Hanging out in Eugene, OR
August 13, 2022 4:00 PM   Subscribe

I'm taking a workshop in Eugene OR for a few days at the end of August and am taking the whole week there to get out of the house. What are your recommendations for low key amusements and food? (difficulty level: vegan)

Looking for places to take a nice walk, hang out and have a snack and beverage, perhaps some outdoor entertainment, maybe learn something new. Wanting just just relax and hang out, willing to drive maybe up to an hour outside of Eugene.

Generally like bookshops, birds, gardens, local museums.

Already planning to visit the Cascades Raptor Center and eat at Cornbread Cafe, Morning Glory Cafe and Screamin' Jay's Hot Lunch.

Not looking for suggestions to head to Portland instead, I've spent plenty of time there!
posted by Advanced_Waffler to Travel & Transportation around Eugene, OR (6 answers total) 4 users marked this as a favorite
Smith Family Bookstore is good for wandering through.
posted by dorey_oh at 4:18 PM on August 13, 2022

The Eugene Textile Center is a pretty nice fiber store.
posted by janell at 5:15 PM on August 13, 2022

Another food option — Cafe Yumm is a local chain, serving rice bowls. All of their bowls can be modified to vegan without really changing the meal (just replace/remove cheese and sour cream). Primary flavor is Yumm sauce, an almond and nutritional yeast -based sauce.
posted by Axle at 6:10 PM on August 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

Lots of places in town have vegan options, but here's a few suggestions beyond the ones you already have listed: Lotus Garden, Laughing Planet, Hey Neighbor Pizza (they have vegan cheese if you ask), Arekie (food truck),

For walking the riverfront path is great. Also Alton Baker Park and Hendricks Park.

Bookstores: Smith Family Bookstore, Tsunami Books.

Museums: the art & natural history museums on campus are worth a visit.

You can also get out to the Oregon coast within an hour. There's a trail shortly before you get to the coast with lots of small waterfalls: Sweet Creek Falls that I'd definitely recommend.
posted by kbuxton at 7:31 PM on August 13, 2022 [3 favorites]

I’d add Beergarden and other food truck/brewery places to your list-outside seating, often live music, wide variety of foods.

Hike up Spencer’s Butte-an easy half mile to top-for an amazing view, then wander back down to riverfront path or go down the other side to the Fifth St Market area-lots of food, urban wineries if that’s your thing (Oregon Wine Labs is my favorite and the food truck there is Vietnamese-Da Nang-and delicious and all menu items have a vegan option), good shopping.

I think the U of O is worth a wander. The campus is gorgeous-including the adjacent cemetery-and the new Hayward Field is pretty spectacular even if you’re not a sports fan.

The Ridgeline trail in South Eugene is great for hiking and often views. We also love Mt Pisgah-a good strenuous hike to the top, probably best in early morning this time of year, but you can also wander through the arboretum at the base. Pay to park at this one.

Vegan food is common here-most restaurants should have options, in addition to the great suggestions above.
posted by purenitrous at 7:16 AM on August 14, 2022 [1 favorite]

In addition to the good suggestions above, for food/snacks, I'd suggest:

Sweet Life Patisserie: some good vegan cake and pie options -- my wife and I got our wedding cakes from here, including an absolute banger of a vegan gluten-free chocolate peanut butter custard cake.

Public House: Similar to Beergarden, it's a bar + food truck pod in an old converted church over in Springfield. Great spot for a drink, though I don't think the food trucks have a ton of vegan options.

Oakshire: Brewery in the Whiteaker with a food truck pod. I love Oakshire's smoothie sours, though I don't know if the current flavor is vegan or not. I'd suggest checking out Arekie, which is an Indian fusion truck with two separate vegan and non-vegan menus (Taco Bell inspired -- think crunchwraps, etc).

Hot Mama's Wings: Their tempeh wings have gotten good reviews from my vegetarian friends, though you may need to BYOR(anch) since last I recall they don't have vegan ranch.

For day trips within an hour drive, you've got the coast (hit Sweet Creek Falls on the way, wander around Florence's Old Town, then head up the coast a bit to get to Heceta Head Lighthouse and maybe the Sea Lion Caves), Oakridge (small Cascades town to the southeast, you can try the cask ale at the Three-Legged Crane brewery and English pub, taste the craft liquor at Deep Woods Distillery, play a round of fish lifecycle mini-golf at the Willamette Fish Hatchery, and soak in the McCredie hot springs if you're up for a bit of a hike). If you're willing to stretch to an hour and a half, you can hit Silver Falls State Park (multiple waterfalls you can walk behind) and the Oregon Garden east of Salem, or you can drive halfway to Bend to see Sahalie and Koosah Falls.

I live in Eugene and got married this spring, and I made a far-too-long list of Eugene recommendations for guests for our wedding website. MeMail me if you'd like a copy.
posted by bassooner at 11:51 AM on August 22, 2022

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