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From Our Editors
Although gray skies loom over most of the Pacific Northwest, Bend averages 300 days of sun per year. Because of its warm, dry climate, high-desert terrain pervades the area in the form of thick juniper trees, arid winds, and snow-capped mountains. About 14 miles from Seventh Mountain Resort, imposing Mt. Bachelor tempts skiers and snowboarders with more than 70 powder-covered slopes. Summer activities abound at spots such as Smith Rock State Park, whose many easy day hikes provide beautiful vistas of deep river canyons inhabited by golden eagles, mule deer, and river otters. A five-minute drive southwest leads travelers to the Deschutes River, home to both smooth waters and churning Class III rapids. Whitewater rafters barrel along with the current as mountain bikers traverse miles of hilly trails lining the river's banks. A 15-minute drive into downtown Bend brings travelers to a cluster of restaurants, boutiques, and galleries. With outdoor tables and hanging pots of purple begonias dotting every street corner, the area has the feel of a quaint East Coast hamlet. Instead of chain restaurants and big-box stores, visitors find one-of-a-kind nooks, including nine local microbreweries. Among the best of these is Deschutes Brewery, which has earned acclaim from both beer-festival judges and local sippers. The award-winning Obsidian stout encompasses notes of chocolate, espresso, roasted malt, and black barley. A passion for beer pervades the city; it's not unusual to catch sight of the cycle pub, a mobile keg on wheels propelled by up to 14 customers pedaling through the downtown streets.