If ever there was a trendy Eastern Oregon town, it's Joseph. You can see its wealth right on the brick sidewalks, where well-groomed planter boxes and huge bronze statues sit proudly on downtown street corners. Many of the old storefronts are now glitzy boutiques, peddling everything from inexpensive souvenirs to huge, expensive bronzes. There seem to be more galleries than anything else, with Valley Bronze at the artistic heart of this old frontier town.
Even while Joseph feels more like Santa Fe than your typical backcountry Western town, it has just enough boots-and-jeans street life to keep it from seeming completely fake. And simply heading a few blocks out of downtown brings you back into beautiful countryside – just a mile south is Wallowa Lake. Joseph is also a good base for exploring the region's many other recreational highlights; there's even a tiny ski resort, Ferguson Ridge, about 8 miles away.