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Introduction

Eugene River

Eugene River

© All Rights Reserved Lavafalls

Eugene is the second largest city in Oregon, although Salem is slowly catching up. Eugene's main claim to fame is that it is home to the University of Oregon (U of O), the best state school in Oregon. Along with good academics the U of O is home to some great athletics, including a good football and a good basketball team. Sadly in recent years these teams have not been doing so well.

The city was first founded by Eugene Franklin Skinner, when he built the first trading post in the area in 1846. The city was officially created in 1862. The city grew because it was located on a ferry crossing over the Willamette River. In 1876 the University of Oregon was founded, even though the previous Colombia College burnt down and the neighborhood of College Hill still carries the name. The city is known for being very liberal and progressive with its attitudes.

Along with the University there are several great brew pubs and hikes in the area. Eugene is also a good jumping point to the coast only a hour and half drive away. If wanting to catch a sports game or enjoy some nice scenery Eugene is a good place to spend a couple of days

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Sights and Activities

Hiking

Top of Mount Pisga

Top of Mount Pisga

© All Rights Reserved Lavafalls

  • Skinner Butte is a large hill/butte on the north edge of town and offers some nice short hikes. One can drive to the top or they can hike up from the Willamette river. There are some rock climbing areas located on the south side of the butte.
  • Spencer Butte is a stunning butte located on the southern edge of Eugene. The butte reaches 2055 feet (626 m) and has several great hiking trails to its summit. The shortest takes about an hour, the longest about 3 hours. The trails go through some very nice Douglas-fir woods to reach a rocky summit. The last part can be a bit risky, especially when it's wet but worth it for the amazing views. On a clear day it is even possible to see the coastal range.
  • Mount Pisgah is a hill reaching around 1,531 feet (467 m) at its summit. The mountain is located west of the city of Eugene toward Springfield. There are several hiking trails to the summit and even more in the Mount Pisgah Arboretum, which is a non-profit arboretum covering 209 acres. There are over 7 miles of riverside trails in the arboretum as long as some nice wildlife. This is an excellent place for trail running.

Other Sights and Activities

  • Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art is a small art museum with a rotating collection that has an international emphasis. The museum is located on the U of O campus at 1430 Johnson Lane. Admission is $5 for adults, $3 for children and seniors. The museum is closed Mondays and on major holidays. It is open every other day 11 am to 5 pm except on Wednesday when the museum is open till 8 pm.
  • University of Oregon Museum of Natural and Cultural History is nice museum that holds one of the largest collections of Native American artifacts in the state. It is located at 1680 East 15th Ave. The museum is open daily 11 am to 5 pm and closed Mondays and Tuesdays. A ticket costs $3 for adults, and $2 for children and seniors.

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Events and Festivals

Holidays

  • New Year’s Eve - The US celebrates the outgoing of the old year and incoming of the New Year quite dramatically. Every state boasts its own parties to ring in the New Year, but none is more extravagant than New York’s Time Square, which sees people overflowing into the neighboring restaurants, bars, parks, beaches, and neighborhoods.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day (officially Birthday of Martin Luther King, Jr. and sometimes referred to as MLK Day) is an American federal holiday marking the birthday of Martin Luther King Jr. It is observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around King's birthday, January 15. The holiday is similar to holidays set under the Uniform Monday Holiday Act. The earliest Monday for this holiday is January 15 and the latest is January 21. King was the chief spokesperson for nonviolent activism in the Civil Rights Movement, which successfully protested racial discrimination in federal and state law.
  • St Patrick’s Day - March 17 celebrates the US’s large Irish population. Many cities around the country boast boisterous parades and Irish-themed parties, especially New York and Chicago, where the river is dyed green. Be wary of the drunkenness that dominates as this is definitely a party-day.
  • Memorial Day - Memorial Day is an important holiday throughout the United States, but not for crazy festivities. Parades commemorating wartime heroes are often held and the day is also the ‘unofficial’ start of summer. Most visitors follow the crowds to parks and beaches, which are capped off with informal BBQs.
  • Independence Day - Also known as the Fourth of July, Independence Day celebrates the US’s break from the British during the 18th century. Barbecues, street parties, beach trips, and weekend getaways are commonplace to appreciate freedom.
  • Labor Day is a public holiday celebrated on the first Monday in September. It honors the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country. It is the Monday of the long weekend known as Labor Day Weekend. It is recognized as a federal holiday. Beginning in the late 19th century, as the trade union and labor movements grew, trade unionists proposed that a day be set aside to celebrate labor.
  • Halloween - Halloween is a fun holiday on October 31 for all generations to dress up in costumes and relive their youth. Children walk around the neighborhood trick-or-treating for candy, while adults attend parties. Other seasonal events include haunted houses, pumpkin farms and carving, and corn mazes.
  • Thanksgiving - On the fourth Thursday in November, Thanksgiving is held in almost every home in the US. Tourists will have a hard time finding anything to do as the country essentially shuts down in observation. A typical Thanksgiving meal consists of turkey, stuffing, mashed potatoes and pumpkin pie commemorating the original Pilgrim’s feast at Plymouth Rock.
  • Christmas - On December 25, Christians celebrate Christmas as the pinnacle of their calendar by attending church and opening gifts from Santa Claus. Almost everything shuts down to promote family togetherness. The northern regions hope to experience a “white Christmas,” with trees and festive lights blanketed by snow.

