Sure, it may be cold and wet outside now but the blissful days of spring and summer will be here before you know it! Next time we have a warm sunny day in the weather forecast, we recommend getting outdoors! These five local parks are an ideal spot to soak up some Vitamin D and enjoy some much needed downtime.
With 80 acres of stunning gardens and incredible views, Hendricks Park is a must for any nature lover. It’s the oldest park in Eugene and it’s never quite as noticeable (or incredible) as when you’re walking beneath the branches of 200-year old fir trees. If you want a real treat make sure to visit in the spring when the flowers are in bloom.
In short, this park is ideal for anyone with an interest in hiking, bird watching, picnicking, or simply looking to relax in nature.
When we say Alton Baker is Eugene’s largest developed park, we mean it. At a whopping 373 acres there’s no shortage of space and facilities to take advantage of. Walking your dog, fishing, BMX, exercise stations, and disc golf are just a few of the options available to you at Alton Baker Park.
If someone were asked to describe Skinner’s Butte in two words, they’d be “Rock Climbing.” The Columns of Skinner’s Butte offer a 50′ high rock wall that climbers can scale.
But don’t be fooled in thinking that’s all Skinner’s Butte has to offer. It’s also a pretty fantastic spot for a picnic or to ride your bike. You can even go ahead and grow your own vegetables in the community garden!
Though the smallest park on the list at 8.5 acres, the Owen Rose Garden is no less spectacular. Named after George E. Owen who donated the parcels of land, the park has grown from an initial 750 roses to over 400 varieties displayed across 4,500 roses.
Though you can enjoy the sights of the park at your leisure, there is also the possibility of volunteering to lend a hand. The Owen Rose Garden organizes year-round Thursday work sessions where you can help manage these beautiful parks and get on some hands on experience in pruning, planting, and general rose care.
Though it might be easier to list the things you can’t do at Amazon Park, we’ll try to cover just a few of the activities available in the 99-acre park. There’s tennis courts, soccer fields, a skate-park, baseball diamonds, ball fields, a community garden, picnic tables, recreation centers, bike paths, a dog park, and exercise stations.
Perhaps most important of all, however, is the fact it contains Eugene’s only outdoor pool in its recreation facilities. When Summer comes around you’ll want to keep Amazon Park in mind.
Spending the summer in Eugene a.k.a. “Emerald City” or “Track Town USA” this year? You are in luck! Eugene is one of the world’s most livable cities known for natural beauty, eclectic shops, restaurants, music, festivals, arts, and outdoor recreational opportunities like bicycling, kayaking, and running. The city comes alive each summer with numerous festivals, performances, outdoor recreation and more!
Here are 10 awesome things you can do this summer in our lovely city:
1. Oregon Bach Festival
June 26, 2014-July 13, 2014
The Oregon Bach Festival presents three weeks of choral-orchestral masterworks, guest artists, chamber music, social events, and education programs. Based in Eugene, the University of Oregon event also produces a summer series in Portland (Bachfest PDX), with concerts throughout Oregon. Visit oregonbachfestival.com/festival for concert times and info.
2. Art and the Vineyard & Freedom Festival Fireworks
July 04, 2014 – July 06, 2014 Location: Alton Baker Park Club Rd and Coburg Rd, Eugene, OR 97401
Art and the Vineyard is the premier art and wine festival in the Southern Willamette Valley. The festival, which is the principal fundraiser for the Maude Kerns Art Center, attracts over 25,000 visitors annually during the Fourth of July weekend. Browse and shop art, taste wines, enjoy great food and listen to live music next to the river.
3. IAFF World Junior Championships
July 22, 2014 – July 27, 2014 Hayward Field 1580 E 15th Ave, Eugene, OR
The biennial IAAF World Championships is the jewel of the IAAF World Athletics Series of events which also includes indoor, junior, youth, cross country, race walking and road running during a four year cycle of World Championships and or Cup events for each of these types of competition.
4. Lane County Fair
July 23, 2014 – July 27, 2014 Location: Lane Events Center 796 W 13th Ave, Eugene, OR 97402
Excellent family fun, concerts, carnival rides, games, animals and entertainment. This year’s concert line-up kicks-off with Everclear, Soul Asylum, Eve 6 and Spacehog, all on Wednesday the 23! On Thursday, July 24, platinum band TESLA takes the stage. Friday, July 25, features country music superstar Trace Adkins. Pat Benatar and Neil Giraldo rock the fairgrounds on Saturday, July 26. Then on Sunday, July 27, Josh Turner takes the stage to close out the biggest Fair ever!
5. Faerieworlds 2014
July 25, 2014 – July 27, 2014 Location: Mt Pisgah Arboretum Howard Buford Park, Eugene, OR 97401
Faerieworlds is an annual music and arts festival held annually. The festival’s primary theme is the “realm of the faerie.” Dress up, dance, sing, and enjoy the sights and sounds of the picturesque park. Vendors, lots of live music, magic, and much more awaits!
6. Whiteaker Block Party
August 02, 2014 Whiteaker Neighborhood 3rd & Van Buren, Eugene, OR 97402
Enjoy this massively exciting block party that features local bands, a kids zone, street performers, beer gardens, raffles, food carts, art and craft vendors and a stunning fashion show, all in a single day at this unique, Bohemian neighborhood in Eugene!
7. Eugene Celebration – 2014
August 22, 2014 – August 24, 2014 Location: Downtown Eugene Broadway & Willamette St, Eugene, OR 97401
The Eugene Celebration performance line-up includes outdoor as well as indoor stage entertainment, running as late as 2:00 a.m. on Friday and Saturday nights so that you can dance the day AND night away! Great food from local vendors, beer and wine gardens, cultural kiosks and crafts; plenty of activities for the entire family to enjoy.
8. Eugene Saturday Market
Saturdays May- November Location: Downtown Park Blocks 8th & Oak St, Eugene, OR 97401
Since the 1970s, rain or shine, the Saturday Market has been a vibrant hub for local artisans. It is the longest running weekly open-air crafts festival in the United States! Nearly 200 booths feature locally handcrafted gifts, international foods and entertainment. An iconic Eugene event held outdoors April to November, and indoors November through December.
Eugene has over 100 miles of dedicated bicycle lanes and paths, from city streets to riverbank trails. In fact, Eugene has more bridges for bicycles than for cars. Challenging single-track trails cut through lava fields and towering forests in the area of Oakridge, rated among the top mountain biking destinations in the country.
From small community theaters to the expansive Hult Center for the Performing Arts, numerous
resident companies stage opera, ballet, choral, theater and symphonic productions. World-class music festivals include the Oregon Festival of American Music and the Grammy-award winning Oregon Bach Festival. Numerous art galleries host local and international artists showcased through exhibits and artwalks. From local history to space exploration, area museums are both educational and interactive. Sculptures and hand-painted murals can be found throughout city streets, parks and the University of Oregon campus. Springfield is home to some of the most expansive murals. Two campus museums offer one-of-a-kind artifacts. Discover the world’s oldest “running” shoes or artwork ranging from Paul Cézanne to Andy Warhol.