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The city of Medford in southwestern Oregon near the northern California border is known for wine and pears. With 90,000 residents, it’s a homey destination that’s not too overwhelming, and there are interesting things to do in Medford for everyone. There’s plenty of history to absorb from historic buildings and museums.
Trees line the streets, and natural beauty awaits just outside of town. There are also several opportunities near Medford for thrill-seekers to find an adrenaline rush. The Craterian Theater, Southern Oregon Speedway, and Prescott Peak are just a few of the well-known destinations in and around Medford. No matter your interests, there’s something in the area for you. These are the best things to do in Medford.
The Craterian Theater in the Collier Center for the Performing Arts is a vibrant theatre cherished by the Medford community.
It first opened in 1924 and has great sight lines and acoustics.
Named after Crater Lake, the venue hosts performances, workshops, classes, conferences and parties.
Examples of events and shows include Japanese drummers, a gospel choir, a tango performance and Irish Christmas dancing.
The Craterian Theater is at 23 S Central Ave, Medford, OR 97501.
Prescott Park covers a massive area of 1,740 acres (704 ha) of land, making it the second-largest municipal park in Oregon.
Since the park’s primary destination is the lofty Roxy Ann Peak, it offers stunning panoramic views of the surrounding mountains and the Rogue Valley.
The park features a trail system ideal for hikers, runners and mountain bikers, with 6.3 miles (10.1 km) of trails and roughly 1000 feet (305 m) of elevation.
When you’re checking out the views from Prescott Park, keep an eye out for cougars, bears, and rattlesnakes, which have been spotted in the area.
Prescott Park is at 3030 Roxy Ann Rd, Medford, OR 97504.
The Don Jones Memorial Park, just a quick 13-minute drive from Medford, includes something special beyond its typical park features.
The park encompasses walking paths, a sports field, tennis courts, basketball courts, a kid’s playground, and a water spray park.
The main feature is the Oregon Fallen War Heroes Memorial, which honours Oregon citizens lost to several wars since 1859.
These wars include the Iraq War, Operation Desert Storm, the Vietnam War, the Korean War, both World Wars, the Spanish American War and the Civil War.
Don Jones Memorial Park is at 223 W Vilas Rd, Central Point, OR 97502.
One of the finest geological museums on the West Coast, the Crater Rock Museum is on a mission to inspire and educate the public about earth sciences, mineralogy, geology, palaeontology and natural history.
Since its establishment in 1954, the museum has grown to cover 12,000 square feet (1,115 m) of land and includes a gift shop, a workshop area, and plenty of exhibits.
These exhibits feature minerals, fossils, petrified wood, rocks, seashells and Native American artefacts.
Specific exhibits include the fluorescent mineral display, the Scrimshaw collection, and fossil fish from the Green River Formation.
The Crater Rock Museum is at 2002 Scenic Ave, Central Point, OR 97502.
The Rogue River is one of the longest rivers in Oregon, running from the Cascade Mountains for 215 miles (346 km) to the Pacific Ocean.
It winds through rugged natural scenery, making it an excellent river for kayaking or whitewater rafting.
It offers spectacular opportunities to view wildlife, including golden eagles, herons, salmon, river otters, newts, and bears, among other creatures.
There are plenty of campsites along the river, so you can take a multi-day rafting trip to soak in the beauty and wildlife.
The wildest section of the river is the 33.8-mile section between Grave Creek and Watson Creek, which encompasses class III and IV rapids.
There are calmer sections with class I and II rapids, like the section between Applegate River and Grave Creek, closest to Medford.
Several rafting companies in and around Medford can provide equipment and experienced guides for your trip. Check out these adventures:
Going to Diamond Lake is a relaxing way to spend an entire day.
Located 84 miles (135 km) from Medford, the lake is roughly an hour and 40 minutes drive away, but it’s worth the drive.
Known as “The Gem of the Cascades”, Diamond Lake offers the best trout fishing in the state.
Fishing is open year-round, and each season has something to offer.
During the summer, you can fish for the stocked rainbow trout that are fat from summertime bug hatches.
Autumn offers a peaceful fishing setting as the tourist season has slowed.
