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Top Five Destinations of Eugene


Can you imagine our nation’s capital as George D.C.? The capital of Missouri as Thomas City? The capital of South Carolina as Christophia? I can’t imagine too many cities named for the first name of a historical figure or its founder, but Eugene surprises me on that front. Per Wikipedia, Eugene gets its name from Eugene Skinner, and maybe in comparison Eugene seems like a much warmer name than Skinner (at least until the days of “The Simpsons” when Principal Skinner becomes that mostly harmless mother’s boy. In the principal’s case, I think Skinner would be a better town name than Seymour.)

I don’t want to pretend that Eugene is the only first name of a city out there, just the one that feels most obvious. Pierre, South Dakota could have been for Juan Pierre, hero of the 2003 World Series and not Pierre Choteau. St. Paul could be after Clippers point guard Chris Paul joins the clergy and performs three miracle between the legs passes on his way to sainthood instead of one of the authors of the New Testament long since a saint.

So besides my fascination with its name, Eugene does have a few other things to offer as I travel Interstate 5 between Portland and Medford. These are the five that struck my Eugene Interest (a much stronger name than Eugene Fancy.)

Visit the Museum of Natural and Cultural History

My first step in finding out more about Eugene will be to find out a bit more about the world in general by visiting the Museum of Natural and Cultural History. My focus will be on the Oregon side especially through the Snapshots of Archaeology in Oregon exhibit.

Tour the Cascades Raptor Center

To satisfy my ongoing curiosity of all things avian, I’ll check out the Cascades Raptor Center. They have 12 owls currently hanging out, along with eagles, hawks and crows, oh my.

Listen to music at Sam Bonds Garage

I like live music and Sam Bonds Garage seems like a cool and unique venue for seeing a variety of acts from indie folk to rock to bluegrass. The sidebar also claims a variety of beers and “quality vittles” and any place that makes mention of vittles at all, let alone quality, deserves a visit.

Check out the Conger Street Clock Museum

I value time and certainly place great emphasis on personally being on time and being timely. However, I don’t think I would go so far as to collect oodles and oodles of timepieces like the Conger Street Clock Museum. As a specialty, hyper-focused museum, I have to know more about how someone finds the love for all these clocks.

Enjoy a beer or three at The Bier Stein

If Sam Bonds Garage doesn’t have the beer I crave, I’ll bet I can find it at The Bier Stein. They have over 1000 different beers at their location as well as 12 beers on tap as of February 21st. I hope they have a tasting when I visit.

Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.

About Jason McClain

Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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