Eugene, a city of roughly 170,000 people, is the third largest city in Oregon. Located in the southern Willamette Valley in Oregon, Eugene is well-known for its sites, events and people. Some of the most famous attractions in Eugene include sports stadiums and fields and the University of Oregon. Eugene also has museums, gardens and nearby natural destinations.
Whether you’re a die-hard sports fan, an art fanatic, a nature lover or a combination of the three, there is plenty for you to do in Eugene, Oregon, and around the city.
- Eugene, Oregon
- Top 3 Tours
- 20 Things To Do In Eugene Oregon
- 1- Watch A Game At Autzen Stadium
- 2- Go To The Oregon Country Fair
- 3- Visit The Mount Pisgah Arboretum
- 4- See Birds Of Prey At The Cascades Raptor Center
- 5- Visit The Jordan Schnitzer Museum Of Art
- 6- Learn About History At The Lane County Historical Museum
- 7- Visit The Owen Rose Garden
- 8- Go To The Lane County Fair
- 9- Catch A Show At The Hult Center Of Performing Arts
- 10- Visit The University of Oregon
- 11- Hike On The McKenzie River National Recreation Trail
- 12- Picnic At Hendricks Park
- 13- Go To A Winery in Oregon Wine Country
- 14- Bike On The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway
- 15- Visit The Shelton McMurphey Johnson House
- 16- Eat Or Shop At The Fifth Street Public Market
- 17- Learn About Planes At The Oregon Air And Space Museum
- 18- Spend A Day At The Oregon Dunes
- 19- Go To The Eugene Saturday Market
- 20- Visit Hayward Field
Top 3 Tours
20 Things To Do In Eugene Oregon
1- Watch A Game At Autzen Stadium
Autzen Stadium is the home base for the Oregon Ducks football team and has an official seating capacity of 54,000, but often there are even more who attend the games.
The stadium is well known for its crowd noise since the layout of Autzen has factors that trap more noise than in other stadiums.
If you’re in Eugene during football season, make sure you come to watch a game here.
It shouldn’t be skipped as one of the best NCAA football stadiums!
Autzen Stadium is at 2700 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Eugene, OR 97401.
2- Go To The Oregon Country Fair
Every year in early July, the Oregon Country Fair takes place in the nearby city of Veneta, about 15 miles (24 km) west of Eugene.
Don’t be fooled, though- it isn’t your typical fair.
The Oregon Country Fair is a nonprofit organisation with the goal of creating opportunities to “nourish the spirit, explore living artfully and authentically on earth and transform culture”.
They emphasise the importance of solidarity and support for racial justice.
The fair is a magical experience, with hippy-like vibes and no judgement.
Visitors dress up in costumes and enjoy letting their inner child loose.
Attractions include food booths, artisan booths, parades, puppet shows, jugglers and fantasy shows.
The Oregon Country Fair is at 24207 OR-126, Veneta, OR 97487.
3- Visit The Mount Pisgah Arboretum
Mount Pisgah Arboretum is a nature education facility that covers 209 acres (85 ha), offering opportunities to learn, hike and meditate.
Explore the extensive network of trails, learn about local ecology during workshops and nature walks, picnic peacefully in the grass and attend flower festivals.
The arboretum is open daily from dawn to dusk. Entry is free, although there is a $5 fee to park in the parking lot.
Mount Pisgah Arboretum is at 34901 Frank Parrish Rd, Eugene, OR 97405.
4- See Birds Of Prey At The Cascades Raptor Center
The Cascades Raptor Center is a public nature centre on the hillside in south Eugene.
The centre is home to around 40 species of birds of prey, most of which are native to the Pacific Northwest area.
The raptors include bald eagles, snowy owls, Swainson’s hawks, and peregrine falcons.
You can observe the birds as you walk on the all-outdoor tour route.
While you make your way along the gravel path, you’ll be able to read and learn about the raptors.
The Cascades Raptor Center is at 32275 Fox Hollow Rd, Eugene, OR 97405.
5- Visit The Jordan Schnitzer Museum Of Art
Part of the University of Oregon, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is the only academic art museum in the state of Oregon accredited by the American Alliance of Museums.
The museum features an array of exhibits, from historic to contemporary art.
Present collections highlight Korean, Chinese, Japanese, and American art, so it’s a fantastic place to visit if you want to learn about other cultures.
The Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is at 1430 Johnson Lane, Eugene, OR 97403.
6- Learn About History At The Lane County Historical Museum
Another great museum to visit in Eugene is the Lane County Historical Museum.
This museum preserves and promotes learning about artefacts, exhibits, and library materials that educate visitors about the history of Lane County.
