Looking for fast ways to make connections, join the community and get involved in Bend? There are plenty of ways to get started once you move to Bend, no matter your preferred speed. Here are some of our favorites.
1. Plan a Few Trips Up to the Mountains
The slopes are famous for skiing, snowboarding, and various snow park activities – and that’s a great place to start. But if you don’t like winter sports, don’t let that stop you! Warmer months on the slopes offer chairlift rides, ziplines, rafting, disc golf and of course plenty of hiking opportunities. See Bend from new heights, and you’ll understand what makes it special!
2. Learn Which Parks Speak to You
Bend is overflowing with parks. Some are downtown leisure spots following the Deschutes River. Others are dog parks complete with playful fountains. Some are filled with towering Ponderosa trees, while others are exciting desert lookouts. Find your favorite kind of park and start spending more time there.
3. Volunteer or Join a Parks and Rec Program
Bend has a ton of volunteer options for all kinds of help, as well as a robust Parks and Rec system with plenty of programs for teaching kids, cleaning up natural preserves, and much more. Try out a few different volunteer opportunities and get to know the community better!
4. Volunteer for Local Events
There are also lots of opportunities to volunteer for local events. Big festivals like Beerfest and the seasonal festivals are always looking for people to help out in a variety of ways. It’s one of the best options for having fun while getting to know the community.
5. Experiment with Different Lunch Options
Bend is filled with incredible, highly localized food options, but it’s difficult to discover them when you have a busy schedule. One of the easiest ways is to start experimenting with your lunches. Maybe once a week or so, try ordering lunch from a place you’ve never been too – or if you work in a central location, walk down and find a food cart or restaurant spot to experiment with. Most carts and meal spots offer UberEats or Doordash, so getting your meals isn’t difficult – and you can find out what’s going on in Bend’s food scene!
6. Find a Favorite After-Work Watering Hole
Take advice from your peers, but don’t be afraid to strike out on your own! Many amazing spots in Bend – including Crux, The Lot, Spoken Moto, Jackson’s Corner and more – specialize in community-style dining or drinking with large tables where strangers can quickly become friends. Find your favorite place to grab a beer and meet new people.
7. Head to a Few Concerts
From Les Schwab summer concerts to local pub music nights, you can find bands playing anywhere in Bend. Check out music events that feature styles you enjoy and make some trips to hear them play – or get involved in the music scene yourself!
8. Look for Local Races and Adventures
Bend is packed with foot and bike racing events, so if you love the active lifestyle there are numerous opportunities to find your stride here. If racing isn’t your thing, there are plenty of other groups that love to hike, bird-watch, and much more.
9. Plan Out Your Garden (or Other Growing Project)
If you have a yard space, garden or a windowsill with high ambitions, start planning what you want to grow! This gives you a great opportunity to study the climate and wildlife of Bend, find out what works best in the area, and make contacts with nurseries and growers around the city.
10. Find Your Favorite Trails
Whether you want to head up to the mountains for an all-day hike to a lake or settle for a winding walk around local landmarks, there’s a hike in Bend with your name on it. Finds some weekends to explore, and you’ll meet plenty of like-minded folk on the trails with you!