Traveling from Eugene to Coos Bay

If you’re itching for an unforgettable road trip in Oregon, look no further than the scenic drive from Eugene to Coos Bay. This route takes you south on I-5 before veering west through charming small towns and stunning landscapes. Buckle up, grab your favorite snacks, and get ready for an adventure as we take you through four must-visit stops on this delightful journey.

Four Must-Stop Destinations Between Eugene to Coos Bay

1. Cottage Grove: Covered Bridges and Historic Downtown

Our first stop is the quaint town of Cottage Grove, known as the “Covered Bridge Capital of Oregon.” Just a short drive south of Eugene on I-5, this charming town is home to several picturesque covered bridges. Start your visit with the Dorena-Hickson Covered Bridge, a beautiful wooden structure spanning the Row River. The tranquil setting and historic charm of the bridge make it a perfect spot for photos and a peaceful stroll.

Next, head to Historic Downtown Cottage Grove, where you’ll discover a delightful mix of antique shops, art galleries, and cozy cafes. You won’t be able to resist stopping at Buster’s Main Street Cafe for a delicious homemade pie. The town’s rich history is evident in its well-preserved buildings and friendly atmosphere, making it a perfect start to our road trip.

2. Elkton: Butterfly Pavilion and Fort Umpqua

Continuing south on I-5, our next stop is the small town of Elkton. Nestled in the Umpqua Valley, Elkton is home to the enchanting Butterfly Pavilion. This unique attraction houses a variety of native butterflies in a lush, garden-like setting. Wander through the pavilion and marvel at the vibrant butterflies fluttering around. The knowledgeable staff provided fascinating insights into the lifecycle and habits of these beautiful insects.

A short distance from the Butterfly Pavilion is Fort Umpqua, a replica of a historic trading post. Here, you can step back in time to the 19th century, explore the fort’s exhibits, and learn about the area’s history from enthusiastic reenactors. The combination of natural beauty and historical significance makes Elkton a delightful and educational stop on our journey.

3. Joy Rails, Coquille

Next on our list is a hidden gem in Coquille, Joy Rails. This delightful attraction is a haven for train enthusiasts, adventure bikers, and curious visitors alike. Joy Rails offers an escape from the hustle and bustle of the city and allows you to pedal along retired railways to witness beautiful vistas and serene wildlife.

The entire adventure is a little over 12 miles and will take up to 2 hours. There’s a break at the halfway mark where you can walk around and stretch your legs. This is the perfect way to spend an afternoon, whether by yourself or with a group of friends. Just remember to go to their website at and book your tickets at least a day in advance to reserve your spot on one of their tours.

4. Coos Bay: Mingus Park and the Boardwalk

One last must-stop destination before reaching Coos Bay includes two fantastic spots: Mingus Park and the Coos Bay Boardwalk. Mingus Park, located in the heart of the city, is an urban oasis featuring a serene pond, walking trails, and beautifully landscaped gardens. Take a leisurely stroll around the park, enjoy the colorful flowerbeds, and watch the ducks glide across the water. The park also offers a playground and picnic areas, making it a perfect spot for families.

Just a short drive away is the Coos Bay Boardwalk, a lively waterfront area with shops, restaurants, and stunning views of the bay. Explore the boardwalk, stop at local shops to pick up souvenirs, and indulge in some fresh seafood at a waterfront restaurant. The boardwalk’s informative displays about the region’s maritime history added an educational element to your visit, making it a well-rounded experience.

Grab your sunglasses, and let’s go!

This road trip from Eugene to Coos Bay is more than just a drive; it’s a chance to explore some of Oregon’s hidden gems and experience the diverse beauty of the state. From the charming covered bridges of Cottage Grove to the enchanting Butterfly Pavilion in Elkton, the adventurous Joy Rails in Coquille, and the lively Coos Bay Boardwalk, each stop offers its own unique adventure.

So, the next time you’re planning a road trip, consider this route. Pack your bags, hit the road, and discover the magic that awaits between Eugene to Coos Bay. Happy travels!

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