What are the Best Things to do in Eugene, Oregon?
Eugene, Oregon, is at the southern end of Oregon’s Willamette Valley. It is near the wine-grape-growing region. The city had hosted world-class events. It was branded “Track Town USA” and the “Track and Field Capital of the World.” Friends visiting Eugene enjoy several adventures: waterfalls, parks and gardens, museums, performing theatres, and shopping malls. Here are the best things to enjoy during your visit to the city.
Learn the local history and culture
The University of Oregon is a significant presence in the Eugene community. It is located just southeast of downtown. Its lovely campus can be a stroll through to visit places like UO Duck Store or the student union building.
Don’t miss the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art that houses an extensive collection of Asian art, Pacific Northwest pieces, Russian icons, and contemporary photography. Also, don’t forget about the family-friendly Museum of Natural & Cultural History with permanent exhibits covering the history & culture of indigenous peoples, regional geology, and natural sciences!
The history of Eugene is chronicled at the Lane County History Museum. From pioneer-era wagons to colorful counterculture signs, this museum does an excellent job of representing and interpreting what happened in these regions and how people like you or me shaped them!
The Mims House, a Gothic-style home, is considered one of the oldest homes in the town. It all began for our fourth-generation family back in 1948. The Mims House also made them among the earliest African-American homeowners here. See their story come alive through long-running exhibitions. They feature vehicles, which include a 1908 Model T Ford, a recreated blacksmith forge.
Bring your kids to the Science Factory. It is a children’s museum and planetarium near Autzen Stadium in Eugene. It was founded as the Southwest Oregon Museum of Science & Industry over half a century ago. You’ll see an old-fashioned steam engine that still operates today!
The 10-thousand-square foot facility houses hundreds of interactive exhibits for kids aged newborn through teens, alongside some neat features like our state-of-the-art IMAX theater or Gothics Theater. The theater shows movies during certain hours each day without sound effects so you can hear what matters most while exploring space.
Looking for various aircraft and artifacts? Oregon Air and Space Museum has plenty of those! Visitors to this museum can enjoy 6,300 square feet of space filled with historic aircraft. The museum is dedicated to depicting the history of aviation and space technology. The museum has plenty more than just planes! It also displays some fascinating robotic vehicles from around our world, like a UH-1D Huey helicopter or ARMOR+.
The collection features several kinds, including navigations A/C’s, tanks, and buster missiles development hardware used by NASA during the Gemini era. In addition, educational events are held regularly at this location, so visitors walk away learning something new every time they visit the place.
Fun Things to do in Eugene Oregon for the Art Lovers – See the Performing Arts
Take a tour at the Miller Theatre Complex, which keeps up with all the happenings in the University of Oregon performing-arts complex. It has two theaters, hosting and showcasing student-produced plays.
The Shedd Institute’s Community Music School proposes classes and private lessons for various musical instruments and styles for all ages. The school also offers summer music camps, a piece of school music, an enrichment assembly program, and special workshops associated with select Shedd concerts.
Some performances include: the Oregon Festival of American Music, the Emerald City Jazz Kings, Shedd Classical, Shedd Theatricals, Mr. Tom’s Magical Moonbah, Now Hear This, Shedd Presents, and Shedd Welcomes.
Hult Center for the Performing Arts is a crown jewel of Eugene’s downtown. It contains performance, meeting, and exhibition spaces hosting musical acts and local performers; it also serves as the annual “Broadway in Eugene” series with popular shows like Hamilton. In addition, the Soreng Theater can accommodate more miniature ballets or concerts. At the same time, the Silva Concert Hall holds more intimate events, including those by touring artists who come through town–like rocker Neil Diamond!
The Cuthbert Amphitheater is a popular concert venue in Eugene that has been hosting performances for over ten years. It’s located next to Alton Baker Park on Leo Harris Parkway and can hold up to 5,000 people anytime!
With its excellent acoustics and stunning setting near the University of Oregon’s Autzen Stadium, The Cuthbert Amphitheater is a great place to enjoy live music outdoors during spectacular Oregon summers. Located just off Eugene’s campus in Alton Baker Park, this venue offers patrons everything they need for an unforgettable evening. The sound will fill your heart with joy; food booths offer anything from funnel cake sliders to grilled cheese sandwiches and ice cream combo platters. These cool stuff are all available while listening closely between songs or chatting up friends.
In the heart of downtown, you’ll find a place that is not only an art gallery but also home to innovative classes for all levels. The Maude Kerns Art Center hosts events like their annual ‘Art & Vineyard’ festival, which features public and private lessons in various disciplines from ceramics or drawing to painting – no matter your age!
The Maude Kerns Art Center is a community art space with classes for children and adults. The historic church building housing was founded in 1895 by local artists. The Art and the Vineyard Festival was created to sustain the year-round arts programming for all ages. The event is organized by the primary fundraiser for the non-profit Maude Kerns Art Center.
Visit the Eugene Performing arts center (EPAC) provides high-level dance and theater instruction for kids in Eugene, Oregon. In addition, EPAC offers a safe environment that teaches students resilience through our programs on confidence & communication skills as well! With so many options available, you will find what’s suitable for your child at this fantastic studio today!
Learn at the historic Woodmen of the World Hall (WOW Hall), a multipurpose community arts center that provides cultural opportunities for all ages and income levels. The WOW Hall fills up weekly with local artists, musicians, or speakers looking at ways to share their message through music in a welcoming environment where people feel comfortable coming together no matter what background you’re from!
The Hall is also used for classes, workshops, lectures, meetings, rehearsals, and recording sessions. You will appreciate the Lobby Art Gallery displays, presenting the work of various regional artists each month.
