The third-largest city in Oregon, Eugene enjoys the cultural advantages of a major city, yet the relaxed and unique atmosphere of a quaint college town. The campus is located a short distance from the city center and is easily accessible by foot, pedal power or public transportation. Appropriately, bike paths and jogging trails criss-cross the city, catering to students’ preferred mode of getting around the city of about 150,000 people. With the Springfield community just east of Eugene, the metro population tops 200,000.
Community support for University of Oregon athletics, by far the most popular game in town, is unparalleled. The Ducks have set numerous attendance records in recent years and are averaging a remarkable 90 percent capacity rate over the last 10 seasons.
Its ideal location between sea level and ski level is an attraction. Natural amenities within the city include the Willamette River running through the heart of the city, and the two picturesque buttes, Skinner and Spencer, that frame the city at its northern and southern ends.
Winter sports are close at hand, and so are the miles of unspoiled beaches and many coastal lakes. Residents are drawn to Eugene by an excellent school system and progressive city government. Clean air and clean water are qualities that Eugeneans value.
Within Eugene are more than 70 parks and recreation facilities to provide open space and organized programs for all ages. Miles of bike paths, jogging trails, hiking trails, gardens, river walks and other outdoor opportunities enable citizens and visitors to take advantage of the area’s natural assets.
The University of Oregon contributes immeasurably to the life of the city, bringing an endless schedule of major cultural, educational and sports activities to the area.
There are also many indoor cultural, leisure, education and entertainment activities available year around.
For example, the nationally-acclaimed Hult Center for the Performing Arts is a $22 million facility with two halls (2,500 and 500 seats) that enable Eugeneans to enjoy a broad spectrum of entertainment from opera to rock concerts.
Eugene’s primary industry remains lumber and wood products. However, there is increasing diversification to other types of business and industry to create new jobs for a growing and vibrant population.
Aggressive development of Eugene as a destination point for tourists and visitors and a growing convention business is helping meet city and Chamber of Commerce goals in terms of business and industry diversification and development.
Contributing to the city’s health is its development as a professional center and the consequent attraction of a large number of highly qualified professionals in areas of medicine, law, architecture and finance.
Eugene has all the amenities of a major city without the slums and pollution. It offers the ambience of a small, unhurried town without the isolation. Oregon’s largest city, Portland, at more than a half-million residents, is just an hour-and-a-half drive away.
Sunset magazine selected Eugene one of the five top college towns in the West, Cosmopolitan said Eugene is one of the eight great college towns in the nation and Money magazine has rated Eugene-Springfield among the best six U.S. cities in which to live. In February 2003, Rolling Stone magazine picked it as the eighth best college town for music in the nation. In 2002, Fodor’s selected the Willamette Valley as one of 10 "Choice Destinations" worldwide.
Whatever the choice of the resident or student, it can be found with little trouble. Energy can be worked off at the major sporting events held in the area.
There is ample shopping in Eugene’s downtown, the Valley River Center mall, the Gateway Mall in Springfield, as well as several retail centers. Hundreds of clubs and organizations invite memberships and participation. There is skiing in the mountains or exploring the natural beauty of the famous Oregon Coast.
Top 10 -Fodor’s Travel Publications picked the Willamette Valley as one of the 10 "Choice Destinations" in the world.
Top 5 - Eugene’s rank among college towns in the West by Sunset magazine.
#1 - Oregon’s overall ranking among the 50 states in 256 categories of environmental health as evaluated by The Green Index.
2 to 1 - Per capita ratio of people in Eugene listed in Who’s Who in America compared to the national average.
#4 - Eugene’s rank by Sports Illustrated on Campus among all college towns in October, 2003.
#8 - Eugene’s national rank by Rolling Stone among all college towns for its music scene, 2003.
Top 10 - Eugene’s rank among U.S. cities for bicycling.
157 - Number of parks in Lane County