Eugene | Marijuana Travel Guide
Where to visit in Eugene, OR
Founded in 1876, U of O’s beautiful campus stretches for 295 acres along the Willamette River east of downtown Eugene. The lovely quads and comfortable mix of old and modern architecture makes it a great place for a morning walk. Football is huge here, but track and field is what put the school on the map. When touring the campus, the legendary Hayward Field is always worth a visit and the venue has even hosted numerous NCAA Championships and Olympic Trials. The International Association of Athletics Federation (IAAF) World Championships will be held at the renovated stadium in 2021, bringing the world's best track and field athletes to the Oregon city. The Museum of Culture and Natural History is just a javelin’s throw from the stadium and has superb exhibits on Oregon’s natural history and current environment. Any visit to U of O’s campus should include a stop at the impressive Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art (see below).
The Market District is just north of downtown and is filled with some of the city’s best brewpubs and fine dining options. It is home to Skinner Butte Park that runs along the Willamette River and has attractive walking and cycling paths. The park also features natural rock climbing options and a breathtaking view from the top of the butte. The Market District has one of the richest histories the town, offering a refined charm all its own. The pedestrian friendly walking district has fabulous shopping spots including 5th Street Public Market (see below) and Provisions Market Hall. The esteemed Hult Center for the Performing Arts is a highlight in the Market District and should not be missed on any visit to the neighborhood. (also below).
Whiteaker is on the other side of Interstate 105 from the Market District and is known as Eugene’s creative hub. It is a bohemian neighborhood with a strong activist population and is packed with breweries, coffee shops, distilleries and restaurants. Cruise over to Blairally Vintage Arcade to get your Pac Man and Donkey Kong fix, wander around the gorgeous Owen Rose Garden or catch a show at Sam Bond’s Garage (listed below). Top food options include Fisherman’s Market, Falling Sky’s Deli and Meiji, a Country Western Japanese izakaya.
What to do in Eugene, OR
The Cascades Raptor Center is the nation's leading rehabilitation center for injured raptors and other birds of prey. There are currently over 50 different species housed at the Center and the chance to see these striking animals up close is a rare treat. Handlers release the birds and allow them to soar before calling them back to roost. Each bird has its own name such as Guapo (Swainson's Hawk), Leia (Peregrine Falcon) and Newton (Northern Goshawk) and birds within the exhibit reside in outdoor aviaries that visitors can enjoy while hiking the winding hillside trails.
Housed in a gorgeous gothic revival building with intricate geometric brickwork, this museum on the campus of the University of Oregon has an excellent permanent collection of pieces from Japan, China and Korea. You could spend your entire visit enjoying these beautiful historic works, but there is also an interesting collection of American art and photography that is worth a look. Take some time to find your Zen in the attractive and tranquil courtyard garden.
This cool venue is the perfect place to catch independent films. It is housed in a California Mission-style church designed and constructed in 1925 and features four intimate screens with comfortable seating (ranging from just 16 to 32 seats) that continuously rotate through foreign, indie and classic films. In addition to traditional movie snacks like Milk Duds and Twizzlers, Bijou offers panini, hot dogs, wine, ciders and local craft beers. If that’s not enough, the theaters are connected to the First National Taphouse next door.
Sam’s is a great spot for a casual and mellow night out. The food and drinks are delicious but it’s the live music that brings the regular crowd of locals out most evenings. It’s a bit of a grungy place in the Whiteaker neighborhood but that only adds to the charm. The Irish Jam on Sunday afternoons and the Bluegrass Jam every Tuesday night are particularly popular. The pub also showcases local talent that spans all musical genres.
The Hult Center opened in 1982 and is the artistic center of Eugene. Owned and operated by the city, its largest theater seats 2,500 and it regularly hosts domestic and international touring acts. There is a smaller theater that seats 500 as well as an art gallery on the lower level of the facility. The building is dominated by the huge glass lobby and regularly hosts lectures, presentations and receptions. There is always something of interest happening: the Eugene Opera, Eugene Concert Choir, Eugene Symphony, Eugene Ballet, Ballet Fantastique and Fred Crafts' Radio Redux all call the Hult Center home.
Where to Buy Marijuana in Eugene, OR
Head over to Friendly Street in southwest Eugene to find this revered Eugene dispensary. These guys focus on ensuring that their entire product line is organic and sourced from farms that focus on environmental sustainability. The shop is welcoming and bright and the budtenders couldn’t be nicer. They stock Quill vape pens and always have a plentiful supply of oils and edibles. Their flower is sourced from local farms like Green Source Gardens, Alter Farms and Ananda Farms. Moss Crossing also has an excellent slogan: “We love people, cannabis, and the earth. And sloths.” Address: 2751 Friendly Street, Eugene, OR
This mellow spot is an island-themed paradise in downtown Eugene. It’s the type of dispensary where you just want to hang out and enjoy yourself after making your purchase. Their flower selection is outstanding and there are usually daily deals that slash the (already affordable) prices on select goods. The ounces of mid-range herb for less than $50 and the strain-specific pre-rolls keep the locals happy. If you can’t make it to the store itself Jamaica Joel’s offers free delivery. Address: 37 W 13th Ave #201, Eugene, OR
Twenty After Four is in a small house in Whiteaker and focuses on reducing dependence on prescription pharmaceuticals. Their staff is well versed in pain management and is eager to educate about how cannabis can contribute to overall well-being. Beyond an excellent selection of flower, concentrates and edibles, Twenty After Four also sells Kratom and has an oxygen bar. Address: 420 Blair Blvd, Eugene, OR
Spacebuds appears from the outside to be situated in a small house, but once you enter you are transported into another world. The décor is fantastic; the waiting area is set up like a movie theater and you will be asked to show your identification at the ticket window. If you bring in a movie ticket you’ll receive 10% off your entire purchase. The entrance to the budroom is via the TARDIS and there are replica Starship Enterprise red doors as well as doors that look as if they just came off the Death Star. Spacebuds offers free delivery between 2 p.m. and 8 p.m. Monday – Saturday with a minimum order of $35, but an in-person visit is highly recommended in order to enjoy all of the geeky memorabilia. Address: 741 Lincoln St, Eugene, OR
Where to Shop / Arts in Eugene, OR
Eugene's leading retail destination is packed with boutique vendors selling everything from haute couture to traditional woolen crafts. It is a colorful collection of unique and affordable locally owned stores and restaurants surrounding an open courtyard and is ideal for those who enjoy cannabis and love to window shop. Check out the goofy kids toys at Elephant’s Trunk Toy Company and then lust after the sexy lingerie at Freudian Slip. Don’t miss Made in Oregon for “high quality, local products made, caught, or grown in Oregon.” If you begin to feel peckish there are several excellent restaurants and cafés to satisfy your cravings.
