Where to Holiday Shop in Eugene
Whether you want to "shop small" or hit the mall, part of enjoying shopping is knowing where to go and what to expect when you get there.
I find that holiday shopping in Eugene and Springfield is really easy. The shopping destinations here are not too big and not too small. It is just right for navigating the storefronts comfortably, checking off my gift list and catching a full dose of holiday spirit. The invigorating hustle and bustle is tempered by warm drinks, friendly shop keepers and those magical holiday moments that will last a lifetime. I hope your shopping will be merry this year too!
WHERE TO SHOP
Unique Stores & Shopping Districts
Have you been to downtown Eugene lately? The city center is alive with new shops and restaurants. Favorites of mine, including Euphoria Chocolate Company and Off The Waffle, have moved in. Pizza sizzles, coffee percolates, food carts cluster on corners and farm-to-table fare is bountiful. Down to Earth is a shopping haven for the gourmet homesteader and Mountain Rose Herbs Mercantile just opened a beautiful botanical storefront. Keven Craft Rituals offers luxury skin care products along with artisan crafts. Mosaic Fair Trade Collection, Footwise, gilt + gossamer and Heritage Dry Goods are treasure troves of unique gifts and self-indulgent finds. And there is so much more!
Take Amtrak into the heart of downtown, or if you drive in, there are free parking options. From the city center, LTD bus service connects you with all the other shopping hubs. Check the performing arts schedule at the Hult Center, The Shedd or McDonald Theater to jazz up your excursion - there is always plenty of holiday programming from the Nutcracker Ballet to Radio Redux shows of Christmas classics. Last year the city resurrected its tree lighting ceremony in the park blocks, a celebration that included three choirs and an address by the mayor. With the storefronts decorated for the holiday season, going downtown will take those shopping blues away.
Fifth Street Public Market - 296 East 5th, Eugene
Fifth Street Public Market is the jewel in downtown Eugene's crown. This charming cluster of restaurants, wine bars, coffee shops and boutiques feature gems like Will Leather Goods, Freudian Slip Lingerie, Made in Oregon, Elephant Trunk Toys and NewTwist Jewelry and Home Accessories. Provisions Market Hall offers an amazing deli, wine shop and farmers' market. During the holiday season it "snows" every Friday and Saturday at dusk. I'll don a winter hat and gloves, order up a hot chocolate concoction with lots of whipped cream and meander among the stores as white flakes of "snow" sparkle through the lights, catching in my hair. Pure magic. The only improvement on this shopping experience is not leaving - and instead checking into the Inn at the 5th for a luxurious overnight.
Saturday Market's Holiday Market
The Holiday Market is where you shop if you want to wow everyone at home with truly one-of-a-kind artisan crafts. Held at the Lane Events Center, this shopping event is essentially Saturday Market's "best" brought indoors. Here the experience is visually awesome in its array of colorful crafts and art. I've done some of my most memorable shopping at the Holiday Market, acquiring such items as flint / fire lighting kits for the outdoor survivalist/backpacker, homemade soaps too beautiful to use, origami cranes made from vintage silk and wooden teething toys. Take your time and linger at each booth to talk with the person who beaded the earrings, made the fudge, stitched the scarf - it makes each gift more special when you can share its unique story. Add in live entertainment and the wholesome, appetizing food court and you've got a full day of satisfying adventure.
Along Main Street in downtown Springfield discover boutiques and thrifts. Tuck into a craft beer and burger at Plank Town Brewing Company, admire The Simpsons mural on the Emerald Art Center building and explore the Springfield Museum. Each December, Springfield hosts the "Oldest and Coldest" Christmas parade in the region. The town dresses up for the occasion with garlands and lights. I like Springfield because I have a weakness for historic storefronts. Plus with the Richard E. Wildish Theater, you can make an entire evening out of it.
Coburg Antiques District
Adjacent Eugene - Springfield to the north, the historic town of Coburg is your return to the 1800s. Technically Coburg is not Eugene-Springfield, but if antiques are on your shopping list, then this is an excellent destination. The small town is known for its many antique shops and festivals. The light parade graces the town in December, which pairs nicely with some poking around in the shops.
Malls & Shopping Centers
Oakway Center - 2350 Oakmont Way, Eugene
Kick off the shopping season with a visit to Santa's reindeer (one day) and enjoy a rewarding shopping experience combined with outstanding dining. Oakway Center offers a mix of stores including Nordstrom Rack, Pottery Barn, Old Navy, Nike Running Store, Pier 1 Imports, Bed Bath & Beyond and more. I like Oakway Center for its predictably and upscale ambience. The shops cluster around an attractive courtyard lit by little lights and edged with restaurants.
Valley River Center - 293 Valley River Center, Eugene
Meet Santa Claus for photos, and on one special day - for breakfast! Valley River Center is anchored by Macy's, JCPenney and H&M. The indoor mall features a kids' play area, food court, and movie theater. Find The Duck Store and The Mac Store here too. Shopping at Valley River Center is a cheerful respite from any inclement weather, plus there are even more great shops in the mall's periphery and the parking is ample.
The Shoppes at Gateway - 3000 Gateway St, Springfield
The Shoppes at Gateway is anchored by Target, Kohl's, Sears and Cabela's. Right off Interstate 5, Gateway heralds travelers with its newly erected towering torch monument. There are many hotels in the immediate vicinity, making it an ideal shopping destination for out-of-towners. Enjoy family dining and a movie theater. Nearby at Crossroads Center is Best Buy and Michaels. Also the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure Center / Gift Shop which sells a great selection of made-in-Oregon gifts, local wines, craft beer and UO memorabilia.