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:

Hot summer days are perfect for exploring the Eugene Ale Trail (photo by Todd Cooper)

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!).

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.

Don't miss art not only in the galleries, but on the streets of downtown Eugene (photo by Timm O'Cobhthaigh)

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.

Whether you're a serious antique collector or just a hobbyist, something is bound to catch your eye in Coburg (photo by Cari Garrigus)

Whether you're a serious antique collector or just a hobbyist, something is bound to catch your eye in Coburg (photo by Cari Garrigus)

Coburg Antique and Vintage Fair September 7, 2014, 8 a.m. – 4 p.m. Admission: Free Location: Downtown Coburg

Just north of Eugene sits Coburg, a charming town listed on the National Register of Historic Places as a National Historic District, which includes nearly 190 sites and structures. Although Coburg may be small in size, it is home to one of the most impressive antique shopping districts in the state and an equally impressive antiques show.

The 27th Annual Coburg Antique and Vintage Fair is expected to draw more than 350 antique dealers from six states to downtown Coburg offering vintage treasures, collectables, and period pieces. Browse through countless collections of antiques in a park setting and enjoy delicious food from on-site vendors while listening to live music in the park.

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

This list only begins to scratch the surface of all the amazing things to see and do in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region!

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.

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!

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.