Resting in the southern end of the fertile Willamette Valley, Eugene is Oregon’s second largest city. The Willamette River flows through the heart of the town which is a dynamic mixture of university intellectuals and artists, bohemian culture, and outdoor sports enthusiasts.
The Downtown Historic District dates back to the beginning of the 20th century. At its center is the Fifth Street Public Market, home to some of Pacific Northwest’s finest cafes and restaurants and a fabulous assortment of eclectic boutiques and artist galleries.
The Park Blocks form an open link between the government buildings to the north and east and the commercial area to the south and west. Nearby is the Saturday Market – the oldest weekly open-air crafts festival in the United States. Today it features nearly 300 vendors each week.
The versatile design of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts allows for scheduling more than 800 performances, rehearsals and special events annually. The two-block civic center complex with its 500-seat Soreng Theatre and the 2500-seat Silva Concert Hall is one of the busiest performing arts centers in North America. In addition to the ballets, symphonies and opera, the Center, along with the University’s Beall Concert Hall, hosts the internationally known Oregon Bach Festival.
The beautiful 250-acre University of Oregon (U of O) campus is a definite tourist attraction. Historic and architecturally interesting buildings like Deady Hall and Villard Hall, which date to the 1870’s and 80’s, are to be found amid shady, tree-lined footpaths and lovely landscaping. There are several museums to visit. The U of O Museum of Art is the second largest in the state. In addition to exhibitions, it features an excellent collection of Asian, African, and Russian art and Rodin sculptures. The U of O Museum of Natural History hosts the Oregon State Museum of Anthropology and focuses on Oregon’s ancient people and animals, as well as different exhibitions on other cultures.