The slogan “Keep Eugene Weird” is best reflected by Eugene's Whiteaker Neighborhood. The murals decorating business exteriors, mix of culinary options (e.g. the unique SūBó Sushi Burritos) and alternative lifestyle of many of its residents fit what visitors expect to see in Eugene, but the neighborhood also holds activities popular among visitors. Explore Eugene's art, recreation, food, beer and wine all in one neighborhood.

If you’re staying at Eugene Lodge & International Hostel, Signature Inn, Americas Best Value Inn, Executive Motel or another spot in the neighborhood, there are convenient ways to get around without a car. Walking, cycling and taking the bus are all common modes of transportation in Eugene, but especially in The Whiteaker Neighborhood. LTD bus routes 40, 41 and 51 are the most used. Download the Umo Mobility app for electronic bus fares or purchase a $3 tap card. All fare types can be purchased with cash, credit cards, and debit cards at the Customer Service Center at Eugene Station. For riding a bike, you may rent from Pedego Electric Bikes or find another option from the City of Eugene's list of bike rentals if you don’t have a bicycle with you. The neighborhood is easily walkable, if you choose to walk, and has necessities like grocery stores (e.g. Bruns’ Apple Market) and laundromats (e.g. Clean Eugene Laundromat).

The Whiteaker Neighborhood (nicknamed "The Whit") is fairly compact and many of the highlights can fit in a two-day itinerary. However, there are different ways to experience this area. Try being an active hippie one day and a relaxed wine-sipper the next.

A mural of dream-like imagery.

Day One: Bohemian Activity

For breakfast, get energized with healthy ingredients at Red Barn Natural Grocery. Select one of their breakfast specials, and sip on a smoothie or an espresso drink. Their robust sandwiches make an awesome lunch if you prefer not to eat much in the morning. Wandering Goat Coffee Co. has coffee that's a local favorite and limited pastry options for a lighter breakfast.

Next, toss a disc at Sladden Park. The disc golf course here has four baskets. The 4-acre Sladden Park is just a 10-minute walk from Red Barn Natural Grocery and two minutes from Wandering Goat Coffee Co. They also have a basketball court, a tennis court and picnic tables. Come prepared beforehand with your own sporting equipment or buy it used at Play It Again Sports (located in South Eugene) or a secondhand store. Walk about another 10 minutes to the Washington Jefferson Park under the I-105 bridge to skate, do tricks on a BMX bike, shoot hoops or enjoy the art on the walls. If this concrete-encased skatepark is your thing, you'll love the punk shows that sometimes pop up there.

Washington Jefferson Skatepark behind trees

Bouldering is an approachable sport to take up if you haven't tried it yet, and you might discover why so many people in Oregon build community through it. Crux Rock Gym and Elevation Bouldering Gym are on the east side of the I-105 bridge and are two great options for bouldering. No personal equipment is required since you can rent climbing shoes there. For the experienced rock climbers who want to use an outdoor course, try "The Columns" on the west side of Skinner Butte (where Lincoln St meets Skinner Butte Lp).

After that exercise, it’s time for a well-deserved lunch. El Rancho Meat Market & Taqueria is on Blair Blvd and features a market of primarily Mexican food items, as well as a butcher shop, a wall of pastries and a taqueria.

During the summer, the Whiteaker Community Market is a perfect leisurely activity under the sunny blue skies. Artisans and farmers line the street to bring the community locally produced goods. It’s held on Sundays on Blair Blvd & W 4th Ave from May through October.

Get the night started at Slice Pizzeria & Bar with some pizza. Tuesdays, Thursdays and Sundays, join in on karaoke and serenade the passersby. Just a block from Slice is probably the staple of Whiteaker’s nightlife: Sam Bond’s Garage. You’ll hear live music if you walk past on a weekend; genres ranging from hard rock to folk. All who frequent are acquainted with the resident orange tabby cat “Buddy the Bar Cat.”

The late-nighters will love Blairally Vintage Arcade, open daily until 2 a.m. They have a crazy cool collection of old-school pinball machines and other nostalgic favorites so you can freshen up your arcade game skills. They have an '80s dance party night on Fridays and often hold concerts with punk bands or DJs.

Day Two: Wine and Recline

New Day Bakery & Café’s colorful décor makes even a rainy day feel sunny. Start your day with yellow-painted walls and a sweet breakfast like their French toast and a mocha. If more caffeine is needed, try Equiano Coffee across the street. Equiano has prime local coffee, but their tasting room is only open Friday through Sunday.

In the late spring and early summer, Owen Rose Garden offers a romantic walk among the rose bushes and photo opportunities under the archways. The Ruth Basom Riverbank Path System is just on the other side of the Rose Garden along the Willamette River. Walk or bike this paved path. Even on the cold rainy days, you’ll see tons of Eugenians enjoying the path.

Fisherman’s Market is Eugene’s representation in Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives. Their seafood selection is a must-try. Their seating area can get crowded easily with the amount of foot traffic they see, so consider bringing your food to Sladden Park and eat at one of their picnic tables. 

If you can’t help but have a sweet bite to eat, Sweet Life Patisserie is just a block from Fisherman’s Market. Anyone with a sweet tooth will be overjoyed browsing their pastry case. They even have espresso drinks, too.

The Hybrid is a community and arts hub that holds events like live music, yoga classes, and classes to introduce you to a new hobby or skill. Browse their calendar before or during your stay in the Whiteaker to see if there’s an activity for you. 

255 Madison

The Whit is a perfect place for wine lovers. Territorial Vineyards & Wine Company, 255 Madison and Oregon Wine LAB all offer a tasting room, complete with wine from their own labels. Territorial and 255 Madison have live music and special events, while 255 Madison and Oregon Wine LAB have food trucks. For the beer lovers, Hop Valley Brewing is a great stop to try local beer and have a meal. If you’d like to sip on a sophisticated drink without the alcohol, High Street Tonics’ tasting bar is about a 15-minute walk outside of the neighborhood into downtown.

Thinking Tree Spirits has a moody and relaxed tasting room that’s perfect to end the night. Their cocktails are made with their own spirits. Their nonalcoholic cocktails are worth the stop, too. They have additional outdoor seating that becomes a heated enclosure in the cold seasons. 

Whiteaker Walking Tour Apr 19
  • Recurring weekly on Friday, Saturday

Explore what the Whiteaker neighborhood's food scene has to offer in this walking tour of restaurants, breweries, bakeries and distilleries. The group will make five to seven stops, enjoying the small bites and drinks while walking 1.5 miles through the neighborhood.