Yes, it is pumpkin spice season! And here in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region, autumn's changing colors signal even more favorite foods, fragrances, tastes and treats. Flavors like sweet and gooey caramel apples, tangy hard cider, warming spirits and dark roasted coffee.
Fall into Abundant Harvests
The fertile Willamette Valley is a cornucopia of berries, stone fruits, melons, squashes, greens, root vegetables and more. As the leaves change color, farmers are harvesting their summer crops. The Lane County Farmers Market is one of the region’s largest markets, taking place on Saturdays in downtown Eugene. Relish sun-ripened peaches, colorful peppers, heirloom tomatoes and crunchy broccoli, kale and spinach piled high in their booths. Mushrooming is a thing here, so go foraging with a pro or shop the wide range of mushrooms offered at the market. Local chefs create tantalizing dishes around these tasty fungi.
Our restaurants also embrace farm-to-table dining with seasonal menus that showcase the region’s finest fare.
Visit the Farmers in their Fields
Corn mazes and pumpkin patches are popping up as harvest gets underway. Browse farm stands and visit farms offering u-pick pumpkins, apples and flowers. Homemade caramel apples are sold at Detering Orchards alongside jugs of their apple cider, crates of apples, bags of frozen berries and preserved peaches.
Join in the merriment at Colonial Harvest Days, a family-friendly festival held on-site at the Northern Lights Christmas Tree Farm.
Taste Oregon Wine Country
It would not be a fall harvest without wine! Wineries are picking their sun-ripened grapes for fermentation. Choose the perfect bottles to pair with your upcoming holiday meals. Coincidentally, the Territorial Highway is a must-see for scouting fall foliage. With plenty of Oak trees and golden vineyards dotting the landscape, the drive out to wine country is worth the trip for the view alone.
Sample some of Oregon’s top-rated Pinot Noir from more than 20 South Willamette wineries along the route — but call ahead because some wineries change their hours in the fall.
Savor Seasonal Beers & Ciders
The end of summer and transition into fall also marks the occasion for the region’s hop harvest. With many breweries releasing seasonal brews in the fall, hops are especially important to Eugene’s craft breweries, due to their role in flavoring the award-winning IPAs.
WildCraft Ciderworks has crowdsourcing down to a science. Their annual Community Apple Drive invites residents to bring in locally-grown excess apples and pears from their properties in exchange for future WildCraft cider credit.
Feel the Holiday Spirit
A festive cocktail brightens the overcast days and Eugene's distillery scene has an array of locally-distilled spirits for your holidays. Stock up on those mini candy canes to add flair to your sweet drinks.
Between abundant harvest and the lovely fall foliage throughout the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region, everyone can enjoy a classic autumn experience. Don’t miss out on the opportunity to sample some of the freshest food available in a community grounded in all things local!