Eugene

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Eugene (pop. ~160,000) is a city in Oregon at the southern end of the Willamette Valley that is best known for being the home of the University of Oregon.

The Hult Center for the Performing Arts

Understand[edit]

Citizens of Eugene are environmentally aware people who love their coffee as well as their microbrews. Residents range from arch-conservative republicans to militant anarchists. However, overall the population is typical Pacific Northwest, i.e., leaning toward a greater degree of social responsibility, respect for nature, and diminished consumerism. Eugene is home to the University of Oregon, aka "The Fighting Ducks." Eugene was the second home to the rock band, The Grateful Dead, and author Ken Kesey, a U of O grad, lived in nearby Springfield, leading some to see this city as a "hippie Mecca."

Saturday Market has been continuously in operation since 1970, rain or shine and claims to be the oldest open-air market of its type in the United States.

Get in[edit]

By air[edit]

Eugene Airport (IATA: EUG), also known as Mahlon Sweet Field, handles flights from Seattle, Portland, San Francisco, Salt Lake City, Denver, Las Vegas, Los Angeles, and Phoenix. Major carriers include United Express, America West Express, Horizon Air and Skywest. It's a few miles out of town, and the public bus does not service it, so you'll have to hire a cab, shuttle, or rent a car.

By train[edit]

Amtrak serves Eugene with the Cascade service and operate daily between Eugene, Portland, Seattle and Vancouver B.C. These Euro-style cars are unique to the pacific northwest rail corridor. The Coast Startlight services Eugene and other West Coast cities on its route from Southern California to Seattle. Both trains accommodate wheelchairs and bicycles. Trains originating from California are notoriously unreliable, commonly several hours late. There is a northbound train that originates in Eugene, the "Cascades" train that is typically much more reliable.

By car[edit]

Travel time by destination and route: -Portland, OR (I5) 2 hours, -Seattle, WA (I5) 5 hours, -Medford, OR (I5) 3 hours, -San Francisco, CA (I5) 9 hours, -Florence, OR (Hwy 126) 1 hour, -Bend, OR (Hwy 126) 3-4 hours.

By bus[edit]

Greyhound has a fully staffed bus station downtown, close to the Train station and to the LTD (Lane Transit District) local buses. Buses run north/south along I-5, and east. Local companies working in association with Greyhound and Amtrak run buses to coastal towns including Newport, Florence and Coos Bay.

BoltBus connects Eugene to Albany, Portland, and Seattle. The bus stop is on E 5th St and High St on the north side of the 5th Street Public Market.

Get around[edit]

  • Bike - Eugene has an excellent system of bike routes, and has bike friendly streets, and its bike paths allow you to ride along rivers, mountain trails and through covered bridges.
  • Bicycle rentals are available from RENT A BIKE +1 541 579-5552. They drop off and pick up their bicycles, and charge only $30 for 3 days, or $45 for 1 week.
  • Bus Lane Transit District (LTD) 3500 East 17th Avenue +1-800-735-2900. $1.75 one-way or $3.50 for an all-day pass. Buses tend to run every half-hour. Extended LTD bus routes run east and west into more rural sections of Lane County.
  • Taxi Eugene Hybrid Taxi Cabs +1 541 357-TAXI(8294). All hybrid fleet. Rate Schedule: Flag Drop $3, Per mile $2. Accepts VISA, MasterCard, & American Express
  • Taxi Oregon Taxi +1 541 434-TAXI. You will need to schedule a pickup unless arriving at the airport. Rate schedule: Flag drop, $4.75, Per mile, $2.25. Accepts VISA, MasterCard, and American Express

See[edit]

