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Living in Bend Oregon - EVERYTHING You Need to Know

Are you Living in or Considering Moving to Bend, Oregon?

Bend, Oregon, in Deschutes county, is 121 miles SE of Portland, Oregon. Bend is situated along the banks of the Deschutes River near the eastern edge of the Cascade Mountain Range. It's located in the central portion of Oregon, and the landscape features Ponderosa Pine and a high desert plateau. Bend is a popular destination for a variety of outdoor activities. Tourism is a significant factor in the economy.

If you are considering moving to or are already living in Bend, Oregon, you won't soon run out of things to do. The abundant recreation and outdoor activities available in the area have made moving to and living in Bend, Oregon, the thing to do!

Read on for some great information on Bend Oregon, including info on neighborhoods, schools, things to do, employers and even answers to some FAQs. By the end of this article I think you'll see just how amazing living in Bend, Oregon, could be!

The Moving to Bend Oregon Team

Would you like to buy a home in Bend, Oregon? Let our team of trusted professionals help you buy or/and sell a home in the Bend area. To connect with a local expert/real estate professional in Bend, Oregon, to help you navigate your home buying journey, CLICK HERE. To start receiving emails with homes that match your criteria in Bend, CLICK HERE and sign up for Listing Alert. With a little info on what, where, and how much, you'll get newly listed homes matching your criteria sent to your inbox as they hit the market. This can give you a big leg up in your home search.

The first step in the home-buying process is getting pre-approved for a mortgage. Todd Davidson is an experienced mortgage broker and can help you get the best financing option for your home purchase. Not quite ready yet? Todd can help you put together a plan to get you there. Whether you're thinking a few months or a year or more if you want to buy a home, reach out to Todd and he can help. CLICK HERE to email Todd and set up a call to get the process started or just call at 971-275-2465. 

Todd Davidson Headshot.JPG

Todd Davidson

Mortgage Broker

What is Living in Bend, Oregon, Like?

For those considering moving to Bend, Oregon, or those living in Bend, Oregon, Healthcare, social services, scientific and technical services, and wood product manufacturing are prominent parts of the economy and are major employers in the area. If you're researching living in Bend, Oregon, to retire, you'll find it's a very popular retirement location. The city features a high desert climate with sunny days and cool nights. Bend is known as a cosmopolitan mountain town and features a vibrant, diverse art scene.

The numerous rivers and lakes provide opportunities for a variety of outdoor activities for those visiting or living in Bend, Oregon. Residents and tourists enjoy whitewater rafting, fly fishing, and kayaking on the Deschutes River. Golfing is popular among the numerous quality courses. Residents and tourists enjoy the Crooked and Metolius rivers. Paulina and East lakes are popular fishing locations. The Cascade Mountains are well known for hiking and bicycle riding.

Mount Bachelor ski resort is a popular destination for those visiting or living in the Bend, Oregon, area. The close-by Cascade Lakes are enjoyed for a variety of outdoor activities. Bend is a popular location for bicycle riding and includes a variety of landscapes for cyclists, including scenic forests, lava fields, desert terrain, and mountains. The Three Sisters Wilderness area is famous for backcountry hiking and camping. Smith Rock State Park is well known for rock climbing. Hiking to the top of Pilot Butte provides a panoramic view of the landscape.

What is the Cost of Living in Bend Oregon?

If you're exploring a move to Bend Oregon, or any place, the cost of living would be a significant factor in your decision-making. I calculated the REAL cost of living in Bend, Oregon, by factoring in today's costs for housing (rent and own), utilities, food, transportation, healthcare, and other necessities to live. To live in Bend, Oregon, and rent, you would need to make $48,000 a year. To live in Bend, Oregon, and buy a home, you would need to make $79,000 a year. Rental amount is based on current low end cost of studio or one bedroom, purchase is based on recent low end sales of a three bedroom and monthly payment with 20% down.

