Medford, Oregon is the heart of the Rogue Valley, where adventure, food and wine come together in a world-class natural environment. If you are looking for a long weekend away, let Medford be your launchpad to all the Rogue Valley has to offer. Here are some ideas to get you started.
Take a Tour
When heading out on a new adventure, getting the lay of the land is always the first mission. So, what better way than to have a seasoned local show you around?
The folks at Southern Oregon Express deliver a variety of spirited tours of the Rogue Valley focused on everything from wine to waterfalls. Some of their newest tours include a Gastronomy exploration, Pilates in the Pines, as well as a ghost town adventures.
The Gastronomy tour is a true farm-to-table experience where you can enjoy handcrafted cheeses, farm fresh produce, tapas and more from the local southern Oregon farms. If serious relaxation and soulful experiences are up your ally, forgo the nibbles and combine two of the greatest mind-clearing activities – the outdoors and exercise! Venture high above the pines to a private viewpoint where you will begin a 45 min Pilates routine followed by 10 minutes of solitude to take in your environment.
Does your loved one or family prefer a bit of adrenaline? Then getting wild on the Rogue River with Rogue Jetboat Adventures is the way to go! The Rogue River is a world-famous waterway, and not to be missed while you’re in the region. Coast Guard-certified boat pilots take guests on thrilling jet boat tours on the river where 360-degree spins are frequent and views of the Table Rocks are exceptional. Tours run every day mid-April through mid-December. Guided fishing and overnight camping boat trips are available, too.
Downtown Medford is brimming with exciting new urban discoveries, historic buildings revitalized into new and cool hotspots, and farm-to-table dining. Hit the pavement for a fun-filled day of food, drinks and shopping.
Start at Forage Coffee, located in an old gas station, for coffee and a bit of plant shopping, then visit Buttercloud Café for a homemade biscuit breakfast sandwich. Meander to Thirrteen Mercantile and Design to browse their fun collection of furniture and home furnishings—you’re sure to find something to take home to your abode.
Just across the street you will find a plethora of more shops including Bumble and Wren, a home and garden store and more. Hungry yet? Check out one of the food trucks parked downtown like Heart and Bowl, Peruvian Point or Victory Dogs. Or pull up a bar stool at Common Block Brewing parallel to Pear Blossom Park for wood fired pizza and a pint of Rogue Runner IPA or a Parkside Pilsner.
The place to be in the evening is The Urban Cork, a locally-loved wine bar with a twist. Many of the local wines available here are made right next door at the Pallet Wine Company, a custom crush facility. Other wines are curated from around the region to offer a variety of flights to sip on while noshing on small plates and visiting with friends and locals in this comfortable urban space.
Porter’s Dining at the Depot is a Medford institution, delivering fine dining nightly in a former 1910 train station. Here, local and seasonal ingredients are the highlight of one delicious meal after the next. Don’t forget dessert—Porter’s is known for Jack Daniels Bread Pudding.
Farm to Table
The Rogue Valley Growers Market pops up each Thursday, in season, in downtown Medford’s Hawthorne Park. From March through November between the hours of 8:30 a.m. and 1:30 p.m., stroll through this charming market to take in a gorgeous array of local vendors and providers presenting healthy produce, crafts, unique gift items and more. It’s a delight for the senses and the opportunity to take something wonderful home.
All around the outskirts of Medford are even more amazing destinations for day trippers and overnight wanderers to explore and enjoy. Take a trip to Upper and Lower Table Rocks, two volcanic plateaus not far from the city. Choose a 3-6-mile hike to take in scenic vistas and plenty of wildflowers, in season.
More hiking can be found at Prescott Park or as the locals know it, Roxyann Peak. It features 1,740 acres of both paved and unpaved trails, winding through an arid forest to climb to a peak with sweeping views of the valley below. Prescott Park is also a great destination for mountain biking on these same trails, if the two-wheeled sort of adventure is more your style.
The Rogue Valley is famous for grape-growing, and over 80 wineries dot the hills and line the rivers around Medford. Pick up a map from Travel Medford, mark out a route, and set forth on a day of wine tasting and vineyard gazing. Half of the fun spent sipping wine are the gorgeous wineries and vineyards to be discovered along the way. Reds, whites and rosés are all in this very diverse wine-growing region.
Savor your long weekend in the Rogue Valley—until next time!
Sponsored by Travel Medford