A big part of moving to Bend, like any city, is learning how to get around! Fortunately, Bend is very easy for newcomers to navigate after a little practice, and there are multiple options for travel within the city depending on where you want to go. We’ve collected several tips to help those who are planning on relocating to the Bend or have recently arrived – you’ll have navigating mastered in no time.
Start with the Popular Vertical Navigation Points
Bear with us a moment and look at this incredibly useful visitor’s map to Bend. Note that several of the most important streets in Bend run vertically north to south, roughly parallel with the Deschutes River. This includes important streets like the Bend Parkway (Highway 97), Mt. Washington Drive/Reed Market Rd., 3rd Street, and 27th street. These streets are responsible for many of the major delineations in Bend (eastside vs. westside, for example), and once you have learned them you will always be able to know where you are in the city, and how to get where you need to be – as well as give and understand directions much more easily.
Note the Routes to Major Landmarks
If you want to go to Mt. Bachelor – a trip that should be on everyone’s list, even if you haven’t tried many winter sports – you’ll want to know where Cascade Lakes Highway/Century Drive is right off the Old Mill District. If you’re interested in heading to the High Desert Museum, Sunriver, or a variety of lakes to the south, you’ll want to be southbound on Highway 97. For Redmond (and the Redmond airport) and Smith Rock, you’ll want to be northbound. If you’re heading to Tumalo or Sisters, you’ll want to navigate over to Highway 20. Both northbound on Highway 20 and Highway 97 can take you to Portland in roughly the same amount of time, but people do have preferences based on their plans.
Bend is Bike-Friendly
Bend’s wide streets and roundabouts make the city particularly friendly for biking, and if you’re only traveling a short distance, then biking (and similar methods of transportation) may be your best option for getting around, especially during busier times of the day. There’s even a bike sharing program called Zagster. It’s also an eco-friendly way to get around!
Of course, you may not want to plan on biking all the way to Mt. Bachelor unless you’re practicing competitively, and winter snow or ice can be factor during some of the coldest months, so make your plans accordingly.
Public Transportation in Bend
While Uber and a variety of third-party services are always available, Bend does have a bus system for public transportation. This includes the Cascades East Transit service with 10 routes throughout Bend (bike racks included on buses), and the free Ride Bend shuttle, as well as the Ride the River shuttle. Learn these routes for easy transport when floating the river, heading up to Mt. Bachelor, or other fun outdoor activities in Bend.
If you have any more questions about getting around Bend, what the different neighborhoods are like, or what transportation options would work best for you, don’t hesitate to contact us at Moving To Bend. We offer a wide range of services to help people living in Bend or in the process of relocating.