Hotel at a Glance: Valley River Inn
Flowing through the heart of Eugene, Oregon’s Willamette River occupies a central place in both the town’s landscape and culture. The Valley River Inn enjoys a front-row seat to the waterfront, which is lined with lush parks and a 12-mile paved biking trail. Explore the path with this Groupon’s included one-hour bike rentals for two.
- Distance from the University of Oregon: less than 5 miles; the Ducks’ football stadium and basketball arena are even closer
- Onsite dining: At SweetWaters on the River, wall-to-wall picture windows offer views of the Willamette to accompany a menu of freshly caught seafood.
- At the bar: organic vodkas, local microbrews, and regional wines from nearby vineyards
- Private balconies off guest rooms overlook the river or swimming pool.
- Breakfast no-brainer: In the morning, pop into the onsite RiverWalk Bakery for coffee and fresh scones, muffins, and breads.
Eugene, Oregon: Campus Arts Scene and River Adventure
Eugene draws much of its youthful vibe from the University of Oregon, the state’s flagship institution of higher learning and the filming location for the flagship comedy of higher learning, National Lampoon’s Animal House. Founded in 1872, the campus is home to several notable cultural institutions, including the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art, where you can see thrones from Beijing’s Forbidden City. The college’s Museum of Natural and Cultural History displays animal specimens, Native American artifacts, and other treasures from throughout the Pacific Northwest. The nearby Hult Center for the Performing Arts anchors the Eugene’s strong arts presence outside of campus.
The Willamette River is another major draw in town. Bikers and hikers can explore the Willamette Valley Scenic Bikeway year-round; it stretches 132 miles north of Eugene toward Portland, meandering past lush riverbanks and numerous vineyards along the way.