Yesterday I got an email from a colleague seeking a roundup of “best of” lists Bend has made in recent years. It was tough to narrow it down.

Did she want to know about the time Outside magazine named Bend the top standup paddleboarding getaway in the world? Or maybe when USA Today claimed we’re one of the nation’s top cycling towns? Or how about when the New York Times ranked Bend one of the top 52 destinations in the world to visit? What about when Livability.com named us one of America’s most romantic cities, or the time Dog Fancy declared us the dog-friendliest city in the U.S.?

The snow gets thin by summertime, but in the spring you can ski those mountains all morning, then hit the river in the afternoon.
The snow gets thin by summertime, but in the spring you can ski those mountains all morning, then hit the river in the afternoon.

Bend has been lauded for everything from mountain biking to fishing to the city’s amazing beer scene. But scrolling through all those “best of” lists got me thinking about other (admittedly nonexistent) lists Bend would totally rock if there were such a thing.

 

5 great spots to wear boots and a bikini in the same day

Spring is the best time of year to visit Bend if you want to find skiable snow still in the mountains, and paddle-worthy conditions on the Deschutes River all in the same day.

Head up to Mt. Bachelor for a morning of spring skiing or a bit of snowshoeing. Then drive 25 minutes to plop your kayak in the river or maybe hit a mountain biking trail. There aren’t too many places in the world where you can do that in a span of only a couple hours.

Juniper allergy? Okay, so spring might not be the best time to visit Bend. But they're sure beautiful the rest of the year, and Bend's a stunning place to have the sniffles.
Juniper allergy? Okay, so spring might not be the best time to visit Bend. But they’re sure beautiful the rest of the year, and Bend’s a stunning place to have the sniffles.

 

The world’s 10 most scenic places to have an allergy attack

While spring is an amazing time of year to visit Bend, it’s also a not-so-great time of year for those who suffer from allergies to juniper pollen. The thing is, you’re unlikely to care.

I can’t tell you how many people I know who’ve lived in Bend for eons and simply accept the fact that they’ll spend a few days each spring sneezing and sniffling uncontrollably. When asked if they’d ever consider leaving, every single one of them declares a vehement, “No way!” in between sniffles.

There’s a reason allergy-prone folks are willing to put up with a tiny bit of suffering. It’s a small price to pay for endless access to glorious mountain views, abundant recreational opportunities, and the friendliest people you’ll ever hope to meet.

 

The top U.S. destinations to ogle beautiful people

Visit Bend recently shared this seemingly harmless photo on Instagram, and a million female viewers went a little berzerk.
Visit Bend recently shared this seemingly harmless photo on Instagram, and a million female viewers went a little berzerk.

I suppose this isn’t the most politically-correct addition to the list, but it’s true. Everywhere you go in Bend, you’ll see beautiful, fit, smiling people strolling around in cycling shorts or running gear like it’s the most natural thing in the word. In Bend, it kinda is.

Maybe it’s the preponderance of outdoor activities that keeps everyone so fit, or maybe it’s just being in Bend that makes everyone so beautifully smiley all the time. Either way, we’ll take it!

 

15 great places you can wear jeans to a fancy dinner

Bend’s restaurant and brewery scene has been lauded everywhere from the Huffington Post to the Washington Post and several local chefs have won national honors.

This is about as dressy as you need to get in Bend -- even when dining out at a nice restaurant.
This is about as dressy as you need to get in Bend — even when dining out at a nice restaurant.

But Bend also has the most unpretentious culinary scene you’ll find. You can stroll into any one of the city’s award-winning eateries in a pair of jeans and a clean fleece and no one will look twice. The food and beer will be outstanding, and you’ll be comfortable in your casual best.

 

America’s top destinations to get a sunburn

People boast that Bend gets an average of 300 days of sunshine a year, and while I won’t claim the sun is blazing every hour, it’s true we’ve got a whole lot of sun here. Combine with the fact that everyone loves to play outdoors in Bend (and then mix in the albedo effect of spending prolonged time on a bright white surface like snow or a reflective surface like a lake or river) and….well….yeah. You might get a little pink in the cheeks.

Fortunately, you can enjoy Bend without the sunburn as long as you regularly reapply your sunscreen. Try Bend-made T’s Tonics, which offer sweat-proof SPF 30 protection with the added bonus of healing oils that leave your skin soft and nourished.

But if the red demon of sun exposure does strike you down, I can promise there are few places in the country that make a more beautiful setting to smear aloe on your naked body.

You know you're in Bend when...
You know you’re in Bend when…

The best U.S. destinations to count Subarus

If you’ve spent more than an hour in Bend, you know exactly what I’m talking about. Stand on any street corner in Bend on any day of the year and I guarantee you’ll see at least a dozen Subarus cruise past in fifteen minutes or less.

Most of them will have racks on top that are loaded with bikes, kayaks, ski gear, or all of the above. Do not attempt to play the “slug bug” game here with Subarus or you will never recover from the bruises.

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