The southern Oregon city of Medford is a shining example of the Pacific Northwest region’s natural beauty, and it offers up many activities and adventures for travelers seeking to soak up the scenery.
Crater Lake, about 60 miles outside of the city, is one of those spots where you could spend your entire trip. The lake, appearing remarkably blue from its pure waters, is 1,942 feet deep, making it the deepest lake in the U.S. The drive up is just as lovely as the final destination.
“Crater Lake is Oregon’s only national park and truly one of the wonders of the world,” says Travel Medford’s Angela Wood. “The scenery along the way is spectacular. Stop by the Rogue River Gorge and Natural Bridge, both just off the road with easy walking paths to view the mighty Rogue River. You cannot miss Beckie’s Café, which offers the best homemade pie on the planet.”
Lake of the Woods is a popular resort about 45 minutes east of Medford. Visitors can rent a rustic-style cabin or find a spot on one of two on-site campgrounds and admire one of the clearest natural lakes in the Southern Oregon Cascades. And they can take a boat out on the water for some fishing, swimming, standup paddle boarding, or water skiing.
“The recently renovated lodge is gorgeous and has live music all summer on the weekends. It’s one of my family’s favorite places ever,” Wood says. “It’s also open in winter, offering snowshoeing and snowmobiling.”
Guests can get on the green at one of the nearby championship golf courses, too.
Wineries are booming in the area, as Southern Oregon is the fastest-growing wine region in the state.
“One of my favorite things about the Rogue Valley is the incredible and diverse wines. There are so many tasting rooms now, each offering a unique and authentic experience,” Wood says.
Wine aficionados can travel four different wine trails—Upper Rogue, Bear Creek, Jacksonville, and Applegate—and visit 88 different vineyards and sip products in tasting rooms. From intimate urban settings with music and food to rural wineries with tranquil views, the wine region spreads over 4,800 acres in the foothills of the Siskiyou Mountains along the California Border north of the Rogue River.
Top photo: Crater Lake
Photo by Travel Medford