Bend is brimming with romance. There are a zillion spots to get engaged, to plan a wedding or honeymoon, to enjoy a romantic date, or to discover meals with aphrodisiac ingredients.
(Incidentally, this is what happens when a tourism bureau hires a USA Today bestselling romantic comedy as their blogger, but I digress).
Romantic opportunities are everywhere in Bend, and here are four ways you can make a special romantic gesture in Bend, Oregon.
Central Oregon is dotted with dozens of glorious, cascading waterfalls that are as beautiful as they are inspiring. Want to make a special gesture with your loved one?
Make a waterfall wish
Hike to the waterfall of your choice. Along the trail, pick up a pair of small sticks that catch your eye. When you reach a safe spot at the top of the falls, hold hands with your sweetie and make a wish together, then toss in your sticks and watch them bob and float before tumbling over the edge.
(Let’s not dwell on what it means for the wish if someone’s stick gets snagged on a rock, mmkay?)
Need ideas for finding waterfalls near Bend? Check out this blog post. Waterfalls with easy access points to viewpoints from the top include Tumalo Falls and Salt Creek Falls, but you can find ways to make it work from nearly all of them.
It goes without saying that you should stay on marked trails, refrain from littering, and also avoid maiming or killing yourself in your quest for this romantic gesture.
The snowy heart
How many times have you seen a beach montage in a romantic movie where the swoony lovers draw a heart in the sand with their initials inside?
There’s a more creative way to do it in Bend.
Head for higher elevations near Mt. Bachelor, where fields of snow abound at surrounding Sno-Parks. Snowshoe or Nordic ski to a warming hut for a romantic picnic, and conclude by using a stick or ski pole to carve your initial-filled heart in a blanket of snow. Bonus points if you flop down together and make side-by-side snow angels.
Not up for trekking out on your own? Book a romantic moonlight snowshoe adventure with Wanderlust Tours. They’ve had tons of couples get engaged over the years during their Bonfire on the Snow tours, which tells you all you need to know about how awesomely romantic this experience can be.
Add some ink
I’ll preface this by saying I never, EVER recommend getting a loved one’s name or likeness permanently inked on your body.
That said, getting a tattoo while on vacation in Bend is one of the most unique souvenirs you can get, and there are plenty of ways for couples to experience it together.
Subtle “couples tattoos” like matching infinity symbols, EKG heartbeats, or musical notes representing your favorite song are popular. There are endless complementary designs like the moon for one partner and a sun for the other (or peanut butter and jelly, or electron and proton symbols, or…well, you get the idea).
It’s not mandatory to be matchy-matchy, either. My husband and I got inked together in New Zealand, and though the tattoos have nothing to do with one another, they’re a perpetual reminder of our dream vacation together. I’ve also seen artsy couples who get tattoos featuring each other’s handwriting, photos, or sketches. The possibilities are endless, and there are tons of great Bend tattoo studios (I can personally vouch for Monolith).
Keep in mind that many artists book up months in advance, so reservations are mandatory, as is chatting with the artist in advance to explain what you’re envisioning.
Do a couple’s quest
It’s super-common for Bend visitors to arrive toting must-see lists that include major Central Oregon landmarks like Smith Rock State Park and Tumalo Falls.
But why not take it to the next level with a romantic bucket list you create together?
Pledge to smooch atop Pilot Butte at Sunset. Make a date to stargaze together from the Hopservatory at Worthy Brewing. Book a couples’ massage appointment at one of Bend’s fabulous day spas. Vow to write lists of ten things you love most about each other, and read them to one another while sipping your favorite beer beside a cozy fire pit along the Bend Ale Trail.
The possibilities are endless, and you’ll have as much fun coming up with your bucket list as you will checking the items off one by one.