In the heart of the South Willamette Valley, the Eugene, Springfield area offers urban sophistication with scenic outdoor adventures. Imagine river jet boat cruises by day, theater shows by evening — or cycling miles of beautiful bicycle paths and popular routes through valley meadows, followed by artisan cocktails at a local farm-to-table restaurant downtown. Start in the charming Market District for a luxurious homebase, wherein spas, shopping, entertainment, urban wine tours and unique foodie experiences are all within walking distance. Stay at the brand new art-centric Gordon Hotel, connected to Eugene’s bustling downtown scene via an open-air marketplace showcasing everything from Nike shoes to ice cream.
The South Willamette Valley is host to an array of outstanding vineyards and excellent wineries — but you don’t have to meander far to sip prized Pinots. New winery tasting rooms have opened up in both the Market District and around downtown Eugene. In and around the Market Alley and 5th Street Public Market stop by Bennett Winery, Pfeiffer Winery, Terra Pacem and J Scott Cellars. Just a little further west edging the Whiteaker neighborhood, visit Capitello Winery and Oregon Wine Lab. If you are drawn to the vineyards, follow the South Willamette Valley Wine Trail just outside the city — on your own or on a guided wine tour.
Eugene Ale Trail
Eugene’s brewing and beer culture has always been strong, and its heart-beat is most noticeable in downtown Eugene. Taste the innovative brews at Alesong Brewing and Blending’s new tasting room in the 5th Street Public Market. Then tour other nearby breweries like ColdFire Brewing Company, Elk Horn Brewery, Manifest Beer Company and Gratitude Brewing. Discover over 20 breweries on the Eugene Ale Trail.
Follow the South Willamette Valley Food Trail for an immersive farm-to-table tasting experience. Enjoy Northwest dishes created with foraged mushrooms, heritage vegetables, grass-fed meats and fish pulled just hours earlier from the McKenzie River. Tour the Willamette Valley to meet the farmers, talk with the vintners and pick up your favorite artisan products to take home. Find French-inspired food at Marché by 5th Street Public Market or head over to Morning Glory Cafe for vegetarian and vegan selections, all made with local ingredients.
Art & Culture
Visit an astounding collection of outdoor murals created with the 20x21EUG Mural Project in honor of the upcoming World Athletic Championships Oregon22, set to be held at the University of Oregon’s Hayward Field in 2022. Over twenty masterpieces by local and international artists are woven into the urban landscape. On Saturdays, make sure your art walk includes the colorful Saturday Market’s artisan crafts, live music and food carts. There is also a nearby farmers’ market packed with locally-raised, grown, caught, foraged and produced goodies.
Sandy Coastal Escapes
Head west out of Eugene to fill up on ocean air and sand. From there, Florence is only an hour drive and offers tons of seaside adventures to explore. Start the day north of Florence at the Sea Lion Caves, where hundreds of sea lions have made their home in “America’s Largest Sea Cave.” Continue up Highway 101 and discover Heceta Head Lighthouse, shining since 1892. Further up the coast sits Cape Perpetua, a viewpoint that sits at over 800 feet above sea level and boasts (in our humble opinion) the best view on Oregon Coast. Head back to Florence for a delicious lunch at one of the many local eateries before taking off south on Highway 101 to explore the Oregon Dunes, a huge expanse of sand perfect for dune buggies and sandboarding.
Follow the McKenzie River upstream to immerse yourself in the Cascade Mountains. More stunning waterfalls (let’s be honest, you can never get enough), hot springs, river rafting, and the peaceful vibe from forest bathing will renew your spirits. Though this area experienced unprecedented wildfires, many businesses are ready to welcome you back. Show them your support by stopping for lunch at Obsidian Grill, Ike’s Pizza, or anywhere else you pass by that calls to your taste buds.
Return back to downtown Eugene to rest your feet at a day spa, take in a show or conclude your Oregon getaway antiquing in Eugene’s neighboring communities of Coburg and Springfield.
Ready to plan your trip? Visit EugeneCascadesCoast.org to go exploring!