7 Things You Never Knew About Living in Bend

If you are planning on moving to Bend, there are a few things that everyone will probably tell you – outdoor recreation is huge, there’s tons of beer, great place to start a business, etc. But there are also aspects to Bend and Central that can catch people by surprise when they are actually living in Bend. Let’s dispel some of the mystery and talk about the other things you should know when moving to our beautiful city – so you’ll be prepared no matter what!

1. The City is Very Bike-Friendly

Bend is a famed spot for biking competitions, but cycling in general is easy here, especially in the newer or renovated parts of the city where plenty of room has been made for biking paths. If you live anywhere close to your work, biking there is not only possible but often preferable as long as there isn’t snow on the ground, which could make working in Bend even more enjoyable!

2. The Slopes Aren’t Just for Winter

Sure, skiing and snowboarding are huge hobbies here, but the mountains have plenty to offer in the warmer seasons as well. Ziplining, hiking to the summits, exploring the lava fields, whitewater rafting, or grabbing lunch at your favorite lodge with perfect views…all of these are possibilities thanks to our proximity to the Cascades.

3. …And the Trails Aren’t Just for Summer

If you’ve never been snowshoeing, dogsledding, or cross-country skiing, you should really try them some time! The many surrounding trails of Central Oregon can be just as much fun in the snow as under the summer sun, so keep it in mind when looking at what to do in Bend.

4. Water Plays a Big Role in Our Outdoor Fun

The Deschutes River is a core part of Bend’s lifestyle, and residents are often passionate about floating, paddleboarding, fishing, kayaking, and testing out their latest boards on Bend’s own surf wave zone. And that’s just the river inside the city – Central Oregon is packed with lakes and streams that support every type of water activity you could dream of. 

5. There Are a Lot of Trees

We know, many pictures of Bend try to capture the majesty of the mountains and high desert or the iconic view of the river or Old Mill smokestacks. But it’s important to keep in mind that Bend is about halfway inside a deep Cascade forest, and there are a lot of trees here, especially towering ponderosa pine and tough juniper. If you like living under trees and in a forest, you’ll love some of the locations in the city, but if you’re more interested in mountain views and desert hikes, there are plenty of spots perfect for those, too.

6. Get Used to Trying New Things

One byproduct of a city being so open to entrepreneurs and new businesses is that there can be both significant business turnover and new ventures to explore. That means there’s always some new restaurant, café, or artisanal creation to try – which is a great way to keep boredom at bay when you don’t know what to do. It also means it’s important to patronize the places you love the most, so they don’t vanish after several months!

7. Prepare to Enjoy Bend’s Music Scene

It isn’t talked about as much, but Bend has a thriving music scene with many talented bands, some excellent music festivals, and a plethora of venues both large and small for musical performances of all kinds. If you’re a musician or love live music, you’ll find plenty to like here as our music culture soars back from its COVID hiatus.