Bend schools are enjoying their second snow day in a row, and I just had to put on snowshoes to get my mail.
In other words, driving can be tricky with two feet of snow on the ground.
It happens sometimes, which is why it’s good to know there are ways to get around our fair city without an automobile. Whether you’re cutting back on drive time to help the environment, or you hit one too many stops on the Bend Ale Trail, here are 5 ways to navigate Bend without getting behind the wheel.
Use your own two feet
Bend’s two most popular areas for shopping and dining are the Old Mill District and Downtown Bend. Lucky for you, there are plenty of Bend hotels in both locations, and it’s an easy walk to get from one area to the other.
Bonus: there’s no need to hassle with parking when you’re on foot!
Want to hoof it when the ground is covered in snow? Snowshoes, cross country skis, and fat bikes are easy to rent. Here’s a handy list of options for winter gear rentals.
Hop on the bus, Gus
While admittedly not as robust as the bus systems in larger cities, Bend’s Cascades East Transit bus system is a handy way to hop around town.
The system currently has 10 fixed routes in the city of Bend, with connections at transfer station in the center of town. Routes go as far south as Elk Meadow Elementary on Brookswood, and as far north at the Cascade Village Shopping Center. You can get west as far as Central Oregon Community College, and as far east as The Forum Shopping Center.
They also operate the Mt. Bachelor shuttle in wintertime and the Ride the River shuttle in the summer. You can even connect to other Central Oregon cities like Redmond and Madras.
For route information and schedules, go here.
Let tour operators do the driving
Want to venture into the wilderness without driving your own car? Book a trip with Wanderlust Tours! Not only will they provide round-trip transport from your hotel to the trailhead, they’ll supply all the gear and goodies, plus a naturalist guide who’ll tell you everything you want to know about Central Oregon’s unique landscapes. Snowshoeing is their most popular offering this time of year, but they have oodles of other outings ranging from canoeing to cave tours. They also operate the Bend Brew Bus that shuttles guests to breweries, distilleries, cideries, and more.
If mountain biking is on your agenda, hook yourself up with the folks from Cog Wild. They not only offer mountain biking tours, but shuttle services for cyclists who want to be dropped off and picked up at opposite ends of a trail.
If you’re looking to see more of the city itself, The Bend Tour Company has tons of offerings to pick from, including Segway tours, eBikes, and the ever-famous CyclePub.
For a complete list of tour operators in Bend, go here.
Catch a cab
Bend has a number of taxi operators and shuttle companies cruising the city, so go here for a listing of names and numbers.
And while Uber and Lyft haven’t made it to Bend just yet, odds are good it will happen in early 2017. Stay tuned for updates!
Try pedal power
Bend has been dubbed “Bike Town USA,” and there’s a good reason for that. You’ll find tons of great cycling trails and bike lanes all over town.
Don’t feel like hauling your bike here? There are plenty of bike shops that rent everything you need. You’ll even find several companies that rent electric bikes if you’d prefer to have some extra push behind your pedaling.
Want more ideas for getting around Bend using alternate transportation? The folks at Commute Options have a ton of resources on their site, so check it out!
Now if you’ll excuse me, it’s time to strap on my snowshoes and start heading to Visit Bend’s holiday party!