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Known as a robust college town, Eugene is characterized by a familiar, local vibe and is replete with pedestrian-friendly paths, local art, and tasty craft beer. With the lush, mountainous beauty of western Oregon just outside the city, Eugene is a great destination for hikers, and outdoor enthusiasts. Take your time exploring the city's eclectic flavors, experiencing both the city and the nature of the Northwest in sprawling riverside parks and public space. And don’t forget your sneakers, this self-proclaimed "Running Capital of the World" is crisscrossed with countless paved and wood chip trails perfect for an active vacation.
Eugene is full of unique neighborhoods and natural parks that weave together to give the city its diverse and friendly atmosphere. Head out on foot or grab a bike to discover Eugene like a local.
Downtown is where Eugene's local arts and culture come to life. Vibrant Broadway Plaza, also known as Kelsey Square, hosts live events like the HiFi Street Performance Series and pARTy on the Plaza. Check out the buzzing Farmers Market, packed with local produce and artisan foods, or stop by Saturday Market to find handmade crafts and unique goods.
Home of the Ducks, the University of Oregon is Eugene's biggest university. The enormous campus, nestled near the 100-year-old Hendricks Park and the South Willamette wine country, is a beautiful place to stroll and soak in the scenery. Take an art tour of the campus and see the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, or visit the university's Natural and Cultural History Museum and gaze into the heritage and geological past of the region.
Eugene's largest developed park consists of West Alton Baker Park and the Whilamut Natural Area. Spanning a total of 413 acres (167 ha), Alton Baker Park is constantly thriving with races, events, and festivals. The sprawling green space is set along the Willamette River and features the long running path of Pre's Trail, the Cuthbert Amphitheatre, the Nobel Peace Laureate Project, and an 18-hole disc golf course.
The natural beauty of western Oregon is apparent even in the city, as Eugene is abound with gorgeous parks and forested trails. Catch sight of Spencer Butte's rocky summit from downtown Eugene, or step out of the city to hike to its peak. Cyclists can relish views of Eugene and lush landscapes from the Ridgeline Trail, while runners can take in wetlands and wildlife along the Fern Ridge Path. Eugene has its share of live entertainment as well—Matthew Knight Arena plays host to headlining musicians, while the local Cottage Theatre puts on plays and musicals all year round. For even more culture, join one of the city's many regular art walks to tour Eugene's galleries and public art exhibits.
Eugene, also called TrackTown USA, is all about running and getting around on foot. The city has over 42 miles (68 km) of running paths for avid athletes and casual joggers alike, spanning flat straights and beautiful rolling hills. Enjoy a walk or run on trails like the wood chip-paved Adidas Oregon Trail or the concrete Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System and immerse yourself in Eugene's natural splendor. After your run, take a break with one of the many small-batch craft beers the region is known for. The Eugene Ale Trail is a fun way to sample the city's best local breweries and get a feel for each neighborhood's vibe. Between sips, grab a bite at Eugene's foodie-friendly eateries, which range from food trucks to boutique restaurants that serve up unique culinary creations. If you're a Ducks fan, head to Autzen Stadium and catch a football game, or tour the University of Oregon campus, home to fascinating museums of art and history.