If there’s one thing that Bendites (or Benders as a few Bend locals refer to themselves as) do well, it’s playing. Whether you’re playing outside biking, hiking, or skiing; or playing inside at the rock gym, the indoor trampoline park, or Sun Mountain Fun Center, these tips below will make sure you have your bases covered when you’re headed out on your next adventure. Because, after all, Bend is where you go to play.

#1 – SMILES AREN’T JUST FOR SELFIES

Spread the joy

Quick, name Bend’s favorite accessory! Puffy coat? Nope, but that’s a close second. Our top pick is a big warm smile. We’re pretty happy to be here, and we’re happy you’re here too. Ditch your inhibitions, get in on the giddy and make it your personal mission to return every smile you receive. And if you really want to rock it like a local, smile at someone before they smile at you.

#2 – UPGRADE YOUR RIDE

Let someone else do the driving

There are all kinds of things to explore in Bend, but there are better ways to do it than to drive yourself. We’ve got tour operators ready to take the wheel and make your experience carefree. Listen to local lore as you ride in style in a cushy bus, a swanky town car, or even a horse-drawn carriage. If you’d rather hoof it, start from downtown Bend where more than two-thirds of the breweries are within walking distance.

#3 – PACK IT IN, PACK IT OUT

It’s time for a little trash talk

You know it’s just basic good manners to pick up and pack out your trash after your picnic, at the end of your river float or when the outdoor concert winds down. Want to earn some extra karma points? Do “leave it as you found it” one better and pick up a little extra rubbish along the way. The people who visit after you say thanks…and so do we!

 

#4 – FILL. SWILL. REFILL.

Give disposable the boot

They don’t call this the high desert for nothing; it’s easy to get parched here. But the goal with hydration is to fill your personal tank, not the landfill. Scrap the crappy plastic bottle and upgrade to a reusable receptacle. Bend is such a fan of refillable bottles we’ve grown great companies that make them in all shapes and sizes (even dog bowls!); Hydro Flask, DrinkTanks and Ruffwear to name a few. Grab your favorite and quench your every thirst…except your thirst for adventure!

#5 – WEAR GOOD RIVER SHOES ON THE WATER

Save a flip flop today

Sure, you should save your tootsies from submerged rocks and hot pavement. But flip-flops can flop off in the water, leaving you barefoot and the river cluttered with junk. A better idea: Opt for sneakers or sturdier water shoes like Chacos, Keens, or Tevas.

 

#6 – SHOW SOME TENDERNESS TO THE TRAILS

Happy trails to all

Bend is made for wandering, but this is one time we’ll kindly request you keep your travels on the beaten path. Whether you’re hiking, biking or just out for a leisurely stroll, staying on marked trails preserves the pristine views for all and protects natural habitats for wildlife (and let’s face it, they’re the real locals) Wander on, friends! On the trail, that is.