You might be tempted to think that Portland is the star when considering a Willamette Valley vacation rental, but you'd be missing out on Eugene - recently ranked by Money Magazine as one of the six best cities to live in. Of course, you don't need to be a resident to enjoy everything this town offers! Bookstores, galleries, museums, the University of Oregon, restaurants, hiking and biking trails, wineries - the central part of the Willamette Valley has plenty going for it, not only for those seeking higher learning at U of O, but also for a fun-filled Oregon getaway!
The quintessential college town of Eugene is about a two hour drive south of Portland. Whether you're in town touring the university, attending a graduation ceremony, or just visiting some of the region's outstanding wineries, you'll enjoy the comfort of having your own Eugene vacation rental to return to while in town. Like a lot of other college towns, Eugene is also home to a thriving arts scene, including downtown art galleries, the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, Studio West for glass blowing (you can even take a class), the Maude Kearns Art Center on campus, and many other spaces devoted to the creative arts.
Within a 30-minute drive of your Eugene vacation rental, there are a number of Willamette Valley wineries to explore - such as Brigadoon Wine Company in Junction City, Domaine Meriwether in Veneta, and King Estate in the outskirts of southwest Eugene. It's a perfect fieldtrip on sunny afternoons or an excursion for parents while the teens are off getting a tour of the campus.
And don't overlook the University of Oregon when making your plans - it's not just for perspective students, but a great stop for tourists of all kinds! Take advantage of free campus parking for visitors and explore the Museum of Natural and Cultural History and ponder 15,000 years of human history...or just people-watch on the quad. Eugene also has its share of great seasonal events - there's the Cinema Pacific Film Festival in spring, the Oregon Bach Festival in summer, McKenzie River Chainsaw Art Festival in August, or you can attend an Oregon Ducks football game during the school year.
As one of the most active cities in the west, Eugene is well known for outdoor activities - cycling, running, and kayaking on the Willamette and McKenzie Rivers are all popular here. The Mount June Trail in nearby Cottage Grove is a 4.6 mile trail uphill that rewards hikers with amazing panoramic views of the Willamette Valley and the mountain peaks of both the Cascade and Coast Ranges. For golfers, the Laurelwood Golf Course is a 9-hole course with challenging hilly terrain and beautifully landscaped greens. And only about an hour from your well-appointed Eugene cottage, heading either west or east will take you to the Oregon Coast for surfing in the Pacific Ocean or the Cascade Mountains for skiing or snowshoeing.
The next time your travels take you to the Central Willamette Valley, arrange a stay in a Eugene vacation rental for a comfortable home base while exploring this unique and fun Oregon destination.