By Jake La Placa

As we turn the corner out of another brisk rainy season in Lane County unlike any other winter before it, getting outdoors is now more vital to us than ever. So how do we enjoy our time outdoors with friends and family in a safe yet enjoyable manner? We’ve compiled some of our favorite outdoor venues for you to enjoy locally made art, live music, or a drink and bite to eat. As we enter this time of transition, let us look forward into the future towards that rejuvenating Pacific Northwest sunshine and a little entertainment to accompany it. 

The Cuthbert Amphitheater, one of Eugene’s shining copper gems located in the heart of Alton Baker Park, is planning on reopening its doors this summer. With a layout that resembles the acoustics and atmosphere of a stadium, but a stage and lawn imitating the intimacy of a private show, Cuthbert Amphitheater is a venue that will suit show-goers of all types. The folks at Cuthbert are offering a diverse line-up of musicians and entertainers all summer long with groups like Slightly Stoopid, a fun fusion of funk and rock band, as well as Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, a Grateful Dead tribute jam band covering some of Jerry Garcia and Bob Weir’s greatest hits. Along with the sounds, Cuthbert will also host an array of local food vendors.

Another beloved place in our town for the appreciation of the arts is the weekly Saturday Market located downtown where 8th Avenue and Oak Street meet. It’s no secret that our Saturday Market is adored by many and there really is no reason not to love this handcrafted marketplace. While often hosting and showcasing local music and art talents, the Saturday Market is also home to plenty of creatives and visionaries specializing in everything from jewelry to plant holders, even furniture. This vibrant market is a great place to enjoy some music or art while possibly picking up a gorgeous bouquet of flowers or an ice cream cone!

If you are looking for a venue and experience that is a little more sophisticated, take a drive through our luscious Willamette Valley where you’ll find a plentiful collection of wineries and vineyards. Wineries such as Civic Winery, Silvan Ridge, and Noble Estate are quaint and welcoming, open for visits and reservations on their property, in Canon City area. There, you’ll be able to feast your senses on a great selection of wines from pinot noir to cabernet sauvignon. Or, you can always rent out a private reservation time for your party of friends and family. Later this month, Noble Estate will also be part of the 39th annual Astoria Warrenton Crab, Seafood, and Wine Festival, bursting with live music and opportunities to visit with chefs, artists, and more.

Summer in Lane County is hard to beat. With our fresh air and plenty of places to play, it’s hard to sit still. As this new season approaches, be sure to be on the lookout for new and improved events at one of your many local artisan establishments!

For a more up-to-date database on the happenings of Lane County, you can check out The Weekender and sign up to receive a summary of the next week’s events in your inbox every Thursday!