The Lane County Historical Museum currently houses more than 10,000 artefacts.
Current exhibits include “Racing to Change”, which illustrates Black experiences in Oregon, and “The Boat the River Built: The Story of the McKenzie River Drift Boat”.
The museum is constantly adding and rotating exhibits, though, so there’s also something new to see.
The Lane County Historical Museum is at 740 W 13th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402.
7- Visit The Owen Rose Garden
Located near the Washington Jefferson Street Bridge, along the Willamette River, the 8.5-acre (3.4 ha) park features more than 4,500 rose bushes of every colour and variety imaginable.
At the garden, you can stroll on the gravel walkways to observe the beauty of the heirloom and heritage roses.
Other features include the nationally recognised Oregon Heritage Cherry Tree, a gorgeous gazebo and an open grass area.
The Owen Rose Garden is at 300 N Jefferson St, Eugene, OR, 97402.
8- Go To The Lane County Fair
Like the Oregon Country Fair, the Lane County Fair also takes place in July and is a more typical American fair, so it’s a great event to attend if you’re looking for a classic fair experience.
The fair includes several carnival rides, from the iconic merry-go-round to thrill-inducing rides high above the ground.
There are plenty of rides for kids, as well as carnival games.
The Oregon County Fair puts on multiple concerts and has a vast array of food stands. And don’t forget to get some cotton candy in between rides.
The Lane County Fair is held at the Lane Events Center, which is at 796 W 13th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402.
9- Catch A Show At The Hult Center Of Performing Arts
Hult Center of Performing Arts in downtown Eugene hosts over 700 performances and events yearly.
The centre opened in 1982 and has beautiful architecture and amazing acoustics.
The centre has exquisite indoor features, from the glass lobby to the Silva Concert Hall to the asymmetrical Soreng Theatre.
Events held at the Hult Center include ballet productions, stand-up comedian shows, and musical performances.
Check out the centre’s schedule in advance to see what’s going on when you’re in Eugene.
The Hult Center of Performing Arts is at 1 Eugene Center (7th and Willamette), Eugene, OR 97401.
10- Visit The University of Oregon
The University of Oregon, a public research university, is an institution famous for its sports.
The university has strong ties with Nike and is one of the best universities for track and football in the U.S.
The famous mascot of the Oregon Ducks is thus usually associated with sports, but the university has much more to offer.
It’s also known for its research prowess and top programs in creative writing, environmental law, psychology and several other fields.
The University of Oregon has also been featured in the sets of several movies, so you can visit several buildings that might have appeared in your favourite movie.
You can take a self-guided tour if you want to check out the campus. Or, if you’re interested in attending the university in the future, you can also take a guided tour to learn more about it.
The University of Oregon is at 1585 E 13th Ave, Eugene, OR 97403. Check out this scavenger hunt, which will help you explore hidden spots.
11- Hike On The McKenzie River National Recreation Trail
Starting in an old lava flow, the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail is a fantastic trail viewing scenic points and natural sites.
It winds through coniferous forests along the river, providing plenty of opportunities to view wildlife.
Sites of particular interest along the trail include the Great Spring, the mesmerising Tamolitch Blue Pool, and the Sahalie and Koosah waterfalls.
You can hike, run, or cycle along this magical trail.
To get to the McKenzie River National Recreation Trail from Eugene, drive 50 miles east on Highway 126.
The trailhead is roughly 1.5 miles (2.4 km) past McKenzie Bridge.
12- Picnic At Hendricks Park
Hendricks Park is Eugene’s oldest city park and a lovely destination for the day, covering over 80 acres (32 ha) of land just southeast of the downtown area.
The park includes a native plant garden and a world-renowned rhododendron garden with over 6,000 species of rhododendron flowers.
There are several walking paths throughout Hendricks Park, which also includes one of the endpoints of the Ridgeline Trail.
The serene natural space, which is filled with blooming flowers, serves as a peaceful location for a picnic.
You can rent out the Francis M. Wilkins Shelter year-round for a larger organised group event.
Hendricks Park is at the intersection of Summit Ave and Skyline Blvd, Eugene, OR 97403.
13- Go To A Winery in Oregon Wine Country
The Willamette Valley, which encompasses the Eugene, Cascades, and Oregon coast regions of Oregon, has been dubbed Oregon Wine Country for a reason.
It includes over 700 wineries that produce everything from pinot noirs to rosé to Chardonnay.
There are modern metropolitan wineries, small-town vineyards, and everything in between.
Start with a tasting room tour and check out the regularly occurring wine events in the Willamette Valley. You may like this private wine tour.
14- Bike On The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway
The Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway is a 134-mile (216-km) cycling trail that weaves through the Willamette Valley.
