Top Ten Things To Do When Visiting Eugene, Or.
#10 - See a Performance/Event at Matthew Knight Arena
The brand new Matthew Knight Arena, named for son of the University of Oregon's most generous benefactor, Phil Knight of Nike, is drawing large crowds for performances with everyone from Elton John to professional athletes participating in tennis exhibition matches. The massive structure cost more than $200 million to build -- making it the most expensive college basketball arena in the country -- and accommodates more than 12,000 people at a time. Every aspect is state-of-the-art and definitely worth seeing....the added bonus is enjoying the performance.
#9 - Hike Spencer Butte
Eugene is a great place for the outdoor enthusiast. With everything from hiking, biking, kayaking, swimming, running and water sports, there is no shortage of things to do outside. Spencer Butte tops out around 2000 feet and provides some spectacular views of the entire city on a beautiful day. So strap on your hiking shoes, grab a snack and a bottle of water, and make the trek to the top for an afternoon treat.
#8 - Go Shopping at the 5th Street Market
The 5th Street Public Market is a commingling of eclectic shops and flavorful food that is perfect for an afternoon of shopping. It boasts a multitude of international cuisine as well as several shops offering goods from local artisans. Sit outside on a nice evening and listen to one of many local musicians who provide live entertainment at the market.
#7 - Go Skydiving
Just outside of Eugene in the town of Creswell, is home to Eugene Skydivers ready to take you on the thrill of your life. Gather a bunch of your friends and pay for the DVD of your adventure to prove that you went through with it. It costs around $200 so you better be sure before you plunk down the cash, but it will be worth the bragging rights.
#6 - Eat at Off the Waffle
Off the Waffle is a local favorite for breakfast, lunch or dinner. And the menu isn't limited to just plain old waffles. These waffles are piled with various toppings and goodies. Try Cyclops the Greek waffle, topped with feta cheese, kalamata olives, tomato, caramelized onion, sunny-side up egg, spinach and tzatziki sauce. Or if you're looking for something sweeter, gobble up The Overachiever, a waffle with Belgian chocolate chips, sliced banana and drizzled dark chocolate sauce. No matter which waffle you pick, it will tantalize your taste buds.
#5 - Attend the Oregon Bach Festival
If you love choral-orchestral music, then the Oregon Bach Festival is a must-see. The performances are memorable, critically acclaimed, and aimed at pleasing every music lover who comes through the door. Each year audiences fill the performance hall to be inspired, educated, and witness the enrichment that music can bring to their lives.
#4 - Go Rafting/Tubing on the McKenzie
Whether you're rafting in a group or just sitting back in an inner-tube, nothing beats cooling off on a hot Summer day than drifting down the McKenzie River with some buddies. Leave a friend's car at your ending location and then head up to the McKenzie Bridge to drop into the river for a couple of hours. Be sure to bring your sunscreen -- June through September provides some of the most beautiful weather in the Willamette Valley.
#3 - See an Oregon Ducks Football Game
The University of Oregon football team draws nearly 60,000 spectators to every home game and is well-known for the level of noise that all those fans can create. The atmosphere is like no other whether the Ducks are hosting ESPN's Game Day or just plain stomping the competition. If for no other reason, it's worth the ticket price just to check out which uniform combination they'll choose from hundreds available to them.
#2 - Bike/Walk/Run Along the Willamette River
Eugene is known for its endless biking and running trails. One of the most popular is the Riverbank Trail that runs along the Willamette River. Start your trip at Valley River Center, cross the bridge to the South Bank and head East. On a sunny day, there is nothing better than experiencing the warm breeze and the sound of rushing water as you peddle along the winding path. Pack a lunch and stop for a snack at Skinner Butte Park before looping back over to the North Bank and heading back to your starting point.
#1 Go on a Wine Tour
Rent a limo and make a day of seeing the gorgeous area surrounding the Willamette Valley. Tip your glass with King Estate's Signature Pinot Gris or the tasty Vintage Reisling from Sweet Cheeks Winery. No matter which route you choose to take, make a day of it, relax and enjoy the beautiful scenery with a bottle of wine.