5 Reasons Why Bend is one of the Friendliest Cities in the U.S.

If you’re thinking about moving to Bend or already looking for relocation rentals in Bend, we have some good news for you: We’re one of the friendliest cities in the country! It’s not just us saying that, either: My Move thinks so, too, and Livability.com thinks we’re one of the best options for getting a fresh start. But what makes Bend so friendly to newcomers? There are plenty of reasons, but here are a few of the most important.

The Small City Lifestyle Encourages Congregation

Bend is famous for its small city, friendly vibe and plentiful recreational activities. This sets up a lot of cascading events where coworkers and those with similar interests get together for hikes, biking, or fun on the slopes, then end up heading to a favorite pub or park for relaxing conversation (there’s also indoor activity versions of the same trend).

The result is a lifestyle that leads to plenty of fun conversations over beer and food, and a general sense that everyone is down for a chat. Since everything in Bend is relatively easy to reach by vehicle, time and distance are far less a factor in keeping people from meeting up. It’s no surprise that living in Bend simply helps people be friendly with each other!

Lots of Flexible Work/Life Options

Bend is a city of entrepreneurs, small businesses, and one of the highest remote worker ratios in the country. That makes it easy to find a flexible schedule and work/life balance that actually leaves time for friends or trying new activities. The many recreation programs and activity options around the city also give families a lot to experiment with until they find their favorite spots, from ice-skating at The Pavilion to taking part in the frequent High Desert Museum activities. It’s easy to build your ideal version of life with plenty of room for friends.

The Town is Built to Chill

We mean this literally! Our broad roads and plentiful roundabouts make it easy to get around while looking for things to do in Bend. Our numerous parks are designed for family fun – and a whole lot of dog recreation – while the river is a perfect spot to float in the summer and greet the hundreds of others gliding along with you. Plentiful open-air food courts and beer gardens, often within walking distance, make perfect spots to meet up with friends or even strike up a conversation with a stranger. Pubs and restaurants are often designed with common areas and larger tables for people to gather around fires in the winter or casually share spots for a meal (with allowances made for COVID-19 restrictions, too).

Bend Doesn’t Mind Where You Come From

Unlike some spots in the Northwest with strong opinions, Bend doesn’t really mind what other state you may be coming from, and people are less likely to form opinions about you based on where you came from. Much of this probably due to Bend’s fast growth in the past few decades, which has seen newcomers from a wide variety of places mix together and form a unique, tourism-friendly identity – one with plenty of room for new people.

Consistent Events Draw the City Together Throughout the Year

Bend is an event-focused city where there’s always something going on to gather together tourists and citizens alike. Here’s just a few that people love: Nightglow skiing, Brewfest (and many others), First Fridays for small businesses, many various art and music festivals, seasons festivals to celebrate all the latest weather and in-season foods, Oktoberfest with its charming wiener dog races, the Bend Film Festival, Pole Pedal Paddle (where local business are encouraged to make their own teams or root for others), and much more. Many of these events are starting back up in 2021 or set for 2022, so there’s a lot to look forward to!