Located at the southern point of the Willamette Valley, you’ll find Eugene – a vibrant, fun, and youthful city that features tons of tourist attractions and things to do and explore.
Plus, you’ll find plenty of green spaces and parks to enjoy, too. These can be found near the confluence of the rushing McKenzie and Willamette Rivers, near the spectacular Cascade Mountains.
Known for both its alternative lifestyle and liberal outlook, it makes up one of the bigger cities in Oregon.
Here, you’ll find a wide range of people, from activists and anarchists to industrialists and entrepreneurs.
Due to the sizable campus of the University of Oregon and its impressive student population, the city contains a lively feel with tons of cultural and art scenes for visitors to check out.
Besides this, you’ll find tons of amazing local restaurants and breweries dotted throughout the area. Plus, there is even a bustling Saturday Market that is worth the visit.
In addition to this, you can enjoy some amazing outdoor activities thanks to the surrounding countryside where you’ll find wineries and nature reverses.
That said, determining where to go can sometimes be somewhat overwhelming due to the vast amount of activities to choose from.
With this in mind, this guide aims to make this experience easier for you by providing you with the most amazing things to do in Eugene, Oregon (see also “Amazing Things To Do In Newport Oregon“).
Let’s get started.
If you’re looking for something exciting and fun, you’ll need to visit one of the best attractions in Eugene: Cascades Raptor Center.
Here, the facility focuses on raptor rehabilitation in a setting that is completely natural.
The center itself is open year-round and is home to 40 resident raptors that contribute to the educational program the center provides.
In fact, many of the raptors here are only native to the region of Oregon.
With a nominal admission fee, you can enjoy a self-guided tour throughout the 30-acre of what the facility calls its home.
During the tour, you’ll learn all about the 21 raptor species, as well as the 40 resident birds.
You can even embark on one of the center’s trails, some of which feature slight inclines and gravel-topping; however, there are plenty of benches to take a rest.
Besides self-guided tours, you can also schedule private education programs – providing you with in-depth lessons about the raptors.
If you’re looking for something to enjoy with the whole family, then you can’t go wrong with the Cascades Raptor Center.
Situated approximately 60-90 minutes away from Eugene are some of the most beautiful waterfalls in the country, this includes Proxy Falls, as well as Koosah Falls and Sahalie Fall which can be found along the 26-mile McKenzie River National Recreation Trail.
You can find the Sahalie and Koosah Falls Trails within the Willamette National Forest. To get to each waterfall, you’ll have to embark on a 2.9-mile hike.
Despite the Proxy Falls Loop Trail beginning slightly farther away, it is certainly worth the visit if you’re looking to have a nature-filled day away from the hustle and bustle of the city.
Located over the stunning Willamette River is the awe-inspiring Skinner Butte Park – located on the northern outskirts of the downtown area.
In addition to amazing panoramic views of the city as well as the Cascade Mountains in the far distance, it features tons of outdoor activities for you to enjoy, including playgrounds and picnic areas.
Established in 1914, it is one of the oldest parks in the region and was rightfully named after… you guessed it, Eugene Skinner – the person who founded the city.
Here, you’ll find tons of gorgeous woodland. In fact, the big butte acts as a landmark in the area, reaching an impressive 682 feet with hiking trails and bike paths dotted throughout.
Besides taking in all the amazing views the area has to offer and enjoying all things nature (see also “Amazing Things To Do In Astoria“), you can even test your bravery at some rock climbing at ‘The Columns’ which is a part of the park.
Likewise, you can check out the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House which was built in 1888 and features some spectacular architecture.
Since 1970, the Saturday Market has made an appearance in Eugene, located at Park Blocks; it is held all day long and is open from April to November.
As a commercial enterprise, it makes for the perfect social gathering where you can easily spend the day exploring all the stands and talking to the local people.
Here, you grab a bite at the international food court, catch some live music, or even explore the products the over 200 local artisans have to offer.
While it isn’t strictly a part of the market, you’ll also find the weekly farmer’s market across the street.
Here, you’ll find a range of fresh produce cultivated in Oregon from the Willamette Valley.
Located on the peaceful campus of the University of Oregon, the Museum of Natural & Cultural History is a must-see attraction when you visit Eugene.
At the American natural history & cultural museum, you’re exposed to the past, present, and future.
It is open between Tuesday and Sunday and is free for children under the age of two. However, keep in mind that there is a nominal fee for everyone else.
Here, you’ll find many wonderful exhibits, ranging from topics covering Oregon’s medieval magic, its past, civil rights, bird eggs, athletic animals, and native plants.
Plus, you’ll also find an incredible gallery collection, including amazing Great Basin basketry, aboriginal bark paintings, and ammonite fossils.
Besides its wide range of interesting exhibits, you’ll also find tons of special programs ideal for children of all ages.
If you’re looking to learn all about the natural and cultural heritage of Eugene, then a visit to the Museum of Natural & Cultural History should be at the top of your itinerary.
Looking to escape the bustling city for some solstice? Then head over to Owen Rose Garden – one of the two flower-filled gardens in the city.
The gardens feature an 8.5-acre park which is located along the scenic Willamette River.
Alternatively, you can head to Hendricks Park, established in 1906 it is the oldest park in the entire city. Plus, it features over 80 acres of green space.
You don’t have to worry about paying an admission fee for each park to enjoy the beautiful surroundings – it is the perfect place for a picnic or a stroll.
Owen Rose Garden features more than 4,500 roses with over 400 different varieties. Plus, you’ll find the Oregon Heritage Cherry Tree.
According to local legend, this tree was planted by the founder of the city, Eugene Skinner, in 1847.
Alternatively, you can visit Hendricks Park which contains various hiking trails and over 6,0000 rhododendrons and other varieties of plants, including ferns, iris, trillium wildflowers, and 200-year-old Douglas fir trees.
Immersed in the spectacular scenery of the Southern Willamette Valley is the Sweet Cheeks Winery. If you’re looking to enjoy some amazing views and wonderful wines, then you can’t go wrong with this winery.
Located just half an hour’s drive away from the city, you’ll be offered amazing wine tastings along a stunning hillside patio.
Since 1978, the winery has produced award-winning, exceptional wines all from its fertile vineyards growing on-site.
In addition to some delicious Pinot Gris and Pinot Noir, you’ll also find Chardonnay and Riesling, too.
Regardless of whether you’re seated inside or outside, you’re offered a spectacular tasting experience.
With each sample, you’re provided with fresh fruit and artisanal cheese from all around the countryside.
One of the most memorable factors about the winery is its sweeping views from the attached terrace – this perfectly complements the flavors of wine and the relaxing ambiance.
8. Oregon Ducks
If you’re traveling internationally, you’ll want to know that most American colleges take sports very seriously.
This includes the University of Oregon. Their sports team is known as “The Ducks” whereby the football team is the most prestigious of all.
Here, their games are played in the Autzen Stadium which has a capacity of 59,000 people.
The football season takes place in the autumn months, however, if you’re visiting in any other month, you could catch a baseball, basketball, or track & field event.
Known for its lively, bustling city, Eugene is a must-see destination when visiting Oregon.
Thanks to its prime location, you can find everything from spectacular natural waterfalls to impressive wineries, and gorgeous parks.
Regardless of your age, you’re sure to find something to keep you entertained while you’re in the city.
Hopefully, this guide has provided you with some inspiration when it comes to determining the most amazing things to do in Eugene (see also “Amazing Things To Do In Tulsa Worth The Money“).
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