This article originally appeared on WanderWithWonder.com.
Set beside the scenic Willamette River, Eugene Oregon is a paradise for outdoor enthusiasts, art and museum lovers, sports fans, and foodies. While staying at The Oval Door Bed and Breakfast, I toured the sights of Eugene and experienced what makes the town that is home to one of the oldest universities on the West Coast so special.
1—Eugene Oregon: Panoramic Views and Outdoor Recreation
Eugene is surrounded by natural beauty and the best place in town to get a grand view is at Skinner Butte Park. On my first full day in Eugene we drove to the top of the park, and from the viewpoint, the city spread out before us. In the distance, we could see Spencer Butte, which is a popular hiking spot.
The park is one of the town’s oldest and includes the land claim by Eugene’s founder, Eugene F. Skinner. The 100-acre park has hiking trails, a bike path, a historic landmark home, and 50-foot high basaltic rock columns, which are popular with rock climbers.
2—Hayward Field, The Centerpiece of Track Town, USA
Sports fans will appreciate a visit to Hayward Field at the University of Oregon. Named for legendary track and field coach, Bill Hayward, it is the only facility to host three consecutive U.S. Olympic Trials. It has also been featured in movies, such as National Lampoon’s Animal House and Without Limits which told the story of local runner Steve Prefontaine who finished fourth in the 1972 Olympics and died tragically three years later in a car accident.
In honor of Prefontaine’s legacy, the city completed the running trail he started pursuing before his death. Today, the bark-covered Steve Prefontaine Memorial Jogging Trail has 42 miles of running paths.
3—Rescued Raptors and Curious Vultures
One of the highlights of my stay was visiting the Cascades Raptor Center. At the educational center, visitors can see raptors such as eagles, owls, and osprey up close and find out why they are part of the center. And, you can even adopt a bird which helps care for them and has perks like free admission for one year and a one-on-one with an outreach bird and handler.
Surprisingly, my favorite raptor turned out to be a very curious turkey vulture named Kali. She was one of two eggs rescued from an abandoned nest at a logging site. While her rehabilitators took precautions to stop her from bonding with humans, after her release, she still kept coming down to them. In 2003, she became part of the Education Team at the center.
4—Art, Culture, and History in Eugene Oregon
Here are some of my recommendations for the best ways to experience the art, culture, and history of Eugene, Oregon.
For more information about the area visit Eugene Cascades and Coast.