From the snowy Cascades to storm-swept coastal beaches, winter brings a new twist on fun things to do across the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region — and with outdoor recreation as a natural, regional focal point; there are plenty of accessible adventures.
Winter in Oregon is a fantastic time of year for watching whales along the dramatic Oregon coastline, cuddling up by the fireplace in a mountain retreat or exploring uncrowded trails and parks across the Willamette Valley.
While the climate is generally temperate, weather can vary greatly from the coast to the mountains and from day to day. You may get beautiful, sunshine-filled coastal days while it pours in the valley, or vice versa. So no matter where you wander, be prepared for a range of weather conditions. Pack layers, check road conditions at TripCheck.com and call ahead to confirm business hours.
Here are our favorite winter adventures!
Seasonal & Local Eats
Explore a world of tastes this winter with artisan spirits or one of the Willamette Valley's farm-to-fork restaurants dishing up local specialties like Oregon truffles, Dungeness crab and an array of local hand-crafted chocolates. Pair with regional wine or beer for the ultimate local foodie experience.
Explore Outdoors in the Winter
Oregonians embrace the foggy, damp weather and hike, run and play outside year-round. Head to your favorite parks, trails or sledding slopes. From walking on a winter beach to playing in the snow, winter offers fresh, invigorating outdoor adventures.
Play in the Snow
When flakes start to blanket the mountains, it is time for snow play! From snowmobiling around Waldo Lake to moonlit snowshoeing hikes, there are many wonderful ways to enjoy a white winter. Ski at Willamette Pass or soak in the Belknap Hot Springs' pool with snow drifts all around.
If you want to have a day or two to play in the snow this winter, the Cascade Mountains are calling! Just an hour from downtown Eugene, there are several options for making the most of a snowy adventure. Here are a few of our favorite ways to play in the snow. Take a Shuttle Bus to the Ski Resorts…
It's peak season for winter whale watching on the Oregon Coast, where spouting gray whales embark on their southern migration. It's also the season for storm watching, where huge thundering waves and dramatic skies are on display alongside the Oregon Coast's rolling fog banks. Always practice beach safety by watching for sneaker waves and staying away from logs and driftwood. After a chilly ramble on the beach, enjoy a warm bowl of clam chowder at one of the many delicious seafood restaurants in Historic Old Town Florence.
Things to Do Indoors
Staying in? Cuddle up with a new book, a classic movie or an online program from your favorite performing arts group. Get theater tickets to a musical, jazz performance or poetry reading. Go shopping for gifts and handmade souvenirs.
Wine tasting in winter has unique appeal. Imagine uncorking a bottle in a cozy tasting room, soaking up the slow pace of a lazy winter afternoon. Perhaps the winemaker stops by your table to chat, or you take the opportunity to tour the barrel room or sample a yet-to-be-released vintage. Days are shorter and tasting room hours are fewer, but the tasting experience itself can often be more personable, slower-paced and special.