Cost of Living

Living in Bend Oregon Tips/Info/Blog Posts

Helpful Tips for Moving to Oregon and Buying a Home







Best Neighborhoods in Bend Oregon

Whether you are young and single and want a little more action or married with a family looking for something safe and family-friendly, living in Bend, Oregon, there's a neighborhood that will meet your needs. Below are some of the top Bend neighborhoods if you're thinking of moving to Bend, Oregon:

Century West

With Mt. Bachelor Ski Resort close by, Bend, Oregon, is definitely a ski town. The Century West neighborhood provides those living in Bend easy access to Mount Bachelor and all that the Cascades Mountains have to offer. From this Bend neighborhood, you're just a hop, skip, and jump from some of the finest skiing, mountain biking, hiking, kayaking, and fishing that you'll find anywhere. There's golf, too, with one of Bend's finest golf courses, Broken Top, close by. Mix in the spectacular mountain views, and you'll find living in this Bend neighborhood very special!

Homes in Century West run the gamut from exclusive gated communities and 70s-vintage ski chalets to more affordable townhouse communities and condominiums. The OSU Cascade campus is a growing presence on the neighborhood's north end, and with the college scene growing, it's sure to become a bigger presence in coming years.

With the Southern Crossing neighborhood and Old Mill District the next neighborhood over, you're also close to some of the finest restaurants and boutique shops in Bend.

Broken Top Golf Course - Bend Oregon.jpg

Living in Bend Oregon - Broken Top Golf Course

Downtown Bend - Mirror Pond

Living in Bend Oregon - Mirror Pond

River West

Some say River West makes Bend what it is. River West is home to many of Bend's most popular cafes, outdoor shops, retail stores, concert venues, organic food stores, restaurants, day spas, craft breweries, food carts, and more.

If you're living in Bend, Oregon, and want a walkable community, River West is it. Take your dog for a walk along the bank of the Deschutes River and stop at many of the parks in the area. There's a trail system off this charming Bend neighborhood's western edge that's great for a short hike and gives you some stunning city views. 

Housing in River West finds a number of older traditional-style craftsman homes mixed in with improved and remodeled old mill homes and a sprinkling of sixties and seventies vintage homes in the hills. This Bend neighborhood is a must-see if you're thinking of moving to Bend, Oregon.

Southern Crossing

If you're looking for a walkable Bend neighborhood surrounded by shopping, restaurants, and an abundance of outdoor recreation, the Southern Crossing neighborhood in Bend, Oregon, would likely be a good fit. Straddled by the Deschutes River, this Bend neighborhood is a mix of residential, business, and commercial spaces. 

This neighborhood is home to the city's premier shopping/entertainment destination, The Old Mill District. With its shops, restaurants, salons, tap rooms, music venues, theaters, and more, The Old Mill District is one of the more popular destinations for those visiting or living in Bend, Oregon.

This Bend neighborhood is comprised of detached single-family homes, with some townhomes, condos, and multi-unity homes mixed in.

Old Mill District - Bend Oregon

Living in Bend Oregon -Old Mill District - Photo by Ben Davidson

NorthWest Crossing

Northwest Crossing is a 486-acre neighborhood in Bend, that offers charming tree-lined streets and beautiful homes with covered front porches reminiscent of older neighborhoods. The community is home to nearly 90 businesses, including award-winning restaurants, manufacturing, and commercial and retail businesses. The community also has several public schools and 32 acres of parks for the community to congregate. The interconnected trails and sidewalks running through this Bend neighborhood encourage residents to bike and walk to work or school. 

NorthWest Crossing has a good variety of home styles, from Craftsman to Contemporary Modern single-family homes, cottages, and well-appointed apartments and townhomes. If you're moving to Bend, Oregon, you'll surely find a home style to meet your needs in NorthWest Crossing. Definitely a premiere Bend neighborhood. 