  • Oregon Ducks. The teams representing the University of Oregon, competing in the Pacific-12 Conference, are Eugene's most famous contribution to the sports world. Ducks sports have benefited enormously from the financial support of Phil Knight, UO alum and head of Oregon-based sports equipment giant Nike. Currently, the highest-profile Oregon team is the football team, which rose to become a perennial national contender in the early 2000s and also (in)famous for its highly colorful and variable uniforms. Oregon also has am extremely rich tradition in track and field, with Hayward Field known for its enthusiastic fans; the city has become known as "Track Town USA" because of this. The main sporting venues (including Hayward Field) are all on campus. The football stadium, Autzen Stadium, is famous as one of the loudest and most intimidating venues in American sports. In 2011, the basketball teams moved to the new Matthew Knight Arena (nicknamed "Matt Arena"; named for Phil's son, who died in a scuba diving accident). Ducks baseball, revived in 2009 after nearly 30 years, plays at PK Park (not named for Knight), which is shared with the minor-league professional Eugene Emeralds.
  • WOW Hall291 W 8th Ave +1 541 687-2746. Small concert hall featuring alternative performances. Ask about work trade opportunities between 3:00 and 6PM Monday through Friday--maybe you'll get to see the show for free!
  • Hayward Field One of the best-known historic track and field stadiums in the United States. Hayward Field has hosted three Olympic Trials, and a variety of National, NCAA, and Masters championships. University of Oregon
  • Museum of Natural and Cultural History. At the University of Oregon
  • Lord Leebrick Theatre Company540 Charnelton Street +1 541 465-1506. Community theater with a diverse schedule. See website for current shows and times. $8 - $30.
  • Actors Cabaret of Eugene (ACE), 996 Willamette Street +1 541 683-4368. Office hours Tues - Sat, 11AM - 3PM. Local dinner theater in downtown. See website for current shows and times $16 - $40.
  • Bijou Arts Cinema492 East 13th Avenue. A unique, two-screen arts cinema housed in a cool old church/mortuary. Shows indie movies. A second location, the Bijou Metro, has opened downtown on Broadway.
  • Cuthbert Amphitheater. An outdoor music venue in Alton Baker Park that gets some pretty big shows. Since it's outdoors, you can hear just fine throughout the park. During most shows, the real party is in the park in front of and around the amphitheater.
  • Pre's Rock (Hendrick's Park). A memorial to Olympic runner and local legend, Steve Prefontaine, at the site of his fatal car crash.

Do[edit]

Local tour operator, specializing in Willamette Valley wine tours. A safe way to enjoy wine tasting in comfort and style.

  • Eugene SkydiversHobby Field - Creswell OR (Take I-5 to exit #182 (Creswell). Turn east at the stop sign. Take the first left (Emerald Parkway). Take the first left AWAY from the supermarket (Melton Road). Follow that road to the very end — about 1 mile. Look for the signs reading Eugene Skydivers.), toll-free: +1-866-461-DIVE (3483). A local skydiving company with classes for all experience levels, from beginners to professionals. Located about 10 miles south of downtown Eugene. $17-$200.

Hiking & Biking[edit]

Eugene is a great city for outdoors enthusiasts and cyclists alike. There are many well-maintained hiking trails, plus bike lanes are present on most major roads.

  • Spencer's Butte

A large butte south of downtown. Head south on Willamette St about 1.5 miles past the post office. The trail head is easy to miss but is on the top of a crest in the road on the left hand side. There is a large parking lot with signs and restrooms. Trail to the summit is about 2 miles each way with about 700 feet of climbing. Trail is well marked until about 1/4 of a mile from the summit which requires a small amount of rock scrambling.

  • Skinner's Butte

A small butte just north of downtown. Original site of Eugene Skinner's cabin after which the town is named. This butte offers an excellent view of Eugene, and the Cascade mountains to the east. This butte was also the site of a scene from the movie Animal House. To reach the butte, head north on Pearl St. until you pass the large retirement home on your left, turn left at the next street (in between 3rd St. and 2nd St., unmarked) and after 1/4 of a mile make a right (unmarked). To get there by foot, you can hike up a trail opposite the train station and next to a Victorian styled house. If the weather is nice, you can go rock climbing at the natural basalt columns on the butte, or hike on some trails near the peak.

Extensive set of hiking trails south of town. To find them, head south on Willamette St., one mile south of the post office, and shortly after 52nd street make a left at the trail head parking lot.

  • Running Trails

Eugene has several bark trails specifically for running. Amazon Trail is 1 mile long, and is located near South Eugene High School. Rexius Trail is 3.5 miles long and is on Amazon Parkway, just south of Amazon Trail. Pre's trail is ~4 miles long and is in Alton Baker park, just north of downtown off of Coburg Rd.

  • River Bank Trail

Paved bike path running along the north and south sides of the Willamette river. There are more pedestrian bridges in Eugene than there are vehicular bridges, you can see many of them from this trail. A good place to start the trail is Alton Baker Park, at 1820 Roosevelt Boulevard. You can sometimes rent bikes in the summer near the park's duck pond.

This reference features a guide to Eugene and Springfield Area parks, displaying the greatest parks in the area with descriptions, interactive maps, images and 360˚ panoramas.

  • Disc Golf

There is a new 18-hole course in Alton Baker Park and a smaller, (often crowded) 9-hole course at Westmoreland Park in West Eugene.

