Eugene voted best in Oregon and named among best places to live in U.S.

eugene oregon
Eugene, Oregon (Adobe Stock)

I grew up in Eugene, Oregon, and although my experiences are mostly limited to this region, I truly believe I couldn't have chosen a better place to grow up. Eugene, often overshadowed by larger cities in terms of recognition, is indeed one of the best places to live in the USA.

According to a recent 2024 list by the personal finance website Money, Eugene is recognized not only for its affordability, excellent schools, and strong job market, but also for its unique spirit. This spirit is cultivated by a community of engaged citizens and supported by proactive public officials which helps make it a particularly attractive living destination.

Eugene, with its 177,923 residents, benefits from a variety of nationally recognized public services. These include the Eugene Springfield Fire Department, which has earned the prestigious Above and Beyond award from the Department of Defense, as well as the Planning and Development Department, which received the 2022 Achievement in Community Engagement award for its exemplary public involvement in the Middle Housing Code Amendment initiative.

While big cities like Atlanta and Detroit also made the list, Eugene shines as a beacon of cultural and recreational activities, far beyond the simple college town many mistake it for. Positioned in the lush Willamette Valley, it's not just the University of Oregon that defines this city, but also a range of festivals including the Oregon Truffle Festival, the Oregon Festival of American Music, and the Oregon Asian Celebration. These events highlight the city’s vibrant cultural scene and its residents' appreciation for diverse experiences.

Eugene’s artistic vibrancy is visible in its street murals and through institutions like the Hult Center for the Performing Arts and eclectic venues such as The Big Dirty and the nonprofit WOW Hall. The city fosters a creative milieu that thrives alongside the academic vigor brought about by the university. And then of course, there is the Oregon County Fair that happens annually, carving out it's own unique culture in the northwest.

The local lifestyle includes an array of outdoor activities with numerous trails, parks, and wildlife preserves that are easily accessible. This connection to nature is complemented by a robust dining scene and celebrated craft breweries and tap houses, which are a staple of the Pacific Northwest.

Moreover, Eugene's strategic location offers quick access to natural escapes including hot springs, waterfalls, beaches, and forests, ideal for those looking for weekend adventures. The surrounding landscapes not only offer beauty and leisure but also contribute to the quality of life enjoyed by its residents.

Eugene stands out as one of only four cities recognized across Washington, Oregon, and California, providing a diverse array of experiences, amenities, and natural treasures that Money magazine identifies as truly exemplary. This city offers a quality of life that is both rich and varied, meeting the magazine’s criteria for a noteworthy living environment.