Medford, located in the heart of the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon is home to some of the most amazing outdoor and indoor adventures. From the natural scenic locations, scientific and historic museums to mesmerizing lakes and caves, a trip to Medford, Oregon promises a great family time and adventure. Here is a list of scenic locations, museums, lakes, mountains to visit in Medford, Oregon:
21 Best Things to Do In Medford, Oregon
1. Trip To The Rogue River
The Rogue River is one of the main attractions of Medford. Stretching for 215 miles, the river runs between the Crater Lake National Park and ends at the Gold Beach. It is divided into three different sections: upper, middle and lower. The lower rogue river is one of the first points to be known as wild and scenic. It also depicts the beautiful riparian habitat of the valley. Popular activities on the Rogue river include water rafting, salmon fishing, and lodge to lodge floating.
Various local guides are available to help the tourists on the water during the summer season. You can also go hiking by foot along the Rogue River National Scenic Trail parallel to the banks. The upper parts of the Rogue River include picnic areas and parking spots of Touvelle State Park.
Last but not least there is a famous Rogue Jet Boat adventure for family fun. It departs from the TouVelle State Park and provides gliding jet boat rides up and down the river. The boat tour features historic information about the surroundings mainly including the upper and lower table rock.
2. Exploring The Upper and Lower Table Rock
The Upper and Lower Table Rock are the two famous mesas with a height of 800 ft in the air. Extending from the banks of the Rogue River, they were formed as a result of a volcanic eruption that happened more than 7 million years ago. Today, they are part of the Rogue Valley’s history and culture and also make for the popular hiking and long-distance viewing destinations. Spring and fall are the best times for hiking to the top of Table Rocks as the temperature becomes quite hot during the summers.
3. Visiting The Alpacas At Lone Ranch
4. Downtown Medford For Shopping And Dining
Downtown Medford is filled with some of the most unique local restaurants and shopping places. This makes it one of the best family things to do in Medford. Although Downtown Medford is reviving its place in the culture, it still makes for a great place to go. Just visit the Downtown Medford and get lost in its experience. From the local cafes such as Jasper’s offer to high-end restaurants such as the porters dining at the depot, it features everything.
When it comes to shopping, it has some of the best shopping places such as Pretty in Paint and The Coop de Ville. This is where you can shop for homemade goods, antiques, fashion, jewelry, and art. The downtown is also home to various community events that take place throughout the year. Rogue Valley Growers Market is one of the most famous events that take place on Thursday mornings.
5. Visiting the Medford Railroad Park
Medford Railroad Park, which was once a city’s sewer treatment plant is home to attractions such as Medco’s “Four Spot” Willamette Locomotive, a caboose, an outdoor Garden Railway, full-sized cars, a hopper car and a working telegraph system for sending and receiving telegrams in the compound. It stretches across 49 acres of land, out of which the 7 acres serve as a storage tank for various clubs functioning at the park.
6. Visiting the Crater Lake National Park
The stunning Crater Lake lies at an hour’s drive from Medford. It is the remnant of Mount Mazama and came into existence due to the volcanic eruption that happened over 7,000 years ago. Crater Lake is also the deepest in the country having a depth of nearly 2,000 feet, due to water accumulation from the rains and snowmelt
The lake offers several fun things to do however sightseeing this landmark is one of the most famous activities in the park. The lake originates at the Rim Village Visitor Center on the southwest side of the lake. It offers great views of the water, the caldera’s steep slope, and the Wizard Island. The ferry ride is available to Wizard Island throughout the summer.
The Mazama Campground offers car camping and family travel, being home to 200+ sites. In addition to Crater Lake trip, you can also experience the stunning Natural Bridge of the Rogue River that lies half an hour away from the campground.
7. Trip To The Diamond Lake
Named after John Diamond, The Diamond Lake is found near the intersection of Oregon Route 230 and Oregon Route 138 in the Umpqua National Forest. The water flows from the North through Lake Creek into the North Umpqua River before falling into the Pacific Ocean. He discovered the lake in 1852 while camping on the Diamond Peak.
8. Trip To Jacksonville
Jacksonville is a popular tourist destination that lies 15 minutes west of Medford. It is famous for shopping for clothes and antiques. You can also experience a live performance, tasty food from the local restaurants and the rich agriculture of the region. It is home to various historical buildings and hiking trails in the small community to make for a great afternoon walk.
9. Spending Time At The Prescott Park
Prescott park lies to the eastern part of the city and stretches over an area of 1700 acres. It has one of the most prominent peaks known as the Roxy Ann Peak seen from Medford. The peak is derived from the 3576-foot mountain and offers a great hiking opportunity around the mountain. The views of the surrounding Rogue valley are worth the uphill hike to the Roxy Ann Peak.