Events[edit]

Eugene Weekly is a good source for 'what's happening' in the area.

  • Oregon Country Fair (Second weekend in July) One of the biggest "hippie" gatherings. Tons of great food, great hand made products sold by local vendors, and live music to be had.
  • Whiteaker Block Party (August) Large, free outdoor festival in the Whiteaker neighborhood: Live music, street performances, food, drink, etc.
  • Lane County FairLane Events Center, 796 W. 13th Avenue (Just west of downtown),  +1 541 682-4292. An annual celebration held every August featuring food, music and other entertainment. $6-$9.
  • Eugene Celebration (Early Fall) A multi-day community gathering, covering a city block of downtown. Features live music, street performers, vendors and a parade on the Sunday morning of the Celebration. Parade entrants represent the entire diverse Eugene community.
  • Clayfest (October) A three-day ceramics only show and sale featuring over 60 local artists. Clay Fest draws artists from all over Oregon. This is a great opportunity buy unique handmade pieces directly from the artists who make the work.

Learn[edit]

Buy[edit]

  • Valley River Center. 293 Valley River Center. Largest shopping center in the Eugene area with 2 main department stores, Macy's and JC Penney. The mall also has a Regal Cinemas and many smaller stores with apparel, sporting goods, books, electronics, food and accessories.
  • Gateway Mall3000 Gateway Street. Springfield. Although Gateway Mall is in Springfield, it is very close to a lot of Eugene's student housing. Stores include Sears, Target, Kohl's, and two movie theaters, The Cinemark 17 theater shows newer movies at regular price and the Movies 12 theater shows a little older movies for only $1.50. This is a great/inexpensive date idea if you live in the area. There are many smaller stores and beauty salons located within the mall.
  • Oakway Center2350 Oakmont Way +1 541 485-4711. Upscale shopping center. Stores include Pottery Barn, Trader Joe's and many smaller stores and restaurants.
  • 5th St Public Market 5th and Pearl. Upscale Shopping center with mostly local stores and upscale dining.
  • 13th Street College and artistic oriented shops. Highlights include the Bijou Arts Cinema and La Perla pizzeria. Start at 13th and Pearl and walk to 13th and Kincaid.
  • Saturday Market. And Farmers Market: 8th and Oak every Saturday April 2 through Nov. 12, rain or shine, 10AM - 5PM
  • REI306 Lawrence St (3rd and Lawrence) (Just north of downtown past the RR tracks),  +1 541 465-1800. 10AM- 9PM weekends 6PM. Offers sales and rental of outdoor gear. Can also offer advice on current conditions and sell needed parking passes. See website for classes that may be available.
  • Lazar's Bazar57 W Broadway (Downtown). An Iconic Eugenian import store and headshop downtown.
  • Euphoria Chocolate Company17th & Willamette. Unique local chocolate company

Eat[edit]

There are food carts/trucks scattered all over the city, especially near bars.

Go blackberry picking at one of Eugene's many ridiculously out of control wild blackberry patches.

Budget[edit]

  • Cafe Yumm!Five locations in Eugene. Cafe Yumm!'s specialty is rice bowls with beans and salsa or other sauces. They also serve soup, salads, tempeh/tofu skewers, and sandwiches. $3-8.
  • Hawaiian TimeTwo locations: Bailey hill and Coburg Rd. Serves quality pseudo-Hawaiian plate lunches and dinners with their "special sauce," along with a selection of Hawaiian beers. $5-12.
  • Mezza Luna Pizzeria933 Pearl St. Serves lunch and dinner, real NY style pizza, with a variety of meat and vegetarian choices, plus the option to create your own pizza from a large list of toppings. $3-20.
  • Off The Waffle2540 Willamette St +1 541 515-6926. Su-Th: 7AM-7PM, F-Sa: 7AM-11PM. Serving authentic Liege waffles with an amazing assortment of toppings, such as bacon, cardamom, garlic, fruit, and the list goes on and on. Also serves omelettes and they have some local microbrew on tap. The absolutely best place for waffles in Eugene. Nothing else even comes close. $3-10.
  • The Pantry and Pub1810 Chambers St +1 541 343-0485. 8AM-10PM daily. Diner meets pub, and serves freshly-cooked burger standards. Excellent fries. Friendly service. Good vegetarian options. Lunch $10.
  • SeQuential86714 McVay Hwy. Su-F: 6AM-9PM, Sa-Su: 7AM-9PM. Serving fresh made sandwiches, coffee, bakery items, sweets, snacks, beer and much more. Mini health food market and cafe with drive-through window for coffee. Omnivorous, herbivorous and diets of all kinds. $3-10.
  • El Super Burrito2566 Willamette St. Very inexpensive and locally owned. El Super Burrito is the best burrito and taco you can get for your money in the city. $3-$8.
  • Voodoo Doughnut Tres20 East Broadway (On Broadway just east of Willamette St),  +1 541 868-8666. 24 hours daily. The only non-Portland location of the fun-but-gimmicky doughnut store chain. Known for unusual toppings like bacon slices with maple-frosting, Capn' Crunch, and powdered Tang. Most doughnuts are $1-3.

