Introduction to Eugene
Eugene, Oregon enjoys a reputation as one of the most livable cities in the United States. The city is close to both the Cascade Mountains and the Oregon coast, and its community combines the best elements of small town charm and big city culture. The arts scene thrives here in many forms, as do sports, natural beauty, and politics. Eugene is Oregon’s second largest city, and it is known for its education, recreation, and attractions. Northwest coffeehouses and eclectic boutiques offer something for everyone. It is one of the most bike-friendly communities in the country, with an extensive network of paths and trails throughout the city.
Eugene is known for its very active and informed citizenry, and this has lead to numerous community development projects that have served as models for cities around the country. It still carries on the legacy that was started back in the 1970s when the city was full of co-operative and community projects. Today, small natural foods stores are common in almost every neighborhood, and alternative schools are numerous. The city also has excellent museums, such as the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art at the University of Oregon. The facility has recently completed a renovation and has expanded to double its size. The galleries feature American, European, Korean, Chinese, and Japanese art. The University of Oregon Museum of Natural History also offers visitors exhibits on natural history and anthropology.
Eugene Sports and Leisure
Sports in Eugene are very much focused on the Oregon Ducks, which are members of the Pacific 10 Conference. Ducks football is popular, and spectators can enjoy the sport at the 59,000-seat Autzen Stadium, which is known for its intense hometown cheering. Eugene is also known as the "Track Capital of the World", with Bill Bowerman coaching the champion University of Oregon track team and U of O alumni Phil Knight founding Nike, Inc. There is a Nike store in Eugene that features a track history museum. Running clubs are very popular here, partly due to the year-round temperate weather. Minor-league baseball fans can enjoy the Class A Eugene Emeralds.
Eugene has an extensive system of outdoor parks for the public to enjoy. Alton Baker Park is the largest developed park in the city, and Hendricks Park is one of the most beautiful in the area. Other parks include Fern Ridge Reservoir, Owen Memorial Rose Garden, and Spencers Butte. Biking is hugely popular in Eugene, and the city has 28 miles of off-street paths, 78 miles of on-street bicycle lanes, and 4 bicycle bridges that cross the Willamette River. Hiking can be enjoyed at places like Kentucky Falls, which is 45 miles west of the city and features three waterfalls. Winter recreation includes Willamette Pass Ski Are, and Hoodoo Ski Area.
Eugene at Night
Lane County, where Eugene is located, is home to a wide range of restaurants, cafes, brew pubs, and coffeehouses. Every type of food is served in the city, from vegetarian to barbeque. The downtown area is known for its popular microbreweries. Eugene City Brewing has a lunch and dinner menu and features Rogue Ales on tap. High Street Brewery & Café has been open since 1988, is located in a renovated 1900’s residence, and has a backyard beer garden for warm summer nights. North Bank Pub is a McMenamins facility and overlooks a beautiful stretch of the Willamette River.