10. Exploring The Applegate Lake
Applegate Lake is one of the most scenic lakes in Medford. Located 30 miles south of Medford near the California border, it receives a great crowd during the summers. You can go fishing, boating and visit the Howard Prairie Lake Resort. Boat resort and the boat rentals also lie near the Howard Prairie lake.
Many parks and camping spots are also located around the Howard Prairie Lake which is a popular tourist spot. The surrounding Hart Tish Park offers a collection of RV and tent camping sites within the Siskiyou National Forest.
11. Experiencing Performing Art At The Craterian Theatre
The Craterian theater, located in downtown Medford was first opened in 1924 for the public. It was the home of community entertainment for many years including talking movies, vaudeville performances, however, the theater struggled during the late 70s when home televisions and multi-screen theaters became common. However, it reopened to the public in 1997 after receiving community support and funding.
From the children’s musicals to the Russian ballet, it offers great family entertainment. It can accommodate 750 audience members with a great view of the stage from every seat.
12. Family Time At The Kid Time Museum
Kid Time museum is a non-profit children’s discovery museum located in the center of downtown Medford. It is considered as an early learning center for children as it focuses primarily on children from one to 10 years old. The skilled staff members engage children in different activities for free play. Free play and imaginative activities are an important part of proper brain development such as the prefrontal cortex. This helps children in becoming successful in their entire life starting from school age.
13. Family Adventure At The Science Works Hands-On Museum
Science Works for hands-on Museums is another family thing to do in Ashland, Oregon. It serves people of all ages and was built in 2002 to cater to the scientific facts and information. The Museum encourages creative exploration and makes it an engaging, interactive and fun experience for all. The design is energetic to give an exciting and fun look to the building. It was specially done by about two hundred volunteers to feature a unique design.
14. Exploring Nature At The Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve
Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve lies 75 miles west of Medford in the Siskiyou Mountains. The attraction features many fun things to do such as guided tours, hiking trails and sights to explore. Guided tours would take you inside the cave and are the only way to see it.
The 90-minute trips are arranged daily and are designed exclusively for children. Off-trail cave adventures are also available for adventurous travelers. On the Cave Creek Campground, you will see 17 sites that are available for exploration on a first-come-first-served basis.
15. The Beautiful Natural Bridge
The Natural Bridge created by the Rogue river falls into an underground lava tube. It lies at a distance of 30 minutes from the crater lake and makes for a fun and adventurous trip to the national park. Plan a two-mile loop from the trail to visit the Natural bridge forth and back while experiencing scenic river valleys and old-growth forest along the way.
16. Crater Rock Museum
The Crater Rock Museum offers some of the most amazing displays of rocks and minerals on the West coast. The display is home to a collection of world-class Native American artifacts in addition to minerals, fossils, and woods among other things.
There is a gift shop that offers the work of local artists from Roxy Ann Gem and the Mineral Society. The museum was first opened as a small shack where tourists would ask for mineral information but slowly grew into what it is today. A visit to Crater Rock Museum is one of the fun things to do with the family in Medford, Oregon
17. Go Hiking at the Siskiyou Mountain Park
The Siskiyou Mountain park and the Oregon-Todd Woods were built through a cooperation between the Ashland city and the Southern Oregon Land Conservancy. The park is situated on the south side above Ashland and stretches over 300 acres. It provides hiking trails, horse riding, and mountain biking.
18. Planning adventure at the Bear Creek Park
The Bear Creek Park stretches over 110 acres to boast baseball fields, off-leash dog area, a Biking track, tennis court, restroom facility, outdoor amphitheater, and three covered pavilions. The park borders the Bear Creek Greenway leading to Central point on the Northern side and into Ashland on the Southern side.
19. Visiting the Howard Prairie Lake
Howard Prairie lake located in Jackson County, Oregon is 4,526 feet above sea level. It is a reservoir that was developed by the 100 feet tall Howard Prairie Dam. It holds the Beaver Creek in the Klamath River.
20. Exploring the Other Cities in Oregon
There are several neighboring cities which you can visit on your tour to Medford, Oregon. One of those cities include Ashland, home to world-famous attractions such as the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Lithia Pak. On the north lies Salem the capital city boasting beautiful waterfronts and the amazing State Capitol campus. Portland, Oregon is another great city for fun things to do in Oregon.
21. The Oregon Coast:
Oregon Coast is home to many scenic sights such as the towering sea stacks, beautiful beaches on the Oregon coast, wildlife-rich seashores, etc. Several small towns on the Oregon coast also make for a great sight.
Medford, Oregon with all its scenic locations, landmarks, museums and parks makes for an adventurous and fun journey. Explore it with your friends and family as it has everything to cater for tourists of all ages. You will surely be impressed by the forests and the scenic locations. So what are you waiting for? Book your tickets and plan your trip to let the adventure begin!