If you’re on a budget or pressed for time, check out Laurelwood Golf Course (541-484-4653, golflaurelwood.com; $25-$37.50), a rolling, wooded nine-holer that dates to 1929. Outsiders pay $15 to walk nine holes, $25 to walk 18.
The next step up is Emerald Valley (541-895-2174, emeraldvalleygolf.com; $40-$64) a 1964 Bob Baldock creation 10 miles south of Eugene that offers plenty of opportunities to flex your muscles in its 6,873-yard journey next to the Willamette River. A recent renovation by Dan Hixson improved things considerably.
If you’re more ambitious, try Tokatee (541-822-3220, tokatee.com; $42-$57) in McKenzie Bridge, a scenic 47-mile drive up the McKenzie Highway east of Eugene. A favorite of former Duck star Peter Jacobsen, Tokatee is a heavily treed, 6,806-yard, par-72, 1966 Ted Robinson design that boasts breathtaking views of the Three Sisters Mountains and Wilderness Area. It’s very walkable if you’d like to stretch the legs.
Bandon Dunes is a bit too far for a day journey, but the next best thing is Sandpines (541-997-1940, sandpines.com; $69-$105) in Florence, a 1993 Rees Jones design that sits 60 miles west of Eugene on the coast. The burly layout maxes out at 7,190 yards as it winds through a plethora of mounds, lakes, pines and coastal dunes.
Start with breakfast at the Glenwood on Alder Street (541-687-0355, glenwoodrestaurants.com), a throwback campus haunt that dishes out huge portions, great eggs Benedict and whole wheat waffles.
A remarkable fish and chips lunch can be had at Newman’s Fish Market on Willamette Street (541-344-2371, newmansfish.com). For barbecue, slather on the sauce at Papa’s Soul Food Kitchen, which recently moved to Eugene’s eclectic Whiteaker neighborhood.
On your journey back from Tokatee, don’t miss Mom’s Pie Shop on Rte. 126 near Nimrod. This tiny place serves up memorable roast turkey sandwiches and seriously good pie. The best java you can drink is back in Eugene at either Full City Coffee Roasters location (full-city.com).
The hottest Eugene dinner spot these days is Belly, where Chef/Owner Brendan Mahaney uses local produce and meats in his French peasant creations. It’s fairly small and mostly affordable — and they work wonders with pig parts. If you’re so inclined, Eugene’s special occasion leader is MarchÃƒÂ© (541-743-0660, marcheprovisions.com). Another memorable experience awaits at the Oregon Electric Station (541-485-4441, oesrestaurant.com), where diners can feast on steaks within the confines of a historic railroad dining car.
If you want the college bar experience in all its glory, head to Rennie’s Landing (541-687-0600, rennieslanding.com) on campus. It will be crowded and fratty, with good beer and TVs everywhere. Otherwise, any of three spots in the McMenamins empire (mcmenamins.com) — East 19th Street Cafe, High Street Brewery & Cafe or McMenamins North Bank — will serve up home-brewed concoctions and fine pub fare.
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