Road Trip: Creswell and Cottage Grove
Just a twenty minute drive south from Eugene leads to a delightful, undiscovered world of Willamette Valley farms, small towns and waterfall hikes in the foothills of the Cascade Mountains. Start your trip on Highway 99 paralleling the Interstate 5. You will arrive shortly in the charming communities of Creswell and Cottage Grove. Selfies from this trip may include alpacas, movie landmarks, outdoor murals and country bars.
Here are a few springtime highlights you'll want to put on your list of things to do in Creswell and Cottage Grove:
- Eat at the Creswell Bakery. All road trips in this direction must include a stop at Creswell Bakery (ask any local and we're betting they'll say the same). Expect awesome breakfast treats, sandwiches and meat pies baked with farm-to-table devotion.
- Golf at Emerald Valley Golf & Resort. Swing your club where the University of Oregon golf teams practice. Emerald Valley's beautiful 18-hole course also has a restaurant, event center and pro-shop. Students get discounted rates.
- Creswell Clay Target Sports. Spend a day trying out clay target games at the region's premier shotgun club. One day memberships are available.
- Try local wine and beer with the locals. The nightlife of these small country towns is warmly welcoming. Kick up your heels at Saginaw Vineyard – besides wine tasting, Friday nights in the red barn features live music and artisan pizza. Or, almost any night of the week, enjoy live music or special programs at Axe & Fiddle on Main Street in Cottage Grove.
- Take a movie buffs tour. Cottage Grove's charming look first caught Hollywood's attention in 1926 when Buster Keaton filmed "The General" here. Today, pay tribute to movie classics like "Animal House" and "Stand By Me" with visits to filming locations around town.
- Cycle the Row River Trail. Part of the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway, this bike path encircles Dorena Reservoir and passes several of Cottage Grove's historic covered bridges.
- Waterfall hikes. Drive up into the hills for a cluster of waterfalls.
Where to Stay
Both Creswell and Cottage Grove make a good base camp to exploring this area. The popular Baker Bay Campground opens in April; you'll also find plenty of moderately priced and clean roadside hotels. The Village Green has a pool, live nightly music, free breakfast and is pet friendly.