Fishing for fall drive? Try the Aufderheide Scenic Drive

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Aufderheide Scenic Drive

Aufderheide Scenic Drive

The Eugene, Cascades & Coast region has welcomed an unseasonably warm fall, which means we’ve had to be patient to feast our eyes upon the brilliant brick reds, caramel yellows and pumpkin orange hues that usually dot our scenic bikeways, riverbanks and mountainsides in October.

This week brought golden halos to the foothills of the Cascade Mountains, priming our favorite fall drive for a day of adventure.

Now is the time to tour the Aufderheide Scenic Drive from Highway 126 to Highway 58. Read where you’ll see the best fall colors on the most recent Oregon Fall Foliage Blog post.

Don’t forget to check our website for great fall deals.

Office Bridge, Westfir

Office Bridge, Westfir

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Calling all adventurers (and wannabes)!

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Samara snow

Samara (left) on a 2014 snowshoeing adventure

Calling all adventurers (and wannabes)! Our own Samara Phelps, a Eugene, Cascades & Coast Adventure Specialist, OregonFallFoliage.com leaf peeper, McKenzie River Trail Run 50K finisher and a true adventure diva, will be giving a free class on Tuesday, October 21, at the Eugene REI.

Learn how to become a tourist in your own community and how to discover new trails, waterfalls, scenic drives and restaurants. Find all of the real adventures that are real close.

The event is free and starts at 7 p.m.

For more information, go to Eugene REI.

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Five Ways to Have a Fabulous Fall in RealOregon

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Contrary to what the rest of the country may think, it doesn’t rain year-round in Oregon. In fact, I’m going to let you in on a little secret. For many of us Oregonians (or, born-again Oregonians such as myself), fall is our favorite season of the year. The warm days often continue through mid-October. The current forecast calls for high 70s for the weekend, making this the perfect time to discover new trails, flavors on local menus, and experience wineries at their busiest time of the year.

Here are our five best ways to have an awesome autumn:

  1. Fall Foliage Hikes, Bikes and Drives
    Sweet Creek Falls by David Putzier

    Sweet Creek Falls by David Putzier

    Sorry New England, but you aren’t the only ones with wicked cool fall color. Our seasonal foliage is AMAZING! Plus, whether you are a hiker, cyclist or just like going for scenic drives, you can see the cornucopia of colors right before your eyes. Hike to Sweet Creek Falls near Florence for a fabulously, fall (and family-friendly) hike. Pedal through a tunnel of color on the Covered Bridges Scenic Bikeway. For an outstanding drive, head to the Aufderheide Scenic Drive that connects Highways 58 and 126. Be sure to have a full tank of gas before you go. Follow the Oregon Fall Foliage Blog for weekly leaf updates from around the state.

  2. Florence Oktoberfest
    Gemütlichkeit! Munich is moving to the central Oregon Coast on October 4, 2014, for the Florence Oktoberfest. Dig out your lederhosen for authentic German food, bier, wiener dog races, and music.
    Continue reading
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Top Things for Spartan Fans to Do in Eugene

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Welcome to Eugene, Spartan fans! This is the perfect weekend to enjoy the sunshine and explore the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region while you’re here for the highly anticipated University of Oregon / Michigan State University game. If you’re looking for things to do in Eugene and the surrounding areas, here are a few to get you going:

Sweet Cheeks Winery by Paul Rentz

Sweet Cheeks Winery by Paul Rentz

Oregon Wine Country
Less than thirty minutes from the Eugene metro area, you’ll find 17 award-winning wineries. The south Willamette Valley is known of its pinot noir and pinot gris. King Estate, Oregon’s largest winery, overlooks more than 1,000 acres of vineyards, orchards and gardens. The onsite restaurant serves a mouth-watering menu made from estate-grown produce and locally-sourced meats and cheeses. Taste rare vintages not sold in stores at Pfeiffer Winery, a boutique winery whose wine was selected for President Obama’s pre-inaugural dinner. If you’re lucky, winemaker and owner Robin Pfeiffer will be onsite conducting his sought-after,  informal and informational “pinot clinic.”

Have a few hours to spare? The Oregon Coast is worth every minute of the short drive (photo by Gregory Burns)

Have a few hours to spare? The Oregon Coast is worth every minute of the short drive (photo by Gregory Burns)

Cascades and Oregon Coast
The Oregon Coast is only about an hour west of Eugene, where you can taste the freshest Dungeness crab, gawk at sea lions in America’s biggest sea cave, and take a thrilling dune buggy ride over some of the largest sand dunes in the world. Or, head east to the pristine McKenzie River, offering top-notch fishing and thrilling whitewater rafting excursions. We are also home to numerous waterfalls that are not only breathtaking but easily accessible. Continue reading

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Top Labor Day weekend events

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PrintThis weekend brings two holidays to the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region. While Labor Day may be the only official one, many University of Oregon fans deem the first football game of the season as an unofficial holiday. So why not get the celebration started a day early?

With this weekend’s game also comes the first ever Duck Downtown – a Friday night of pre-game parties in downtown Eugene and downtown Springfield. Fans are invited to flock to the downtowns for family-friendly events at stores and restaurants. Special Duck-themed games, prizes and discounts will be offered. Duck Downtown will continue every Friday before home football games throughout the season.

Fans coming from out of town can hop on a special Game Train. Amtrak Cascades is offering a 25 percent discount on round-trip tickets from Seattle and Portland. Game Train ticket holders can ride Lane Transit District’s (LTD) bus system free all weekend. All fans can ride to and from Duck Downtown events on Fridays after 5 p.m.

For more information on Duck Downtown events and the Game Train, visit www.DuckDowntown.com.

