Things to do in Eugene

Things to do in Eugene, Oregon

Eugene is the second largest city in Oregon and it’s located along the Willamette River. Eugene has a small town feel but has become a robust city in recent years as it has evolved into a vibrant city known for a mix of art and culture, shopping and dining, and sports and entertainment. The city of Eugene is also referred to as the “Emerald City” and our personal favorite, “Track Town USA”.  You may have never considered visiting Eugene in the past, but if you are looking for a place that offers natural beauty, outdoor adventures, fine dining, or sports and entertainment, then Eugene will be the perfect weekend for you.  Here are just a few things that you can do in Eugene. 

5th Street Public Market

This is a local favorite for people of Eugene as 5th Street Public Market has a variety of places that allow you to “eat, shop and play”. Here you can visit local stores and boutiques, restaurants, tasting rooms, and eateries that are adjacent to two upscale boutique hotels.  Some of the popular places to eat at 5th Street Public Market in Eugene are Cornucopia for American Food, Drunken Fish for seafood, Legend of Szechuan for Asian cuisine and Marché & Le Bar for authentic French dining. If you’re in the mood for fine wine, then you’ll want to visit Alesong Brewing & Blending, Bennett Vineyards & Wine or J Scott Cellars to enjoy with other wine enthusiasts. 

5th Street Public Market also has over 24 local stores and boutiques for men, women, and children.  You can spend the day shopping if you’re interested in the latest fashion trends, new toys for little ones, local artwork, electric bikes, or even get the latest Nike gear. One popular store that most people frequent is Swahili Modern, which has a vibrant collection of handmade baskets, home decor, fine art, jewelry and more.  Swahili has partnered with hundreds of artisans that span across 15 different African Nations.  Everything purchased from Swahili Modern helps African families prosper. 

There is plenty of action on 5th Street Public Market for people seeking a night of entertainment.  The event schedule is packed with art shows, live music, and even painting classes for people of all ages and experience. 

5th Street Public Market is a great place for couples and families to stay when visiting Eugene and wanting to get away.  You can spend your entire weekend in this small community of stores and eateries that will make you want to come back again. 

Address: 296 E 5th Ave, Eugene, OR 97401

5th street public market

Autzen Stadium

If you love college football and want to have an experience of a lifetime, then watching the Oregon Ducks in Autzen Stadium is an absolute must.  This is a bucket-list experience as Autzen stadium is considered one of the loudest, if not loudest stadiums in all of college football.  Autzen stadium seats around 54,000 die hard duck fans, but at times it sounds like 100,000 fans screaming their heads off on nearly every play.

Autzen Stadium opened nearly 54 years ago in 1967 and is located north of the University of Oregon.  In 2002, Autzen Stadium underwent renovations that cost nearly $90 Million for a facelift of the entire stadium, expanded seating on the East side of the stadium, and new luxury boxes on the South side of the stadium.  

When you get the opportunity to watch the Oregon Ducks play at Autzen Stadium, you’ll want to take in the full experience. That means tailgating outside the stadium hours before kickoff to fill up on food and drinks in anticipation of the game. A great place to tailgate is the Moshofsky Center which is Oregon’s indoor practice facility.  On game day, the practice facility is filled with tables, chairs, and vendors selling beer/wine, food, and occasionally live music. There are a few activities inside for kids and people of all ages as well.  From testing your accuracy as a QB, to kicking the ball through the uprights, fans get the chance to show off their skills. 

Make sure to find your seats early enough before kick off to witness the pre-game highlight reel on the stadium Jumbotron. Any Duck fan will tell you that they get chills down their spine everytime they see “The Pick” and hear the infamous words “Kenny Wheaton’s Gonna Score!”  This gets the crowd energized and fired up for the start of kick off.  Be ready to yell “O” on every play when the defense is on the field (Disclaimer: You may lose your voice after the game).  Next, be ready at the end of the 3rd quarter to sing and dance to “Shout” as the whole stadium starts rocking. Of course, to make it an unforgettable experience, it also helps if the Ducks win!
Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon is an experience that college football fans will never forget. No matter where you’re coming from, show up early, have fun, wear green and yellow, and yell “O” as loud as you can.

Address: 2700 Martin Luther King Jr Blvd, Eugene, OR 97401

Autzen Stadium in Eugene, Oregon

Eugene Science Center

The Eugene Science Center is located in Alton Baker Park in Eugene.  This is a science and technology center for children, families and school groups.  This place is highly recommended for parents looking for something educational and multi-sensory for their children in Eugene, Oregon.  The science center is near Autzen Stadium and is known for changing interactive exhibits, planetarium shows, camp programs, special events and other science and technology-related education programs.

This is a great place for kids to interact with science with a hands-on approach. The center is also known for its planetarium which was recently upgraded in 2018. In the planetarium, children and adults can explore new worlds like never before in a 360 degree experience through live stargazing programs and exciting full-dome shows in ultra-bright, high-contrast, 4k resolution. Some of the planetarium shows on their website include Skywatchers of Africa, Did an Asteroid Really Kill the Dinosaurs? Our Violent Planet, and Earth, Moon & Sun. In addition to these educational shows, the planetarium also includes laser shows for entertainment. 

