If you’re like most people who are about to relocate to a new community or have recently done so, you’re experiencing a combination of anticipation and apprehension. You’re undoubtedly looking forward to making new friends and having new experiences and adventures, but if you’re leaving family and friends behind, you may also be concerned about rebuilding your life in a new community. Fortunately, those lucky enough to be moving to Bend have a variety of options for creating the foundations of a solid social network. Following are just three of the many excellent ways to get acclimated in Bend.

Get Outdoors
Mountain bike enthusiasts, skiers, hikers, kayakers and other outdoor enthusiasts all consider Bend to be an outdoor paradise. Skiing at Mt. Bachelor is within short driving distance of downtown Bend, and the community is very close to the high lakes of the Cascade Mountain Range where you can enjoy boating and fishing for the region’s famous Kokanee salmon. You can easily find activity partners by joining various “meetup groups” that match your interests. Bend also has a meetup specifically for those new to the area, and it currently has over 2,000 members.

If you’re ready to try something fun and different, consider learning how to play pickleball. Pickleball is a combination of badminton, ping pong and table tennis, and the sport has its own active meetup page in Bend to help you get started.

Volunteer
Volunteering is another great way to make connections in a new community. You can volunteer to help with local festivals and events or volunteer for organizations such as libraries, museums and animal shelters. If you’ve always been interested in natural history, consider contacting Bend’s High Desert Museum and asking about current volunteer opportunities. Bend also has a local chapter of Habitat for Humanity. Other options include Bend Senior Center, Meals on Wheels, the Bend Parks & Recreation Department and Sunriver Nature Center & Observation. No matter what your interests and abilities, Bend probably has a volunteer option for you.

Mingle
Bend’s vibrant art, music, culinary and craft beer and cider scenes provide plenty of chances for mingling — with the largest number of breweries per capita in the entire state of Oregon, Bend earned its nickname ”Beer Town, USA” the honest way. Check out the Bend Ale Trail for an introduction to the city’s craft beer — it’s the biggest beer trail in the Pacific Northwest. The Bend Ale Trail is available each month of the year, but November is its official month and offers extra fun. If cider’s more your style, you’ll find no shortage of opportunities in Bend to enjoy artisan craft ciders made with local fruits such as apples, pears, plums and blackberries.

First Friday Art Walks happen in Bend all year round, and if you’re an art aficionado, you won’t want to miss out on Art in the High Desert during the latter part of August.

Please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’d like more information about making the most of life in the beautiful Central Oregon city of Bend.