The Duck game isn’t the only show in town. Here’s a list of our top things to do this Labor Day weekend.

SPECIAL EVENTS

Wine tasting on the Territorial Wine Trail at Sweet Cheeks Winery

Wine tasting on the Territorial Wine Trail at Sweet Cheeks Winery

Labor Day Weekend on the Territorial Wine Trail
Friday – Monday, South Willamette Valley Wineries
Enjoy beautiful venues, specials on wine, live music and wonderful food throughout the south Willamette wine country all weekend long.

ART

Last Friday ArtWalk in the Whiteaker Neighborhood
Friday, Whiteaker Arts District (Eugene)
Stroll through “The Whit” to see 20 public works of art ranging from wall murals to sculptures. Neighborhood galleries, artist studios, eateries, live music venues and tasting rooms will open their doors to share local exhibits and promote local art. Continue reading

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Welcome home, Bart, Lisa, Marge, Maggie and Homer!

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The Simpsons’ mural was officially unveiled on Monday at the Emerald Art Center in Springfield, Oregon. Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, was on hand for the dedication.

“We have always said that Springfield is every town in America,” Smith told the crowd. “But that’s a dirty lie. Springfield is obviously in Oregon.”

The Simpsons’ creator, Matt Groening, is an Oregon native and has long hinted that the Oregon city was the “real” Springfield.

Take The Unofficial Simpsons Tour.

Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, helps dedicate The Simpsons' mural at Emerald Arts Center

Yeardley Smith, the voice of Lisa Simpson, helps dedicate The Simpsons’ mural at Emerald Art Center in Springfield, Oregon

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Top Things to Do This Weekend: August 22 – 24

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Eugene Celebration Parade by Beau Owens

Eugene Celebration Parade by Beau Owens

Not even the one year hiatus of the Eugene Celebration can rain on the 2014 Eugene Celebration Parade. Queen Bulbus Slimbledore, the newly crowned SLUG Queen, will lead dancers, floats, bands and pets through the streets of Eugene for Saturday’s beloved event. And that’s not the only show in town. Check out the rest of our Top Things to Do This Weekend. Continue reading

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Painting begins on The Simpsons mural in the “real” Springfield

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Small piece of The Simpsons' mural

Small piece of The Simpsons’ mural

Work began today on a mural featuring characters from The Simpsons. The colorful creation will grace the west wall of the Emerald Art Center in Springfield, Oregon, which Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening has alluded IS the “real” Springfield.

The mural is a collaboration by Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation print artist Julius Preite and Groening. It is being installed by the Old City Artists, which is led by former University of Oregon football player, Erik Nicolaisen. The design is still a secret, but we are allowed to show you this portion of it with Lisa on a bike and Maggie in a basket.

The mural will be unveiled on Monday, August 25 at 11: 30 a.m. Special guest Yeardley Smith (voice of Lisa Simpson) will be there to celebrate the dedication.

Simpsons Mural Day One by Molly (1)

Simpsons’ creator Matt Groening declares Springfield, Oregon, the REAL Springfield

Simpsons Mural Dedication and Community Party
Monday, August 25, 11:30 a.m.

Emerald Art Center
500 Main St
Springfield, Oregon

Artists begin working on The Simpsons' mural at Emerald Art Center in Springfield, OR

Artists begin working on The Simpsons’ mural at Emerald Art Center in Springfield, OR

Mixing paints for The Simpsons' mural

Mixing paints for The Simpsons’ mural

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Top Things to Do This Weekend: August 14 – 17, 2014

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Creativity reigns supreme this weekend in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region. Art shows, demonstrations, tours and classes are available at a variety of locations and events. Enjoy!

SPECIAL EVENTS

McKenzie River Chainsaw Art Festival

McKenzie River Chainsaw Art Festival

McKenzie River Chainsaw Art Festival
Thursday – Sunday, McKenzie Community Track and Field (Vida)
A unique three day event merging a passion for Northwest forestry with art. Using chainsaws, master wood carvers create memorable wood sculptures celebrating McKenzie River heritage. Partake in gold panning, nail driving and a youth track meet.

Xwest Huck Fest
Saturday, Sand Master Park (Florence)
The pros take center stage (or should we say, center dunes) at Sand Master Park and Xwest Clothing Company’s annual pro/am sandboard jump competition sanctioned by Dune Riders International in beautiful Florence on the Oregon Coast.  Admission is free to watch or compete.

Kids Create! Eugene
Saturday, Hilton Eugene and the Hult Center for the Performing Arts (Eugene)
If you have kids, this is the place to be on Saturday. Kids Create! Eugene is an all new youth arts event held in conjunction with the Create! Eugene festival. Come and sing, drum, draw, paint – create! Artists and youth arts groups will lead hands-on workshops. Youth performing arts groups will perform every half hour featuring theater, dance, music and circus arts. The entire event is absolutely free! Continue reading

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International Geocaching Day

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Saturday, August 16 might as well be a holiday in the Eugene, Cascades & Coast region. It’s the day that the whole world celebrates one of our favorite ways to explore our area – geocaching.

Cape Perpetua (aka cache #36 on the Florence Edition) by Mike Shaw

Cape Perpetua (cache #36 on the Florence Edition) by Mike Shaw

Geocaching uses global positioning systems (GPS) units or a smartphone app to guide you to cool places where you’ll find hidden treasures with trinkets inside. Take a trinket and leave one behind for the next geocacher. It’s that easy!

We launched the Eugene, Cascades & Coast GeoTour in October of 2012 with the hopes of leading visitors to our very favorite and sometimes lesser-known places from the west crest of the Cascade Mountains to Florence on the Oregon Coast. Continue reading

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