This magical region of Oregon offers the conference amenities of larger cities while being surrounded by exquisite natural beauty.
Adventures for Everyone
“The Eugene, Cascades and Coast region’s plentiful adventures are attractive to both planners and attendees,” says Juanita Metzler, senior director, conventions, for Travel Lane County. A list of more than a dozen itineraries is just a start, and every idea is adaptable. “It’s all based on interests, price point and time,” she said.
For a tight schedule, a two-hour rafting trip along the Willamette River is “all in the downtown corridor so it’s very easy to do,” says Metzler. For a longer trip, or one with whitewater, groups can opt for the nearby McKenzie River.
From hyperrealism to surrealism, Eugene is proud to be the home of over 40 murals and counting. Walking tours that take in downtown restaurants, breweries and wineries with stops to admire murals along the way are always a memorable jaunt.
For a free afternoon, the 60-mile drive to Florence on the Pacific Coast leads to more than half a dozen activities. A group horseback ride on the beach is popular aboard well-mannered horses. Tours of America’s largest sea cave at Sea Lion Caves include meet ups with resident sea lions. The Oregon Dunes National Recreation Area, one of the largest expanses of temperate coastal sand dunes in the world, makes for rollicking fun. Dune buggies large and small load up for memorable adventures in the wind-sculpted sand dunes towering to 500 feet above sea level. Other outings are more sedate: Strolls up to Heceta Head Lighthouse for a tour and picnic; tax-free shopping in historic Old Town Florence; a few lucky hours at Three Rivers Casino.
Whiling away time at a winery is a natural, with over 700 of the state’s 980 wineries located in the world-renowned Willamette Valley. Near Eugene, King Estate Winery, the state’s largest winery, demonstrates how to eliminate rodents in a natural way using raptors. Some of the birds were rehabilitated at the Cascades Raptor Center, which offers tours. At smaller wineries, event options are varied. Groups might bring picnics to some and line up for food trucks and live music at others. There are also several urban wineries and tasting rooms close to popular hotels downtown.
Travel Lane County even has a way for planners to fund all the fun. Groups meeting in the region for the first time with over 200 room nights can earn a rebate of $5 per room night up to $3,500 for meetings held by June 30, 2024.
Getting to the region is easy. Eight airlines serve the Eugene Airport, with direct flights to Dallas/Fort Worth, Los Angeles, Phoenix and other major hubs. CVB and airport officials keep in touch, so airlines can adjust service for large conventions and events.
There’s truly an adventure for everyone who goes to meet and explore in the region.
For more information:
Travel Lane County – Eugene, Cascades & Coast
Juanita Metzler, CMP, CGMP, SEPC