Comedy, surfing, and history put Springfield, Oregon, on the map.
It’d be easy to bypass Springfield, Ore., on your way to Eugene, its bustling neighbor just across Interstate 5. But the rejuvenated town between the banks of the McKenzie and Willamette Rivers offers its own appeal.
1 The Richard E. Wildish Community Theater, known for sparkling acoustics, hosts a battle of the wittiest: the semifinal (Jan. 29 and 30) and final (Feb. 5) rounds of the seventh annual Oregon’s Last Comic Standing, a contest inspired by the TV competition.
2 Dorris Ranch Living History Farm, a working 80-acre filbert ranch listed on the National Register of Historic Places, was first planted in the early 1900s. Visitors can explore 11 orchards and a village where educators bring local history to life inside period cabins.
3 A fun alternative to the better-known hub of vintage shops downtown, the eclectic collection at Indulge Antiques may yield a shell-studded clay tortoise or a cinnabar necklace. After browsing, enjoy sandwiches, quiche, or salad at the shop’s Blue Pig Café.
4 The Abbey ushers the faithful into a renovated church—a cozy space perfect for sipping European-style ales from Eugene-based Claim 52 Brewing. Outdoor seating, live music performances, and a Friday farmers’ market add flavor to a pint of Kölsch.
5 Surf’s up year-round in Splash at Lively Park, where the whole family can ride the tide in the indoor water park’s wave pool or plummet down a 126-foot waterslide.
For more in the area, check out Eugene's Counter Culture.
This article was first published in Winter 2016. Some facts may have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.