Nestled in the heart of the picturesque Willamette Valley in Lane County, Oregon, Eugene offers a wealth of natural beauty, vibrant culture, and diverse experiences. Known as the “Emerald City” due to its scenic and lush green forests, Eugene is the best destination for those who enjoy stunning outdoor adventures and cultural attractions.

While traveling can sometimes put a strain on your wallet, Eugene presents numerous opportunities to explore and enjoy its wonders without spending a dime. In fact, it’s one of the best things about visiting or investing in Eugene — you get to immerse yourself in numerous activities without having to break the bank.

Here are some of the best free things to do in Eugene:

1. Wander Through Hendricks Park

Enjoy nature’s breathtaking beauty by visiting the enchanting Hendricks Park. Famous for its rhododendron gardens and other native plants, this sprawling 80-acre park boasts lush greenery, winding trails, and stunning vistas.

Take a leisurely stroll along the paths, snap photos of the vibrant flowers, and revel in the tranquility of this urban oasis.

2. Discover the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art

Explore your artistic side at the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, located on the University of Oregon campus. This impressive museum features an extensive collection of international art, including works from Asia, Europe, and the Americas.

From ancient artifacts to contemporary masterpieces, the museum offers a captivating journey through various artistic styles and periods. A trip to this museum on Johnson Lane is like a trip around the world — you get to enjoy unique art styles from other countries. Plus, it’s free every first Friday of the month.


3. Explore the Mount Pisgah Arboretum

Escape the city's hustle and bustle by venturing to the Mount Pisgah Arboretum. This natural gem is a haven for outdoor enthusiasts and nature lovers. With over seven miles of trails winding through diverse ecosystems, you can enjoy scenic hikes, bird-watching, and even picnicking amidst the picturesque surroundings.

This arboretum allows you to engage with nature, which will not only improve your appreciation for the environment but also inspire you to keep it safe and conserve it. Don't forget to hike up to the summit of Mount Pisgah for panoramic views of Eugene and the Willamette Valley. There are also family-friendly nature trails where you can spot rare birds and beautiful flowers along the way.

4. Visit the University of Oregon Campus

Immerse yourself in the vibrant atmosphere of the University of Oregon campus. Explore the grounds, marvel at the stunning architecture, and soak up the energy of this renowned educational institution.

Also, don't miss the opportunity to admire the iconic Hayward Field, home to countless track and field legends. Make sure to drop by the Autzen Stadium as well, the roaring home of the Oregon Ducks football team.

5. Experience the Saturday Market

Do you enjoy window shopping? If so, indulge in the unique local culture by visiting the Eugene Saturday Market. Held every Saturday from April to November, this bustling outdoor market offers an eclectic mix of artisans, farmers, musicians, and food vendors.

Explore the stalls brimming with handmade crafts, sample delicious local produce, and enjoy live performances that add to the lively atmosphere.


6. Delight in the Owen Rose Garden

Escape into a world of fragrant blooms at the Owen Rose Garden. This enchanting park boasts over 4,500 roses, creating a kaleidoscope of colors and scents. Stroll through the pathways, find a peaceful bench, and take in the sights and smells of the stunning rose varieties.

The garden also offers breathtaking views of the Willamette River and the downtown skyline. And if you get tired from exploring, take a rest at a gazebo. Don’t miss out on an opportunity to try to spot the Oregon Heritage Cherry Tree, a popular and nationally recognized feature of the Owen Rose Garden.

7. Take a Walk Along the Willamette Riverfront

Enjoy a leisurely walk or bike ride along the picturesque Willamette Riverfront. The extensive riverfront trails offer scenic views, ample recreational spaces, and vibrant public art installations. Whether you're looking for a quiet retreat or an active outing, the riverfront provides an ideal setting for relaxation and exploration.

8. Visit the Museum of Natural and Cultural History

The Museum of Natural and Cultural History, located on 15th Avenue, offers free admission on the first Friday of every month. Delve into the rich history of Oregon, from its geological wonders to its diverse cultural heritage. Discover fascinating exhibits on dinosaurs, Native American artifacts, and the unique ecosystems that define the Pacific Northwest.


9. Enjoy Skinner Butte Park

Skinner Butte Park, located near downtown Eugene, is a recreational haven that offers breathtaking views and ample outdoor activities. Climb to the top of Skinner Butte and enjoy panoramic vistas of the city, the Willamette River, and the surrounding mountains.

The park also features picnic areas, walking trails, and a playground, making it an ideal spot for a fun outing or a relaxing afternoon.

10. Immerse Yourself in Art at the Eugene First Friday Art Walk

On the first Friday of every month, downtown Eugene comes alive with creativity during the First Friday Art Walk. Explore local galleries, studios, and cultural venues that open their doors to showcase the work of talented artists. Engage in conversations with artists, admire their creations, and experience the vibrant art scene that Eugene has to offer.


Eugene, Oregon, offers an array of attractions and activities that cater to various interests and won't break the bank. From immersing yourself in nature's wonders to indulging in cultural experiences, this vibrant city has something for everyone.

So, whether you're a nature enthusiast, an art lover, or an explorer at heart, make sure to check out these free things to do in Eugene and create memories with your loved ones. If you're looking for budget-friendly adventures, make sure to try these free things to do in Eugene to leave you captivated by the city's charm.

If you’re interested in living or investing in Eugene, OR, get in touch with one of the experts at Campus Connection Property Management and we’ll be happy to assist you.