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The Eugene Saturday Market and the Oregon Country Fair are hippie institutions that continue to thrive into their fifth decade, and help perpetuate progressive ideas like ethical sourcing, knowledge-sharing, gifting and environmental awareness.
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The arts are also taken seriously in Eugene, as the imposing Hult Center and its busy calendar will prove. Proof positive that the counterculture lives on in Eugene, this craft market at Park Blocks has been around since and is held all day long on Saturdays from April to November. The most prestigious of all the Ducks are the football team, which plays its games in front of 59,capacity crowds at Autzen Stadium.
Whatever you prefer, the standard is guaranteed to be high — Ducks are regularly drafted by professional sports franchises.
Eugene and the Willamette Valley get a soft Mediterranean climate, which favours a burgeoning wine industry vaunted for its sophisticated pinot noirs. The wineries are also worth experiencing for their scenery, where endless rows of vines are bordered by pine woodland on gentle rolling hills.
There are wineries in Willamette Valley, so to avoid getting bogged down by the huge choice you can set off on a choice of themed wine trails. These have been deed to take you through the best landscapes and include both restaurants and overnight lodgings. Taking place on the second weekend of July and going back tothis arts event grew out of a hippie fund-raiser.
The fair started out in Eugene to raise money for an alternative school, before moving 20 minutes west to the city of Veneta where it has remained ever since. The Oregon Country Fair has 18 stages devoted to anything from live music to vaudeville, juggling, comedy and drama.
The whole thing is non-profit, and the organisers rely on large crews of volunteers each year. The fair has a particular family-friendly philosophy, with face-painting, puppet shows and educational zones, while alcohol is banned on the site.
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This stadium enjoys near-mythic status in the world of track and field. It belongs to the University of Oregon and was built inover the years providing a filming location for movies and TV shows about athletics. To this day it continues to host some of the most prestigious events for this discipline: The United States Olympic trials are regularly held here, while the national track and field championships were hosted by the stadium inand Hendricks Park is also the northern trailhead for the Ridgeline Trail, so you can use it as your point of departure for a mile hike through the lovely countryside south of the city.
Energetic walkers can get to the metre-high summit for panoramas of the wider area including Eugene and the local small towns of Springfield and Pleasant Hill. For a small fee you can also enter the Mount Pisgah Arboretum, a managed eco-system with seven miles of walking trails that wind along the Willamette River.
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There are also mushroom and wildflower festivals at the arboretum in autumn and spring. This attraction belongs to the University of Oregon and opened in after a large donation of oriental art by the collector Gertrude Bass Warner. The museum building was deed by contemporary dean of architecture Ellis F.
Lawrence and is in the gothic revival style with geometric brickwork and a beautiful cloister next to a courtyard garden.
The best of the collection are two planes dating from the First World War: The Nieuport 17 was a single-seat fighter deed by France, and its counterpart is a German-made Fokker Dr 1 Triplane, the same model flown by the famous Red Baron. Also at the museum is a timeline of the history of space exploration, with models, vintage photographs and NASA memorabilia.
Logging was a big local industry in the 19th century and you can peruse a collection of mill blades, axes and the earliest chainsaws. Dioramas showcase homes and workshops from the early days, while among the display of vehicles is a Model T Ford from This fair is held every year in late-July or early-August.
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All the usual carnival rides, midway and fair food are here, and of course these are combined with old-time County Fair activities like livestock competitions and agricultural shows. Concerts take place each day, usually by high-profile bands and solo artists. As a small city Eugene sure punches above its weight for culture, a point driven home by this imposing glass building on Willamette Street.
The Hult Center was built by Eugene locals in the earlys and is owned and operated by the city.
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The Center welcomes high-profile touring artists and bands, but also has resident companies for ballet, opera and choral performances, each held to a high standard. There are daily tours at this craft brewery that has become a cherished fixture in Eugene.
The brewery was setup by two young brewers in and has ridden the craft beer wave, expanding several times over the last ten years and now distributing throughout the western United States and Canada. Ninkasi has eight different year-round beers to check out, and depending when you visit there are five seasonal brews too.
From the staff to ingredients, almost everything about Ninkasi is local to Eugene: At the tasting area you can even accompany your beer with local artisan cuisine from carts on the patio outside.
The Pacific coast is closer than you might think, at only 60 miles to the west. A great reason to make the drive is for the Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, which is one of the biggest sand dune systems in North America created by millions of years of wind and rain.
The system encloses lofty dunes, coastal lakes and forest at the mouth of the Umpqua River. One of the best is for the great cuisine: The streets of Portland have hundreds of d street food vendors, running the gamut from oriental noodle bars to Middle Eastern, Italian and classic American fare.
So it follows that one of the top draws in the city should be the International Rose Test Garden in Washington Park where in the warmer months some 7, roses from varieties are in bloom. Also see: Best Things to do in Portland. Eugene Saturday Market Source: flickr Eugene Saturday Market Proof positive that the counterculture lives on in Eugene, this craft market at Park Blocks has been around since and is held all day long on Saturdays from April to November.
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