Ask the former teacher and Eugene Realtor for more information about Eugene, Oregon, and the best things to do in Eugene, Oregon.
Shop in the Social hub
Isn’t shopping so much fun and relaxing? Shop in local favorites in Eugene, Oregon. A must-visit is the 5th Street Public Market. The area is the premier destination for a collection of fascinating local stores, dine-ins, tasting rooms, and eateries near boutique hotels. The courtyard is a great venue to stroll, listen to the water fountain, and taste local wines with friends.
In the Oakway Center, so much more than shopping, dining, playing, and staying. It is a 50-year establishment that evolved into Eugene’s premier shopping district for small and large businesses. Yet, at the same time, walking in the unique and friendly atmosphere at the Oakway Center, experienced Eugene’s lifestyle center, and browsed the several stores and restaurants.
Head to the Valley River Center, which is accessibly situated in the heart of Eugene and is the largest enclosed mall in Southern Oregon. Be entertained in Regal Cinemas, Round 1 Bowling, and Amusement. Shop in familiar department stores like Macy’s, JCPenney, H&M, Forever 21, American Eagle, Foot Locker, and The Body Shop. And dine at BJ’s Restaurant and Brewhouse, Texas Roadhouse, Fuji Japanese Steak House, and more.
Bo’s Wine Depot is a small, family-owned winery specializing in high-end wine distribution. This was conceptualized by Boris “Bo” Wiedenfeld-Needham, who entered the world of expensive bottle service after years on Oregon’s much-loved retail scene. There are always plenty of wines open to taste. So to take home Oregon’s premium wine, enjoy wine buying! Stop by the store to choose excellent wines, which are not necessarily expensive but give good deals.
Eugene, Oregon, has the best things to do in great places to appreciate the waterfalls, history and culture, the local wines, and shopping malls. So whether you’re a lifelong resident or visiting for a few days, check out the best things and places in the city. You’ll be glad you did!
Fun Things to do in Eugene, OR for the Outdoor Lovers – Enjoy the Beautiful Waterfalls
Waterfalls in Eugene, Oregon, are popular destinations for tourists and locals. The waterfalls are located in the Willamette National Forest. The height of the waterfalls ranges from 30 to 50 feet. Several different trails lead to the waterfalls, varying in difficulty from easy to moderate.
The waterfalls are best viewed during the spring and summer when the water flow is at its highest. Here are some waterfalls in Eugene, Oregon, that are worth including in your schedule. These are the beautiful Proxy, Shalie Falls, Koosah Falls, and Wildwood falls.
About 60- to 90-minute driving east of Eugene and along the 6.6-mile McKenzie River National Recreational Trail are waterfalls to behold, including the Sahalie and Koosah Falls. Are you ready to hike at 100-foot-tall Sahalie Falls? If yes, a breathtaking view pounds the river into a rainbowed mist. When you do that, you can take the route to descend about 70-foot Koosah Falls. This brings you back along the river’s far shore, the McKenzie River Trail.
Start to take the 2.9-mile Koosah and Sahalie Falls Trail in Willamette National Forest. The 1.6-mile route to the Proxy Falls Loop Trail is worth the effort. You can cherish the nature-filled day visit from Eugene.
Head to the Wildwood Falls, famous as Row River Falls, located at the west skirt of the Willamette National Forest. The Umpqua National Forest in the Lane County, Oregon. It is considered the core attraction of the Wildwood Falls trailhead and Recreation Site.
Fun Things to do for Families – Smell the Roses and Walk in the Parks
If you are searching for a comfy and beautiful setting, consider Owen Rose Garden, Hendricks Parks, and Skinner Butte Park.
Owen Rose Garden showcased more than 4 500 roses that consist of over 400 varieties. At the same time, Hendricks Park presents various hiking trails above 6,000 rhododendrons. It also set up plant varieties such as iris and trillium wildflowers, ferns, and fir trees, estimated to be 200 years old.
Near the Willamette River is the 100-acre Skinner Butte Park, one of Eugene’s oldest parks with many recreational features.
Any visitor can enjoy the prominent features, including the following: Skinner Butte, the Columns climbing area, River Play Discovery Playground, Campbell Senior Center, Lamb Cottage, Skinner City Farm community garden, acres of lawn and meadows, hiking trails, bike paths, picnic areas, and many more.
Speaking of biking, come to experience a 3-hour electric bike tour along the Willamette River. You will traverse approximately 20 miles of paths and streets along the Willamette River. The majority of the ride is forested with beautiful river views.
Sample the local wines
If you want to have a first-hand experience of tasting the award-winning wines in Eugene, do not miss out on dropping by from winery to winery to visiting tasting rooms. Instead, you drive along the wineries filled with refreshing valley views.
Taste the local wines in the King Estate Winery. It is located at the top of the hill overlooking vineyards. The wine tasting room awaits every visitor, and you can stay relaxed touring the wine production operations by taking a guided tour. When good weather permits, experience a meal at the outdoor patio space in the restaurant, and you will surely enjoy the charming valley views.
Sweet Cheeks Winery is the next tasting room to consider. It is found in a relocated historic building close to its estate vineyard. Besides the daily tasting hours, take note of the Friday evenings and special events year-round for some special offers in the vineyard.
How about a visit to the Eugene wine cellars, also known as the urban winery in Eugene? It is situated in the Whiteaker neighborhood near downtown Eugene. The wine had evolved to offer the finest wines in Oregon, consistent with the world-class standard. Tasting the local wines offered in this winery allowed you to discover the “stand out” Oregon wines crafted by the zealous winemakers.