Awbrey Butte

One of Bend’s most exclusive neighborhoods, Awbrey Butte, combines luxurious living with spectacular views of Mount Bachelor on the southern side and the Cascade Range on the north. 

Most lots in Awbrey Butte are an acre or more and are landscaped with mature trees and native plants, creating a natural, forested feel as well as making a good home for wildlife.

Situated among the Awbrey Butte homes are many golf courses, country clubs, and some of the nicest parks in Bend. If you want to live in Bend, Oregon, in a luxurious community with amazing recreation and spectacular views, the Awbrey Butte neighborhood in Bend would be a great choice!

If moving to Bend, Oregon, and you'd like to buy a home in one of these fabulous neighborhoods, CLICK HERE to sign up for LISTING ALERT to be the first to know when a home matching your criteria gets listed for sale in Bend, Oregon. To connect with a local realtor, CLICK HERE. One of the most important decisions you'll make when moving to Bend, Oregon, is picking an experienced realtor who can help you get the house you want at the best price. At living in Oregon, we work with the best realtors throughout the state and can help you get the right realtor to make your move and home purchase as easy as possible.

Public Schools in Bend Oregon

If schooling is a factor in your move to Bend, you'll be excited to hear that there are excellent schools here. If you're living in Bend, Oregon, the schools are part of the Bend-La Pine School District and have a graduation rate of 82% compared to the statewide average of 80%. The current District oversees 18 elementary schools, seven middle schools, and five (soon to be 6) high schools. The District's average SAT score was 57 points higher than the state average, and 80 Percent of BLS students continue their education within five years of graduation. So if you're looking at moving to and living in Bend, Oregon, your kids have access to a great education.

For those looking to continue their education, there are several colleges in Bend, such as Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University-Cascades Campus, which offer a variety of affordable programs. 

For more information on the Bend Schools, rankings and boundaries, check out the Bend-LaPine School District and Great Schools links in the Moving to and Living in Bend Oregon Links section below.

Top Businesses & Employers in Bend

The top industries in Bend are healthcare, technology, tourism, recreation, and hospitality. If you thinking of moving to Bend, Oregon, and will be looking for employment, there are a number of different options.  

A few of the best businesses and employers for those living in Bend, Oregon, include:

  • St. Charles Health System ( Around 4,500 employees)

  • Bright Wood Corporation (Around 1,130 employees)

  • Les Schwab (Around 1,100 employees)

  • Sunriver Resort (Around 1,000 employees)

  • Mt. Bachelor (Around 975 employees)

In addition, Bend is also home to several small businesses and start-ups. The city's vibrant business community provides an excellent opportunity for entrepreneurs to get their businesses off the ground. And with a variety of industries represented, there's sure to be a business that's a perfect fit for you if you make a move to Bend, Oregon.

Top Destinations & Attractions in Bend, Oregon

Relocating to Bend is perfect for the outdoor enthusiast as it offers various hiking, biking, and camping opportunities. The city is also home to several excellent golf courses and ski resorts. For those looking for a more relaxed atmosphere, Bend offers several spas and resorts. There are also several kid-friendly activities for families.


A few of the biggest attractions for those visiting or living in Bend:

High Desert Museum

Just down the road from Bend sits the High Desert Museum. The Museum sits on 135 acres of pine-covered forest land in Central Oregon. The Museum, which opened in 1982, promotes an understanding of the natural and cultural heritage of North America's high desert country by bringing regional wildlife, art, culture, and natural resources together. The Museum includes various outdoor and indoor exhibits, a library, and a cafe. High Desert Museum Info

Tumalo Falls, Near Bend Oregon

Living in Bend Oregon -Tumalo Falls - Photo by Todd Davidson

Tumalo Falls

One of the best parts of living in Bend, Oregon, is the access to outdoor recreation. Just 12 miles from the brewery-lined streets of downtown lies Tumalo Falls, a beautiful 97-foot waterfall in the Deschutes National Forest. Situated on Tumalo Creek, seeing this towering beauty is one of the best things to do in Bend.

