Bend is where all lovers of the outdoors should live – it's an absolute paradise. You can ski fine powder in the morning, paddle a kayak in the afternoon and play golf into the evening. Or would you rather go mountain biking, hiking, mountaineering, stand-up paddleboarding, fly-fishing or rock climbing? It's all close by and top drawer. Plus, you'll probably be enjoying it all in great weather, as the area gets nearly 300 days of sunshine each year.
Not all of Bend is pretty – Hwy 97 (3rd St) is a long commercial strip of cheap motels, fast-food restaurants and run-of-the-mill services. But something has had to support Bend's fast-growing population, which has skyrocketed in the last decade. While the economic slowdown did affect the city's booming growth, Bend is likely to remain a mecca for those who seek to integrate the outdoors into their active lifestyles.