Fresh, local seafood, berries and cheese. Diverse flavors from around the world. A casual, affordable picnic lunch. All this and more is yours to discover in Eugene, the Cascades and the Oregon Coast.
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Lane County, Oregon is home to some of the finest pinot in the world, the most dramatic coastline you've ever seen, and the freshest hazelnuts you"ll ever crunch. It's also home to some terrific golf! The region has the varied terrain to make for a host of vastly different courses; from the rolling, emerald green hills in the east to the wind-swept, dune-edged areas in the west.
Begin your day on Creswell's Emerald Valley championship course. Located on the Willamette River in the heart of timber country just outside Eugene, this memorable course boasts a par-72 championship layout. Long and challenging, the greens are usually hard and fast, and the views from the golf course are absolutely stunning. As a bit of trivia, players should know that this course is proud to be the home of the University of Oregon Men's and Women's Golf Teams. Go Ducks!
If there are members of your group who would like to spend some time off-course rather than on, nearby Cottage Grove offers beautiful gardens for strolling (www.villagegreenresortandgardens.com), Victorian homes for admiring, antique shops for browsing, and an easy-to-drive covered bridge loop. When your party is ready to leave Emerald Valley, you'll drive a scenic 15 miles to reach the elegant King Estate Winery (www.kingestate.com). This 820 acre (332 ha) estate houses a state-of-the-art winery crafted in the style of a grand European chateau beautifully situated above the Lorane Valley, and specializing in producing small quantities of quality, hand-crafted Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. Sweet Cheeks (www.sweetcheekswinery.com), an established vineyard since 1977, has long supplied grapes to several award-winning wineries and is located on prime hillside in the heart of the Willamette Valley wine appellation; and the Silvan Ridge/Hinman Vineyards (www.silvanridge.com), which offers eight distinctive varietals and a singularly lovely spot for an impromptu picnic.
Continue north on Territorial Highway a short distance until you come to the very small town of Crow. Turn west onto little-traveled Vaughn Road for a taste of charming rural Oregon. At highway 126, continue west until you reach the coastal town of Florence. Settle in this evening after a walk on the beach, and a toast (with one of the wines you have chosen along the way!) to your stellar day in Lane County.
A spectacular day awaits you! Start your morning on the Oregon Coast by playing through the magnificent Oregon Dunes at Ocean Dunes Golf Links, built by noted architect William Robinson to be fair yet challenging under a variety of conditions. Emerald fairways wind over, around, and thru wild dunes bordered by Gorse, Heather, Shore Pines and native Sea Grasses. Pot bunkers guarding small greens and narrow fairways serve to both confound and delight the enthusiasts who play here. And, If you're really lucky, the wind might blow - as they say in Scotland, "Nay wind, nay golf. As with any true links, the course is extremely well drained and playable - even under the wettest conditions - year round. There will also be no shortage of activities if there is a desire to explore the area rather than play golf. Old Town Florence offers interesting shopping, a pioneer museum, and fun dining; the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area teems with wildlife and beachcombing opportunities, Three Rivers Casino is nearby, kayak rentals offer a different view of the bay, and adventure in the form of dune buggy tours is readily available.
As afternoon begins, you will want to head eastward again. The spectacular "back-roads" Willamette Valley scenery makes this an ideal destination for any golf enthusiast seeking to combine the challenge of a great course, the savour of a great bottle of wine, and natural beauty of the countryside. Travel along Highway 36, past the 1928 Lake Creek Covered Bridge, along Triangle Lake which teems with bass and bluegill, through rolling hills and tall fir trees. As you near the small town of Cheshire, Pfeiffer Vineyards (www.villaevenings.com), where you will be surprised by the Tuscan Villa which seems to spring right out of the countryside, and on to Benton-Lane Winery (www.benton-lane.com), a sustainably-farmed estate vineyard with award-winning wines.
After another lovely day, you will find yourself meandering south to Eugene - flanked on the West by the Coastal Range, and on the East by the Cascades. Depending on the time, you may decide to conclude your evening with a stop at Diamond Woods (www.diamondwoods.com), a 7,000 acre (2,832 ha) championship layout. This course is a joy to play any time of the year! You'll find a serene woodland setting, and a par 72, 18 hole championship golf course that challenges all levels of golfers. The front nine is relatively flat but offers well placed hazards and bunkers. The back nine rolls up into the foothills and through rich forests. Many of the back nine holes exhibit substantial changes in elevation.
Now that you've experienced the pastoral drive through wine country , it time to visit at least one of the two well-received, urban wine experiences which await you in the very heart of Eugene. Territorial Vineyards and Wine Company (www.territorialvineyards.com) calls itself "Eugene's hidden jewel". They have a swanky tasting room, fun art, knowledgeable and friendly folk behind the counter, and top-notch wines. Or stop by the LaVelle Wine Bar & Bistro in the 5th Street Public Market is open 7 days a week for light lunch menu or a full dinner menu. Enjoy the live music on the patio Friday - Sunday afternoons while recalling your day on the links. Take the time to visit Lane County's wine country, and add some well-deserved tee time to the mix - you will have the perfect golf and wine vacation destination. Friendly people, awesome beauty, delicious food, fantastic golf and magnificent wine await.
Directions From Emerald Valley Golf Club to King Estate Winery.
1: Start out going SOUTH on DALE KUNI RD toward MAGNOLIA LN. 0.3 miles
2: Turn RIGHT onto SPRINGFIELD-CRESWELL HWY. 1.0 miles
3: Stay STRAIGHT to go onto W OREGON AVE. 0.6 miles
4: W OREGON AVE becomes CAMAS SWALE RD. 6.3 miles
5: CAMAS SWALE RD becomes HAMM RD. 5.6 miles
6: Turn LEFT onto TERRITORIAL HWY. 0.2 miles
7: End at 80854 Territorial Rd; Eugene, OR
Total Est. Time: 37 minutes Total Est. Distance: 14.23 miles