"EUGENE, OREGON USA" Top 5 Page for this destination Eugene by birchy99

Eugene Travel Guide: 208 reviews and 272 photos

Things Are Different Here

This is home for me for the last 40 years. Eugene is sometimes called Berkely North; the reason being we have a liberal core just like our cousin to the south. Some say the best way to start an argument here is to wish someone a "good day". Everyone has an opinion!!!
The University of Oregon is here. We also have am eclectic culture such as the annual Bach Festival, the Oregon Country Fair, and the Oregon Festival of American Music.
We try hard not to become "Californicated" but many think we are losing that battle. But you can visit us and not pay sales tax. It is also against the law to pump your own gasoline, and just recently the state legislature made it necessary to buy cold medications by prescriptin only (not necessarily a bad thing as it helps combate methamphetamine production.) Also, for the time being at least, one can choose to die with dignity. See, things ARE different here.

To see the current weather and 10 day forecast in Eugene, click here: Yahoo

Odds and Ends About Eugene

Eugene sits at the southern end of the Willamette (will-lam'-et) valley in Western Oregon 60 miles from the Pacific Ocean and 60 miles from the Cascade Volcanic mountain range. One can virtually surf and ski in one day wearing the same clothing as the ocean is very cold year round.
We have wonderful Mediterranean Climate summers and cool wet winters. Blue skies are the bluest you will ever see in summer and gray skies are the grayest you will ever see in winter.
Come visit and enjoy.
Eugene has always been a place with a deep liberal core. For instance many in the community believe that the old growth forests should be protected (TreeHuggers); that we need to control growth so we don't become another California (A former governor once said: "Come visit but don't stay); and we have always had an active anti-war group. (Defeatists).
One of the more comical outcomes of all this is that recently, Eugene's hospital is moving across I-5 to Sister City Springfield because of the "No-growthers". Springfield's hospital wants to move to Eugene to fill the void. But it wants to buy Eugene's water and electric office buildings to do so. Meanwhile, the water and electric people are looking for another location to move to so they can sell to the hospital. If this seems confusing and ridiculous, consider this: Eugene wants to build a new city hall. Speculation has it that they might consider building it in Springfield because it will just be easier to get the job done there.
But then all this keeps everyone on their toes and interested in what's happening.
People want to live here. Example: We probably have the best educated population of restaurant wait persons in the world. Your waiter or waitress probably at least has a BA degree or a Masters. You see, they want to stay here and are filling in while waiting for a position to open up locally in their field.

The University of Oregon

The University is the heart of Eugene. It is probably the city's largest employer and certainly its students pump millions of dollars into the economy each year. The campus is quite beautiful with centuries old trees and a mix of ancient and modern buildings. It's science departments and education departments are it's most prestigious schools.
Of course, in the US university athletics are very popular and the U of O has had some nice achievements. At one time it's track and field team were national competitors. World record holders Steve Prefontaine and Mary Decker Slaney are household names here. The basketball team won the first NCAA title in the 1930's and were known as the "Tall Firs." The waffle soled running shoe was invented here by track coach Bill Bowerman. One of his athletes, a fellow by the name of Phil Knight, took the idea and started a company named Nike. You may have heard of it.
The original mascot of the school was something called "The Webfoot." So named for the copious amounts of rain we get in the winter. No one really knows what he looked like. However, in the l960's the mascot was changed to "The Fighting Duck." He or she looks very suspiciously like Donald. Me, I prefer The Webfoot.
So if you visit Eugene be sure to check out the University. It has museums, libraries, concert venues and athletic facilities. Something for everyone.

Eugene and the University of Oregon's Hayward Field has been chosen as an almost permanent site for the Olympic Track and Field Trials. The 2008 trials were held here in July to much acclaim and the 2012 trials will be here also. There are also a number of very important national meets scheduled for this venue in the next year or two.
Joanne and I were fortunate enough to attend the Trials this year and enjoyed them immensely. What a joy to see the cream of America's T&F atheletes compete in such an intimate setting.

Pros and Cons
  • Pros:Blue skies all summer--the Pacific Ocean and Cascade Mountains are only an hour away
  • Cons:Gray, Gray, soggy winters, but then it makes one appreciate summer
  • In a nutshell:One of the top ten places to come home to.
  • Intro Updated Aug 18, 2008
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Reviews (34)

Comments (25)

  • TrendsetterME's Profile Photo
    May 22, 2012 at 7:32 AM

    Hey Mart, nice page w helpful tips and great photos ... :)

  • kammeres's Profile Photo
    Feb 10, 2009 at 7:48 AM

    Nice page, brings back childhood memories. I grew up here, lived here 1970-82. You mentioned Treehouse dinner shows in the late 70s/early 80s , did you ever see my parents performing? They played piano. "Another Elegant Evening" was one of their shows.

  • amandajayne81's Profile Photo
    Jun 17, 2008 at 3:19 AM

    All those wineries remind me of my home town. That said I am not a wine drinker so haven't reviewed any yet.

  • alywang's Profile Photo
    Sep 23, 2007 at 9:21 PM

    Hi,Mart! your hometown sounds very interesting:)

  • Carmanah's Profile Photo
    Jul 12, 2007 at 2:28 PM

    Loved reading about Eugene. I've been there a few times, but it's great to see it from a local's perspective!

  • IncogNeat-0's Profile Photo
    May 10, 2007 at 10:25 AM

    Eugene, like Cheyenne, has no peer. Two of a kind. Eugene, IMHO, is the ideal size city. Cheyenne's too cold, colder then hell. Love your sly, sophisticated sense of humor. Great page. Thanx.

  • Hopkid's Profile Photo
    May 3, 2007 at 6:15 PM

    Excellent restaurant tips! Well done!

  • L2go's Profile Photo
    Mar 1, 2006 at 10:49 PM

    Mikela's has closed.

  • Mandy23's Profile Photo
    Feb 18, 2006 at 7:01 PM

    Lovely page on your hometown and it seems to have so many yummy food places!

  • VeronicaG's Profile Photo
    Dec 19, 2005 at 12:19 PM

    Nice portrait of your hometown...

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