Starting from the picnic area, Tumalo Falls Trail leads to a viewing platform above Tumalo Falls, about .25 miles upstream. The trail continues beyond the falls. Approximately 1.25 miles further upstream, it reaches a second waterfall, Middle Tumalo Falls, a two-tiered cascade totaling 65 feet in height. In addition to the picnic area, there are hiking and mountain biking trails.

If you are visiting or living in Bend, Oregon, you've got to check out the Tumalo Falls! Tumalo Falls Info 

Newberry National Volcanic Monument

The Newberry National Volcanic Monument was created in November of 1990. Located in the breathtaking Deschutes National Forest, the Monument provides a wonderful chance for anyone to view the Central Oregon Lava Lands. Newberry National Volcanic Monument encompasses 54,000+ acres of lava flows, lakes, and breathtaking geologic features in Central Oregon. The summit Paulina Peak (7,985 ft.) is the highest point within the Monument. It showcases views of the Cascades, Newberry Caldera, and across the High Desert.


Whether you like to bike, hike, camp, fish, or just see some amazing views, there's something for everyone at the Newberry National Volcanic Monument. If you're visiting or living in Bend, Oregon, it's certainly a must-do.  Newberry Volcanic National Monument Info

Mt. Bachelor

Opening in 1958, Mt. Bachelor is the Pacific Northwest's premier mountain destination. Mt. Bachelor has grown to be the 6th largest ski resort in North America — offering 4,300 skiable acres, 3,365 feet of vertical drop, and 121 unique runs. Located in Central Oregon, approximately 22 miles from Bend, Mt. Bachelor has one of the nation's longest ski seasons. Weather permitting, running from mid-November through the end of May. In addition Mt. Bachelor offers hiking and bike trails in the summer months.

If you're living in Bend, Oregon, or anywhere in Oregon for that matter, it's a must-do if you're into skiing or snowboarding. Mt. Bachelor Info

Living in Bend Oregon - Mt. Bachelor

Mirror Pond and Drake Park - In Bend Oregon

Living in Bend Oregon -Mirror Pond/Drake Park - Photo by Todd Davidson

Drake Park and Mirror Pond

If visiting or living in Bend, Oregon, you have to check out Drake Park and Mirror Pond. Located in the heart of Bend, Drake Park is a 13-acre park bordered by Mirror Pond. With acres of open lawn, an outdoor stage, and picnic tables, it's a fantastic spot to walk around, feed the ducks, relax, and fall in love with Bend.

The community gathering spot is home to many events throughout the year, and Mirror Pond offers some great canoeing and kayaking. The towering Ponderosa Pines provide great shade and a relaxing spot to hang out on a hot summer day.

Pros and Cons of Living in Bend Oregon

Living in Bend Pros

  1. Outdoor Recreation: With the great weather, 263 days a year of sunny or mostly sunny, and the abundance of outdoor recreation available, living in Bend is fantastic if you like to keep active and be outside.

  2. The Schools: With SAT scores that are 57 points higher than the state average and high graduation rates, living in Bend, Oregon, gives your kids access to a quality education.

  3. The Neighborhoods: If you're considering moving to Bend, Oregon, spend some time looking at and visiting all the great Bend neighborhoods to pick the best one for you and your family. Above, we listed four of the best Bend neighborhoods. There are many more, all having their uniqueness and charm. 

  4. Great City for Dog Lovers: In 2017, Bend was named the best city for dogs, according to Dogster magazine. Not only are there plenty of dogs and places for dogs to run free, but people here are super friendly toward dog lovers. 

Living in Bend Cons

  1. Cost of Living in Bend: Living in Bend, Oregon, is getting very expensive. If you're coming from California or other expensive area it may not seem so bad but for those living in Bend or other areas of the state, living in Bend is expensive.

