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8 Fun Things to Do in Eugene, Oregon

If it looks like a duck, if it quacks like a duck, then it’s a duck. Though you may be envisioning green and brown feathers and a big yellow beak, we’re conjuring Autzen Stadium on game day, the EMU packed with studying students, and the meandering Willamette River that courses through it all. 

Graduate Eugene sits just steps from all this and more, with the University of Oregon (UO) campus six minutes south and more than 30 local attractions just out our front door. Take on the town with our eight favorite things to do in Eugene, all of which are UO-approved.


Skinner’s Butte Park

Venture between the Fifth Street Public Market and the Whitaker District and you’ll find Skinner’s Butte Park, a 100-acre park beloved by locals for its endless recreational opportunities. Soak up Eugene’s natural beauty from the Willamette River at the north of the park and the Butte to the south. 

Though it’s regarded as the birthplace of Eugene, today it’s a lively outdoor hotspot for picnics, rock climbing, hiking, playgrounds, and even a community garden.

Insider Tip

A Black Tartarian Cherry tree planted in 1860 is still alive and thriving. It may be the oldest and largest Sweet Cherry tree in the United States and has been honored as a Heritage Tree.

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Spencer’s Butte Park

Reaching 2,058 feet above sea level, Spencer’s Butte sits at the highest point in Eugene. Locals flock to this park for a heart-racing workout or simply to soak up the great outdoors. Pass beneath Douglas firs, Oregon white oaks, and more as you hike along the Ridgeline. Old growth forests give way to prairies, headwaters, and sweeping views of the surrounding area.

True to Eugene’s pioneering spirit, the town purchased the park in 1940 through a grassroots campaign, meaning countless residents actually own a piece of the butte. Though Eugene sat three miles from the park at the time the park was purchased, today the park and the town coexist.

Insider Tip

Ridgeline Trail offers various trailways depending on skill level. Stunning views at the summit anytime of year!

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Eugene Saturday Market

Though Eugene residents flock to the market for their weekly shop, there’s more than one reason to peruse the Eugene Saturday Market. You’ll find it all here, from local art, hand-crafted wares, and mouthwatering international foods. Stop by for a quick bite or go for a leisurely stroll through the market, punctuated by live music and (sometimes) the warm afternoon sun.

This market goes on all year long, rain or shine, so be sure to bring a rain jacket in case of a drizzle or even a downpour. Shop everything from water colors to earrings to fine art photography, all with a crepe, burrito, or other snack in hand.

Insider Tip

 A holiday market replaces the Saturday Market November – January.

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Broadway Metro Cinema

Treat yourself to a night at the theater, where you can snack on both popcorn and an ice cold beer as you watch. Broadway Metro Cinema is known as much for its killer concession stand as it is for its unique showings, including both foreign language and independent films. There’s no other place in Eugene where you can sip on a beer fresh from the tap as you immerse yourself in stories from around the world. 

This theater offers multiple screens so you’re sure to find a film that piques your interest. You can also reserve a theater for a private showing if you’d like a little one on one time with the silver screen.

Insider Tip

Eugene Film Society hosts local film festivals and competitions at the Broadway Metro.

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Beppe & Gianni's Trattoria

Oregon may not be known for Italian food, but Beppe & Gianni’s Trattoria is putting it on the map. They serve up old-world Italian flavors in a cozy cottage-turned-restaurant, creating a home-cooked ambiance that matches their world-class dishes. 

Beppe & Gianni’s has ranked among Eugene’s best restaurants since it opened in 1998. Settle in for a multi-course meal as you won’t want to skip a dish, from bruschetta or roasted garlic with cambozola cheese to start, followed by delectable salads, pastas, and entrees like local Chinook salmon and Sicilian-sliced steak. Complement it all with an extensive wine list and decadent desserts. 

Insider Tip

 Make sure to start with the Cabozola Appetizer and for a main course, order the seafood ravioli!

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Spaghetti Noodles


Intensely flavorful French-inspired cuisine is always on the menu at Marché. Be transported to the cobblestoned streets of Paris through dishes like oysters on the half shell, smoked salmon beignets, steak tartare, and pacific lingcod. One bite and you’ll swear you can see the Eiffel Tower right out their front door. 

Their menu is crafted from items you’d find at a farmer’s market, focusing on local meat and produce with sustainability in mind. As a result, Marché’s menu changes with the season so they’ll always have something inventive for you to try every time you return.

Insider Tip

Check out their calendar to see what the monthly wine dinner offering will be.

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Fisherman's Market

Eugene pays homage to the Pacific Northwest coast through Fisherman’s Market, a casual eatery serving up boat-to-plate seafood. Since 1989, Fisherman’s Market has served up Dungeness crab dinners, fish and chips, Cajun crawfish pie, and more, all crafted from seafood hauled straight to the restaurant from the dock in the owner’s own F-350 pickup truck. 

Owner Ryan Rogers is a longtime Alaskan fisherman, so he knows fresh seafood when he sees it. Guy Fieri’s Diners, Drive-Ins, & Dives even stopped by the market, so you know every dish is truly world-class. Fisherman’s Market also sells seafood you can cook at home if you’d like to take one for the road.

Insider Tip

Taco Tuesday is always busy, for a good reason, try the mean green sauce on shrimp tacos!

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McMeniman's North Bank

McMeniman’s is renowned throughout the Northwest for transforming down-on-their-luck buildings into magnificent gathering places. Eugene’s own is McMeniman’s North Bank, a 1970’s bar tucked along the Willamette River. Though the welcoming booths and mouthwatering menu should be enough to draw you to the North Bank, it’s also one of the only places in Eugene where you can dine along the river. 

Munch on Northwest-style pub fare like gaucho steak and frites, a cheeseburger slider trio, or McMeniman’s fries with mystic 18 sauce, all to the sound of the river rushing by.

Insider Tip

The Marionberry Old Fashioned at North Bank is one of a kind. Try a Rubinator – A Ruby Red Ale mixed with a Terminator Stout.

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