Dear Bend: We’re sorry we ever doubted you.

Dear Bend, Oregon: We’re sorry we ever doubted your prowess as a magnet for the adventurer, the athlete, or the foodie. We apologize that during our previous prime-time summer visits, we found your city too laden with tourists, too inauthentic in the sameness of its neighborhoods, too flat in its diversity, too filled with traffic for a city that seems it ought to carry a small-town vibe. While everyone raved about your accessibility to stellar trails, mountain biking, skiing, running and paddling, we saw unfortunate city sprawl, master-planned subdivisions with copycat homes, and tourists. Lots of tourists. We had almost entirely written off Bend as an outdoor city on our short list of cool places to potentially live. But, initial impressions, while still steeped in truth, are still worth questioning.

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