Adventures in Eugene

For the past five years Neil and I have gone on an annual long weekend getaway in January for his birthday. This year we had to postpone our trip since we were in the midst of moving and since we were on opposite sides of the country on Neil’s birthday weekend. Once we finally reunited in our new home we decided that we would take a little weekend trip in February and we finally did this past weekend to Eugene, Oregon.

Let me start off by saying I had an entirely different idea of Eugene and I have no idea where it came from. My knowledge of Eugene was that there was as huge university there and that it was somewhat eclectic. Well both things proved to be true however I also imagined it to be quite a bit nicer and have a central downtown area that we could walk around.

When Neil and I drove into town I was shocked to see that it wasn’t the nice little area that I had imagined and while there were a number of good vegan friendly restaurants and fun looking shops they were not very walkable to each other and with a baby that makes things difficult. Don’t worry though we ended up making the best of things but overall it wasn’t the magical getaway that I had envisioned.

Our plan was to get dinner before heading to our hotel but since it hadn’t taken us as long to get to Eugene as we expected we decided to first stop into Ninkasi Brewery for a tasting. Although located in a very industrial part of Eugene (who am I kidding the whole place is super industrial) it had a beautiful tasting room and outdoor patio with rotating food trucks. We got a sampler board of four of their brews and really enjoyed them all.

After our tasting we headed to Cornbread Cafe, a vegan comfort food restaurant, where we ordered up some yummy plates of Southern inspired food. We ordered two plates to share one with the “fried fish”, cabbage slaw, mashed potatoes with gravy and a biscuit and the other with chicken fried tempeh, greens, mac and cheeze and cornbread. I enjoyed the “fried fish”, cabbage slaw, mac and cheeze and cornbread the most, but overall everything was good. After dinner we headed to the hotel and slipped into our bathing suits and took Edith for her first swim in the pool before heading to bed

Saturday morning came and we had hopped to take advantage of all of the running trails in Eugene (one of the best things about Eugene) but the weather was not cooperating so instead we headed to breakfast at Studio One. We both ordered up the tempeh hash plate sans bread (not vegan) and ordered a fruit cup for Edith to enjoy. Since we had dinner on the early side the night before we were both super hungry and devoured our large plates of food. The food was good but the coffee was lacking so since it was still early we decided to head to Wandering Goat for a coffee where Neil had an amazing Americano and I had a really delicious hazelnut milk latte.


After our breakfast and coffee we decided to brave the rain and headed to the Raptors Center to see the birds. The Raptor Center is a hospital for raptors that have been injured and they care for a number of birds who have been so injured that they are unable to be released back into the wild. This was really the highlight of our trip and made the entire trip worth it. We all had an amazing time seeing the beautiful birds and enjoying the outdoors together even if it was raining.

neilraptor owlsraptor
After our trip to see the raptors we headed back into town and went to Morning Glory Cafe, a restaurant suggested my friend Kim. Kim certainly did not steer us wrong because this place was delicious. We had the white bean burger with a giant side salad and a veggie scramble wrapped in a hashbrown with the most delicious vegan sour cream on top. Edith enjoyed some steamed veggies and shared our carrot juice with us.

After lunch we were stuffed so we decided to walk over to a few shops we had seen near the cafe and did a little shopping. We also took Edith to a toy store that had those mechanical animals and boats that cost 50 cents to ride and had her try out a few, she was in heaven. After our little shopping excursion we made one last stop at Oakshire Brewery before calling it a day. We arrived to a very busy brewery where we sampled a few brews and enjoyed the sun that finally came out.The day ended with Cafe Yumm and bed.

While we had a nice time it wasn’t our dream getaway and since we came in under budget we are thinking of doing another weekend away in April if you have any suggestions please leave a note in the comments!

What was your best weekend getaway or what is your dream weekend getaway?

You can check out more photos of your trip here.


  1. Kerry

    Hi there! I grew up in the PNW and, despite the fact that everyone seems to think I belong in Eugene, I have never loved it. Might I suggest Corvallis? It is another college town, but with a nice little downtown area, a good farmers market along the river, great walks along the same river, two really funky co-ops, and it is closer to Portland. When we move back home to the PNW (we are in FL for a few years) we plan on living in Corvallis for a while. Great local, organic farms as well. The other option would be the Oregon Coast, one of the most beautiful places on earth! Netarts, Tillamook area is gorgeous, but don’t expect much vegan fare. Best bet is to get a kitchenette. Also, Depot Bay, Newport, Lincoln City all have really cute areas to walk around in. Jeez, I could go on. Guess I am homesick. 😉 Looking forward to hearing about your PNW adventures!

  2. Cool! Fellow Oregonian! I rarely go to Eugene, which is sad because it’s such a cool city. Usually when we do weekend getaways it’s to Bend, Hood River or the beach. The owls look cool. I will have to check that out.

  3. Sheree Walters

    Hi there! Thank you for your great review of Cornbread 😀 I am so sorry that you didn’t find downtown while you were in Eugene. I had the same thoughts of Eugene the first time I visited, but like you, I didn’t make it downtown. I have lived here for 7 years now and have definitely found the magic – it really does exist.

Leave a Reply