When you are planning a trip, deciding what to pack is very important. While each adventure depends on what you plan to do, the primary region you plan to visit, and the time of year; here is a basic packing list to get you started.
Generally, the residents across our Eugene, Cascades & Coast region dress casually. You will see a lot of jeans, athletic wear, tennis shoes — even out in nice restaurants or at the theater. Business casual is an easy go-to from the Oregon Coast to the Cascades unless your industry or event requires more formal attire.
When locals do dress up it will be in the Market District in downtown Eugene, at the Hult Center for Performing Arts, some fine dining restaurants for date night, formal work functions and special events. The rest of the time you will see a range of comfortable, expressive, alternative or sporty styles.
The most important thing is to be adequately dressed for the weather. Luckily, Eugene is a temperate destination in the Willamette Valley between the Oregon Coast and the Cascade Mountains. Wherever you travel, you will want to be prepared with layers, warmer and thicker during the winter and lighter and cooler during the summer.
- long pants (jeans, athletic or business depending on your plans)
- shorts (spring through early fall)
- optional: pants that zipper to become shorts
- long-sleeved shirts for layering
- short-sleeved shirts for layering
- flannel, sweatshirt or sweater
- seasonally appropriate jacket
- comfortable walking shoes or hiking shoes (closed-toed shoes)
- extra socks
- warm hat (mountains or coast; fall, winter and spring)
- sun hat (all areas; spring through fall)
- gloves (winter)
- backpack or waist pack, purse*
- re-usable water bottle and/or coffee mug (to be really hip bring your own straws)
- re-usable shopping bags (or you can usually purchase one in the stores)
- bug spray (if you are heading into the mountains during spring and summer)
- your phone and charger (there are a lot of great selfie spots)
- cash and credit cards
- permits, some you may wish to order in advance online, others you can pick up here
*Please note: Some venues like UO's Autzen Stadium, Mathew Knight Arena Hayward Field or Cuthbert Amphitheater; and some events like the Lane County Fair, restrict bags to clear plastic of specific dimensions. Please check directly with venues and event organizers.
- waterproof jacket with a hood (lightweight and easy to stuff in a backpack or bag)
- optional: waterproof pants (if vigorous outdoor activities are planned for fall through spring)
- swim attire
- water shoes - closed-toed toed that can go from hiking trail to water
- a bike helmet (not provided with the casual bike share bicycles around town)
Specialty Activities by Region
If there are activities or places you wish to pack especially for, here are tips on common experiences by region.
In the Cascades you might:
- fish (outfitters can set you up with lessons, gear, boat rentals)
- mountain bike (outfitters can set you up with bike rentals and shuttles)
- kayak or river raft (outfitters can set you up with bike rentals and shuttles)
- camp (tent, camping gear)
- swim (loaner life jackets may be available upon request)
- star gaze (red filter flashlight)
On the Coast you might:
- walk on the beach, play in the sand (bucket, pail, towel)
- camp (tent, camping gear)
- hike (binoculars for birding or wildlife watching)
- fly a kite (there is a great kite store in Old Town Florence)
In the Willamette Valley and metro area you might:
- go out to a nice dinner and show
- go dancing
- go to a movie
- shop a farmers' market (bring your own bag)
- shop malls or districts
- hike, swim or ride a bike on paved paths (bring your own helmet)
- visit a winery or brewery
- play golf (bring your own clubs or rent)
- go to a sports event
What You Can Probably Leave at Home
- umbrellas, most locals just pull up their hoods
- stiletto heels, unless specific to your event or personal style
- suit jacket, unless needed for your business or event
- cowboy hat, unless specific to your event or personal style
What You Can Get Here
- tie dye shirts, socks, underwear etc.
- University of Oregon Duck logo wear
- Nike and running gear
- Columbia and Patagonia brand outdoor wear
- regional map available at the Eugene, Cascades & Coast Visitor Center
The most important thing to bring is your smile! Our communities are warm and welcoming to all, and you are sure to take home some great memories and treasured moments.
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