Eugene is the second largest city in Oregon. It is well known for being a city of glory, splendor, and diversity. Also known as the Emerald City, this bustling city has a long list of attractions to enjoy.
As a result, millions of people vacation in the city every year. Coming from every corner of the world, tourists can expect to have a wonderful time in Eugene. No matter what you like, there’s something you’ll enjoy.
Whether it be exploring museums, tucking into tasty food, walking through the city, taking in local sports, or anything else for that matter, Eugene has something for everyone.
With so much to offer, it can be easy to miss some of the best attractions. We don’t want that to happen. Therefore, we’ve put together a list that looks at 10 tourist attractions you don’t want to miss.
If you’re planning a trip to Eugene and need some vacay inspiration, stick around!
The first tourist attraction on our list is the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art. This intriguing museum features an extensive collection of artwork from all around the world.
Inside the colossal museum, you’ll find world-class art pieces from America, Europe, China, Japan, and Korea. First opened in 1933, the museum puts a heavy focus on Asian artwork.
The artwork kept inside the museum is phenomenal.
One thing you’ll love is how the displays constantly change. This means you can visit the museum again the next time you visit Eugene. Aside from the artwork, the outside of the museum is special too.
Designed by Ellis F. Lawrence, the museum has no windows whatsoever. The reason for this is that this keeps the treasures within safe.
If you prefer to explore the great outdoors, you have to head over to Alton Baker Park. Just a couple of blocks away from the University of Oregon Campus, Alton Baker Park is a stunning open space right in the heart of the city.
Eugene’s largest developmental park, this area offers lush green space, a beautiful lake, flowers, trees, and birds.
What’s not to like?
The park has all the basic amenities you need to enjoy a day outdoors. This includes restrooms, picnic areas, and even exercise stations. The park also has an Amphitheater where you can watch shows and performances regularly.
This is also a great spot for any runners that want to get some training in during their vacation.
One of the most lively attractions in Eugene is the Saturday Market. This market has been running every Saturday between April and November in Eugene since 1970.
Primarily a crafts market, vendors sell everything from handmade crafts and flower bouquets to fresh local cuisine and fresh fruit and vegetables.
Exploring the market gives you a great chance to pick up some goodies, see what local life is like, and get a taste of what’s popular in the city. That’s not all though!
The Saturday Market also has an international food market full of delicious foods from around the globe and a live music venue. You’ll find a weekly farmer’s market across the road too.
Overall, this is a great place to come if you want to experience the bustling nature of the city.
If you love sports, Hayward Field has to be on your Eugene itinerary. Hayward Field is a legendary track and field stadium that is up there with the most iconic sites in the state.
It’s definitely the most iconic sports stadium in Oregon.
This near-mythic stadium belongs to the University of Oregon. It first opened in 1919. To this day, it still holds some of the most prestigious sporting events in the world.
For example, the United States Olympic trials are held here.
More recently, Hayward Field held the 18th International Track and Field World Championships.
If you plan your vacation right, you might be able to take in some live sports at the track. If not, don’t worry, you can still join a tour of the stadium.
The next tourist attraction on our list is the Hult Center for the Performing Arts. Opened in 1982, this large center has two performance halls and an amphitheater that can hold up to 5,000 visitors.
Right the way through the year, the center runs regular events, shows, and even educational classes. With a bit of planning, you can make sure you get to watch one of the many shows on offer.
Shows can take the form of musicals, theatrical productions, live music performances, and classes.
The center does a great job at making sure there is something everyone will enjoy. For children, there is an on-site library they will love too.
Those of you who love wildlife, will love everything about the Cascades Raptor Center.
Home to a wide range of winged predators, this center offers birds of prey a refuge. Injured birds are taken in, treated, and then released.
The birds that can’t be released are given a new home at the center.
Visits here are extremely fun. Perfect for families, you are given the chance to see, touch, and even hold the birds, learn more about their history, and be taught about how the center cares for them.
There are 50 different types of birds at the center, with some of the most impressive being the falcons and vultures. Make sure you take a tour of this center if you want a fun-filled afternoon.
You simply can’t miss the Museum of Natural and Cultural History during your visit to Eugene, Oregon.
This museum, located on East 15th Street is the perfect place to learn more about Eugene, Oregon, and America.
One interesting fact about this museum is that it is the largest American natural history museum on the West Coast between Seattle and San Francisco.
Even the museum’s architecture points to history, taking its style from traditional Native American longhouses.
Those of you that have a love for dinosaurs will love the museum more than anyone, as it is home to more than 100,000 fossils.
Incredibly, the total number of artifacts and cultural objects found within the museum goes way past the one million mark. The museum offers both permanent and temporary exhibits.
Hendricks Park is another wonderful park you can visit if you want to escape the hustle and bustle of the city for a couple of hours. Besides, the park is over 200 years old so it’s actually very historic.
In fact, Hendricks Park is the oldest park in Oregon. Blessed with wide open spaces, lush gardens, hiking, running, and biking trails, and 200-year-old fir trees, this park is wonderful.
You can get your morning exercise in, relax on the lawn, explore Rhodes garden, soak up the sun, or simply enjoy a pleasant picnic with your family. Either way, Hendricks Park is a place you have to see.
If you have children, we recommend taking them for a nature walk along the nature trail.
Families with younger children should leave a morning or afternoon free to take their children to the Science Factory.
The Science Factory is a fun, vibrant, quirky, and hands-on museum that aims to teach, energize, and motivate children.
Packed with fun surprises, interactive experiments, films, and more, this center is perfect for any child that enjoys learning through play. Let’s face it, what kid doesn’t?
The center also has a 930-square-meter planetarium.
The planetarium can hold more than 100 people. Daily shows and classes are put on by the center to give children a wonderful insight into the world of space.
The Science Factory is so well equipped that it even has exhibitions, shows, and experiments children under the age of 4 can get involved with.
10. Downtown Eugene
The final tourist attraction on our list is Downtown Eugene. Downtown Eugene is by far the best place to visit if you want to experience everything Eugene has to offer in one hit.
If you’re only visiting the city for the weekend, this is the first place you should visit.
A cultural hub in the heart of the city, Downtown Eugene has everything from authentic food and quirky coffee shops to live events and museums. Live music events, dancing, markets, and more are regularly held in the streets.
As you can imagine, this creates a wonderful atmosphere.
The best plan would be to visit the markets, wander through the streets, pick up a coffee, enjoy the shows, before then finally settling for a gorgeous meal in one of the many restaurants.
There you have it, 10 tourist attractions in Eugene, Oregon that you don’t want to miss. The attractions we’ve looked at are some of the best things you can do in the city (see also “10 Things To Do In Portland, Oregon“).
There are other attractions that could have made our list, but we strongly believe that these are the ones you need to see first.
We’ve made sure our list contains a good variety of different attractions so that everyone can find something they like.
All you have to do now is take some time to decide what you want to see first.
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