The World Athletics Championships are coming to Eugene this summer (July 15-24 2022), the first time in history that the championships will be held in the United States. This mega-sporting event will showcase the best track and field athletes in the world. The event will bring 2,000 athletes from more than 200 nations, all competing for 49 gold medals. About 20,000 to 25,000 attendees are expected per session, with most days hosting two sessions (both morning and afternoon).
Looking for the all the info on how to be part of this thrilling event and continue your travels in and around Eugene and Oregon? Read on for the top-line info, and plan ahead as local hotels and attractions will book up quickly.
What’s all the excitement about?
Oregon is all about track and field. Across the state you’ll find a shared love for runs, relays, jumps, pole vaults and more. The collective passion often converges in the Willamette Valley city of Eugene, known as TrackTown USA, home to the athletic energy of the University of Oregon and the birthplace of Nike. It’s where many champions earned their stripes, from running legend Steve Prefontaine to Olympic medalists Phyllis Francis, Matthew Centrowitz Jr., English Gardner, Keshia Baker, Ashton Eaton, and Brianne Theisen-Eaton. The university’s historic stadium, Hayward Field, recently debuted state-of-the-art renovations just in time for this event.
How do I get tickets?
Tickets are on sale now – make sure to grab them before they’re gone.
How can I explore Oregon’s running heritage?
Take a run along the Steve Prefontaine Memorial Jogging Trail, named for the track legend. Visit the sites of several movies and documentaries made about Pre, and celebrate the legacy of local running legends and Olympians at Hayward Hall, adjacent to Hayward Field. Visit many of these iconic sites along the Oregon22 Athletics Heritage Trail.
Where can I stay?
If you can’t find lodging in or around Eugene, keep looking – accommodations are available throughout surrounding communities including Portland (2 hours), Roseburg (68 minutes) and Florence (82 minutes). Drive to Eugene or fly to the Eugene Airport (EUG) via a connecting flight in Portland (PDX) or Roseburg (RBG). Reserve your tickets to the big event now. Find Lodging for the World Athletics Championships Oregon22
What else can I do in Eugene?
Extend your trip a few days before or after the event to enjoy all the region has to offer. The Eugene Riverfront Festival (July 15-24) at Eugene’s Downtown Riverfront Park will be the epicenter of entertainment during Oregon22. This free, family-friendly festival will include a livestream each afternoon from Hayward Field, athlete interviews, a kids’ zone, a zip line, local artisan booths, local food and drink vendors, bands, dance performances, DJs and other performances on the pavilion stage. There will also be a “bike valet,” a free place to stow your wheels during the event, and A number of curated artworks will also highlight the Native history and heritage of the area, as well as the history of Eugene’s Black community.
The festival will be open July 15-17 (noon-10 p.m.), July 18-21 (4 p.m.-10 p.m.) and July 22-24 (noon-10 p.m.) at the riverfront, which connects to Alton Baker Park and will be an easy connection to Hayward Field, just minutes away.
When it comes to the outdoors, there’s so much to do in Eugene and surrounding communities, known as world-class destinations for rafting, biking and fishing. Book a tour with an expert guide for the best experience. You can also explore local trails for hiking or running. Enjoy world-class restaurants, wine tasting and craft-beer culture. Visit local museums and shopping districts.
Where can I road trip in Oregon?
Oregon is a big place with seven unique regions, each with a variety of things to do and see — it would be a shame to miss out. If you’re all about nature, we have forest trails, sagebrush-scented high desert, sparkling alpine lakes and 363 miles of pristine coastline. For the foodie, a farm-to-table restaurant is always around the corner and usually not far from an award-winning microbrewery or vineyard. History buffs enjoy the museums and historical sites that leave a deeper connection to Oregon’s places and people. Best of all, your itinerary is entirely up to you.
If you’re looking for waterfalls, lavender farms, covered bridges and places to sip wine while petting alpacas, you might want to road trip along any of these scenic routes nearby Eugene: the McKenzie Pass-Santiam Pass Scenic Byway (July-October), the McKenzie River Scenic Byway (year-round), the Marys Peak to Pacific Scenic Byway (year-round) or the Over the Rivers & Through the Woods Scenic Byway (year-round).
Can I get around without a car?
Yes, Oregon is great place to explore car-free. Check out the top car-free getaways in Oregon, or find adventure-filled car-free itineraries focused on the region you’d like to visit, including Oregon’s South Coast, Oregon’s Central Coast, Oregon’s North Coast, the Bend area, the Columbia River Gorge, Willamette Valley wine country, Klamath Falls and Crater Lake, and the Eugene area.
Besides transit options, there are a number of expert guides in each region of Oregon that offer transportation to and from destinations, so you don’t have to worry about the ride. Guides are an excellent way to draw meaningful connections to Oregon’s people and places when it comes to activities like hiking, cycling, fishing, paddling, wine tasting, sightseeing and more. Find a guide wherever you are in Oregon.
How can I sample Oregon’s farm-fresh fare?
Find out what’s in season along the Oregon Food Trails and leave space in your suitcase for gifts. Some top food trails near Eugene are the South Willamette Valley Food Trail, Mid-Willamette Valley Food Trail and the Central Coast Food Trail – each a self-guided journey including delicious spots for farm-fresh restaurants, farm stands, U-picks, culinary tours and more.
What are some top spots for local wine tasting?
Wine lovers will find a bounty of places to taste world-class vino both in the city of Eugene and just beyond. Top urban tasting rooms include Pfeiffer Winery in the new 5th Street Market Alley; downtown Eugene’s Civic Winery, where renowned chef Rocky Maselli serves up Italian-inspired small plates; and Oregon Wine LAB, where you can also find mimosas, yoga and a Vietnamese food truck on site with lots of patio seating.
Just beyond the city limits you can find vineyard views, award-winning estate wines and welcoming atmospheres at standouts like Walnut Ridge Winery in Junction City, LaVelle Vineyards in Elmira and Benton-Lane Winery in Monroe. Check out the stops along the South Willamette Valley Wine Trail for more inspiration. Note: Most wineries require advance booking online for the best experience.
You won’t have to worry about transporting your favorite bottles home – Oregon wines fly free on Alaska Airlines flights.
- Start mapping out your itinerary with free visitor guides delivered right to your mailbox. (Our bi-monthly email newsletters are free, too.)
- You can also sign up for the official WCH Oregon 22 newsletter to get the latest updates.
- Learn how to prepare, care and connect in Oregon with Take Care Out There.
- Visit one of the eight Oregon Welcome Centers to talk with a friendly travel advisor and find travel guides, maps and inspiration for each region of Oregon.