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A Fall Football Weekend in Eugene

Published: September 20, 2022

 

Take your trip to Eugene for the Ducks football game to the next level by turning it into a weekend of fall fun and games! With cooler temperatures and fall color spreading across the state, it's a great time to enjoy what Oregon has to offer in the fall.

Graduate Eugene Hotel Waffle wall

Keep your head in the game 

If you haven't gotten your fill of sports, stay at the Graduate Eugene for a collegiate theme and sports memorabilia. You’ll love grabbing drinks in the Trophy Room bar, where the walls are lined with scoreboards and vintage Nike posters. You can even see the Nike “moon shoes" — a TrackTown USA legend. Book a bay at their Top Golf Swing Suite, an interactive and fully indoors TopGolf experience that also includes football, baseball, and zombie dodgeball games.

For brunch the next morning, venture out to North Fork Public House where they play NFL Sunday football and serve up Oregon-raised steak and eggs alongside delicious brunch cocktails. Make sure to stop by the reimagined Hayward Field and tour Hayward Hall, a tribute to TrackTown USA and the incredible athletes who have competed as Ducks in track and field, including hometown hero Ashton Eaton.

Diamond Woods Golf

Get on the Greens

If you would rather visit some actual greens, take in the fresh air at Diamond Woods Golf Course. Stop by Fiddler’s Green for to test new golf gear and pick up anything to prepare for a day on the links. Explore the Cascades Mountains just 45 minutes away at Tokatee Golf Course in the McKenzie River corridor. Looking for a different view? Head an hour to the west and visit the coastal dunes of Ocean Dunes Golf Links in Florence. 

Elijah Bristow State Park in the Fall by Melanie Griffin

Head Outdoors

Spend time taking in the fall color on the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Path System along the Willamette River. Stay at the Valley River Inn for views of the river surrounded by shades of autumn, as well as easy access to the Valley River Center Park & Ride where you can pick up a shuttle to Autzen Stadium. A little further outside of town, Elijah Bristow State Park follows the river and boasts a variety of fall color, or for a more active experience, Mt. Pisgah offers a network of trails that wind through the arboretum and up to the top for expansive sights and a birds-eye view of the color. Opt for the iconic 360-degree views of Spencer Butte, or, for an even more convenient view, drive to the top of Skinner Butte, which overlooks the city and Autzen Stadium to the east.

University of Oregon campus

Relive your college days

Relive your college days and stay near campus amid the hype and energy that always accompanies game days. Stay at Hayward Inn or one of the other hotels along Franklin and spend time exploring the campus, where historic and modern buildings co-exist. Grab a bite at Track Town Pizza, a long-standing icon that pays tribute to local athletes. If you’re in the mood to try something new, Pig & Turnip’s new location on Franklin Blvd will fill you up on PNW-inspired German food. Get swept up in the crowd and cross the Willamette through Alton Baker Park to end up at Autzen. Grab brunch the next morning at Wild Duck and don’t forget to swing by The Duck Store for gear.

5th Street Public Market Alley by Melanie Griffin

Explore new Eugene

See what's new in Eugene and explore 5th Street Market and Alley. Stay at the iconic Inn at the 5th or the new Gordon Hotel, with a tavern downstairs and a cantina on the roof. Peruse the shops and treat yourself to wine tastings, distillery flights, and don’t miss a tasting at Alesong on 5th, where all the beers are barrel aged and crafted to be savored. From there, you can walk to the new Riverfront Park, featuring wide, paved paths and views of the river. There is a bike/pedestrian path from Riverfront Park that connects to Autzen Stadium, so walking or biking to the game is no problem. 

Eugene is also a perfect basecamp for exploring the McKenzie River, Oakridge / Westfir, and the Central Oregon Coast. You can expect brilliant fall color, crystal blue waters, an abundance of waterfalls, and best of all, fewer crowds than you encounter in the Portland region. 

Where else to stay

Some hotels fill quickly for game days, but there are plenty of great options in the region. The University District offers plenty of places to stay right on Coburg, and hotels in the Gateway area are located off I-5 and are convenient for traveling to and from Autzen. 

Author: Julia Voigt

Julia grew up in Northern California and moved to Eugene in 2013 where she immediately fell in love with Oregon. When she's not out chasing waterfalls, she's usually diving into the overflowing pile of books on her nightstand. Julia loves exploring the region and sharing it with as many people as she can, which makes her role as Tourism Marketing Manager feel almost too good to be true.

At a gathering, you will likely find her around the food table, or any animals that happen to be there. Fun topics to bring up with her instead of the weather include live music, vegetarian food, house plants, and her cat Gibbles.