A Local’s Guide to Eugene, Oregon

Eugene, Oregon is not only the home to the University of Oregon Ducks, but it is also a hotspot for scrumptious food, outdoor activities, and events galore. For the last 6 months I have had so much fun getting to know and explore my new hometown and I hope you will too! Just 60 miles from the coast, 4 hours to California, and less than 2 hours from Portland, Eugene is a perfect travel destination. Whether you are a student, tourist, or just passing through, Eugene has something for everyone.

Best Local Places To Eat

There are so many amazing restaurants to try out in Eugene and it saddens me that I have only had the opportunity to try a few. Good news is though, no matter your dietary restrictions, you will find a place you love!

  • Hot Mama's Wings

  • Burrito Boy

  • Falling Sky Brewery

  • Chapala's Mexican Restaurant

  • McMenamins - there are actually 3 McMenamins locations in Eugene, but my favorite is the one on Club Road that sits right along the Willamette River, be sure to ask for an outdoor table if the weather is nice and you want a gorgeous view!

    • McMenamins North Bank

    • McMenamins East 19th Street Cafe

    • McMenamins High Street Brewery & Cafe

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  • Ta Ra Rin - Thai Cuisine eatery and bar

  • Off the Waffle - While this place is known for their amazing waffles, they do have other non-waffle breakfast options as well, all made from locally sourced ingredients

  • Sizzle Pie - enjoy pizza by the slice or by the whole, they have both vegan and vegetarian options as well.

  • Brail's Restaurant

  • Fuji Japanese Steakhouse - I highly recommend their hibachi seating here, where they cook your food right in front of you!


Things To Do

  • University of Oregon - visiting the beautiful University of Oregon campus is a must while in Eugene! The architecture of the buildings on campus are beautiful and there is so much history here! While you are there, don't forget to visit a few sites that are on campus as well, including taking photos with our beloved duck mascot, Puddles (you can do this in front of the Matthew Knight Arena) and a photo in front of our well known "O" building, Lillis Hall, which you can find by walking about half a block East from the corner of 13th Avenue and Kincaid Street:

    • Jordan Schnitzer Art Museum

    • Museum of Natural and Cultural History

  • Autzen Stadium - if you like outdoors activities I highly suggest walking to Autzen by heading North on Agate Street. You will get to what looks like a dead end with a bike and walking path, just follow the path towards the river, cross the bridge, and you will get to a dirt path. Keep following the dirt path until you see Autzen!

  • Saturday Market

  • Hult Center for Performing Arts - come see your favorite musical, ballet, or symphony here!

  • 5th Street Public Market

  • Vineyards - if wine tasting is your thing, there are several different vineyards nearby that are open for tours and tastings!


Late-Night Snacks

  • Dough Co - if you love cookies or calzones, Dough Co is your place to check out near the corner of 13th Avenue and Hilyard street, they even deliver until 2am!

  • Voodoo Donuts - Even if you aren't out and about late, I highly suggest still checking out Voodoo Donuts for some amazing donuts and a great photo op, they have so many awesome flavors and are open 24/7!

  • Insomnia Cookies - Insomnia cookies does have a few locations across the United States, but like Dough Co, they too deliver until 2am and are an awesome place to check out if you are craving an ice cream sandwich, made out of fresh cookies!


Where To Stay

There are so many hotels that are in the heart of downtown, but if you are visiting with a group, or are on a budget and would like to be able to make your own meals, there are some awesome Air BNB's nearby too!

Outdoor Activities

There is so much nature in Eugene making it an amazing place to visit if you love the outdoors!

  • Spencer's Butte - My boyfriend and I recently went here for our first time on the first day of spring and it was such an amazing experience! You can read my post on this hike here.

  • Skinner's Butte

  • Fernridge Reservoir

  • Willamette River - if you don't want to venture too far outside of town the Willamette River flows right through the city and is a great spot for fishing and swimming during the summer!


Day Trips

  • Florence - Only about an hour West on Highway 126 Florence makes the perfect day trip, especially if you live on the coast. I recently wrote about one of our trips hereif you would like to read more about it.

  • Woodburn - I HIGHLY recommend visiting Woodburn, only about an hour North of Eugene on Interstate 5, in April when the Wooden Shoe Tulip Festival is happening so you can checkout the tulip fields! There are some awesome outlet stores to visit too if you like shopping.

  • Portland - There are so many awesome places to check out in Portland, including one of the original McMenamins!, and it is only about 2 hours North of Eugene on I-5

  • Crater Lake - This breathtaking lake was formed from a blown out volcano and is definitely a must-see while in Oregon, you can even stay at the lodge on the mountain and hike down to the lakes shore, but no matter what time of year you are visiting be sure to bundle up because it can be quite windy cold!


Night Life

  • Taylor's Bar & Grill - this is a great spot especially if you are a college student as it is right next to campus and super close to most of the student housing which makes it the prime spot for students, it is also open for minors until 9!

  • Cowfish Bar

  • Lucky's Bar

  • Level Up Arcade - this place is like an old school arcade (with newer games as well) and a bar and it is open until 9 for minors too! It is the perfect hangout spot for you and your friends!

  • If you are the kind of person who likes to go bar hopping, there are lots of awesome bars, restaurants, and shops to checkout on Broadway street between Charnelton and Willamette!

Enjoy your visit to Eugene, I hope that you too can fall in love with this beautiful place like I have in the last 10 months since I have been living here!

Written by: Macy Brown


My name is Macy, I am a junior majoring in business at the University of Oregon and I also run my own small business that I started almost 2 years ago now. As long as I can remember I have always loved traveling and started my blog My Life As Macy while on a trip to Florence, Oregon with my boyfriend because I wanted to share my love of travel and all of the amazing places I have experienced with others. It soon grew to include other topic areas as well, but is still heavily influenced by my travels.

While I am majoring in business and am already running my own business, the majority of my life I always wanted to be an attorney, so I am still not sure what career path I want to go down yet, as I also have a love for writing, reading, and learning! My favorite travel destination is anywhere with a beach as I grew up living less than 5 miles from the ocean, so it became my happy place where I could relax and let loose. In addition to travel, I also love horse riding, spending time with my friends and family, and going to football games.

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