Travel Blog

Back To Previous Page

7 Cool Things About Springfield, OR

Published: November 09, 2022

 

Springfield is a great family destination with a historic downtown, excellent restaurants, shopping centers and lots of parks. We invite you to discover the robust attractions of Springfield. It's a pretty cool place.

1. It's The Simpsons' Springfield — Matt Groening Says So

The creator of The Simpsons, Matt Groening, has admitted that Springfield, Oregon was the inspiration for the 80s hit television show. It makes sense, as Groening grew up in Portland, Oregon and was familiar with Eugene-Springfield. Tributes to The Simpsons are throughout the city — seek out the many surprise murals that pop up in unexpected places, and see if you can spot locations depicted in the show!

Matt Groening's Autograph

"Yo to Springfield, Oregon...The Real Springfield!"

Photo: Molly Blancett

2. Nike Started in Springfield

When it comes to Nike, Eugene typically gets the credit — but did you know that Nike's running shoes were first developed in Springfield?

Olympian and University of Oregon Track Coach Bill Bowerman actually refined the famous rubber waffle iron sole using a press at Springfield's Booth-Kelly Lumber Company mill. In 1964, UO middle distance runner Phil Knight helped sell Bowerman's innovative shoes out of a van at local track meets. The rest is history

Yellow Visor with Nike Swoosh and sunglasses reflecting autzen field by David Putzier

Autzen Stadium Fan View

Photo: David Putzier

3. Springfield is a Great Place to Drink a Beer

While no one is pouring "Duff" beer, you can enjoy a cold beverage at "Moe's Tavern" or a number of other bars and breweries.

Before Prohibition, Springfield was a major hops growing center. Today, Oregon is the second largest hop producer in U.S. with its own varietal called "Cascades Hops." The local craft beer culture in Springfield is being reclaimed with brew pubs like Plank Town Brewing Company and Hop Valley Brewing

Plank Town Brewery Springfield

Photo: Eugene, Cascades & Coast

4. Springfield Goes Beyond Darts 

Springfield features some pretty unique destination attractions from escape rooms to paint and sip parties to axe throwing. What is axe throwing? It's only the coolest, lumber town sport to hit the scene! Drink a local beer and pitch axes at targets. They just took things up a notch.

5. Springfield is Superb For Shopping 

Shopping in Springfield can be very rewarding. There are many second hand stores, thrift stores and antique shops to explore, along with unique gift shops and boutiques along Main Street. With the region's roots ranging from from pioneers to pop culture, collectors can scout for a wide range of treasures. 

The Gateway Neighborhood is home to national retailers and chain stores. Enjoy the mall experience with movie theaters, eateries and popular stores. 

Main Street Market in Springfield by Melanie Griffin

Main Street Market

Photo: Melanie Griffin

6. Springfield Parks are Plentiful

Springfield is a paradise for outdoor recreation, so it's no wonder Cabela's Outfitters opened their doors here. Miles of riverfront access along both the Willamette River and the McKenzie River give Springfield an edge on river rafting and fishing.

The Willamalane Parks and Recreation District manages over 34 parks including a skatepark, swim center and the home site of Lane United Football Club. Dorris Ranch is a national historic site, working filbert farm and public park all-in-one.

For a town with an industrial reputation, Springfield sure is green!

Springfield Memorial Plaza Spring 2018 by Colin Morton

Springfield Memorial Plaza

Photo: Colin Morton

7. Discover the Arts in Springfield

Take a self guided tour through downtown to see over ten fantastic murals. On the second Friday of the month, Springfield hosts an art walk through the local galleries. Drop into the Emerald Art Center for regional exhibits or in-depth art workshops for all skill levels.

Downtown is also home to The Academy of Arts and Academics. Aspiring actors hone their craft alongside established artists in productions at The Richard E. Wildish Community Theater.

Springfield Mural by Traci Williamson

Springfield Mural

Photo: Traci Williamson

Visiting Eugene? Stay in Springfield! 

Right off Interstate 5 with easy access to the UO campus, Autzen Stadium and Matthew Knight Arena; Springfield is an ideal location with plenty of very nice, affordable hotels. Just minutes from downtown Eugene, Springfield is connected by Lane Transit Districts' EmX bus line and the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System. Springfield also serves as a gateway to the McKenzie River and Oregon Wine Country.

Author: Taj Barnhart Morgan

Taj Barnhart Morgan is the Director of Content Strategy for Travel Lane County. A journalism graduate from the University of Oregon, Taj has two decades of special event management and hospitality marketing experience in San Diego, CA and Maui, HI. Passionate about mothering, and back to her Oregon roots, she is discovering the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region all over again through the eyes of her daughter.