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A thriving former mill town, Bend is now a cosmopolitan mountain getaway surrounded by the high desert and snow-capped peaks of Oregon's Cascade Mountains.

Bend is one of the more glamorous bases for outdoor pursuits, offering a mixture of art galleries, boutique shops, award-winning restaurants and a host of microbreweries give it a delightful character and make it a great base for exploring the region.

The town's main attraction is the High Desert Museum which displays a fascinating collection of artifacts from Native American and pioneer history. You can also take a chair lift to the summit of nearby Mount Bachelor which affords breathtaking views of the surrounding mountains including the spiky peaks of the Three Sisters.

Thanks to its rugged scenery the Bend region is popular for outdoor pursuits of all types and offers wonderful rock climbing at Smith Rock State Park and renowned fly-fishing on the Deschutes River.

In addition, the Newberry National Volcanic Monument, covering a large area of Central Oregon, is home to a series of fascinating attractions. The bizarre Lava River Cave, the Lava Cast Forest, the Big Obsidian Flow and a massive cinder cone called Lava Butte are among the park's highlights.

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