Highway to Hoeftland

Adventures with Kristin & Mike

Guess what! We’re leaving Las Vegas and moving to Bend, Oregon. It was a difficult decision. For a while, we considered moving to Boulder, Colorado, possibly San Diego, and then later, downtown Las Vegas.  However, once we visited Bend, all other previous ideas were blown out of the water. We fell for Bend and have decided to move there this summer.

Below are our top ten reasons—besides the obvious beer and outdoor activities that Bend is famous for—on why we are hitting the road soon and heading to Central Oregon.

1) Bend offers us a healthier, more active lifestyle.

Bend, Ore.

Bend, Ore.

Firstly, Bend is known for its easy access to nature; lakes, mountains, forests, deserts, rivers—you name it, Bend has it right there. We want to be more active in our daily lifestyle and we believe that living in Bend can help us answer that call. More specifically, we discovered recently when we visited Bend that the Old Bend Neighborhood is walkable to amenities in the area, including downtown.

We’ve been interested in moving to a walkable neighborhood – ever since we read Walkable City by Jeff Speck – for our social and physical health. We’d like to walk and bike to places in our community, rather than drive. You can see why the Old Bend Neighborhood is such a great, walkable location by viewing this walkscore map of the area (overall walkscore of the neighborhood is 80/100).

2) Kristin was born in Oregon and ultimately thinks of Oregon as home.

Kristin feels a call to return home to her family and the Pacific Northwest after being away for many years. Although Central Oregon is not somewhere Kristin has spent much time, she grew up in the Portland area and is excited about returning to her home state with a new perspective and renewed appreciation for Oregon.

Attention Family Members of Oregon and Washington: More summer weekends at Lake Merwin Camper’s Hideaway, here we come! 🙂

Mike and Kristin in the Pacific Northwest.

Mike and Kristin in the Pacific Northwest.

3) Bend has fresh, clean, air.

This might seem strange (we never said we were normal) but to us, clean air is high on our priority list. Now that we’ve seen the layers of smog and dust engulf parts of Las Vegas on a continual basis, with air action alerts and warnings, we’re seeking cleaner air in our next community. Bend is reported to have very clean air. In fact, if you are curious, you can check your own city and state’s air quality HERE.

Mike, standing in front of Mirror Pond, Bend, Ore.

Mike, standing in front of Mirror Pond, Bend, Ore.

4) Bend is stunningly beautiful!

Anyone who has visited Bend will tell you that Bend is a gorgeous place. The town has idyllic scenery; from the Deschutes River running through town, to the large and gorgeous parks everywhere, the snow-capped mountains in the distance, and the old brick historic buildings all over downtown. Bend, Oregon is charming and beautiful. We felt enamored by its beauty.

Drake Park in Bend.

Drake Park in Bend.

5) Bend holds many festivals and events—sometimes nearly every weekend.

We love going to community events. Activities like TED Talks, Tower Theater shows, film festivals, dog walks, community volunteer events, beer fests, and art fairs are usually high on our list of things we consider to be a lot of fun. We think these Bend events will keep us entertained for a long while. As an added bonus, we’re hoping we can walk or bike to those once we get a house in a prime location there.

The Old Historic Mill Stacks in Bend OR - Now part of an outdoor shopping mall.

The Old Historic Mill Stacks in Bend OR – Now part of an outdoor shopping mall.

6) Independent shops, creativity, and an entrepreneurial spirit.

We saw a plethora of local, independent businesses and creative types all over Bend, and especially in the charming and vibrant downtown.

For instance, Mike is super excited about an old-school arcade that serves local beer downtown called Vector Volcano Classic Arcade (plus, can you imagine if we could walk to places like this?). Mike says he wants to have his birthday party there, if we make it to Bend by September. You’re all invited!

The unique shops downtown Bend and all around the area inspired us and made us feel like we were hanging out in an authentic, locals-centered, creative community. There’s a lot ingenuity there, which we love.

Our hearts are in Bend now.

Our hearts are in Bend now.

7) The downtown area is affordable for us personally, compared to other walkable U.S. cities.

A charming house in old Bend. We'd like to buy one like this.

A charming house in old Bend. We’d like to buy one like this.

Like many places around the country, there is an affordable housing crisis in Bend. There clearly needs to be more affordable homes, especially more options to rent, for people who live and work in Bend.

