Bend is teeming with opportunities to use booze as an excuse to behave like a bonehead. I can say this with authority because (ahem) I may have been a bonehead once or twice in my life.
That’s not to say you can’t have tons of fun exploring the Bend Ale Trail, attending boozy concerts and events, or scoping out cideries, distilleries, and wineries with your Drinkable Diversions passport in hand.
It just means there are a few things you can do to avoid being a complete moron while you do it.
Moron move #1: Drinking and driving
First things first. Never, ever, under any circumstances should you drink and drive in Bend. You shouldn’t do it anywhere, for that matter, but let’s focus on Bend for now.
There are tons of ways to get around our fair city if you plan to enjoy a few adult beverages. Here are a few worth noting:
- Walk. Whether you’re sipping happy hour drinks along the riverfront in the Old Mill District or ambling between breweries scattered through Downtown Bend, you can get around pretty easily on foot when the weather is nice (though for the record, I once hit eight Bend Ale Trail stops on foot in a blizzard).
- Arrange a shuttle or a pedicab with The Bend Tour Company.
- Add a culinary twist to your beerventure with the Fermentation Tour from The Well Traveled Fork.
- Book a half-day, four-brewery tour with The Bend Brew Bus or schedule the Local Pour Tour with them to visit one brewery, one distillery, one cidery, and one winery.
- Pedal a bicycle made for 14 with The Cycle Pub of Bend.
- Head out with in a 1980s-style trolley with The Bend Trolley.
- Call a cab.
- Enjoy a first class ride that includes a flat screen TV, LED laser light show, stereo sound system, and more with Bend’s Party Bus.
- Cruise in luxury with a Lincoln stretch limo with JD’s Car Service.
Seriously guys, don’t mess around with this one. Winding up dead or in jail would put a pretty big damper on your Bend vacation.
It’s also worth noting that travel insurance is often voided if the traveler is inebriated in any way, so that safety net you might be counting on could be snatched away. You can learn more here.
Moron move #2: Rendering yourself too blitzed to remember anything
Raise your hand if you’ve ever over-imbibed in adult beverages.
I’ll admit my hand is in the air, which makes it pretty difficult to type. Many of us have done it, and it can kinda kill your Bend vacation mojo.
If you’re old enough to drink legally, you’re old enough to know how to do it responsibly, but we all need a reminder every now and then. A few tips:
- Drink tons of water. Toting a Hydro Flask in your purse or backpack does wonders, and you’ll never catch me without one if I’m pub crawling or attending an event where booze will be served.
- Eat something. Bend has tons of amazing happy hours and great food along the Bend Ale Trail, so keep your belly filled with grub to soak up the booze.
- If you’re out on the Bend Ale Trail, keep in mind that no purchase is necessary to get your passport stamp. Yes, it’s fun to sample beers from 16 amazing breweries, but you don’t have to pound a pint at every stop. If you’re determined to sip at each brewery, ask for a small taster, or order a schooner instead of a pint.
And if you do end up overindulging, check out this blog post on Bend’s best hangover cures. You’re welcome.
Moron move #3: Embarrassing yourself in public
This kinda goes hand in hand with the last one, and again, most of us have done it. But if you plan to drink and would prefer not to risk making a public spectacle, why not confine it to the privacy of your Bend hotel or vacation rental?
Plenty of Bend lodging spots have lovely patios and balconies where you can sip your beverage with a view of the river or mountains. Stop at one of Bend’s growler fill stations to fill up on local craft beer, or hit a local cider producer for something crisp and refreshing.
If spirits are your passion, there are several amazing Bend distilleries with tasting rooms where you can purchase bottles of vodka, gin, whiskey, or other tasty beverages. You’ll also find them stocked at our local liquor stores, so pick up a couple bottles of special spirits to take home.
Moron move #4: Annoying other people
Have you ever splurged on a pair of concert tickets to see your favorite musical act, only to have the experience spoiled by a cluster of drunk jerks standing with their backs to the stage and talking so loudly you begin to suspect they’re unaware there’s a concert happening?
Don’t be those guys.
Seriously, the Les Schwab Amphitheater has some KILLER concerts in this summer’s lineup, and most folks attending are there to enjoy the music. Yes, there’s a plethora of great wine and beer and mixed drinks available for purchase, and I encourage you to hit the beverage tent a time or two. Just be smart about it, okay? Your fellow concertgoers will appreciate it.
Moron move #5: Singing karaoke
Wait, what am I talking about? This is no moron move. I love watching karaoke (note: the operative word there is “watching,” not “singing.”)
Provided you drink responsibly, there’s no shame in using a bit of liquid courage to get up the guts to sing your little heart out to cheesy ‘80s pop or country ballads.
Spots in Bend where you can regularly find karaoke nights include Corey’ Bar & Grill, Kelly D’s Sports Bar & Grill and Maverick’s Country Bar. Check their websites and Facebook pages for up-to-date info about times and dates (and check item #1 one more time before you go).