Eugene, OR downtown waterway

2021 Top 100 Best Places to Live In America Sponsored by: See homes for sale on Movoto by OJO

liv score
How We Calculate Our Data
Civics 60
Demographics 23
Economy 59
Education 68
Health 52
Housing 54
Infrastructure 51

#35. Eugene, OR

Eugene, OR is known as TrackTown USA, but residents in this college town slow down enough to appreciate the arts, great outdoors and a culinary scene with global influences. Lush green forests earned Eugene the nickname “Emerald City,” and outdoor adventure is thread into the lifestyles of the innovators, artists and athletes who call this Pacific Northwest city home. 

Top Colleges/Universities: University of Oregon & Lane Community College

Top Industries & Employers: Health care and education are the major industries, with Peace Health Corp and the University of Oregon looming large in Lane County.

Weekend Plans: Start at the Saturday Market, an open-air crafts market with an international food court and live music. Continue your artistic adventure by visiting the Jordan Schnitzer Museum of Art on the University of Oregon’s campus. The museum has a wide collection of Chinese, Japanese, Korean and American art. Save Sunday for a hike along the Ridgeline, with forested trails leading to mountain vistas. 

Favorite Place to Feast: Farm-to-table dishes collide with French fare at Marché.

Beloved Beverage: Rhône-style Syrah-based red blends and other Oregon wine country vinos produced by William Rose Wines and poured at Oregon Wine L.A.B. 

Outdoorsy Activity: If you’re up for a challenge, climb the basalt columns at Skinner Butte Park. Or, go for a run on Pre’s Trail. Oregon track legend Steve Prefontaine dreamed up the scenic 4-mile wood chip surface trail.

Rooftop Bar: Sky Bar on the fifth floor of Hyatt Place Eugene is the only outdoor rooftop bar. Come here for cozy fire pits, Korean street tacos and views of Eugene. 

Why Your Pet Will Love It, Too: In addition to a half dozen dog parks in Eugene, dog-friendly beaches are only one hour west. 

Remote Work Perk: Break up workdays with a bike ride or walk in this outdoorsy city and meet up for $4 happy hour bowling with friends at Lane 25.

One More Thing … Eugene is the birthplace of Nike.

– Brittany Anas

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