Family Getaway: What to See, Eat & Explore in Eugene

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We’ve made our way to the mid-summer months, and now is the time to pack in the family getaways. Before the kids head back to class, we suggest you head to Eugene, Oregon for a quick weekend escape or a fun family day trip. From the Cascade Raptor Center to the Eugene Saturday Market we have put together a family getaway itinerary that has a little something to keep everyone in your crew entertained.

Eugene: How to get there

Eugene makes for a fantastic day trip or overnight getaway because of it's proximity to Portland. It's is about two hours from Portland via the I-5, and the drive is gorgeous. For this jam packed family day you'll want to pack swimwear, sunscreen, towels, and sand buckets and shovels.

Play

Cascades Raptor Center

Get up close and personal with over 40 birds of prey at this engaging non-profit. Get close enough to the enclosures to actually see through the nose holes of a turkey vulture! Each bird has been rescued, rehabbed, and deemed unfit for release which allows us to get a great education about these awesome hunters. You and your kids will love reading the stories of each individual bird and how they came to be captive, educational birds. The staff is engaging and happily answers any questions your kids may ask.

Location: 32275 Fox Hollow Road, 97405
Hours: Tues thru Sun 10a-5p
Admission: Adults $10, Children 12 and under $7

Skinner's Butte Park
Skinner's Butte Park is considered one of the gems of Eugene and can be found nestled between the Fifth Street Public Market and the Whitaker District . This historic spot offers and abundancy of beauty and hours and hours of play. The park includes 100 acres of property along the Willamette River which offers water lovers in your family the opportunity ti cool off while splashing around, skipping rocks, and float sticks. Other features that are sure to thrill your whole family are the Columns climbing area, RiverPlay Discovery Playground, the Skinner City Farm community garden, acres of lawn and meadows, hiking trails, and bike paths. Your little monkeys will love scaling rock walls and getting wet and wild in the spray park. Bring a blanket and picnic basket filled with treats. There's plenty of shade for mom and dad to relax in while the kids wear themselves out.

Eugene Saturday Market
You haven't experienced Eugene if you don't hit the Eugene Saturday Market. Laying claim to being the oldest open-air crafts market, each Saturday, Lane County's favorite artisans, chefs and musicians bring their creations to the market for locals and visitors alike to experience. There are approximately 200 booths with handmade goods to check out, and plenty of food carts selling good eats and treats when tummies get hungry.

Shopping isn't all that's available at this unique market. Don't forget to bring your dancing shoes. Eugene's best entertainers are regularly found playing cool tunes in the middle of the market. Get ready to take in some real local flair!

Eat

Laughing Planet
For a lunch that is quick, nutritious, and entertaining, head to Laughing Planet. This local establishment is knowns for serving delicious grub that satisfies both grownups and kiddos alike. There is an assortment of burritos, tacos and salads to choose from and the food is served surprisingly fast. There's even an entire menu just for kiddos, with plenty of healthy options for them to choose from that they are guaranteed to love.  

Location: 760 Blair Blvd, 97402

Fifth Street Public Market
If your crew has varying tastes, then head to the Fifth Street Market where you can choose between a variety of quick bites or sit down delights. Market eateries include Carlita’s Rooftop Mexican restaurant, Drunken Fish Seafood restaurant, Handel’s Ice Cream, NorthWest Burgers and more. When you are done eating, there's plenty of shops to peruse. Depending on the day, the market hosts entertainment, so you may event catch live music by local entertainment. 

Location: 296 East Fifth Avenue, 97401

Hours: Open Mon-Sat 11a.m.-7 p.m., and 5:00pm on Sundays. (The hours of each shop may vary.)

Stay

The Signature Inn

The Signature Inn in Eugene is our top pick for where to stay when your day trip to Eugene turns into an overnighter (or longer) getaway. This newly remodeled retro-modern Inn, is conveniently located near downtown, The University of Oregon, and Eugene Airport (EUG). There are a number of eateries within walking distance of this spot, including The Cornbread Cafe (for vegans and people who just love a good breakfast).

Recently remodeled, the rooms are chic blended with a classic Americana feel. Your stay is sure to take you back to the 60's in the all of the best of ways. The rooms feature soft bedding, vibrant décor, a flat-screen cable TV, and microwave. This spot is sure to become your home away from home. Choose from a king, queen, two double beds, or three double beds options. There are rooms to fit most families of all sizes.

Location: 1055 W 6th Ave, Eugene

—Annette Benedetti

photo via pexels

Editor’s note: Accommodations were paid for by The Signature Inn but all opinions expressed here belong to the writer.

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