We love living and working in Oregon—a state with generally forward-thinking and sensible cannabis laws—and we really love living in Eugene, a beautiful and historic college town with a ton to see and do. Whether you live here as a full-time resident or student or if you’re just passing through on your way to another beautiful Oregon destination, we’ve collected a few of our favorite things, activities, and events here in Eugene for you to check out.
The Saturday Market
While every town has its version of a craft and farmers’ market, we think Eugene’s Saturday Market is tops. With hundreds of artisans, chefs, performers, and food vendors, it’s a difficult place to spend less than a few hours at. Do be aware—or is that doobie aware?—that neither dogs, nor smoking—nor, one supposes, smoking dogs—are permitted at the market. And if all the activities here get you fired up to cook, the Lane County Farmers’ Market is located just across the street.
Shelton McMurphey Johnson House
A truly fascinating glimpse into the region’s Victorian past, this fabulous “castle on the hill” is a nationally recognized landmark and museum. Learn about Eugene’s cultural, architectural and natural history, or enjoy one of the House’s formal teas for a real taste of life here over a century ago.
Eugene’s oldest park, Hendricks is a gorgeous 80-acre preserve and a tranquil and relaxing way to enjoy nature without stepping foot outside the city limits. You can wander among 200-year-old Douglas firs, take in over 6,000 varieties of rhododendrons in the world-renowned garden, or just relax, breathe deeply, and take it all in…
Hult Center for the Performing Arts
Built by the citizens of Eugene in 1982, the Hult Center features some crazily diverse programming in multiple disciplines. On any given night you can find World Music, plays, comedy—including an August performance by Trevor Noah—opera, kids events…. The list goes on and on. And the space itself is every bit as visually and sonically compelling as the programs. Don’t be put off by the threat of a “highbrow” night out: The Hult center really is for everyone.
Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway
If you’re interested in taking your love of biking even farther afield, we can’t recommend the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway strongly enough, especially in late Summer and early Fall. While riding the entire route is a multi-day trip spanning nearly 135 miles, there are multiple single-day legs you could take in and around Eugene. If you’d prefer not to drive, there are options for using trains for part of the journey as well.
Cascades Raptor Center
Whether you’re a birdwatcher or not, we think you’ll be dazzled by the residents of this sprawling outdoor aviary. You’ll meet nearly 50 birds of prey, all rescued from life-threatening injuries in the wild, and it’s impossible not to be touched by these majestic and impressive creatures. Please note that dogs—except for service animals—are not allowed here and that some of the hillside trails leading to avian enclosures are steep.
We hope you’ll love taking advantage of these “very Eugene” activities as much as we do! If you have a favorite local activity you don’t see listed here, drop us a line and let us know! We’d love to hear from you.