Classic Americana Road Trip
Take a fun Oregon road trip to get a flavor of some classic Americana. In this itinerary, you'll taste wine in a bright red barn, see a pro rodeo, travel to the town that inspired "The Simpsons," go axe throwing (yes, you read that right) and keep heading west to the beautiful Oregon Coast. So pack your boots, your camera and turn up Dolly Parton's tribute song to Eugene, OR – it's time to hit the road.
Day 1 - Go Country
Creswell's Fourth of July parade has always been a local favorite packed full of marching bands, floats and beauty queens—however this year the streets may be quiet but you can still feel that small town vibe. Visit the beloved Creswell Bakery to fill your picnic hamper with farm-to-table treats or shop the weekly farmers' market for goodies straight from the field.
There are lots down-home country activities to do in town. Sharpen up your sharpshootin' skills at the Creswell Clay Target Sports club, where a daily membership is available. Check to see if the Creswell Historical Museum is open and browse exhibits from yesteryear. And aviation fans may enjoy watching planes fly in and out of Hobby Field Airport, or check out the Oregon Aviation Historical Society & Museum in nearby Cottage Grove (call ahead)—they have a pretty amazing collection of historic planes.
Only a little further south on Highway 99, this historic "All-America City" is a deep dive into heritage. Cottage Grove was built on pioneer farming, timber, gold-rush mining and the attention of Hollywood's film industry. Today it is flanked by six historic covered bridges, colorful murals and several excellent museums. Chow down at Big Stuff Barbecue or drink up at the Axe & Fiddle. Taste fruit wines at Saginaw Vineyard in their classic red barn or check out the Cottage Grove Speedway for a roaring good time. Territorial Seed Company is the perfect place to shop online for your farm-lovin' friends or get your cowboy gear on at Schwitzer's Work & Western Wear.
Day 2 - Bucking Broncos, Boot Scootin', Barbecue & Booze
Round up friends for the Eugene Pro Rodeo. Cowboys, horses and bulls take center stage with three days of roping and riding at the Oregon Horse Center, July 2 - 4, 2021. Every evening the show concludes with spectacular fireworks. Before the rodeo, prep like a current-day cow wrangler by picking up a new Western hat at the Northwest Hat Co. Styles include the "Oregon Trail" and the "Rodeo".
Get in the rodeo mood at a local country bar. Eugene's The Cooler Restaurant & Bar has cornered the "country" territory with line dancing lessons and themed "Country nights". Now, while everyone's heels are cooling due to pandemic protocols, the Cooler is still the spot to grab a cold beer and watch the NFL on the big screen, even if you can't kick up those heels.
Several wineries within 30 minutes of Eugene may host live country, bluegrass and folk music on the weekends.
Whiskey your thing? Heritage Distilling Co., makers of BSB - Brown Sugar Bourbon - voted "World's Best Flavoured Whisky" by Whisky Magazine for two years (2018, 2019), has been the American Distilling Institute's most awarded craft distillery in North America for the last six years. Located in Eugene's Whiteaker neighborhood, this outstanding distillery offers a tasting room, gift shop and Saturday distillery tours (call ahead).
Whiskey lovers will also appreciate 6th Street Grill, a casual pub in downtown Eugene that has an outstanding whiskey bar. "Whiskey Wednesday" offers specials and engaging "whiskey 101" dialogue.
Day 3 - Stake out Springfield
Explore the town that inspired "The Simpsons" television show. Take selfies with Simpson statues or in front of the Simpsons mural downtown. Unfortunately (or fortunately), there isn't Duff beer here, but you can get a tasty local Oregon craft beer at Plank Town Brewing Company.
Want to try something new? In Springfield you can bring your friends for a fun afternoon of axe throwing. This fun sport (think of it as a next-level darts game) is offered in the Booth Kelly Entertainment District. Here you can also try your skill at an escape room or paint a keepsake sign at Board & Brush. Finish up your Springfield day with good grub from the nearby PublicHouse beer and food hall.
Day 4 - Get Out of Town
Oregon's Wild West coastline has miles of untamed sand dunes that invite exploration. Join C&M Stables for horseback riding along the beach or take a thrilling dune buggy ride over 500-foot sand hills. Florence has a charming historic old town along the Siuslaw River and options from oceanfront hotels to campgrounds.