Do you need to work? If so, that will weight things toward the Portland Metro area for sheer range of opportunities. Someone mentioned Happy Valley. Could also suggest Canby area for livability. Both should put you 20-30 minutes from downtown for arts.
For the wide range of opportunity it is hard to beat Portland (SW Washington streams, coastal streams, Clackamas, Sandy, and 2 hrs to the Deschutes).
Eugene/Springfield would have to make the list - local rivers, 60 miles to the NU, coastal streams. University town.
Does weather matter? Every step north & west is a bit more grey and wet. Medford/Ashland are dry country. Bend is dry. Portland is green and grey through the winter months.