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Top Things for Spartan Fans to Do in Eugene

Published: September 05, 2014

Welcome to Eugene, Spartan fans! This is the perfect weekend to enjoy the sunshine and explore the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region while you’re here for the highly anticipated University of Oregon / Michigan State University game. If you’re looking for things to do in Eugene and the surrounding areas, here are a few to get you going:

Sweet Cheeks Winery by Paul Rentz

Sweet Cheeks Winery by Paul Rentz

Oregon Wine Country Less than thirty minutes from the Eugene metro area, you'll find 17 award-winning wineries. The south Willamette Valley is known of its pinot noir and pinot gris. King Estate, Oregon's largest winery, overlooks more than 1,000 acres of vineyards, orchards and gardens. The onsite restaurant serves a mouth-watering menu made from estate-grown produce and locally-sourced meats and cheeses. Taste rare vintages not sold in stores at Pfeiffer Winery, a boutique winery whose wine was selected for President Obama's pre-inaugural dinner. If you're lucky, winemaker and owner Robin Pfeiffer will be onsite conducting his sought-after,  informal and informational "pinot clinic."

Have a few hours to spare? The Oregon Coast is worth every minute of the short drive (photo by Gregory Burns)

Have a few hours to spare? The Oregon Coast is worth every minute of the short drive (photo by Gregory Burns)

Cascades and Oregon Coast The Oregon Coast is only about an hour west of Eugene, where you can taste the freshest Dungeness crab, gawk at sea lions in America's biggest sea cave, and take a thrilling dune buggy ride over some of the largest sand dunes in the world. Or, head east to the pristine McKenzie River, offering top-notch fishing and thrilling whitewater rafting excursions. We are also home to numerous waterfalls that are not only breathtaking but easily accessible. Eugene Ale Trail Ongoing (hours vary between locations) Admission: Free (cost of beverage, food, and tip) Location: Eugene, Springfield, Coburg, and Oakridge It's no secret that Oregon produces some of the tastiest beer in the nation, and the Eugene Ale Trail is a fun way for out-of-town visitors to explore a number of the breweries in our region (while possibly earning some prizes to remember your trip by!).

Eugene Ale Trail

Eugene Ale Trail

Download the official passport before you start and take it with you to participating breweries. Ask for a stamp at each place you visit, and you're one step closer to getting your hands on some official Eugene Ale Trail gear. You'll be the proud owner of a 16 ounce Eugene Ale Trail logo amber growler for visiting eight of of the ten Eugene area breweries listed. If you take the short trip east to the beautiful town of Oakridge (considered the mountain biking capital of the Northwest), you will also earn the 16 ounce stainless steel cup. Check out the Eugene Ale Trail website for more info on each participating location. There's a place to suit any mood - some are kid or dog friendly, or offer amenities such as incredible local food, outdoor games,  or live music, and of course, delicious cold beverages.

Don't miss out on discounts, games, entertainment, and more at Duck Downtown (fans of ALL teams welcome!)

Don't miss out on discounts, games, entertainment, and more at Duck Downtown (fans of ALL teams welcome!)

Duck Downtown September 5, 2014, 5 – 9 p.m. Admission: Free Location: Downtown Eugene and Springfield This Friday marks the second Duck Downtown celebration, where football fans (regardless of their team of choice!) converge on downtown Eugene and Springfield to show their spirit and get ready for Saturday’s big game. Local businesses offer fan-friendly deals on everything from espresso and yoga classes to whitewater rafting trips and cupcakes. Live music, entertainment, and friendly competitions await fans at a variety of businesses.

Take Lane Transit District’s busses for free after 5 p.m. during Duck Downtown and travel easily between downtown Eugene and Springfield. Football fans coming from Seattle and Portland can take advantage of discounted Amtrak Cascades tickets and ride the “Game Train” to Eugene.

First Friday ArtWalk and WineWalk September 5, 2014, 5:30 – 8 p.m. Admission: Free Location: Downtown Eugene (guided tour begins at the corner of Broadway and Charnelton, 5:30 p.m.) There’s no better way to appreciate Eugene’s thriving art scene then by participating in a First Friday ArtWalk. Follow the host to different venues and hear from the featured artists on a guided tour, or stroll through downtown at your own pace and explore not only the displays at art galleries and studios, but at tattoo parlors, home furnishing stores, and the Eugene Library.

As an added bonus, this Friday’s ArtWalk is also a WineWalk! The Lane Arts Council will host several area vineyards and wineries offering tastes of their award-winning wines plus closed bottle sales along the guided tour route and at select locations.

Whatever you do while you're here we hope that you enjoy the Eugene, Cascades & Coast area as much as we do and find your way back again to see more after football season! Find awesome travel deals for the area on our website.


jess and audraAbout the author: Jessica Chestnut is the Social Media and PR Manager for Convention and Sports. She’s called Oregon home for more than 20 years, and there’s nowhere else she would rather be than Lane County. She spends her free time snowboarding, skateboarding, camping, floating the McKenzie, watching college football, enjoying local microbrews and spending time with her husband and their boxer-mutt, Audra.


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