Bend OR downtown

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 60
Demographics 27
Economy 57
Education 67
Health 65
Housing 37
Infrastructure 49

#96. Bend, OR

Bend, OR sits along the Deschutes River, nestled in between the snow-dusted peaks of the Cascade Mountains and high-desert plateaus. The pristine beauty of its surroundings makes the town a mecca for outdoor enthusiasts. That combined with a flourishing craft beer scene, a dog-friendly community and a cutting-edge urban trail system, it is no wonder Bend is consistently hailed as one of the best small towns in America by both residents and visitors. 

Top Colleges/Universities: Oregon State University-Cascades & Central Oregon Community College

Top Industries & Employers: Les Schwab Tire Centers, a tire retail chain, is Bend’s top employer. Health care, retail and hospitality are Bend’s top three industries. 

Weekend Plans: Bend has the most microbreweries per capita in Oregon. Spend the weekend sampling ales, sours and IPAs along the largest beer trail in the West known as the Bend Ale Trail.

Favorite Place to Feast: Pizza Mondo has been voted Bend’s Best Pizza 21 years in a row. 

Beloved Beverage: Sample the full lineup of what 10 Barrel Brewing Co has to offer with its “10 Sampler,” a selection of 10 3-ounce pours of the current session, seasonal, sours and dark ales for $10.

Outdoorsy Activity: Drake Park, with its picture-postcard Mirror Pond that reflects back the wooded scenery, is by far one of the most popular public spaces in all of Oregon. 

Rooftop Bar: Located in the heart of downtown Bend, Zydeco Kitchen and Cocktails serves Cajun-influenced Northwestern cuisine on a heated rooftop patio. 

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: Bend has a dog-friendly reputation. If you don’t know where to begin planning your dog adventures, start at Wanoga Snow Park, home to Oregon’s first dog-friendly groomed ski and snowshoe trails.

Remote Work Perk: Bend leads the nation with more than 12 percent of its workforce telecommuting. Remote workers in Bend benefit from a high quality of life that comes along with a mild climate, plethora of outdoor activities and a vibrant downtown scene.

One More Thing … Bend has the highest average of sunny days in the state.

– Brittany Anas

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