Mid-range[edit]

  • Cornucopia295 W 17th Ave +1 541 485-2300. Fresh and local breakfast, lunch and dinner.
  • Eugene Coffee Company1840 Chambers St (Across from Bi-Mart),  +1 541 344-0002. 7AM-6PM. Neighbourhood coffee shop, with a richly-populated events board. A few scones and sandwiches. Excellent milkshakes. Drive-through service. Linger-friendly chairs. Free Wi-Fi. coffee $2-4.
  • Marche Restaurant in the 5th Street Public Market (296 E 5th, 541 342-3612) Lunch or dinner
  • Morning Glory (450 Willamette St, 541-687-0709) Breakfast
  • Papa's Soul Food Kitchen BBQ (Blair Blvd),  +1 541 342-7500. Eugene's soul food restaurant, sometimes offering live music.
  • Pizza Research Institute At 5th and Blair(541-343-1307) Innovative gourmet vegetarian/vegan pizza. Lunch and dinner
  • Sweet Life755 Monroe St +1 541-683-5696. World-class desserts, including vegan options.

Splurge[edit]

  • Bruno's Chef's Kitchen3443 Hilyard St (Hidden behind the Dairy Mart),  +1 541 687-2433. A small, personal restaurant; Bruno changes the menu weekly, featuring local and seasonal ingredients. $25-30 for a main course.
  • Lucky Noodle, across from 5th St Market. Asian cuisine with great atmosphere, delicious food and wine.
  • Mazzi's, in South Eugene off of East Amazon Rd, has the best Italian food in town. Prices are reasonable, considering the quality of the food; a typical dish is $12-18. Outstanding wine selection as well.
  • Oregon Electric Station27 E. 5th Ave +1 541 485-4444. 10:30AM-10:30PM. A great place to get a steak. Dine in the romantic atmosphere of an historic railroad dining car. The main section of the Oregon Electric Station is the original depot built in 1912. $10-40.

Drink[edit]

Bars[edit]

Eugene's main bar scene is centered around Broadway and Olive St (the "barmuda triangle") in downtown. Alternatives can be found in the Whiteaker neighborhood (Blair Blvd), which is experiencing a brewery renaissance of sorts, and around the UO campus. Expect crowds every Thursday, Friday and Saturday night, especially during the school year when college students fill the streets.

  • Luckey's Club Cigar Store933 Olive St (Downtown). Eugene's oldest bar and one of the oldest pool halls on the West Coast. They still have a few tables, but have transformed into one of Eugene's leading music venues with several shows a week.
  • Max's Tavern550 E 13th. Popular little student bar, rumored to be the inspiration for Moe's Tavern in The Simpsons.
  • Blairally Vintage Arcade245 Blair Blvd (Next to Ninkasi). Combination bar/pinball arcade in Whiteaker. Great collection of pinball machines, 80's arcade games and beer. Most Blazers games shown here.
  • Sam Bond's Garage407 Blair Blvd (Whiteaker). Funky neighborhood bar and music venue. Live music on weekends.

Breweries[edit]

Eugene has a thriving brewery scene, largely located in the Whiteaker neighborhood, northwest of downtown.

  • Ninkasi Brewing Company272 Van Buren St +1 541 344-2739. A production brewery of high quality beers, ales and lagers since 2006, tasting room and patio with firepits and heat lamps.
  • Hop Valley Brewing Company980 Kruse Way (Springfield),  +1 541 744-3330. Seven cornerstone beers on tap are served alongside homemade pub fare and cold smoked meats. Second location: 990 W 1st Street in Eugene.
  • Rogue Ales Public House 844 Olive St +1 541 345-4155 [1] Hours 12PM-10PM. Rogue Brewery Outpost for Eugene serving both good food and Locally brewed beer.

Coffeeshops & Teahouses[edit]

Eugene has an excellent variety of coffeeshops.

