Eugene has a rich Indigenous history and was once the home of the Kalapuya Native American tribe. Based on archaeological evidence, some believe that their ancestors made the area their home for over 10,000 years. The city got its current name when 1,200 settlers, including Eugene Franklin Skinner, arrived in the Willamette Valley around 1846. In 1851, Skinner donated much of his property in the area to the county for building construction. For this reason, and others, the town would eventually be named Eugene City after Skinner and formally incorporated in 1862 with its name being shortened to the present-day name of Eugene in 1889.
Today, Eugene is a thriving city with a population of 176,654, according to the 2020 census. It's home to the University of Oregon and Autzen Stadium. People visit Eugene for its array of outdoor recreational activities, including hiking at Spencer Butte Park and the Amazon Headwaters Trail. The city is known for its local arts scene. You can explore exhibits at Don Dexter Gallery or take in a play at The Cottage Theatre.
To really get to know Eugene's culture and its heart, you'll want to plan your visit to attend the Eugene Saturday Market. This outdoor, open-air craft market is one of the oldest in the country. Every Saturday, 3,000-5,000 people visit the market to watch live performers, try local food booths and relax at this family-friendly market with a festival atmosphere.
Before leaving Eugene, make it a point to visit the Oregon Air and Space Museum, where you'll learn about aviation history. Also, stop by the Lane County Historical Museum to learn the stories of injustices against the community's diverse peoples throughout history. If you enjoy the Saturday Market, make sure to plan a visit in the summer to attend the Oregon Country Fair, a three-day festival held on 400 acres in the forest of Veneta, Oregon, just 15 miles west of Eugene.
Armitage Park is a breathtaking campground located on the banks of the McKenzie River. The park features recreational activities such as an off-leash dog park, the Crilly Nature Trail, volleyball and horseshoe pits. The campground has 37 RV campsites, each with full hookups. The campground also includes free Wi-Fi. The cost to stay at one of the park's quiet RV spots ranges from $30-$33 per night.
If you're traveling on a tight budget, check out the shaded Black Canyon Campground in Oakridge, 35 minutes southeast of Eugene. RV site rates are only $22 a night, but the camping is rustic as there aren't any hookups. However, the views of the Willamette National Forest make up for its lack of amenities.
Dexter Shores RV Park in Dexter, 20 minutes southeast of Eugene, has 77 RV campsites, starting at $34 per night. The park is the ideal place to relax and enjoy family time, but if you like to have lots to do, you won't be disappointed. The RV park has a disc golf course and a recreational room for larger groups to hang out, play pool or use the kitchen. There are also nearby hiking opportunities at nearby Dexter State Park Recreation Area.
Umpqua Lighthouse State Park is located near Winchester Bay, a premier recreation destination. People visit the park to see the 65-foot Umpqua lighthouse but also to hike its beautiful trails, such as the one-mile Lake Marie Trail. The park, which is in Reedsport, an hour and 45 minutes southwest of Eugene, is a popular day-use area that includes protected dunes.
In Newport, an hour and 45 minutes northwest of Eugene, you'll find South Beach State Park, home to miles of wetlands and splendid coastal views. If you enjoy wildlife viewing, especially bird-watching, this state park won't disappoint. Bring your binoculars, and spend the day scanning the skies for blue herons, bald eagles and other birds. For those who prefer being on the water, take your kayak out on the water or try your hand at kitesurfing on the Pacific Ocean.
Also near Newport is Beverly Beach State Park. RVers love this state park because it has full hook-ups, a dump station and firewood for sale. There are also shower facilities at the park. The wind-sculpted forest is breathtaking, and kids and adults love the beaches and tide pools. Whether you decide to stay for a day or visit for a few days, you're not too far from Yaquina Head Lighthouse and Natural Area. The Oregon Coast Aquarium is also nearby, where you can spend a few hours exploring the various marine exhibits.
In Washington, two hours north of Eugene, the Fort Vancouver National Historic site will teach you more about the region's European settlements and its rich history of fur trading in the Pacific Northwest. What sets this national site apart from others is its devoted preservation of not only settlers and soldiers who lived in the area long ago, but also the stories of its Native American inhabitants. This national site is immersive and takes you back in time during your visit as you walk about the reconstructed farms, forts and other exhibits that make you feel like you're living in this rural, yet once-thriving, outpost.