However, in regards to purchasing a house in the Old Bend Neighborhood, we found a few homes that were in our price range, albeit very small and old, but that’s okay with us, since it’s just the two of us and our pets.

As a comparison, when we visited Boulder Co., earlier this year and other places like Los Angeles, San Diego, and San Francisco, we were disappointed to realize that we were mostly priced out of those housing markets unless we wanted to get a home that didn’t entirely fit our top needs.

In Bend, we are not priced out of the area we liked. We can get a small bungalow, be able to have a yard for the dog, a backyard BBQ, and still be able to walk to tons of amenities.

8) We’re looking forward to experiencing different seasons again.

Coming from the Las Vegas area, as much as we liked the sun and blue skies, the weather gets old if you get too much of anything without major changes to the seasons throughout the year (that’s how we feel anyway). Bend offers unique seasons and a mix of weather that will keep us stimulated.

During the summers, we can envision taking our Casita travel trailer camping on the weekends. During the winters, we imagine having a fire in the fireplace and drinking hot cocoa while watching the snow flurries fall out the window. However, we admit that we’re a little nervous about how we will tolerate the winters and what it will be like to drive in the snow—we shall see; we’re willing to give it a try.

Standing on a bridge in Bend, Ore.

Standing on a bridge in Bend, Ore.

9) Cajun tater tots are awesome.

It’s peculiar how much we craved tater tots from places like the McMenamins Old Saint Francis Pub. We absolutely relished all the food and drink in Bend! (I guess in fairness though, we love food and drink practically everywhere we go. Also, this is another reason we have to walk to more places, because we like going out to eat and drink at delicious restaurants and breweries so much.)

Tater Tots, PNW style.

Tater Tots, PNW style.

10) A new adventure.

We enjoy exploring and we’re ready to see what it’s like to live as local Bendites. What’s it like living in a smaller community? What’s it like to live in a place that experiences a winter wonderland? What are the nearby trails and recreation like, the lakes, and the nearby towns, such as Sisters, Oregon? We want to check it all out.

daringadventurequoteIt’s been a valuable, eye-opening adventure living in Southern Nevada these past three years. We will miss the strikingly beautiful Mojave Desert, and most of all, our friends and relatives who live in Nevada.

Nevertheless, As Helen Keller aptly said, “Life is either a daring adventure, or nothing at all.” We agree and so we’re headed to Bend!


Kristin and Mike

24 thoughts on “Top Ten Reasons Why We’re Moving to Bend, Ore.

  1. Tricia Hogan says:

    We are so excited that you and Mike are moving to Bend. We look forward to having more time with you, in Bend and also at Lake Merwin. We can’t wait!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks Tricia! We can’t wait either! Now I just have to get moving on this packing up the house and listing it for sale project and then we’ll be good to go. Thanks for your comment and looking forward to seeing you guys this summer. 🙂


  2. Congratulations! I have to say I’m a little jealous (as much as I love Tahoe!). It will be so nice to be able to walk to all the amazing Bend features.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you Lynn! We’re very excited!


  3. Paula says:

    The cajun tater tots alone would do it! Once you get settled, check out Breitenbush Hot Springs if you haven’t already…past Sisters, hang a right at Detroit. Happy relocating~

    Liked by 2 people

    1. Paula, Thanks for your tip. I just looked the Breitenbush Hot Springs up online and it looks wonderful. We’ll definitely have to check it out. Glad you agree about the tater tots! hehe

      Liked by 1 person

    2. Alan says:

      Cajun! I thought those were Ore-Ida tater tots.

      Liked by 1 person

  4. Sharron says:

    Las Vegas loss and Bend’s gain. Good for you, a new adventure and you never know what is around the next “bend”. Wishing you all the best!!!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks so much Sharron!! We’ll be back to visit a lot. 🙂


  5. Dee says:

    Enjoyed your blog…my husband n I are looking to buy a Casita trailer; not sure when! Sounds like u r enjoying Oregon. You will have to put Silver Falls on your ” places to visit”. We have had family gatherings there for years, and we live in CA!…camping, hiking….beautiful waterfalls.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Dee, Silver Falls sounds great. I hope we can check it out soon. We enjoyed our Casita very much. They are great quality trailers and a lot of fun. We love Oregon! Thanks for your positive feedback! -Kristin


  6. James says:

    I just happened to stumble upon this post, congratulations! Did yall end up moving out this way?

