Two years ago, I came to Eugene for the first time. And fell so in love with Track Town, USA that I decided to quit my job, move across the country, and stay here for life.
Kidding. Only…not really.
There’s a reason Eugene is a destination city for running events. We’ve got fast tracks that have hosted an inspiring list of performances, more elite athletes than at least 5 Olympics combined, an enthusiastic, passionate and supportive running community, ideal running weather, and plenty of carbs to keep us fueled for all of the miles.
Because that’s why you come to Eugene, right?
The good news is: there is no shortage of amazing running spots in Eugene. The bad news: you’re just not going to have time to hit them all. The GREAT news: there’s your excuse to plan your next vacation here.
- Pre’s Trail: because it’s Eugene. And Track Town. And to give anything less than your best (effort to run on his woodchips) would be to sacrifice the gift.
- Ridgeline: Trail girl here. While Eugene is clearly best known for its track, it’s not lacking in trails. Ridgeline’s got plenty of dirt, a beautiful forest to run through, and killer views if you decide to run to the top of Spencer’s Butte (which you should. I can’t recommend it enough).
- The Riverbank Bike Paths: Want to run part of the marathon course before racing? Hit up the Riverbank Bike Path. You’ll be treated to river views and plenty of footbridges to hop back and forth between the two riverbanks.
- Mt Pisgah: If you want to rest your running muscles and switch it up with a short hike, hit up the little hill that could. This guy sits right outside of town and has plenty of short route options to get you to the summit without taxing your legs too much. Once there, look around and just soak up the Cascades.
- Laughing Planet: the best healthy burritos around. They’re fresh, local, delicious and full of fun ingredients like plantains, grilled tempeh, and Thai lemongrass peanut sauce. Plus, there’s plenty of Eugene craft beer on tap.
- Whirled Pies/Pizza Research Institute (all veggie, all the time)-If pizza’s your thing, hit up one of these eateries for a slice or a pie (probably the latter, you’re running a LONG way this weekend).
- Café Yumm: Warning: if you read the menu, you’ll be kind of skeptical about whether their combination of ingredients will work. Trust me, they do.
- Market of Choice: If you’re cooking your own carbs and want the best local grocery option.
- Humble Bagel or Hideaway Bakery: If you’re in the market for bagels and fresh baked carbs.
- Off the Waffle: For the funkiest breakfast pastries that will ever meet your plate. They’ve got sweet, savory and “in between” for the truly adventurous breakfast eaters.
- Voodoo Donuts: get the apple fritter that’s the size of your face. YOU’RE WELCOME. Bonus: they’re open 24 hours a day and ready to help take care of you when that 2am post-race hunger hits. Sweet Life Patisserie is the other spot to hit if it’s your sweet tooth that wants to help you celebrate a great race.
- The Bier Stein: the best pretzels around (that come with bier cheese soup for dipping), killer sandwiches, and an amazing selection of craft beer.
- Belly Taco: for an absolutely scrumptious taco experience.
- Marche: If you’re looking for the best (fancy) burger in town, you’ll find it here. Cornucopia has some less fancy options that will fulfill your need for a post-race greasefest. They also have a very full menu of vegetarian options.
- Party Downtown: so much goodness. Show up hungry, get the “kitchen’s choice”, leave unable to button your pants.
- Brails or Wandering Goat are the spots to hit.
- Dutch Bro's Coffee is a must try if you haven't already (started in Oregon).
And a bevy for post-coffee...Because if you’re not in Eugene for the running, you’d better be here for the beer.
- Ninkasi: Yes, I’m technically employed them but they’re not paying me to say nice things about them. Okay, actually they are. But I’m off the clock. Pinky promise. Great beer, great patio, great place to celebrate PRs.
- Oakshire: Just down the street from Ninkasi. My advice: don’t decide which brewery you’re going to visit, go to as many as you can!
- The Barn Light, Izakaya Meiji: If you’re traveling with people who don’t like beer.
- The Bier Stein, The Tap & Growler, 16 Tons: If variety is what you’re looking for, all of these places have phenomenal tap lists and some also offer carryout options so you can bring the beer home to your couch and sweatpants.
Enjoy Track Town and fly fast on Sunday!