This stylish yet relaxed gallery is located about a block south of the Hult Center in downtown Eugene. It focuses primarily on painters based in the Pacific Northwest but also has sculptures and other media from artists across the world. It is heavily involved in the Eugene Visual Arts Festival and hosts the Eugene Biennial every other summer. It is a lovely space filled with emotive paintings by accomplished local artists and everything is presented and explained with a distinct lack of pretension.
This hippy institution began in 1970 and continues to this day on Saturdays from April through November. Although it is technically a market, it also a de facto hangout spot for Eugene residents to catch up with friends and neighbors, catch some live music and grab a bite to eat from the food court which boasts Thai, Afghan, Mexican and Indian cuisine. There are usually over 200 artisans selling their wares and you can pick up everything from healing body oils to musical instruments.
Down to Earth is one of those stores that completely blows away any of your preconceived notions upon arrival. Yes, it’s a home and garden provider but the large selection of environmentally conscious kitchen and bath items and unique clothing sets it apart from standard gardening shops. The Toddy Cold Brew system, complete fermentation kits and Sloggers waterproof footwear are just some of the fun items available for purchase. There are also numerous gift options and products for pets. Time spent at Down to Earth is always entertaining because you never know what you’ll find around the corner. (Price – $-$$$)
Where to Eat in Eugene, OR
Kevin Lee opened Bao Bao House in downtown Eugene in 2018 with the goal of making handmade non-Americanized Chinese food. A native of Hangzhou, China, Lee draws and writes each of his menus daily and cooks up amazing noodles, soup, rice and dumplings in his simple exposed-brick restaurant. The draw here is obviously the ‘bao’ and Lee nails it with the soft and light dumplings perfectly crisped and filled with delectable fresh ingredients like pork, shrimp, vegetables and curry beef. His bao are perfect; little meals enclosed in an edible bread-like wrapping. Bao are traditionally not spicy but if you want a kick Lee provides plenty of sauces to accompany your dumplings.
With a space of over 12,000 square feet, 1,000 kinds of bottled and canned beer, a full menu of salads, sandwiches, paninis and more, this beer hall has it all. Each beer is served in its intended glass whether it’s a Hefeweizen or a Belgian Dubbel. Even if beer isn’t your thing there is plenty to enjoy about the convivial atmosphere and open layout that is perfect for a gathering of old (or new) friends. The Bier Stein is always a good time and a favorite of Eugene locals.
This small Italian gem is the perfect spot to fuel up for that trail ride or Cascade hike with exquisite homemade pastas. Owner and chef Joe Placido opened his restaurant in 2015 and he and his tiny staff produce some of the most delectable Italian dishes in Eugene. Their fresh certified-organic pasta shines in dishes like the deceptively basic Spaghetti Aglio e Olio (spaghetti tossed with garlic, olive oil, parsley and red pepper flakes) and the filling but not-too-heavy Carbonara. The smoked salmon ravioli deftly combines the deep flavor of the house-smoked salmon with the delicate pasta in a delicious dumpling. The thoughtful selection of Italian and Oregon wines by the glass at Placido’s tops off the menu.
This small and welcoming French country bistro on the edge of downtown sets a high bar with its cuisine and ambiance. It is French cooking done exquisitely well – nothing fussy, just simple, local and fresh ingredients presented in a careful and thoughtful manner. The menu is rooted in the honed application of the traditional five French mother sauces of Béchamel, Velouté, Espagnole, Hollandaise and Tomato and features classics such as cassoulet, sausage and lentils, steak frites, escargot and grilled octopus. At just $35, the Chef’s Tasting Menu is a steal and as with any top French restaurant, the wine and bar programs are exceptional.
Located in the Oregon Electric Railway Passenger Station that was built in 1914 and listed on the National Register of Historic Places, this Eugene staple is the place to go for a fine dining experience with sophisticated ambiance. The restaurant is divided into three dining areas in old train cars and serves steaks, chops and seafood along with a variety of vegetarian and gluten-free options. The bar serves impeccably crafted cocktails and the extensive wine list is focused on offerings from the Willamette Valley. There is live jazz on the weekends making any visit to this unique diner both delicious and entertaining.