach to gather around a bonfire as the sun sets over the Olympic mountains. Talk about a perfect day!

For your next Seattle adventure, let Locals Compass do the planning for you! Our Locals can design a personalized travel itinerary based on your travel style and interests, and you’ll navigate Seattle just like a local!

Family First Day

Celebrated annually on the first Sunday of August, Family Day 2017 is officially here! Established as a way to encourage families to spend more time with one another, it’s the perfect occasion to spend summer’s long sunny days with the ones we love! Here in Bend, we have endless options for family fun both in and outdoors, year round. If you’re going to be in town to celebrate the day, check out some of our favorite family-friendly activities below!

Float the Deschutes River

On a hot summer day, there are few things better than floating the Deschutes River! Sit back, relax, and cool off in the company of your loved ones. Beginning at Riverbend Park in the Old Mill District and ending at Drake Park in downtown Bend, this float will provide hours of family fun! We recommend parking at Riverbend Park, using public parking on Columbia Street or using the Ride the River Shuttle ($3 for a full day with stops at Riverbend Park, McKay Park and Drake Park through Labor Day). When floating the Deschutes, be mindful of the rules of the river and be aware that state law requires life jackets for all boaters, paddleboarders and children 12 years old and under.

Take me out to the ball game

For Central Oregon, Bend Elks baseball games are a summertime staple! The Bend Elks are a collegiate wood bat summer league with players from all across the country. With games throughout the summer and general admission tickets starting at $7, a night at the ball field makes for a fun family outing. Visit the official website for ticket and schedule information. Local tip: General admission tickets are $2 every Tuesday, and Wednesday’s are free for children 12 and under!

Get outside!

Home to a countless number of parks and trail systems, Bend is giant playground for outdoor lovers of all ages and skill levels. The Bend Parks & Recreation District manages over 2,700 acres of parkland, including 81 parks and open spaces, and 65 miles of trails. Whether you’re looking for somewhere to picnic, catch a sunset, let the kids run around at the playground, or a hike along the river, there’s something for everyone. Follow the links for a full listing of parks and trails available in Bend.

Bouncing Off The Wall

This 11,000 square foot location is home gigantic, interactive inflatables in a clean, climate-controlled environment. A favorite of Bend Local Expert, Bouncing Of The Wall makes for great family fun! Family Fun Night is scheduled for the 2nd and 4th Friday of the month from 6-9 pm. For $25 families for four ($6 for each additional) can get three hours of fun, a large pizza, and two liter of soda! Escape the heat and register ahead here.

History in the High Desert

Since 1982, the High Desert Museum has allowed families to experience the natural and cultural history of Central Oregon. When temperatures rise, head inside to explore the exhibits with the whole family. You kids will have so much fun exploring and checking out the animals of the High Desert, they’ll forget they’re learning! Plan your family visit here.

If you’re visiting Bend on a family vacation, let Locals Compass do the planning for you! Our Family Travel Expert can design a personalized travel itinerary for you, and your family will navigate Bend like a local!

A day in the life of a Portland local

Portland is where the city and the great outdoors collide, and because of its amazing location within the Pacific Northwest, it has become a destination of never ending possibility and adventure! From food carts, Blazer games, rooftop patios, hiking in the Gorge, cycling the bridges, to 80s dance nights at the Crystal Ballroom, the options are endless! Our Portland Local Expert Mindi has come to appreciate everything this city has to offer and can’t wait to share her perfect Portland day with you!

A perfect day in Portland

With its close proximity to the city, hiking the Gorge has become a favorite past time! I wake up at the crack of dawn and head out to hike Dog Mountain, one of Portland’s favorite trails filled with wildflowers and breathtaking views of the Columbia River! The morning air is refreshing and breaking a sweat early is exhilarating. A sunrise start allows me to beat the crowds and get back into town to pick up a delicious vegan donut from Whole Foods bakery before they disappear. They almost never repeat recipes, so it’s bound to be one of a kind!

Portland is extremely bicycle friendly, and after returning home, I hop on my bike and ride further into town to grab a real lunch at the Koi Fusion food truck. They offer delicious Korean burritos and bowls made with all fresh ingredients, including my favorite, the chicken rice bowl with cucumber and cilantro. There are loads of food carts in Portland, making it hard to experience them all!

With food in my belly, I’m ready to move onto my next activity, rock climbing. I text some friends to meet at the NW Circuit gym for some bouldering and socializing. Climbing is always more fun with other people, and the relaxed nature of the sport allows for more conversation!

After a few hours it’s time to walk to Basecamp Brewery taphouse which offers two new food carts every year. The current Poblano Pepper taco truck has amazing carnitas burritos made with mouth-watering garlic tortillas. It calls me back every time! However, the smell of homemade sourdough pizza crust from ASH Wood Fired Pizza can also be tempting. The atmosphere lends to the laidback crowd chilling under the tattered flags and twinkle lights above. If we’re lucky, a local artist can be found strumming some tunes in the corner, adding only good vibes to this fantastic experience!

As the sun begins to drop, we jet over to Martha’s Rooftop for a few cocktails. The simple USS Martha, with tequila and lime, and a cozy blanket, are great accompaniments when witnessing the final sunbeams basking over the city from across the river. Of course you have to capture it on social media or else no one will know what a good time you’re having!

At this point, a few more friends have joined and the socializing is in full swing. Depending on the crew, Martha’s downstairs café offers a variety of board games waiting to be played! At the end of the day, meeting new people and building relationships is the key component to having the best and most memorable time in Portland!

What will your Portland adventure look like? Let Locals Compass do the planning for you! As a Local Expert I can design a personalized travel itinerary based on your travel style and interests, and you’ll navigate Portland like a local!