Take a deep breath — you’re in Bend, the central Oregon city surrounded by mountains, trees and other beautiful scenery, like the Deschutes River. It’s no secret that Bend is booming, thanks in large part to a growing entrepreneurial community and an unmatched quality of life. The region is expected to add jobs — lots of them — in the coming years, so it’s time to dust off your resume (especially if you want to expand or launch a career in software, biosciences, outdoor recreation, manufacturing and other burgeoning industries). Your family will love living in Bend, too, thanks to its year-round activities, short commutes and affordable cost of living.
Top Industries and Employers: Healthcare, education, government and skiing are some of the largest industries.
Best Coffee Shop: Strictly Organic, which also makes flavorful breakfast burritos.
Best Local Beer/Brewery: Worthy Brewing Company, which emphasizes environmental sustainability and responsibility at every level.
Must-Have Meal: Anything on the breakfast menu at McKay Cottage Restaurant, since you’ll get a homemade scone on the side — and you can expect the scone to steal the show!
Best Co-Working Space: BendTECH Coworking, which hosts events like “unConference,” a casual pitchfest for startup founders.
Best Meetup Spot (When Meeting Up Is a Thing Again): Deschutes Brewery for a beer and an elk burger.
Creative Hub: The Workhouse, an art studio and retail space with on-site artists, classes, workshops and other events.
Favorite Weekend Activity: Being outdoors — snowshoeing and skiing in the winter, hiking in the spring, biking in the summer and fly-fishing in the fall.
Free Way to Have Fun: See the stars and planets at the Pine Mountain Observatory (and consider giving $5 as a donation!).
Local Dream Job: Tour guide at Goody’s Chocolate and Ice Cream, so you can give visitors and locals alike a behind-the-scenes look at where the ice cream, chocolate, cookie dough and popcorn gets made.
- Sarah Kuta