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Gotta Love It
Do you ever feel like going back to the 60's? Well you can do that in Eugene. Sort of. Of course, there is more to this Northwest city than that, but it is part of what makes it so charming.
Do you wonder about the raindrop photo? Well...it rains almost the whole Winter and into the Spring, but it is usually a light rain and most locals don't bother with umbrellas. Everything stays really green!
I lived there for 20 years and I miss it. Here are my favorite things about Eugene.
In a Nutshell
If you are a fan of organic and natural foods, you will find as you look at product labels that many of them are produced in the Eugene area. This is a bicycle friendly community with many green areas and bike and walking paths, numerous large and small natural food stores, excellent restaurants and a burdgeoning arts scene as well as a hot-bed of holistic and alternative healing.
It is the home of the University of Oregon, an excellent institution with dedicated and talented faculty, which gives it that college community/academic feel.
About an hour's drive to the west is the Pacific Ocean and an hour to the east are the Cascade Mountains and some great winter skiing. On the way to the Cascades you follow along the McKenzie River which offers fabulous rafting, fishing, waterfalls and hot springs.
Located in a valley between 2 mountain ranges, the climate is moderate and though it rains all winter and into the spring, camelias and magnolia trees bloom in the winter and daffodils, forsythia and other "spring" flowers start to emerge as early as February. True spring is a profusion of azaleas, rhododendrons and ginestra. The air hangs heavy with scent.
- City of Eugene
This is the official site for the city and will give you all kinds of useful info: restaurants, brewpubs, events, etc...
- The University of Oregon
The University of Oregon is a great asset to the community. It is an excellent school with a beautiful campus.
- Eugene Weekly
Make sure you pick up a copy of this free weekly newspaper. It has a calendar of events as well as great articles. Check out each issue on line, too.
Filmed in Eugene
Yes, the all-time great college movie with John Belushi and friends was filmed in Eugene and nearby Cottage Grove. I wish I had been there when it was happening, but I just missed it. This is a classic and you can see parts of the UO campus in Eugene and the downtown of nearby Cottage Grove in the film.
Where to Stay in the CIty
- The Excelsior Inn & Cafe
A lovely place to stay right next to the university and a very good restaurant. It is located in the shopping area which has grown up next to the school.
- Valley River Inn
The Valley River Inn is located on the banks of the Willamette River. Not a high-rise, this hotel is large, pleasant and right on the city's major bike/walking path. Footbridges on the pathway connect to the other side of the river where the Rose Gar
- Hilton Hotel, Eugene, Oregon
The Eugene Hilton hotel is a high rise hotel located right next to the Hult Center for the Performing Arts in downtown Eugene. It is within walking distance of many nice restaurants, the 5th Street Public Market, Saturday Market and the downtown area
- The Campbell House Inn
The Campbell House is rated among the "Top 25 Inns in America" by American Historic Inns. This large 8 bedroom B & B is located within walking distance of the 5th Street Public Market.
- Secret Garden Bed & Breakfast Inn
A top-rated B & B by Frommers, this inn is located within walking distance of the University of Oregon. With ten delightful, light-filled rooms and a unique garden, this is a very nice place to stay.
If you are a fan of running, you will enjoy this film about the famous runner, Steve Prefontaine. It includes scenes about the then-track coach Bill Bowerman and his development of the Nike running shoe. Eugene has been known as the track capitol of the world. The city is full of running trails and the university has a world-class track where incredible track meets take place every year. My ex-husband produced this movie!
Where to Eat
For a choice of casual daytime meals and snacks try the 5th Street Market and, on the weekends in the summer, the Saturday Market. Check out the links below for more of the best.
- The Keystone Cafe - 5th and Lawrence - Eugene, Oregon
The Keystone Cafe is located on the corner of 5th and Lawrence streets. This is THE "back to the 60's" place to eat. Breakfast is the BEST! They have a great selection of healthy pancakes. It is a little bit "funky", but a great place to eat.
- All Things Vegetarian
A listing of vegetarian options in Eugene, including restaurants and health food stores.