Along the bikeway, you’ll get a better understanding of the valley’s beauty and agriculture.
Stop at vineyards, coffee shops, and pubs to gather supplies and sample local wines and brews.
You can bike the trail year-round, but make sure you bring rain gear if you go during the winter.
If you don’t want to bike the entire trail over multiple days, you can do a section of the trail instead.
You can get on the bikeway at multiple locations, including Champoeg, Willamette Mission, and Shedd, but the closest one to Eugene is at Armitage County Park.
15- Visit The Shelton McMurphey Johnson House
A vivid emerald green building nestled among the trees, the Shelton McMurphey Johnson House is a Victorian-era residence with a rich history.
The house, which sits on a slope of Skinner Butte, provides panoramic views of Eugene.
Also called the “Castle on the Hill”, the house was completed back in 1887.
Despite fires, reconstruction and floor plan changes, Shelton McMurphey Johnson House still has most of its original features, such as ornate porches, a sharply angled polygonal turret and carved exterior woodwork.
The Victorian home is open to the public for tours, and it exhibits glassware, furniture and photos from the period.
The Shelton McMurphey Johnson House is at 303 Willamette St, Eugene, OR 97401.
16- Eat Or Shop At The Fifth Street Public Market
The Fifth Street Public Market is a social hub in the heart of Eugene, featuring a collection of delicious restaurants, local shops and boutiques, cafés and tasting rooms.
After shopping for fashion clothing, jewellery or gifts, stop by one of the area’s eateries or wander through the market to see what catches your eye.
The Fifth Street Public Market is at 296 E Fifth Ave, Eugene, OR 97401.
17- Learn About Planes At The Oregon Air And Space Museum
Whether you’re an aviation enthusiast or are interested in learning more about aviation, the Oregon Air and Space Museum is a perfect destination in Eugene.
The museum, opened in 1991, is dedicated to acquiring and displaying aircraft and aviation and space technology artefacts.
It aims to educate the public, both locals and visitors from around the world.
The Oregon Air and Space Museum has several exhibits, including the commercial airlines display, aviation uniforms and the David P. Galbraith model exhibit.
Planes on display include the MIG 17, the Marion Carl J-2 Taylor Cub, and the French Nieuport 17c.
The Oregon Air and Space Museum is at 90377 Boeing Dr, Eugene, OR 97402.
18- Spend A Day At The Oregon Dunes
One of the world’s biggest stretches of temperate coastal dunes, the Oregon Dunes should not be missed.
This national recreation area features open dunes, wetlands, beaches, and islands along the Oregon coast.
In the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, visitors can hike, go birding, camp, view wildlife, picnic, play in the sand and go Off-Highway Vehicle (OHV) riding.
The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area extends for 40 miles (64 km) along the Oregon Coast from Coos Bay to Florence.
Florence, just over an hour’s drive away, is the closest access point from Eugene.
The Oregon Dunes Visitor Center is halfway between Florence and Coos Bay in Reedsport. Here, you can learn about the dunes and check out exhibits.
The Visitor Center is at 855 Highway 101, Reedsport, Oregon 97467.
19- Go To The Eugene Saturday Market
The Eugene Saturday Market is the oldest open-air crafts market in the country, where you can buy handmade trinkets and art from local vendors.
Crafts aren’t the market’s only attraction, though.
The Saturday market is an excellent spot to listen to live music or go dancing.
There is always live music from 10 am to 2:30 pm and a rotating weekly lineup of musicians.
With an emphasis on international cuisines, the market includes an outdoor food court with booths with cuisines from around the world.
From Afghani cuisine to Jamaican meals to Ethiopian food, there are opportunities to try delicious food from other cultures.
The Eugene Saturday Market is at 126 E 8th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401.
20- Visit Hayward Field
The iconic Hayward Field is part of the University of Oregon.
This track and field stadium has been home to the university’s track and field teams for over a century.
The track field has hosted 7 USATF championships as well as 6 Olympic trials for track and field.
Many of the country’s top track and field athletes have raced at Hayward Field throughout their careers.
The massive stadium features a large visual experience board so spectators can keep track of competitors.
The giant video screen is the largest permanent video screen for a track stadium in the U.S.
If you’re in town during a track and field event, whether a University of Oregon meet or a future Olympic trial, don’t miss your chance to see athletes in action at this world-famous track stadium.
Hayward Field is at 1580 E 15th Ave, Eugene, OR 97403.
For more about the Pacific Northwest, read:
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- 15 Washington State National Parks
- 20 Landmarks in Oregon
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- 20 Things To Do In Eugene Oregon
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