Today's retirees are as likely to hit the north face as the back nine, and they're increasingly opting for mountain towns. Many are flocking to Bend in particular, for its spectacular views, vast array of outdoor sports, and relaxed vibe. Sitting at the base of the Cascade mountain range 160 miles from Portland, Bend offers some of the region's best hiking, biking trails through the Deschutes National Forest, and kayaking on the Cascade Lakes and Deschutes River, not to mention a thriving indoor and outdoor rock-climbing culture. For traditionalists, Bend has eight golf courses. And don't forget the beer: Bend is home to 10 local microbreweries.
The area was hit hard in the recession, but that means prices are down 55% from their pre-crisis peak, and the median home price is less than $150,000. We'll raise a Black Butte Ale to that.
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