Eugene is the hub of Oregon's second largest metropolitan area, but you would never guess it. Eugene residents take pride in their laid-back attitude, their unassuming air, their persistence in wearing Birkenstocks to the Farmer's Market during the day and to one of McMenamin's  Brew Pubs at night. But there are also plenty of Eugenians who dress up to go to the symphony or other events at the Hult Center for the Performing Arts, then head out for a nice glass of wine downtown. Eugene caters to everyone and takes this gracious attitude seriously.

There is a lot to love about this town; named one of the most bike- and pedestrian-friendly towns in America. Eugene is all about exercise and the outdoors. You'll find a zoo of rock climbers, yogi enthusiasts, fisherman, kayakers, mountain bikers, and especially runners.  Eugene is known affectionately as "Track Town" because the founder of Nike went to the University of Oregon and several world class track events have been held here. Eugene's flair and uniqueness is where this outdoor culture meets a bustling small city. With something for everyone, Eugenians can kayak or hike by day and see excellent theater and music by night. Its love of the arts and outdoors makes this town calm, interesting, exciting, laid back, and most of all, up and coming.

You can also (technically) ski and surf on the same day from Eugene, as the Pacific Ocean is one hour west and the Cascades Mountain Range is one hour east of town. Although the weather may not allow you to actually surf and ski on the same day, both drives are worth it for their beauty alone.

The influence of the University of Oregon on the Eugene scene is profound. With 25,000 enrolled students at the U of O, and tens of thousands more attending the local community college and private universities, Eugene is definitely a "college town". This large student population makes Eugene diverse, creative, colorful and energetic. There is always something happening in town, whether a free student concert at the newly expanded School of Music, an MFA exhibit at the Art Department, or one of the many science and law conferences held here. The presence of so many students and faculty in a relatively small town keeps Eugene interesting and fun.

If you're planning on visiting Eugene, know in advance that hotel rooms are relatively scarce for a city of its size.  It does have a rather large Hilton, a Residence Inn and other smaller hotels and several charming B&Bs.  On the Willamette River (which runs right through town) is the Valley River Inn.  Many of its rooms have truly wonderful views of the river and associated wildlife.  The Inn's restaurant is also one of Eugene's finest and has a 180 degree panoramic views of the river.