The Eugene Science Center is closed on Monday’s and Tuesday’s.  Wednesday-Sunday they are open from 10:00am – 5:00pm except on Friday when they close at 7:00pm.  Children under 2 years old are free, Seniors over 62 cost $4 to get in, and everyone else requires a $5 entry.  

Address: 2300 Leo Harris Pkwy, Eugene, OR 97401

Eugene Science Center

Explore the Great Outdoors in Eugene

Eugene is known for its great outdoors with beautiful scenic trails, parks, rivers and other outdoor attractions.  You can enjoy Eugene’s natural beauty from the top of Skinner’s Butte or the 7 waterfalls that surround Eugene. We recommend planning for multiple days when selecting one of these outdoor activities in order to appreciate them all.

Alton Baker Park

Alton Baker Park is the city’s most modern park in Eugene and it offers traditional outdoor fun and a wide range of activities for people of all ages.

First you can visit Hay’s Tree Garden for a peaceful walk through a garden that has a beautiful spring bloom or fall foliage. The two acre garden was donated in honor of loved ones that have passed to provide a tranquil respite in the heart of the city.

For something more upbeat, you can head to Cuthbert Amphitheatre which is a Seasonal outdoor theatre with food and beverage vendors featuring live music. Here you can enjoy summertime outdoor concerts and live shows.  Artists like Kid Cudi, Snoop Dogg, Collie Buddz, Counting Crows, Citizen Cope, The Beach Boys, and Third Eye Blind have performed at Cuthbert Amphitheatre.  

If you’re looking to get some exercise, then make your way to Pre’s Trail.  Pre’s Trail runs along the Willamette River and has a great view of Autzen Stadium. This is a four-mile-long running and walking trail named after heralded University of Oregon athlete Steve Prefontaine.  Eugene is nationally known as “TrackTown USA” largely because of Steve Prefontaine and how he was a major influence in the success of Nike and track as a sport.  

Address: 100 Day Island Rd, Eugene, OR 97401

Alton Baker Park Eugene Oregon

Seven Waterfalls of Eugene

The seven waterfalls of Eugene come from the Cascade and Coastal region of Eugene.  These waterfalls will leave you in amazement and appreciation for the beauty in mother nature. You will see some of the most majestic scenes in your lifetime after visiting the seven waterfalls. If you wish to see all seven waterfalls of Eugene, then it’s recommended to plan for multiple days. These seven waterfalls include:

  • Sweet Creek Falls
  • Kentucky Falls
  • Sahalie & Koosah Falls
  • Trestle Creek Falls
  • Proxy Falls
  • Salt Creek Falls
  • Diamond Creek Falls
7 waterfalls of Eugene Oregon

Hike Mount Pisgah and Spencer’s Butte

Mt. Pisgah

Mount Pisgah and Skinner’s Butte are two landmarks in Eugene that provide a rigorous hike and beautiful views of Eugene from the top.  Each landmark has wonderful views of mother nature and will make you appreciate Eugene’s natural environment as you make your way to the peak.

Mount Pisgah Trail is a 3.3 mile hike that features beautiful wild flowers along it’s multiple trails that reach its peak of 1,531 in elevation over the Willamette Valley. Dogs are allowed on the trails but must remain on leash.  The mountain is lush of poison oak so it’s important to stay on the trail and avoid walking off the beaten path. If you don’t feel like hiking, then you can visit Mt. Pisgah Arboretum.  The arboretum includes 7 miles (11 km) of riverside trails with 23 bridges, riparian meadows, evergreen forests, a rare section of preserved oak savanna, Douglas-fir and incense-cedar forests on hillsides, a water garden, wildflower meadows, a wooded picnic area, and restrooms.

Address: 34901 Frank Parrish Rd, Eugene, OR 97405

Mt. Pisgah Eugene Oregon

Spencer’s Butte

This local landmark is a prominent hill that sits on the southern edge of Eugene with an elevation of 2,058 feet. The tree cover on the butte is predominately Douglas Fir, but the lookout point is clear of trees with rocky grounds. In recent years, as many as 300 visitors a day have made the hike to the top of Spencer’s Butte to enjoy the panorama views of the Willamette Valley and the city of Eugene. When you reach the top of the summit, you’ll be greeted with panorama views of the city of Eugene.  If you look hard enough you’ll see a big yellow “O” in the distance, which is where Autzen Stadium is located.

Spencer's Butte Look Out Eugene Oregon

Things to do in Eugene

Eugene, Oregon is a destination place that people don’t always pin on their map, but if you make a trip to Eugene once, then chances are you’ll want to come back again and again. Eugene has something for everyone of all ages and personal interests; whether that’s indulging in fine arts, watching college football, or taking in the great outdoors, people are often amazed by what Eugen has to offer.