Don’t miss this enlightened town when the rhododendrons are in bloom.

48 Hours in Eugene
Andrea Gomez

You may not know: Thanks to its health-conscious hippie past, Eugene is a hotbed for natural-foods stores and quirky green shops.

Don’t miss: In May, thousands of rhododendrons are in bloom at Hendricks Park (2200 Summit Ave.;

Dress code: Natural fibers, recycled-plastic fleece, and cloth shopping bags.

Miles of bike paths: 147

Enlightened transit: The city’s hybrid-electric buses ( all have room for up to three bikes.

Mark your calendar: Watch the annual Eugene Marathon (Last week in April or first week in May;, where there’s on-course recycling, portable solar power, and reusable goodie bags for runners.

More Ways to Experience Green Eugene

Bike paths galore

Scenic bike paths, part of the Ruth Bascom Riverbank Trail System (, roll along both banks of the Willamette River and are linked by five bicycle/pedestrian bridges. Cross the river near downtown on the Peter DeFazio Bicycle Bridge to enter 402-acre Alton Baker Park (

Guilt-free breakfast

A hearty breakfast at Morning Glory Cafe will leave you feeling full and virtuous. The “conscious kitchen” features organic lacto-ovo vegetarian and vegan food, and the cafe bills itself as cell phone–free and hate-free. 450 Willamette Ave.; 541/687-0709.

Healthy ice cream

University of Oregon students appreciate the location of Prince Pückler’s Gourmet Ice Cream, just a few blocks off campus. On the menu: homemade ice cream with mostly natural ingredients, and a chocolate sundae topped with locally made Euphoria chocolate sauce. 1605 E. 19th Ave.; 541/344-4418.

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