Eugene-SpringfieldMuch to do in Oregon's second largest city

First published 13 May 2022

Eugene is known for outdoor recreation, bicycle and hiking trails, organic farming, and a commitment to the arts.

Located along the Willamette River, Eugene has a dynamic mix of arts and culture, shopping and dining, entertainment and sports.

The Huffington Post describes Eugene as "the city where everyone runs". After all, it’s TrackTown USA, the home of the University of Oregon, a hotbed for craft breweries and a major destination for foodies, cyclists and counter-culture history buffs.

Whether you are looking for a great day trip or weekend excursion, we want you to relax and experience all Eugene offers. Avoid the traffic, the cost of gas, and let Amtrak Cascades take you there!

No matter what your interests are, you're sure to find something fun to do in this charming city. So why not plan a trip and see it for yourself? There's no doubt that you'll have a great time!

These are just a few of the "Must see" attractions and places to explore in Eugene. We consider it our starter kit to give you a taste of all the arts, outdoors and farm-to-table food and drink experiences that await you here.

If you are planning a day trip or a multi-day trip, explore our other articles.

Saturday Market.

Saturday Market - Every Saturday, Rain or Shine

What's the first thing people will tell you to do when you visit Eugene for the first time? Visit the Saturday Market. This outdoor, fun and colorful event is a nod to Eugene's counter-culture heritage. The market first opened in the early '70s and continues to be a popular spot for shopping for one-of-a-kind artisan gifts. The live entertainment and delicious food make for a full (and fun) afternoon. To fully immerse yourself in the scene, get a plate of food, find a shady spot on the grass and hang out. You will have stories to share back home along with some fabulous tie-dye t-shirts, beaded earrings and handmade pottery.

The Oldest Open-Air Crafts Market.

Visit the University of Oregon Campus (Home of the Ducks)

This historic, beautiful campus is worth at least a stroll, if not a full afternoon.

A few University of Oregon highlights you may want to add to your list: The Knight Library, the EMU (Student Union), the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art and Museum of Natural and Cultural History, Autzen Stadium and "Animal House" movie locations.

Narrow down your interests with the UO's "Be a Duck" tour app or take a guided walking tour from the Ford Alumni Center. Stroll the campus hub around 13th & Alder, rub shoulders with the students at The Duck Store, and sip a beer at one of the longstanding watering holes – like Rennie's – for the full college vibe.

Check out the local scene

Eugene is known for it's unique hipster vibe. Whether you're visiting for an art festival, a concert, or just to grab a bite to eat with friends, there's always something exciting happening in this lively city. With so many things to do in this charming town, it's easy to see why so many people love visiting Eugene.

Start at Kesey Square, named for the statue dedicated to One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest author Ken Kesey. Here street art and enriching cultural events spark unexpected wonder.

Downtown hums with cult destinations like VooDoo Doughnuts, Sizzle Pie and Off the Waffle. For farm-to-table dining and an authentic feel for Eugene culture, try Party Downtown. Here you can get plenty of locally-sourced, organic and innovative dishes. Downtown Eugene has many concert venues and theaters, a boutique movie theater, an arcade lounge and several tea and coffee shops.

Check out these attractions:

  • 5th Street Public Market
  • Skinner Butte Trail
  • Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path
  • Owen Rose Garden
  • Mountain Rose Herbs Mercantile

From amazing coffee to a west coast capital for cannabis, there's never a dull moment in Eugene.

Hang in "THE WHIT"

The Whiteaker neighborhood is downtown Eugene's hip, artsy twin. A craft beverage haven, this community features breweries, distilleries and urban wineries. Pick the beverage trail of your choice for a fun tour. You'll also find spectacular dining and enclaves of artists and innovative industries.

Don't miss Ninkasi Brewing Company, one of the largest and most well known regional brewery.

Pay Tribute to "Pre"

Steve Prefontaine was a distance runner for the University of Oregon in the 70s and training for a second bid in the Olympics when he was tragically killed in an accident.

Today you can run on a woodchip trail dedicated to his memory and visit other memorials around town.

Take a self guided tour of TrackTown USA including stopping by Hayward Field and shopping at the Market District Nike store.

The upcoming World Athletic Championship in Oregon, known as Oregon 22, is going to be a huge event, bringing people from all across the world to compete in track and field sports. It will be held at Hayward Field!

Follow the Willamette River Path

On the banks of the Willamette River is an extensive set of trails known as the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System. Miles of paved cycling routes, walking paths and chip trails (including famed Pre's Trail) connect river views with playgrounds, grassy lawns, gardens and forests.

Ride a City of Eugene Bike Share bicycle along the bike paths, crossing the river at interval bike bridges.

During the summer season, rent a canoe at Alton Baker Park for a river paddle.

Discover Springfield

Eugene's sister city is immediately adjacent to Eugene's metro center.

Rich in its own timber town history and its Simpsons claim to fame, Springfield is a fun family destination.

Main Street has excellent dining, vintage and boutique shopping and robust arts and cultural offerings. The Gateway neighborhood offers big-name shopping from Cabela's to Best Buy.

Eugene is a Foodie City

The farm-to-table experience is approachable and thriving in Eugene. Come experience inspired dishes reflecting the region's bounty from Dungeness crab, salmon fresh from the local rivers, mushrooms foraged from the foothills to produce grown on small family farms and grass-fed beef from local ranches.

Three neighborhoods stand out as foodie paradises: downtown Eugene, Eugene's Whiteaker Neighborhood and Springfield's Main Street. These unofficial food hubs have attracted innovative culinary talents and passionate locavores, resulting in some amazing culinary offerings. Make it as easy as possible for yourself by booking a restaurant tour with America's Hub World Tours for a flavorful introduction to downtown Eugene.

With so many restaurants to choose from, you'll be able to easily pull up a seat to a fantastic meal. It will take several days to sample Eugene's best farm-to-table restaurants, so book yourself an extended foodie staycation.