It’s the season of hearts and flowers and making googly-eyes at your snookums from across the table at a swanky restaurant.
Not that I’m dissing traditional celebrations of love this Valentine’s Day. I just think the holiday makes a better occasion to celebrate your love for something other than your honey-poo. Namely? Your love of Bend, Oregon!
Here are eight ways to express your love for Bend this Valentine’s season:
Sport some saucy Bend apparel
Nothing says “I love Bend” quite like a T-shirt that…uh, well, actually says “I love Bend.” You’ll find tons of fantastic Bend-themed apparel at Cascade Cottons in Downtown Bend. The Bend Visitor Center on the corner of Lava and Oregon is another great spot to snag Bend-centric apparel, including our super-popular “Girl vs. beer” and “Man vs. beer” T-shirts celebrating the Bend Ale Trail. You can also pick up brewery-specific apparel at any of the 14+ Bend breweries scattered around town.
More interested in earning your shirt? Check Visit Bend’s calendar of events and register for a race or an event that provides commemorative T-shirts for participants.
Spread the love on social media
Can’t get enough of Bend? Neither can our 116,000 page fans on Facebook. We post multiple times a day with photos, articles, and tips about what’s happening around Bend, so follow us there to join the fun.
You can also follow us on Instagram or Twitter for more doses of Bend love. And if you enjoy the Bend Buzz Blog each week, make sure you sign up to receive an email alert each time there’s a new post (we promise not to spam you – truly, it’s just a once-a-week message so you know when the newest post is up!)
Take home a little piece of Bend
Art makes one of the best souvenirs in the world, so it’s lucky for you there are so many fantastic art galleries in Bend. Whether you love paintings, glass, metal work, mixed media, photos, sculptures, or some other art form I’ve forgotten to name, you’re sure to find just the thing for that naked spot on your living room wall.
If photography is your passion, check out our recent blog post featuring some of the most popular photographers sharing work on our Facebook page. The post has links to the photographers’ websites where you can order things like photo calendars and framed prints from the comfort of your living room.
Sharing is caring
Worthy charities are abundant in Bend, so why not give a little something back to the town you love so much? You’ll find a great roundup of non-profit organizations here, so take a look and pick a cause based on your interests.
Love dogs? If you and your four-legged friend enjoy playing in Bend’s abundant off-leash areas, you can thank the folks at DogPAC for that. Their work for dog advocacy and the creation of off-leash parks and play areas is a big part of why Dog Fancy magazine named Bend the nation’s dog-friendliest city.
If the arts and culture scene is more your style, Art in Public Places is a worthy group that helps make it possible for you to enjoy outdoor artwork along the Roundabout Art Route or the Tin Pan Alley Art Collection.
If making a financial contribution isn’t in the cards for you, there are plenty of ways to volunteer your time for good causes in Bend. For opportunities ranging from special cleanup events to fundraiser race setup, check out Volunteer Connect.
Nothing says love like permanent ink
The risk of a breakup makes getting a tattoo of your loved one’s name or face a bad idea, but let’s face it — your love for Bend will never fade. Especially not if you ink it on your body permanently.
While this approach might not be for everyone, the folks at Monolith Tattoo shared that they’ve done quite a few Bend-themed tattoos over the years. Popular choices include nature images like trees, Mt. Bachelor, or the Three Sisters, though they’ve done several versions of the Bend logo. The artists are always willing to do custom designs, so let them know if there’s something special you have in mind.
Plan a Valentiney getaway
You can enjoy a romantic weekend getaway to Bend any time of year, and I encourage you to come out here in April or August or October or December or . . . well, pretty much any time of year.
But I’ve gotta admit, Valentine’s Day weekend is going to be extra special in 2015. For starters, it’s on a Saturday. What a great excuse for a romantic getaway!
Then there’s the fact that Valentine’s Day also falls on Presidents’ Day Weekend this year. That means you’ll be able to enjoy popular events like Zwickelmania (the statewide brewery celebration) and Oregon Winterfest at the same time you’re celebrating the day of hearts and flowers.
Bend hotels and vacation rentals can book up early on the holiday weekend, so find your lodging now. Plenty of places are offering special Valentine’s packages, so check our steals and deals page for more info.
Show your love IN Bend, too!
I know I said we’d be talking about showing your love for Bend, but sometimes the best way to do that is by canoodling, smooching or otherwise getting frisky with your sweetie right here in scenic Central Oregon.
Check out this blog post for a roundup of great places to kiss around Bend. Thinking about popping the question? Bend has oodles of great spots to get down on bended knee, so check out this blog post to learn how (and where!) five couples did it.
Bend also makes a great place to plan a wedding or a honeymoon (I know! I just got hitched here last fall!) This blog post can help get you started if you need ideas for your big event.
Gimme actions, not words
Sure you can say you love Bend, but why not show it by getting out there and enjoying all the things that make being here so amazing. From skiing to rafting to snowshoeing to hiking to SUPing, there are plenty of activities you can enjoy to fully appreciate Bend’s abundance of scenic beauty and recreation. Need ideas? VisitBend.com is chock full of them, so peruse, fantasize, and plan!