How to spend a winter weekend in Eugene

As soon as we arrived in Eugene, I felt at home. And that’s not something that happens very often. Eugene just has a sense of calm and welcome about it, drawing me in right away.

For the uninitiated, Eugene is a small city in Oregon, about an hour and a half drive from Portland. It’s a University town, but in the colder months is very quiet. The locals are super friendly, and it’s pretty easy to find your way around.

We only spent a weekend in Eugene, but I would love to go back and explore some more.

A weekend in Eugene


Walk through Stanley Butte Park

Stanley Butte Park sits just above Eugene, and is an easy 15 minute (or so) walk uphill. Unfortunately for us, the fog was rolling in, so we didn’t get great views of the city; but when the skies are clear, I imagine it would be pretty spectacular.


Visit the Cascades Raptor Centre

If you’re a bird lover, then Cascades is for you! Home to some magnificent raptors including Eagles, Falcons, Hawks, Osprey, Owls, and Vultures; it offers a wonderful opportunity to see these wild animals ‘up close’. It was really fascinating to read the stories of each of the birds, and how they came to call Cascades home. The entry fee is affordable, and helps the centre to care for the birds, and educate the public.


Explore 5th Street Public Market

The 5th street market hosts a range of boutique shops, eateries, and food markets, and is open year-round. Definitely worth hitting up the ‘Made in Oregon’ store to purchase some local delicacies.


Enjoy an American breakfast at Brails on 5th

A local recommended Brails on 5th to us, and I’m so glad they did! The coffee was perfect, the servings were generous, and the food was so delicious. I highly recommend getting a biscuit with your order – it was phenomenal!


Eat too much at Ambrosia

If you’re looking for a dinner spot with a cosy atmosphere, you can’t go past Ambrosia. Serving delicious italian cuisine, it’s the perfect place for a mid-week pizza or pasta meal. We also tried the soup as a starter, and it was so yummy!


Spend a night or two at Inn at the 5th

Inn at the 5th is just a block away from the train station, making it the perfect place to stay. Our room was well equipped and cosy, complete with reading nook and fireplace. The staff were so welcoming, they even gave us a free drink on arrival – how good is that?! And everything we needed was in walking distance from the hotel.


Final thoughts

I am already wondering when I can go back to Eugene, and would love to visit during the warmer months to explore the area some more.

Have you been to Eugene? Let us know if there is anything we’ve missed!

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Author: Michelle

Michelle Harvey is a kiwi traveller, writer, photographer, list-maker, coffee drinker, and wanderer. Winter holidays are her favourite kind.

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