A Handy Area Atlas
Take a good map with you on your visit to assist in navigating the area. Springfield is Eugene's very close neighbor: they blend into each other. I know, you have the internet and GPS, but there's nothing like a good, 'ol map in hand. Study it before you go.
Things to See & Do
- 5th Street Public Market
An absolute must-see. An indoor/outdoor marketplace with a variety of shops, eating kiosks and artist's booths. Check out the Metropol Bakery downstairs, even if you only look in the windows. You can watch them mix up batches of heavenly cakes, bread
- Saturday Market
Another "don't miss" to add to your agenda. You will feel like you are back in the 60's. An open air market with music, food and artist booths. A Farmer's Market is just across the street. You could hang out here for hours.
- Hult Center for the Performing Arts
For a performance, or just to stop by and tour a beautiful building, visit the Hult Center. There are 2 theatres inside and many interesting permanent works of art, including the tiles in the bathrooms. Take a tour, too, with the tour guide program
- The Oregon Country Fair
No, its not the County fair, it is the Country Fair. Held not far outside of Eugene at the beginning of July every year, it IS the 60's revisited. Magical, musical, fun, delicious, artistic, crazy... I'm sure you will even see someone there who is na
- The Bijou Cinema
The Bijou offers very interesting films not often seen in the standard movie theater. Everything about the Bijou is different: the snacks, the décor, the pre-movie slide shows and its location in a former church.
- WOW Hall
The Community Center for the Performing Arts, located in the historic WOW ("Woodmen of the World") Hall is a nonprofit arts organization providing music, dance, performance, art and more. It is a "let it all out" kind of counter-culture, fun spot.
Some of Eugene's Many Spiritual Services - A Good reason--on its own--to visit Eugene
Take the opportunity while in Eugene to visit one of the resident astrologers, body workers, natural intuitives or other spritiual practitioners.
From Isha Lerner
I believe this was the first deck Isha put together. The interpretation of the stories as archetypal is so very interesting and eye-opening.
- Isha Lerner
Isha is a brilliant, gentle and strong-hearted woman: an author, expert astrologer, talented guide to the tarot and specialist in flower essences. Check out her website to see all of her offerings. You can use her services from a distance or make an
- Ker Cleary
Not just a psychotherapist, Ker can offer you intuitive guidance as well. Very talented, reputable, artistic and an all-around nice person.
- Tamarack Wellness Center
Tamarack Wellness Center offers yoga classes and other health and well-being programs and workshops. Check out their schedule and visit the center. There are massage therapists on site too. Sue, the owner, has been dreaming of and working toward this
- Unity of the Valley
This is a fabulous all-inclusive church with a great minister. Aside from the weekly services, they offer many special programs, workshops and talks. A very popular and inspirational place to gather in Eugene.
- Kay Porter & Porter Performance Systems
Kay Porter is a specialist in sports psychology and mental training for better performance. She also offers personal counseling and guided vision quests into the Wallowa Mountains, Mt. Hood, the Three Sisters Wilderness and on the Rouge River.
- Hazel Courtman
Hazel is a very genuine, sweet, soft-spoken and highly gifted body worker and psychic channel. And, she can do both for you at the same time, leaving you feeling nurtured, uplifted and full of insight and healing.
Very Popular Book by Kay Porter
Isha Lerner's Tarot or Oracle Cards
All of Isha's cards are delightful and full of insight. Choose the deck you feel most drawn to. Whichever you chose, you will be happy. They are all beautifully illustrated and full of color and the insights and stories which accompany each card are interesting and profoundly helpful.
Visit her website--listed above--for a full description and to make purchases, as well.
Flowers offer so much to us. This deck is a beautiful reminder of the power within us all.
Eugene: An Interesting Place to Visit/A Great Place to Live
If you plan to visit Eugene, I know you will enjoy your stay. Immerse yourself in the laid-back lifestyle. If you go in the summer you can be assured of nice days. In the spring, it may rain a bit, but the blooming flowers are fantastic. Check out my lens on the Oregon Coast, which is only an hour's drive west, and "Insider's Oregon" about the McKenzie River Drive, which begins in Eugene and heads east.
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Do you have connections to Oregon? Do you live in Eugene? Have you ever visited? Add any comments here.