  2. Jobs: Bend is a relatively small town. Job opportunities aren't near what they are in a larger Metropolitan Area. If you're in the hospital, tourist or hospitality industry you'll have better luck finding a job than in other fields. Living in Bend, Oregon, is great but the job situation can be tougher.

  3. Wild Fire Season: Living in Bend, Oregon, you are surrounded by forest. Mix in the fact Bend is pretty dry, and there's always the potential for forest fires in the surrounding area.

  4. Hot Housing Market: If you're thinking of moving to Bend, Oregon, the housing market is very competitive. If you're thinking of moving to Bend an buying a home it's important to work with a good mortgage broker to get pre-approved, as well as a good realtor. For Mortgage Info reach out to me. I grew up in Oregon and know Bend well.  I'm available 24/7 to answer any questions you have about living in Bend, Oregon, and help you get pre-approved for a mortgage. I also have several good realtors I work with if you need an introduction, and together we can make living in Bend, Oregon, a reality for you.

FAQs About Living in Bend Oregon

What is Bend known for?

Bend is known for its outdoor recreation and great weather. Living in Bend, Oregon, you're never far from great hiking, biking, and camping opportunities. With the abundant rivers, lakes, and mountains in the area, you'll never run out of fun things to do outside living in Bend, Oregon.

What cities are nearby Bend?

There are several great cities located near Bend, Oregon. Redmond, Sisters, Sunriver, LaPine, and Prineville are among the closest, and each offers unique attractions and amenities. And with Bend being located in Central Oregon, there are also many great outdoor destinations nearby, such as Mount Bachelor and Smith Rock State Park.

What is the weather like in Bend?

The climate in Bend is temperate and dry, with temperatures ranging from a high of 85 in July to a low of 22 in January. Bend receives an average of less than12 inches of precipitation per year and is located in a rain shadow, meaning it receives less rainfall than other parts of Oregon.


Does Bend Oregon have good public schools?

Living in Bend, Oregon, your kids have access to great schools. With graduation rates higher than the state average and SAT scores 57 points higher, the Bend-LaPine school district does a great job. Some of the top-rated schools in Bend include Summit High School, Bend Senior High School, and Mountain View High School. And for those looking for a more affordable post-graduate education, several colleges are located in Bend, such as Central Oregon Community College and Oregon State University-Cascades Campus.

Is Bend a safe place to live? 

Bend is a safe place to live, with a crime rate below the national average. The city also has several safety programs and initiatives, such as the Community Watch Program and the Bend Police Department's Citizens Academy. In addition, Bend is home to several hospitals and medical facilities, which provide residents with access to quality medical care. You'll feel very safe living in Bend, Oregon.

What is there to do for fun in Bend?

With the fantastic weather and abundance of outdoor recreation at your fingertips, you won't run out of things to do living in Bend, Oregon. Just a few of the many attractions include Mt. Bachelor, Smith Rock, Tumalo Falls, and the Deschutes River. With the many other rivers, lakes, mountains, trails, and golf courses surrounding Bend, if you're the active sort, living in Bend, Oregon, would be pretty amazing!

I want to relocate to Bend.  How do I make it happen?

You've come to the right spot if you're looking to move to Bend, Oregon. There's a lot of information on this website to help, including some helpful links below. If you want to ask questions, try our Facebook Group > Moving to Oregon, where we have a broad group of locals to answer any question you might have. If you're looking to buy a home in the Bend area, getting pre-approved for a mortgage should be your first step. For Mortgage Info, reach out to me. I would love to tell you more about what living in Bend is like, as well as help with your mortgage if you decide to purchase a home

For FAQs about moving to Oregon or living in Oregon, check out my blog, 31 FAQs About Living in Oregon. For more information about living in Oregon, check out the homepage of LIVING IN OREGON.

Helpful Links for Moving to and Living in Bend Oregon

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