Hendricks Park is a great place to go running, walking, picknicking or whatever else you might do in a park. My favorite thing to do there, was practice my limited photography skills. I love photographing nature-especially flowers...check out my travelogue for more Hendricks Park photos.
It consists mainly of wooded areas, but it also has a beautiful rhododendron garden.
Willamette Pass is a great ski area about an hour southeast of Eugene on HWY 58. It's not all that big, but it's cheap (about $25 for a day pass), close to Eugene, and has a SIX PERSON HIGH SPEED LIFT.
Since its not a particularly difficult Ski Area, it's a great place to take kids. There are a lot of easy runs for the kiddies and at the bunny slope, they have this great thing called the Magic Carpet-basically an escalator for skis and snowboards.
Plan a visit to Eugene's internationally recognized premier rhododendron garden. Atop the forested ridgeline of southeast Eugene, Hendricks Park overlooks the Willamette River, the University of Oregon and the City of Eugene. The 77 acres of forested park land contain Douglas fir trees over two hundred years old and hiking trails that wander through a rich forest flora of ferns, trilliums and other wildflowers. Founded in 1951 through the joint efforts of the American Rhododendron Society and the Eugene Parks Department, the 12-acre garden displays more than 6,000 ornamental plants highlighting rhododendrons, azaleas, magnolias and viburnums. Free guided tours of the Rhododendron Garden are offered each spring.
The park's main attraction is the Rhododendron Garden. Beneath a canopy of Oregon white oaks is a woodland garden with over six thousand rhododendrons and other ornamental plants, meandering walkways and secluded seating areas. In the early winter, witch hazels, magnolias, bulbs and other early blooming flowers begin the long garden year. The rhododendron season extends from February through July and peaks in April and May. Many other beautiful and unusual trees, shrubs, vines and perennial flowers make this garden inviting throughout the year.
This is one of the oldest houses in the Williamette Valley, built in 1888 by one of the earliest white settlers. It's located in the little park that abuts Skinner Butte. The city maintains a small museum inside the house.
This is a great hilltop garden just east of the University of Oregon Campus. Admission is free and hours are from 6 am to 11 pm. You can walk around the gardens on numerous trails looking at different native plants to the Southern Willamette Valley. In late spring you can watch many different flowers bloom all over the grounds.
If you have any time to spend at the University of Oregon than I recommened a walking tour of the older buildings on the campus. Doing this you cannot but catch some of the newer buildings that will stand the test of time. My favorites are Deady Hall and Gilbert Hall - both built in the 1800's. Maps can be found all over campus to help you Navigate. Don't miss MacArthur court and be sure to walk in the cemetary to get there.
The legend of Prefontaine still runs on in Eugene. This gutsy distance runner from the town of Coos Bay defied the odds with his brash style and attitude. After demolishing Oregon State high school records in nearly every distance running event he joined the University of Oregon team under the leadership of the legendary Bill Bowerman. After competing in the 1972 Munich Olympics Pre returned home and visited a bar in Eugene. Steve Prefontaine while driving intoxicated rounded a corner and slammed into a rock. Today you can see this rock with a plaque to the great runner as well as running shoes, trophies, and race numbers in this place that has become a shrine to his spirit and what might have been.
Everyone should go hiking somewhere, visit Saturday Market, try some of the good microbrews in town, take a drive into the country (near Fall Creek or Crow) Drive to Florence and see the Oregon Coast..It's beautiful! Country Fair is a lot of fun too, which usually happens in early July. It is a festival just out of Eugene that has many craft booths, great food, a drum circle and many good bands. People dress in whatever they want (many women go topless and paint themselves) and just have a great time!!
The Pacific Coast of Oregon is just a short drive from Eugene. In my opinion Oregon has some of the finest beaches on the west coast. There are so many small private sandy coves to discover. There is much sea life to see including large sea lions. You can see a lot from your car but make sure you pull over, get out of your car and experience the coast with bare feet and and a curious mind.
p.s. Don't forget your camera!
Each October the local ceramic artists gather at the County Fairgrounds to display (and sell) their best works. One of the premier art/craft venues in the northwest.
1. Ritta's Burritos
2. Bangkok Grill
3. Dana's Cheesecake
Two dozen food booths serving delicious international foods and over 300 artisans sell fine locally handcrafted goods.
I personally enjoyed walking in the woods, among oaks and pines. It is very peaceful, among squirrels and deers. How sweet!
Crater Lake is one of the most beautiful lakes in the world... The water always looks so still and perfect.. Crater Lake is about a 2 hour drive southeast of Eugene...