If you enjoy exploring caves and want to visit a backwoods gem, check out Oregon Caves National Monument. Located outside of Cave Junction, three and a half hours south of Eugene lies this somewhat-secret national moment. It's not trying to be secretive, it's just not well-known, which makes it a perfect spot for an uncrowded getaway. While you're here, give yourself plenty of time to enjoy the mossy trails and take in the beautiful forests filled with Douglas firs.
Meriwether Lewis and William Clark were adventurers known for their 1803 westward expedition. The journey took them three years to complete before reaching the Pacific Northwest. Approximately three and a half hours northwest of Eugene, the Lewis and Clark National and State Historical Parks consist of five state parks, two in Washington State and three in Oregon. Take a day or two to explore all the parks to discover more about why their expedition was so important. Check out the reconstruction of Fort Clatsop. The original reconstruction fort was built in 1955. However, it burned down in 2005, and the current reconstruction was rebuilt in 2006.
Willamette National Forest is less than a 30-minute drive east of Eugene, and it's one you don't want to miss. The forest is located in one of the country's most awe-inspiring woodlands. Its floor is 1,500 feet above sea level, but a short drive through the forest will get you closer to the snowcapped mountain of Mt. Jefferson, the second-highest peak in Oregon at 10,495 feet. Plan to spend several days in the forest to explore all its narrow canyons, wandering streams and mountain trails.
Siuslaw National Forest is located along Oregon's coast, less than an hour north of Eugene. In 1908, President Theodore Roosevelt established the area as a protected zone, preserving the forest's grand lakes and majestic dunes. Every year, millions of visitors visit the Siuslaw National Forest to hike trails such as Drift Creek Falls Trail, Summit Loop Trail and the densely wooded 13.9 Hart's Cove Trail.
You'll find the Umpqua National Forest on the western slopes of the Cascade Mountains, three hours southeast of Eugene. Douglas firs cover millions of acres of forest and are home to wildflowers; waterfalls; and spectacular hiking experiences, including the North Umpqua Trail. This trail encompasses 79 miles and is used by hikers and bikers. It follows the North Umpqua River and provides some of the most spectacular views in Oregon. The trail is broken up into 11 sections, making it easier for hikers of all levels to enjoy parts of the trail.
When renting an RV in Eugene, Oregon, you can expect to pay about $200/night for motorhomes and around $120/night for travel trailers.What does RVshare Protection cover with my Eugene, OR RV rental?
RVshare's protection plan standard package covers up to $300,000 in comprehensive and collision coverage based on the value of the RV. It also includes free 24/7 roadside assistance, towing and tire service. For more information on RVshare insurance, click here.What do I need to know before renting an RV in Eugene, OR?
Eugene, OR, has the best of both worlds with vibrant city life and the beautiful outdoors. There is plenty of freeway access which makes RV driving a breeze. Be sure to visit The Fifth Street Public Market where you can experience local cafes and shops. Also, don't miss Alton Baker State Park, Hendricks State Park, and the Northwest-focused Museum of Natural and Cultural History.What are the RV rental requirements in Eugene, OR?
There is no special license needed to rent an RV, but it never hurts to check state websites if you are unsure about traveling there. and any regulations they may have.What are some tips for first-time RV renters in Eugene, OR?
Renting an RV is Eugene, Oregon, means endless blue skies in the summers and cold and wet winters. Make sure you have a full tank of gas and plenty of food before you hit the road. You'll find plenty of RV campgrounds with pools and other fun amenities, plus laundry and showers. Busy season is in the summer so book early to get your spot, or off-season to avoid crowds.What are the minimum age requirements for renting an RV in Eugene, OR?
The minimum age requirement for renting an RV is 25.What is included in my Eugene, OR RV rental?
You should find any amenities that are included with your rental in the listing details. But it never hurts to check in with the owner before you arrive at the RV or have it delivered to ensure you have everything that is needed to have a fun and enjoyable trip!Are there pet friendly RVs for rent in Eugene, OR?
Looking for a pet friendly RV rental? Use the pet-friendly filter when searching on RVshare.com to find the perfect one for you!Can I have my Eugene, OR RV rental delivered to a specified location?
Many owners on RVshare.com offer delivery, and will even set it up for you at the campsite. Choose the 'Delivery' filter to narrow down your search results to RVs that can be brought to your home or destination. Check the listing details for any information regarding extra fees for delivery, or ask the owner if you are unsure.Are there one way rental options from Eugene, OR?
One way rentals can add flexibility to your trip, but there are typically costs associated with returning the RV back to the owner. Learn more about one way rental options at rvshare.com/one-way-rv-rentals.