Sport

  • Super Bowl Sunday - the world’s most watched sporting event and one of the highest grossing TV days of the year, Superbowl Sunday is a spectacular extravaganza. Held the first Sunday in February, the Superbowl is the final playoff game between the NFL’s top two teams. The venue rotates every year around America, yet the local parties seem to remain. Pubs, bars and restaurants are great places to enjoy the Superbowl or locals throw their own parties with different variations of betting.
  • The World Series is the annual championship series of Major League Baseball (MLB) in North America, contested since 1903 between the American League (AL) champion team and the National League (NL) champion team. The winner of the World Series championship is determined through a best-of-seven playoff, and the winning team is awarded the Commissioner's Trophy. As the series is played during the fall season in North America, it is sometimes referred to as the Fall Classic.

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Weather

JanFebMarAprMayJunJulAugSepOctNovDec
Avg Max8 °C10.8 °C13.3 °C15.8 °C19.5 °C23.4 °C27.6 °C27.7 °C24.6 °C18.1 °C11.3 °C7.9 °C
Avg Min1.8 °C2.8 °C3.8 °C4.8 °C6.9 °C9.8 °C11.6 °C11.8 °C9.6 °C6.4 °C4.3 °C2.2 °C
Rainfall200.9 mm143.3 mm140.2 mm79 mm54.9 mm36.3 mm13 mm27.4 mm42.4 mm86.6 mm211.3 mm218.7 mm
Rain Days14.61314.410.47.94.92.13.15.28.915.215.4

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Getting There

By Plane

Eugene Airport (EUG) is a small domestic airport with direct services mainly to cities in the Northwestern and Western states. It has direct flights to Denver, Las Vegas, Salt Lake City, Seattle, Portland and San Francisco.

By Train

Two Amtrak trains stop in Eugene:

By Car

I-5 is the main express way in and out of town.

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Eat

Cafe Yumm

  • Cafe Yumm is an organic Oregon restaurant chain that started in Eugene and has 5 locations across town. All restaurants have the same Phone number: 684-YUMM-9866.
  • On Broadway 730 East Broadway
  • Oakway Center 130 Oakway Center
  • The Meridian 1801 Willamette Street
  • North Delta Center 1005 Green Acres Rd

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Drink

  • Eugene City Brewery is located at 844 Olive St, Phone: 541-345-4155. This is a wonderful artisan varietal brewery. The bar features good pizza, over 35 beers to chose from, and an outdoor seating area. The bar is located in the historic 1866 Eugene City Brewery, which the bar gets its name from.
  • The Bier Stein is a wonderful bar for the beer lover in all of us. They have over 300 beers to chose from including several on tap that are constantly changing. The beers come from all over the world and range from very cheap to expensive. There is also a kitchen offering good bar food. The Bier Stein is located at 345 E 11th Ave, phone: 541-485-BIER and parking is available.

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Sleep

Upscale

View our map of accommodation in Eugene or use the form below to search for availability (Travellerspoint receives a commission for bookings made through the form)

Booking.com

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Learn

  • University of Oregon (UO) is one of the best schools in the state and is the flagship public university in Oregon. This school has excellent undergraduate and graduate programs to study. The school is also home to the famous Ducks sports teams that occasionally have a good season.
  • Eugene Glass School is a great place to learn how to make amazing glass pieces with great teachers.

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Keep Connected

Internet

There is a very small internet bar/cafe culture in the USA. Even then most of the internet bars/cafes tend be located in major urban centers. Accessible WiFi networks, however, are common. The most generally useful WiFi spots are in coffee shops, fast-food chains, and bookshops, but also restaurants and hotels more and more have a network to connect on. Some of them might require you to buy something and you might need a password too, especially in hotels.

Phone

See also International Telephone Calls

The general emergency phone number is 911. The USA has a great landline phone system that is easy to use. The country code for the U.S. is +1. The rest of the telephone number consists of 10 digits: a 3-digit area code, and a 7-digit number. Any small grocery store or pharmacy has pre paid domestic or international phone cards. These phone cards are very cheap and offer good rates. The once ubiquitous pay phone is now much harder to find. Likely locations include in or near stores and restaurants, and near bus stops. The cellphone network in the states is slowly getting better but is still not as good when compared to other western countries. Cell phones tend to operate using different frequencies (850 MHz and 1900 MHz) from those used elsewhere in the world (2100 MHz). This used to prevent most foreign phones from working in America. Phones must be tri- or quad-band to work in the U.S. Fortunately, technology has meant that most phones should now be able to pick up one of the U.S. networks. Prepaid phones and top-up cards can be purchased at mobile phone boutiques and at many discount, electronics, office supply and convenience stores. A very basic handset with some credit can be had for under $40.

Post

The US Postal Service is a very good and well priced mail system. There are post offices in every small and large town for sending packages internationally or domestically. Although some might keep longer hours, most are open at least between 9:00am and 5:00pm. If wanting to send a letter or postcard it is best just to leave it in a blue mail box with the proper postage. First-class international airmail postcards and letters (up 28.5 grams) cost $1.10. There are also private postal services like FedEx, UPS, TNT and DHL, which might be better value sometimes and are generally very quick and reliable too.

Quick Facts

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Coordinates
  • Latitude: 44.045555
  • Longitude: -123.101276

Accommodation in Eugene

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This is version 27. Last edited at 11:17 on Jun 14, 19 by Utrecht. 6 articles link to this page.

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