You made a good effort. But that New Year’s resolution to exercise daily, save 100% of your paycheck, and eat nothing but tofu and kale was bound to drag you down.
Relax. It’s okay to break a resolution or two, and now’s the time to do it while you still have 10 months to get back on the wagon and be good for the rest of 2020.
But hey, you may not feel like it once you see how much fun you’ll have in Bend.
Stuff your face
Many of us vow to make better food choices following the five-week haze of cheese balls, pie, and cocktails between Thanksgiving and New Year’s Day.
Whether you picked keto or Weight Watchers or plain old-fashioned clean eating, odds are good you’re sick of it by mid-February. While a lifestyle of full-time indulgence isn’t a great plan, there’s actual science suggesting a diet break can be good for you.
So how do you execute that hiatus in healthy food choices on a Bend vacation? Pick your indulgence and make the most of it!
If craft beer is your Achilles heel, scour the map for the Bend Ale Trail, then choose a few spots to visit. Bonus: You can earn prizes for collecting passport stamps at each brewery.
Got a sweet tooth you’re dying to indulge? Plenty of Bend restaurants have dessert menus designed to leave you drooling with anticipation. My personal faves include the powdered sugar beignets at 900 Wall, the passionfruit cheesecake at Boxwood Kitchen, and the flourless chocolate cake at Zydeco (which happens to be gluten free). If you still want to keep things healthy, scope out the dessert case at Salud Raw Foods for sweet treats that are both vegan and raw.
If salty, savory, greasy goodness is your vice, you are my peeps. Try the nachos at Worthy Brewing or Broken Top Bottle Shop to satisfy cravings for cheesy, crispy goodness. When French fries call your name, head to The Lot and make a beeline for Á La Carte to choose from an endless array of options. I’m fond of the gorgonzola bacon fries served with chopped bacon, green onions, Cajun seasoning, and fresh gorgonzola. For fried chicken with an Asian twist, try the Tatsuta-Age Japanese fried chicken at newly-opened Izakaya Ronin.
Slow down and stroll
You’ve been running every day, or maybe doing CrossFit. You’re burning the calories, but are you missing out on the breathtaking eye candy that feeds your soul? (Nope, sorry…the hottie in your spin class doesn’t count).
Get a change of scenery while still working your body on a slow, leisurely stroll in Bend. You can gaze at the glorious Deschutes River while ambling along the paved pathway through the Old Mill District, or take a walk in one of more than 80 parks around Bend.
Want to add a bit more effort without going all-in on exercise? Plan a scenic winter hike that gives you plenty of fresh air and killer views without requiring a shower afterward.
You could also walk with a purpose by hoofing it between breweries or happy hour spots during a night out on the town. Bonus: No need to have a designated driver, and walking instead of driving is a great choice for the environment. For more tips on sustainable Bend travel, check out our Visit Like a Local initiative.
Or dang it, sit still
Since I just returned from four glorious days in Mexico doing nothing more ambitious than sipping margaritas by the sea, I will heartily attest to the restorative power of sitting still.
While there’s no ocean to gaze at in Bend, you’ll find plenty of park benches and riverfront restaurants offering jaw-dropping views of the Deschutes.
For a different sort of stillness, schedule a session at Easy Float. You’ll spend 75 minutes in one of their Dream Pods floating in 12-inches of water saturated with Epsom salt. There’s no light or sound, and the water is maintained at human body temperature to give you the sense of having no outside stimulation or gravity.
A massage sesh or facial at a Bend day spa is another way to experience an hour of quiet relaxation guaranteed to leave your body feeling groovy.
Looking for something unique like guided meditation or spirituality classes? Peruse our Event Calendar to find out what’s going down during your Bend vacation.
Need to keep things cheap? Visit a Bend bookstore to snag yourself a good vacation read. Then set out to discover a perfect reading nook at your Bend vacation rental, public park, or coffee shop.
Treat yo’ self
A vow to save money or spend wisely is a common New Year’s resolution, and you deserve a pat on the back for all those Starbucks lattes you’ve declined and baloney sandwiches you’ve packed for lunch.
There are tons of ways to do a budget-friendly Bend vacation, from cheap or free activities, to special deals and discounts on lodging and Mt. Bachelor lift tickets.
But what about a vacation splurge? There are ways to do it mindfully without breaking the bank.
Treat yourself to a heavily-discounted pedicure or facial in the student-run salon at Phagen’s Cosmetology College. Book a low-cost rubdown at Sage School of Massage.
Browse some of the small, locally-owned shops filling Downtown Bend for the perfect souvenir to serve as a perpetual reminder of your Bend vacation. Bend art galleries are another great option for purchasing something special to commemorate your trip to Bend.
If you’re a fan of the experiences-instead-of-gifts movement, check out my last holiday gift giving post that’s filled with 40 ideas for splurge-worthy Bend experiences.
Then head home with a heart full of memories and the fuel you need to hop back on that resolution bandwagon and rev your engine.