Top Ten College Towns

University of Oregon, Eugene, Oregon
Eugene, Oregon
ENCIRCLED WITH BEAUTY: Eugene's downtown amidst a plethora of opportunities for outdoor adventure (Wikipedia)

1. University of Oregon
Eugene, Oregon

More than 20,000 students attend the "U of O," and most passionately cheer for the school's topnotch athletic teams, including the consistantly high-ranking Oregon Ducks football team. Among the UO's claims to fame: It was the birthplace of Nike shoes and the setting for the classic frat movie "Animal House." But it's perhaps best known for its track-and-field program. Serious runners know about gone-too-soon superstar Steve Prefontaine, who died in a car accident in 1975 at age 24. Follow in the former Duck's footsteps with Pre's Trail, a relatively flat 4.5-mile running path in Alton Baker Park, and visit Pre's Memorial near Hendricks Park where he died.

Sports aside, the city of 150,000 is truly an art-lover's dream city. Willamette Street downtown is home to a large concentration of galleries. Every first Friday of the month, the city hosts the First Friday Art Walk, with free guided tours of galleries and arts-businesses featuring interviews with exhibiting artists. The next day, get up and head to Eugene's Saturday Market. Each Saturday between April and November, musicians, artists, artisans, and food vendors gather on the corner of 8th and Oak. The intersection of Kincaid Street and 13th Avenue is the heart of Eugene's student activity. Cheap eats can be found at spots like Alexander's Falafel and Cafe Siena. Taylor's Bar, Max's Tavern, and Rennie's Landing are favorite watering holes among both students and locals.

Broadway and Olive Streets intersect to form the "Barmuda Triangle," the apex of Eugene nightlife. Seven bars share a single corner, and carousers easily hop from one to another. The Steelhead Brewing Company and Lucky Noodle are both popular spots in the Fifth Street Public Market area at 5th and Pearl Street. Hippies find their home in the Whiteaker District, where Sam Bond's Garage is located. The "garage" features live music and serves lots of local brews. Papa's Soul Kitchen is famous for its blues shows and BBQ.

Being a city in the majestic Pacific Northwest, Eugene is replete with outdoor beauty. Oaks and Douglas firs dot the 300-acre UO campus. The Willamette and McKenzie rivers provide great opportunities for water sports and recreation. Plus, more than 100 parks and 2,600 acres of open green space await in Eugene.

Published: 18 Mar 2010 | Last Updated: 8 May 2012
Details mentioned in this article were accurate at the time of publication



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