Central Oregon: Places to Explore

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Bend

Bend, Oregon's largest city east of the Cascades, is emerging from a boom-and-bust cycle, one that caused it to go from being the state's fastest-growing city to the city with the nation's steepest fall in housing prices. As banks have worked through their inventories of foreclosed properties, the people of Bend have continued to enjoy the elements that attracted all the attention in the first place: an enviable climate, proximity to skiing, and a reputation as a playground and recreational escape. At times it seems that everybody in Bend is an athlete or a brewer, but it remains a tolerant, welcoming town, conscious of making a good first impression. Downtown Bend remains compact, vibrant, and walkable, and the Old Mill District draws shoppers from throughout the region. Chain stores and franchise restaurants have filled in along the approaches to town, especially along U.S. 20 and U.S. 97.

Neighboring Mt. Bachelor, though hardly a giant among the Cascades at 9,065 feet, is blessed by an advantage over its taller siblings—by virtue of its location, it's the first to get snowfall, and the last to see it go. Inland air collides with the Pacific's damp influence, creating skiing conditions immortalized in songs by local rock bands and raves from the ski press.

Elsewhere in Central Oregon

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