Recreation and fitness opportunities are everywhere in the university town of Eugene, Oregon. Rated as one of the top ten cycling cities in the U.S., Eugene has miles and miles of biking, walking and jogging paths. The paths are built along the Willamette River, through parks and gardens, and even next to shopping centers. Canoes and kayaks can be rented for a pleasant day boating on the Willamette River. For picnicking, camping, swimming, water skiing or sailing, Fern Ridge Lake is just outside of town. Fern Ridge Lake is also great for anglers, supplying trout, crappie, bass and catfish in the spring. If you prefer whitewater rafting, Eugene is close to the McKenzie River, with Class II and Class III rapids.
Eugene's University of Oregon campus is also a tourist attraction. The 250 acre campus, called the U of O, has architecturally pleasing buildings, some dating back to the 1870s, shady, tree-lined footpaths and beautiful landscaping. There are several museums to visit. The U of O Museum of Art has an excellent collection of Asian art, as well as African art, Russian icon paintings, Rodin sculptures and changing exhibits. The U of O Museum of Natural History focuses on Oregon's ancient people and animals, as well as changing exhibits on other cultures.
Known for its cultural events, Eugene is the home of the Hult Center for the Performing Arts. The Hult Center offers ballets, symphonies and opera in several halls. The internationally known Oregon Bach Festival, featuring more than 40 concerts at the University's Beall Concert Hall and the Hult Center, includes the music of Bach, Brahms, Mozart and other classic composers as well the music of 20th century artists. The Center has free tours every Thursday and Saturday.
Eugene is also noted as being a home to alternative lifestyles, with reminders of the 1960s seen throughout the city. The Oregon Country Fair, held in late July, is a combination of outdoor musical festival and renaissance crafts fair, with lots of 60s overtones thrown in. The outdoor Saturday Market features arts and crafts, food booths and music. Held each Saturday from April to mid-December, it's a good place to shop for unique craft items.
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