Best Places to Live

Bend, OR

Population: 94,911
LIV
SCORE
651
iStock/benedek

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.

Read More:
5 Best Cities for Families in Oregon
Looking for a Fresh Start? Here’s Why You Should Move to Bend, OR
Why Some People in the Entertainment Industry Chose Small-Town Life

- Sarah Kuta

"Bend offers year-round beautiful weather, never-ending outdoor recreational activities, an abundance of local events and a nurturing, friendly community. Bend’s population is predominantly composed of people moving from larger cities looking to slow down and obtain a more relaxed quality of life. As a result, the energy in Bend feels like being on vacation — except you’re home."

Melissa Gottlieb
Owner of Bend Relocation Services and Moving to Bend

Bend, OR Ranking Data

Civic
60
Demographics
21
Economy
56
Education
70
Health
57
Housing
38
Infrastructure
69