  • The Wandering Goat268 Madison St. Watch the trains go by while drinking some of the best coffee around.
  • Espresso Roma825 E 13th Av. Popular coffeeshop a block from campus. Good coffee, nice patio.
  • Townshend's Teahouse41 W Broadway (Downtown near Kesey Square). Cozy teahouse downtown. Teas + Kombucha on tap.

Wineries[edit]

The wineries of the Willamette Valley pride themselves in offering a relaxing and inviting experience for guests from downtown Eugene tasting rooms to vast countryside vineyards.

  • Iris Vineyard Specializes in producing small quantities of quality, hand-crafted Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, and Chardonnay. Iris Hill has been dedicated to growing high quality fruit through sustainable viticultural practices.
  • King Estate The 1,033 acre certified organic Estate includes 250 acres of certified vineyards, grapevine grafting and propagation, nursery, orchards and garden. A visitor center and market place are open to the public.

Connect[edit]

Eugene Public Library 10th & Olive, downtown across from the LTD bus station.

Knight Library 15th & Kincaid, on the UO campus. Oregon's biggest library, named after "Uncle Phil"

Sleep[edit]

Budget[edit]

  • Downtown Motel361 West 7th Avenue. inexpensive, clean motel in the middle of downtown.
  • The Eugene Hotel, whose large sign is a prominent feature of Eugene's skyline, is actually a retirement community.

Mid-range[edit]

Splurge[edit]

  • Phoenix Inn Suites850 Franklin Blvd +1 541 344-0001. All suite accommodations with complimentary breakfast buffet, high speed internet, and 24 hr. business center
  • Hilton66 East 6th Ave +1 541 342-2000. Standard Hilton quality located adjacent to Hult center and convention center in downtown.

Go next[edit]

  • Oregon Coast 1 hour. Cities include Florence,OR and Yachats, OR. Eat at Mo's in Florence, take a hike en route at Kentucky Falls and hit the Hobbit trail just north of Florence. Some of the largest coastal Sand Dunes are south of Florence with various tour companies and quad rentals available on the highway south of Florence.
  • Cape Perpetua Interpretive Nature Center (on coast north of Yachats)
  • McKenzie River 15 min - 3 hours. Take Hwy 126 east which runs along River corridor into mountains. Various waterfalls and fishing spots abound.
  • Rafting Guided or self-guided rafting trips are available through Oregon River Sports +1 541 334-0696, along the Mckenzie River or Alton Baker Park. Eight person raft is currently $95 a day including all needed equipment. Hourly rental in the park is currently $10 and is a great way to spend an afternoon.
  • Mt. Pisgah Arboretum South Est of town at "LCC" exit on I5
  • Fern Ridge Reservoir A reservoir and wetlands area just west of Eugene. Take hwy 126 (W 11th Av) towards Veneta.
  • McCredie Hot Springs on the right just past mile-marker 45 on highway 58.
  • Dexter State Park a large reservoir in the foothills of the Cascade Range near Lowell, OR (About a half hour drive. There is also an LTD bus once or twice/day) The park has an excellent disc golf course.
  • Blair Lake and Meditation Pool (Wall Creek), take highway 58 to Oakridge, left on Union St, right on 1st, ten miles or so to a left turn on Forest Service Road 1934. Meditation Pool is on your left after about 3/4 mile (trailhead, about 1/3 mile walk to the pool), Blair lake is all the way at the top. Be sure to detour near the top when you see a road going off to the left marked by a trail marker (picture of two people hiking) for a spectacular view. Blair lake has campsites and hiking, Meditation Pool is a warm spring.
  • Willamette Pass Popular skiing area 69 miles east of Eugene on Hwy 58. Summer activities include gondola rides to the summit, Mtn biking, disc golf and hiking. Shuttle service to Willamette Pass available every day they are open. Departs from Dick's Sporting Goods, located at the Delta Oaks Shopping Center in Eugene. Departs at 7:15AM and returns approximately at 5:45PM
Routes through Eugene
PortlandAlbany  N I-5.svg S  CreswellMedford
Splits into OR 99W.svg and OR 99E.svg  N OR 99.svg S  CreswellMedford
PortlandAlbany  N OR 99E.svg S  merges onto OR 99.svg
PortlandCorvallis  N OR 99W.svg S  merges onto OR 99.svg
FlorenceVeneta  W OR 126.svg E  SistersPrineville


This city travel guide to Eugene has the status usable. It has information on how to get there and on restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please feel free to improve it by editing the page!


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