During the winter, you can go ice fishing, and the spring months offer some of the best fishing just when the ice begins to melt.
When you’ve finished fishing, grab a bite at the Diamond Lake Resort lodge or hike through the lake’s forest.
To get to Diamond Lake from Medford, head northwest toward Crater Lake. You can access Diamond Lake from W Diamond Lake Hwy or Hwy 138.
Development for the unique Medford Railroad Park began in 1979 and has continued to attract attention.
The park has multiple miniature trains, scenes, and rocky cliffs.
Check out full-sized train cars, a caboose, a working telegraph system, a locomotive and a hopper car.
Visitors can even ride a small built-to-scale train between April and October (on the second and fourth Sunday) for a small donation to the park.
The Medford Railroad Park is at 799 Berrydale Ave, Medford, OR 97501.
Applegate River Lavender Farm, located in the nearby city of Jacksonville, is just a 25-minute drive from downtown Medford.
The farm opens in June every year with a vast field of lavender, where visitors can pick their own lavender to take home.
You can hear the hum of bumblebees as you venture into the soft purple flowers and the lush grass.
Beyond the field, the farm also sells its own products.
From lemonade to brownies to body butter, Applegate River Lavender Farm has plenty of tasty treats and products with a lavender twist.
You can also register for a class to learn how to grow lavender, craft lavender wreaths, or distil lavender essential oils.
Applegate River Lavender Farm is at 375 Hamilton Rd, Jacksonville, OR 97530.
Sitting in the heart of the Rogue Valley, the Centennial Golf Club has a spectacular layout for golfers of all levels.
The layout that plays to a par of 72 was designed by John Fought, a two-time PGA Tour winner.
The golf course, located on what was previously a historic pear orchard, covers 92 acres (37 ha) of rough areas and 85 acres (34 ha) of the fairway.
73 bunkers and four lakes come into play, among other hazards.
There’s also a clubhouse, including a grill, a golf shop, and a covered patio with rose bushes and natural stone.
Centennial Golf Club is at 1900 N Phoenix Rd, Medford, OR 97504.
The Jackson County Sports Park includes a shooting range, a go-kart track, a drag strip, and the Southern Oregon Speedway.
The race track consists of 1,980 feet (604 m) of banked dirt track that suits all kinds of cars.
Every week, there are races for dwarf cars, super late models, sprints, IMCA sport-modified cars, and more.
The speedway has open seating and sells plenty of tasty food for spectators.
There is also camping available for visiting fans.
The Southern Oregon Speedway is at 6900 Kershaw Rd, Central Point, OR 97502.
The TouVelle Recreation Site is at the base of the well-known Table Rock, along the banks of the Rogue River.
Poplar and oak trees partially cover the 51 acres (20.6 ha) of land, which offer plenty of opportunities for the whole family.
Visitors can fish, go birding, cycle, swim, picnic and hike.
The hiking trail is just over two miles (3.2 km) and is relatively easy, with an elevation gain of roughly 50 feet (15.2 m).
Although the hike might be easy, it offers exquisite views of Southern Oregon’s landscapes.
Hikers can spot turkeys, deer, woodpeckers and more amidst the willow, black oaks and alder trees that hug the trail.
You’ll catch a beautiful view of the Upper Table Rock along the trail and pass through a small grassy meadow perfect for a picnic.
The state park does have a day-use fee.
The TouVelle State Recreation Site is at 8601 Table Rock Rd, Central Point, OR 97502.
Rogue Valley Zipline Adventure is for you if you’re in for a thrill. But the company’s classic tour offers more than just ziplining, though.
After taking a shuttle ride, you’ll be guided through a replica gold mining town, take five different zip lines and enjoy the striking views.
You’ll finish with an especially thrilling sixth zipline, ensuring that you leave pumping with adrenaline.
Rogue Valley Zipline Adventure also offers its seasonal Zip, Dip, & Sip Tour, which includes rafting, lunch, and wine tasting in addition to ziplining.
Whichever tour you choose, make sure to reserve a spot in advance.
Rogue Valley Zipline Adventure shuttles guests from the Laurel Hill Golf Course parking lot at 9450 Old Stage Rd, Central Point, OR 97502.
