McMenamins Old St. Francis School, Bend

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Photo © McMenamins

Brothers Mike and Brian McMenamin began the McMenamins franchise as a small pub in 1974. Today, it has grown to more than 50 locations. One location is the McMenamins Old St. Francis School Hotel in downtown Bend, Oregon. What once was a 1936 Catholic schoolhouse has transformed into a hotel, pub, brewery, bakery, movie theater and private meeting and event space. This pet- and bike-friendly hotel tells the stories of the Bend community and its real-life characters with photos, artwork of local students and historical artifacts decorating the building.

The original small hotel opened in 2004 and consisted of 19 guest rooms and four rental cottages. It was immediately popular and consistently booked. To make room for expansion, the hotel uprooted three of the guest cottages and transported them to Sunriver for vacation rentals there. The expansion added two new buildings, both now open, giving a total of 61 hotel rooms and one remaining cottage housing six to ten in a group on the property. One of the buildings, the Art House, with 24 rooms, honors the art and artists who have worked with McMenamins over the years.

Guests can make reservations online at mcmenamins.com/OldStFrancis. To learn more about a vacation in Bend, go to visitcentraloregon.com.