The holidays are a wonderful time for boisterous good cheer and family togetherness, but let’s be honest: There’s only so much of that you can take.
In the weeks following the holidays, you may find yourself craving the opposite of all that noisy merriment: Peace. Solitude. Silence.
Lucky for you, there are lots of good ways to find that in Bend. Here are six to get you started.
Timing is everything
Bend’s peak travel season spans May through September with another spike around the holidays in December.
Outside of those peak times, you’ll find what’s known as “shoulder season.” That’s the term for those quiet little pockets in October and November, January and February (and even a bit in April) when fewer people visit the outdoor playground of the West. Streets and shops and restaurants are quieter, and you can score some killer deals at Bend hotels and vacation rentals.
To ensure optimum solitude, plan a mid-week visit during a shoulder season month, and steer clear of holidays like President’s Day Weekend and Spring Break.
Hear that? Ahh…that’s the sound of silence.
Snowshoe under the stars
Few things capture the essence of peace and serenity more than a snowshoe outing under the stars.
You’ll find plenty of ideas here for where to go and how to rent gear, but unless you’re super-confident in your skills and navigation, your best bet is a guided adventure.
True, you won’t be totally on your own when you set out with Wanderlust Tours for their Bonfire on the Snow or Moonlight and Starlight Snowshoe Tours. You’ll have a skilled naturalist guide with you, along with other members of the (generally quite small) tour group.
But groups tend to spread out quickly, so it’s not tough at all to find your own little bubble of solitude if that’s what you’re craving. Even better, you’ll get your belly filled with cocoa and treats, and your brain filled with a fab education about local geology and history.
Walk in the woods
Is there anything more magical than a wintery walk in the woods? (Hint: Nope. There’s not).
Higher-elevation trails are mostly snow-packed this time of year, but you’ll find plenty of places for a quiet, contemplative hike if you stick to lower elevations closer to town.
It’s entirely possible you won’t see another soul as you stroll, but if you do, be sure to smile. It’s the Bend way.
For more tips on interacting like a native Bend-ite, check out our Visit Like a Local page.
Shhh! No talking in the library
The old-school stereotype of librarians shushing patrons might be a thing of the past, but you’ll still find plenty of peace and quiet at any branch of the Deschutes Public Library.
While out-of-towners aren’t the best candidates for checking out books, our local library has ample opportunities for guests to spend a few quiet hours browsing or enjoying local events ranging from kids’ story time to talks with authors.
Float your cares away
For a unique form of chillaxation, check out Easy Float (formerly Float Central) and get ready to float your cares away in a soundproof tank filled with Epsom salt-saturated water heated to skin temperature.
The result is an experience that allows you to be free from gravity and external stimulation. The tanks are roughly four feet by seven feet and filled with water heated to skin temperature. You basically lose track of where your body ends and the water begins, while your mind slows and your cortisol levels drop.
Easy Float offers one-time floats as well as packages to let you enjoy the experience multiple times or even with a friend (though the tanks aren’t big enough to share—you’ll be in separate spaces).
Sidenote: This makes a pretty fab component to a really cool date night, which you can read more about here.
Hit the trampoline park
Right now you’re thinking, “Tawna, are you @#$% insane?”
It’s a thought I’ve had many times, and I’ll acknowledge you’re correct that trampoline parks are veritable echo chambers for screams and screechy giggles.
But hear me out, parents of young children.
They bounce. And bounce. And bounce. And bounce some more.
And what does that give you?
Answer: Tired kids.
A better answer: Peace. Solitude. Silence.
You’re welcome. And happy New Year!