    Having been an Oregon resident for many years, I agree with your post. It is an amazing place to live! There are two things I would like to point out though. I’m not sure what time of year you have visited Bend, but during the summer months it is ridiculously busy. It’s hard to find a seat at a bar or have a quiet dinner out. Not sure if this is a problem for you, but it was a turn off for me.

    The final thing is that the high desert can get very, very cold. There is a huge difference between valley weather (Portland) and high desert weather!

    You both seem very diligent in your research so I’m probably not telling you anything new. I just wanted to reach out just in case!

    Good luck and safe travels.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi James, thanks for your tips on Bend. We did end up moving to Central Oregon. I can see your points about the area. Indeed, it’s been very snowy here–quite the change from Southern NV. We arrived this past summer, and it was so crowded everywhere we went. We’re still having a lot of fun so far, so fingers are crossed that we’ll continue to enjoy it long term. 🙂


  7. Leslie Swaney says:

    Hi there, I just stumbled upon this post as well. We moved to Bend from Southern Indiana (Louisville, Kentucky area) in October 2011 and have never looked back. After being here for over 5 years, we sometimes get complacent about what a magnificent place it is, so reading your story helped me vicariously experience Bend for the first time again. I’m just wondering if you both are still in Bend and, assuming so, how you like it? Has it measured up to your expectations? Any pro’s and con’s now that they “honeymoon period” has worn off?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi Leslie, Sorry for the late reply! We still love Bend. It’s so much fun, beautiful, and unique. I would say the winter was very long and icy, but we got through it! Other than that, we like it very much. We feel like it’s a high quality of life here. The only thing that would make me move from here, is just having a general curiosity about what else is out there, or if there was some awesome opportunity that we couldn’t pass up outside of Bend.

      I’m so glad you enjoyed the blog! I’m glad you like it here too. Thanks so much for your comment! 🙂



      1. Patricia Hogan says:

        Hi Kristin, So glad you did make the move to Bend! We love seeing you and Mike enjoying Bend. Looks like you were correct with your top 10 reasons to move to Bend. Love having you and Mike close enough to visit more often too. Tricia


      2. Thank you Tricia! That means a lot to us. Thanks for visiting the blog. 🙂


  8. Rosemary Meyer says:

    Good Luck I moved to Arizona from Oregon because of cold snowy winters and Yuma has some terrific hot days I’ve been in Az now 10 yrs and know now I could never tolerate winter wonderland but their isn’t any place on earth more beautiful that Oregon Crater Lake and The Columbia Gorge🌹So my blessings for your new journey. Be sure you take time to go to the High Desert Museum so much to see


    1. Thank you Rosemary! We love the High Desert Museum. I hope you’re enjoying AZ! We have friends there, and they love it. 🙂


  9. Jennifer Ortega says:

    Hi Kristin, just read your article and was wondering how is the drive in the winter? And how does feel to leave Vegas ? (Not sure how old your areticle is) We are currently in California and is looking to moverify to Oregon but not sure where too. We want affordable to own a home, good school and job opportunities and seems like we’re in between Bend and Hillsboro.


    1. Hi Jennifer,

      Bend can get very snowy in the winter, but not as bad as the East coast or the Midwest. I am still happy that we left Vegas and moved to Bend. It was a great experience living in the Vegas area, but Bend and Oregon are a much better fit for us. It’s gorgeous out here, the people are great, and it’s a high quality of life.

      Schools seem good, but we don’t have kids so we’re not certain how good.

      One thing to keep in mind is that many homes in Bend and the Portland area are a bit spendy and getting more expensive. However, they are not as expensive as CA. Bend has some good jobs, but we still have a ways to go in terms of having lots of good jobs to choose from. This is a medium sized, outdoorsy, tourist town, so it’s not as plush in high paying jobs, but it’s becoming very popular and growing so much that more opportunities are presenting themselves. My husband and I were able to find good jobs here. Honestly, you will have a lot more success job-wise in the Portland/Hillsboro area.

      Portland/Hillsboro is not very snowy; it’s more mild in the winter (lots of rain and clouds in that area). Bend can be hit or miss. Last year was quite a snowy, long winter in Central OR. However, we also get a lot of sun, which is nice.

      I hoped that helped answer your questions. Good luck with your decision! We are very happy with our choice to move to Bend.

      Take care,

      Kristin 🙂


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