Raise your hand if you’ve played Never Have I Ever at some point in your life. If your hand is down, take a drink, because you’re totally fibbing.
Okay, okay….on the off-chance you’ve never played, the gist is that participants are challenged to fess up to deeds they’ve done or haven’t done. Right now, Visit Bend is taking the game to a new level by urging Bend residents and regular visitors to get out and try something new.
Supporting local businesses is key to Bend’s economic recovery, while gaining new experiences is key to shaking off your quarantine funk. With that in mind, here’s what you need to know about our new Never Have I Ever program.
How well do you really know Bend?
There’s always something new to enjoy in Bend if you know where to look.
I’m a fourth-generation Oregonian who spent countless childhood summers in Central Oregon, and moved here permanently in 1997. Though it’s basically been my job for 10 years to seek out new Bend experiences, I have zero trouble finding hikes I’ve never tried, restaurants I’ve never visited, beers I’ve never sampled, and Bend activities I’ve always meant to tick off my bucket list, but never got around to.
Now’s the time for all of us to see a side of Bend we’ve never experienced. Instead of hitting the same ol’ trails or dining spots, set your sights on something new.
Are you a hiker who always seems to gravitate toward trails off the Cascade Lakes Highway? Try exploring the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, or pick up a great hiking guide to get new ideas.
A friend of mine had the brilliant idea to write the names of all Bend restaurants on slips of paper to keep in a big jar. When date night rolled around, they’d draw three of them and agree to dine at one no matter what came up.
Get creative when planning your Bend outings. It’s not only a great way to commemorate our city’s cautious easing into phase 2 of COVID-19 reopening, but a way to reward yourself for being good during quarantine.
Pick a list, or mix & match
There are a couple ways you can approach your Never Have I Ever experience in Bend.
The first is to peruse www.visitbend.com for ideas. Make a note of restaurants you’ve been meaning to try or guided tours you’ve always written off as “just for tourists.” This is your chance to savor Bend like a tourist, even if you live here.
Your second option is to browse one of our specially-curated Never Have I Ever lists. Right now, we’ve got Family Adventure Day with highlights like a kayak adventure and a fun family hike. If fishing’s on your bucket list, check out our Ultimate Fly Fishing Experience, or find out how you can take your cycling game to the next level with our awesome itinerary for Biking & Strolling. There’s even one for an epic Glamping and Splashing adventure, complete with tacos (because tacos make everything better).
We’re adding new adventures each week, so keep checking back to find one that works for you.
Score deals and discounts
As Bend businesses ease into the post-quarantine era of COVID, they’re getting creative to lure both old clients and new. This is good news for you.
Wanderlust Tours, for example, is offering Deschutes County residents a $10 discount when they use a special Never Have I Ever promo code. You can learn more about that here.
The Bend Ale Trail has released a new special edition passport with new rules designed for social distancing. Download and print a passport here or pick up a new special edition passport at one of the breweries. You only need to visit five to earn a prize, which is half the number we normally require. Once you’ve got ‘em, take a selfie with your stamped passport and email it to email@example.com. We’ll mail you a $5 gift card for one of the breweries you didn’t hit so you have something to look forward to next time.
Don’t forget social distancing
So you know how Deschutes County was approved last week to enter the Governor’s phase 2 plan?
Pat yourself on the back for that, because we achieved it by staying home, washing our hands, masking up, and basically looking out for one another.
Phase 2 isn’t a free-for-all where we crowd into restaurants and scamper around licking each other’s faces (fun though that sounds). If we want to prevent a surge in COVID-19 cases, it’s important to continue social distancing. Wear that mask to protect your fellow citizens, since you may be a carrier and not even know it. Give strangers their space when you’re out enjoying Bend’s public spaces.
Above all, be kind to each other. If you need ideas, check out this blog post.