The relatively new Village Center Park covers 3.2 acres (1.3 ha) of tranquil neighbourhood in southwest Medford.
The family-friendly park includes playground equipment, walking paths, pickleball courts, and a basketball half-court.
Village Center Park is also ideal for picnics.
With picnic tables underneath a shelter, it makes for a great place to relax and eat after a day out, playing games in the sun.
Village Center Park is at 3950 Shamrock Dr, Medford, OR 97504.
Just a 20-minute drive northwest of Medford is Ti’lomikh Falls, which is not a traditional waterfall but a wild rapid on the Rogue River.
If you’re lucky, you’ll spot some kayakers or whitewater rafters taking on the challenge, which is a show in itself.
There are plenty of spots along the river to take in views of the river and a paved path.
This land is historically important to the native Takelma tribe, and annual ceremonies still occur in the area.
Ti’lomikh Falls is off Hwy 234, just north of Gold Hill Sports Park. You can also hike to Ti’lomikh Falls via the 2.7-mile (4.3) out-and-back Gold Hill Bicycle Trail.
The newly reopened Children’s Museum Of Southern Oregon sits in downtown Medford, and it’s a wonderful place to take the kids.
Like other children’s museums, it has interactive exhibits and classes meant to inspire kids to learn.
But, what makes the Children’s Museum Of Southern Oregon truly special is The Makery.
This unique space allows kids to create and provides all the resources and tools needed.
Children can make 3D-printed figures, create stop-motion animation, and more.
The Children’s Museum of Southern Oregon is at 413 W Main St, Medford, OR 97501.
The KC-97 Fuel Tanker is a historic versatile aircraft used as a troop transporter, a hospital ship, an in-air fueler and a cargo carrier.
The particular aircraft in Medford was built in 1952 and retired in 1978. It has been beautifully restored and is open to the public.
This KC-97 Fuel Tanker can even be rented out and is equipped with heating, air conditioning and electricity, as well as tables and chairs available for events.
The KC-97 Fuel Tanker is at the Rogue Valley International Airport, 1000 Terminal Loop Pkwy, Medford, OR 97504.
The Rogue Gallery and Art Center was the first non-profit organization for visual art in the Rogue Valley, and it continues to impress.
The centre welcomes more than 10,000 visitors to its three different galleries annually.
The Main Gallery, Community Gallery and the Member’s Gallery all offer insightful exhibits.
The Rogue Gallery And Art Center include diverse kinds of art, from encaustic to mixed media to painting.
The centre also hosts events like this year’s masquerade ball silent auction.
The Rogue Gallery and Art Center is at 40 S Bartlett St, Medford, OR 97501.
The iconic Village At Medford Centre is one of Medford’s most popular shopping centres.
The indoor shopping centre features many shops and amenities, such as restaurants, cafes, pet stores, nail salons, and entertainment opportunities.
The Village At Medford Center also hosts plenty of year-round events.
From Halloween trick-or-treating to the Wholistic Health Challenge Kick-Off to Selfies with Santa, there is no shortage of things to do here.
The Village At Medford Center is at 711 Medford Center, Medford, OR 97504.
The Collaborative Theatre Project is a highly-rated theatre that aims to offer quality theatre programs, provide community education and outreach, and support local artists.
The theatre has a programme of plays, so there’s sure to be one that fits your taste, from Little Women and Don Quixote to Macbeth and Proof.
Make sure to get your tickets online in advance.
The Collaborative Theatre Project is at 555 Medford Center, Medford, OR 97504.
Last but not least, Rogue Karting is a wonderful destination for visitors who are feeling adventurous.
The high-speed indoor track features Italian-crafted SODI karts for adults and kids, making it great for family trips.
The adult go-karts are precision racing machines, and while the children’s go-karts are designed with safety in mind, they provide a thrill for kids.
When you’ve finished racing, drop into the Hi-Fi Café, where you can fuel up with juicy hamburgers, yummy smoothies, fresh salads and coffee.
Rogue Karting is at 2065 Lars Way, Medford, OR 97501, United States.
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