Run Oregon loves running – that’s no surprise. But we also love the Pacific Northwest and all that it has to offer. Running is a part of us, but it does not fully define us. In our “Make a Day of It” feature, we aim to showcase some great local non-running events and highlight where to run and how to make the most of your experience!
The next installment of this series is The Gordon Hotel in Eugene – a brand new hotel in the 5th Street Market area that is an amazing spot for a running home base.
First the Running:
I mean, it’s hard to even do justice to the running in Eugene. It is, Tracktown USA after all. There are just so many great places to run – from the Amazon Trails to Ridgeline Trail System, to Pre’s Trail and tons of others, paved and otherwise, in between. The [running] world is your oyster in Eugene.
If you are new to running in the Eugene area, I highly recommend the above (follow the links). However, since we are talking about The Gordon Hotel, there is a really nice ~5 mile route that I did that basically starts and ends just north of the hotel. I drove to the starting point (as I was on the verge of checking out), but you can easily run there by adding ~.25 mile each way.
Basically head north on High Street until you can’t go any further and enter the South Bank Path and heading clockwise to eventually cross over the Greenway Bike Bridge. I continued the loop on the North Bank and re-crossed over at the Peter Defazio Bridge to complete the full circle. Obviously, you can go either direction, and there are tons of other options to extend distance as well.
There are a wide variety of races nearby each year, and with mid-late 2021 and 2022 shaping up to be a return to racing, check these out and book a stay to coincide.
- Eugene Marathon – One of the premier marathons/halves in the region, if not the country. And with an eventual finish on the recentlyu completed Hayward Field, it is an experience for sure. Registration for the April 2022 date opens in August.
- Level 32 Racing – This race company puts on a bunch of events around Eugene
- Cottage Grove Half Marathon – An underrated downhill paved half in some beautiful surroundings – only ~20 minute drive.
- There are also a ton of races nearby on a yearly basis, so make sure you follow our calendar to stay up to date!
I have stayed in a variety of lodging locations over the years, for both work and stay. I have stayed in large hotel chains and amazing hole in the wall rooms. Regardless of the proprietor, I have a special fondness for local flair. Maybe it’s the Oregonian in me, but I love checking out spots that are connected to the community as opposed to being “just a place to lay your head”. The Gordon Hotel absolutely met, and exceeded, my expectations in this realm.
The Gordon Hotel is a brand new boutique hotel nestled in the downtown Eugene area near the 5th Street Market. This specific area of town has grown a TON since I first checked out Eugene a dozen years ago. There is a ton to do in the area, from both eating, drinking, and exploring, and this specific hotel is a very welcome addition to the area.
The main theme of the The Gordon is Art. That is very evident from the outside (on which a three-story art project was just installed) and the inside as well. When designing the hotel, they wanted to invite guests “to immerse themselves in a comfortable, creative and thought-provoking space that included a rotating gallery where different artists could display their work”.
Upon entering, the main visual attraction is the thousands of mason jars lit up and hanging from the ceiling.
The Great Wall is another such piece.
They continue with their art theme with an actual Art Bar – a spot where adults and kids alike can get creative and construct their own art using provided art mediums (see initial picture above). Overall, the lobby area (and the individual floors and rooms as well) is super inviting with local and unique artwork everywhere.
When we checked in, we were given the option of a complimentary local pint of beer or glass of wine (non-alcoholic beverages also available), which was a very special and nice touch to a check-in experience that is generally pretty bland. My young daughter was also offered her selection from a variety of snack and candy options – which she supremely appreciated. Turns out, these pantry snacks are available, at no cost, during your stay (I’m not saying I grabbed a KitKat, but also not saying I didn’t…). The staff during the entirety of our stay was amazing and cheerful, and I will call out the valet for being specifically welcoming each time we needed our car (they are valet only) without being over the top.
The Gordon is so new that some of their amenities aren’t even off the ground yet (see below for some food options coming online soon) and it will become even more amazing once that goes live. Coming up soon there will be cruiser bikes to take for free and explore Eugene more fully. Also arriving will be a state of the art fitness center for those times when you can’t get out to run. Add those to the already available free shuttle to and from the Eugene Airport, and the forthcoming eatery options, and you have one amazing space.
Really, it seems to be an amazing collaboration of local, modern, and welcoming, in an industry that can sometimes be the complete opposite of all that.
The art theme of the hotel continues into the rooms themselves. We had a wonderful corner room that featured everything we needed – a comfortable bed, working table, small fridge, and coffee maker (with local coffee and tea). Our room had plenty of natural light and also offered this nice view (I spy Steelhead Brewing in the distance).
There were also a variety of non-necessary, but definitely nice amenities in the room, such as small sitting area with brand new, and surprisingly comfortable furniture. There was also a substantial closet (complete with robe – you bet your ass I put it on) and I found out later the bed is outfitted with Fili d’oro Italian linens. It’s no wonder I slept so surprisingly well.
I don’t think anyone is booking a hotel room based off of a bathroom, but it was super clean (a huge plus) and as welcoming as a bathroom could (should?) be.
We were a big fan of our room and pictures sent back to my wife made it evident that she liked the vibe and confirmed that we will be returning in the future.
There are also a variety of different room options, including ones with outdoor terraces and a variety of suite options for families or running groups. There are also pet-friendly rooms as well (for an additional fee).
ALSO, if you are looking for a more extended stay, consider the Gordon Lofts which are fully-furnished short term apartments (available for stays over a month long) where you can live, work, and experience everything in the area. Maybe you are selling your house and need somewhere to go in between, or maybe you just need a REAL staycation in a new spot – really this is a cool option that fits a unique need.
Eugene is an underrated location in Oregon for fueling healthy – or not so healthy. There are a ton of amazing spots to eat, and a huge number of breweries and wineries to imbibe at. As always, Run Oregon encourages exploring and finding the ideal spot for you. That being said, there are a ton of areas nearby that we would recommend.
First and foremost, the hotel will be soon be opening the sure-to-be-amazing Carlita’s Rooftop Bar – a modern eatery serving up a tasty mix of Mexican small plates infused with locally sourced ingredients. Consider it “tacos with a view”. If you ever been to Carlita’s in Portland, you know what to expect (i.e. awesomeness). Additionally, the Gordon Tavern will be opening in the lobby area of the hotel and feature American food for all meals of the day. I also hear they are going to be offering warm doughnuts and bottomless mimosas during Saturday and Sunday brunch. Holy moly. Also expect extensive local craft beer offerings, wines, and original handcrafted cocktails. Can’t wait for this.
Also, just outside of the hotel doors sits the 5th Street Public Market. This covered outdoor area is still growing with businesses, and it is super awesome. There is a collection of small stores, restaurants, tasting rooms, and eateries just a short walk from your hotel. Our recommendations from our trip:
Seriously, this little pocket of downtown Eugene is pretty exceptional.
As the State starts to open up and summer nears, we feel the Eugene is going to get pretty busy. This is definitely a good thing, but please still remember to be smart to ensure that things don’t take a turn again. Even as you are aching to try new places, we remind you to be kind to others by staying smart and adhering to requirements put forward by local businesses. We all need a little mental health break considering what the previous 12+ months has felt like, so enjoy yourselves at the same time!
With those things in mind, we really feel like Hotel Gordon is absolutely a perfect spot to meet both of these needs. Allow yourself to (safely) get away, decompress and experience an amazing area, and also be near all the running action you could ask for.
The Gordon Hotel details:
Address: 555 Oak Street Eugene, Oregon 97401
Many thanks to The Gordon Hotel for allowing us to check out their property! Please read our transparency page for info on how we do our reviews.