Bend, Oregon

Best Places to Retire in Oregon


Bend (population 63,000) is situated near the geographic center of the state, and along the border of the Deschutes National Forest at the foot of the eastern slopes of the Cascade Mountain Range. The Deschutes River flows through the heart of the city on its journey northwards to the Columbia River. Bend was known in the late 1800s as Farewell Bend because it was where travelers using the pioneer roads saw their last glimpse of the river.

To the east is high desert vegetation and to the west is nearly all U.S. Forest Service land. Bend is known as “the outdoor recreation capitol of Oregon.” It offers hiking, biking, skiing and snow boarding, golf, whitewater rafting, kayaking, rock climbing, and more. Here it is possible to ski in the morning and play a round of golf in the afternoon. Its scenic vistas include views of eight Cascade mountain peaks. With over 300 days of sunshine and less that 12-inches of rain annually, it is ideal for outdoor activities.

Today Bend’s largest industry is tourism, with health and social assistance being second. There are also technology-based business interests and wood products. The largest single employer is St. Charles Medical Center with over 1,800 employees.

The city has all the amenities you would expect — including more than 10 galleries, a large number of specialty shops, two regional malls, a large number of dining choices, a well-established theatrical company, dinner theaters, night clubs, and movie theaters.

Arts & Culture

There are activities year-round, including the summer Munch & Music concert series, along with the following:
Sunriver Music Festival –
Sisters’ Quilt Show –
Community Theater of the Cascades –
Sisters Rodeo –

The High Desert Museum includes life-size dioramas of the 1800s settlement of the West.
Cascades Theatrical Company, now more than 25 years old, offers high-quality theatre.


The Bend Metro Park and Recreation District includes approximately 1,800 acres of park lands. Roughly 325 acres are developed into parks and trails and what remains is open space. Some of it will eventually be developed.

There are a number of both public and private golf courses in central Oregon. Among the public or semi-private clubs are: Aspen Lakes, Sisters, OR (549-4653); Glaze Meadow & Big Meadow, Sisters, OR (595-1500); Crooked River (923-6343), Resort Course, Eagle Ridge, Challenge Course and Eagle Crest (923-2453); The Greens (923-0694), and Juniper Golf Club (548-3121), all in Redmond. Lost Tracks, (447-7113), River’s Edge (389-2828), and Widgi Creek Club are all in Bend. Meadow Lakes, Prineville, OR (447-7113), Sunriver Woodlands, and Sunriver Meadows, OR (593-1221, ext. 4402). Bend also has three private courses – Awbrey Glen, Bend Country Club and Broken Top. 

Fisherman can choose from six reservoirs, 11 rivers or creeks, and 14 lakes in the region.

Deschutes and Ochoco National Forests, together with the Crooked River National Grassland, cover over 2.5 million acres of Central Oregon. The preserve extends about 100 miles along the east side of the Cascade Mountains, and eastward into the Ochoco Mountains. There are alpine forests, lush open meadows, pristine lakes and rivers, dense forests and snow capped volcanic peaks. They offer both scenic beauty and many recreation opportunities, including boating, fishing, camping, hiking, picnicking, wildlife viewing, and more. In the winter months there is downhill skiing, Nordic skiing, and snowmobiling.

Crater Lake, located in south-central Oregon, is widely known for its intense blue color and spectacular views. This six- mile wide body of water and 20-mile circle of cliffs was created by the eruption of Mount Mazama almost 7,000 years ago. There are boat tours on the lake and you can stay at Crater Lake Lodge, or camp at Mazama Village. There are also a number of hiking trails including Mount Scott, at 8,929 feet. Snowfall in this area averages 533 inches per year.

Hikers and bikers have excellent choices, starting close to town with Shevlin Park
, which is a 600-acre timbered area. There are also the trails in Deschutes National Forest, Ochoco National Forest, Smith Rock State Park, Pilot Butte State Park, the Badlands, and Newberry National Volcanic Monument, and more.

Mount Bachelor is a premier ski resort. It offers downhill, snowboarding, cross-country, tubing, snowshoeing, and more. It has 10 chair lifts and 3,683 skiable acres. It also has a halfpipe that is 400 feet long with 17-foot walls — built to Olympic standards. It’s Pine Martin Lodge features one of the highest restaurants in the Northwest, with spectacular views in both summer and winter. Lifts are operated for sightseeing in the summer months.


Central Oregon Community College, located in Bend, is the oldest community college in the state, dating back to 1949. Today COCC (with about 5,000 students) offers four degree options in over 30 major fields of study.

Oregon State University (OSU) – Cascades Campus shares the same campus as Central Oregon Community College. Students may be admitted to OSU-Cascades and COCC concurrently and may take classes from both at the same time.

Senior Programs

Bend Senior Center promotes active, healthy lifestyles by providing senior recreational activities. It is also a home for the United Senior Citizens of Bend, Central Oregon Council on Aging, Bend Seniors Meal Site, and the Meals-on-Wheels Program. The facility hosts educational classes (computers, languages, literature, art, gardening, health, driver safety, and more). Recreation programs include yoga, walking fitness, biking, hiking, snowshoeing, canoeing, kayaking, skiing, and line dancing.


St. Charles Medical Center has 181 beds, a medical staff of over 200 physicians, and is a Level II trauma center. It offers virtually all the services of a large metropolitan medical center.


Bend Municipal Airport is located five miles from the city at 3,453 feet. It has a 5,005-foot paved runway.

Roberts Field Airport is 16 miles away in Redmond. It has a 7,040-foot paved runway and is the commercial service airport for Central Oregon.


Average temperatures for January are a high of 46 degrees and a low of 35 degrees, with eight inches of precipitation. For July the averages are a high of 82 degrees and low of 53 degrees and just one-inch of precipitation. At an elevation of 3,628 feet, Bend enjoys a relatively dry climate with low humidity and cool nights.


The Bulletin –

Property Taxes’s-office/property-assessment/how-taxes-are-calculated

State Taxes

Chamber of Commerce

State Aging Agency


Redmond – 17 miles
Sunriver – 18 miles
Sister – 22 miles
LaPine – 30 miles
Ashland – 190 miles
Medford – 173 miles
Eugene – 117 miles
Salem – 131 miles

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