Medford, Oregon: Heart of the Rogue Valley

After a short time in Bend, Oregon, we headed south past Crater Lake and on to Medford, Oregon. Medford is the heart of the Rogue Valley of Southern Oregon and is the largest city in the Rogue Valley, followed by Ashland and Grants Pass.  Whether you love hiking, rafting, fishing, golf or wine and theater, you’ll find something to do in the Rogue Valley!

Over 200 days of sunshine abound among breathtaking terrain, making it ideal for outdoor lovers to golf, hike, jet boat, kayak, zipline and more!

Play in Medford

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Named as one of the top 10 wine travel destinations in the world by Wine Enthusiast Magazine, Southern Oregon is a great place to plan a wine tour. There are organized tours, or you can build your own itinerary using the resources available at Travel Medford.

Roxy Ann Winery, Medford

We visited RoxyAnn Winery once learning it was dog-friendly. In addition to orchards and a tasting room, they also have an Airbnb on site! When I visited, they were setting up for a wedding – what a great spot for a celebration!

Roxy Ann Winery, Medford

If beer is more your jam, grab your growlers and check out the Medford Ale Trail! 

Artisan Corridor

Medford’s Artisan Corridor is technically in Central Point, but just 10 minutes from downtown Medford. At this small area, you’ll find Lillie Belle Chocolates, Rogue Creamery and Ledger David Cellars. I sampled lavender chocolate at Lillie Belle and had a grilled cheese sandwich at Rogue Creamery. I was bummed that I couldn’t stock up on their famous Blue Cheese, but I was headed out on a river trip the following day, and I knew the cheese wouldn’t keep. The samples were delicious, though!

Rogue CreameryArtisan Corridor - Central Point, Oregon

Rogue CreameryArtisan Corridor - Central Point, Oregon

Harry & David Factory Tour

Medford is home to Harry & David, which happens to be the largest employer in the Rogue Valley. That lush soil and temperate climate that’s great for wine is also great for pears! There is a Harry & David store in town, where you can join a factory tour for just $5. I was able to grab the last tour on a Friday (they don’t run on weekends.) It was pretty fun to see all the gift baskets being assembled, and we got to see how MooseMunch is made. (Hint: giant blocks of butter!) Harry & David ships over 1 million gift baskets and 2.5 million Towers of Treats each year! They were really ramping up for the holiday season, with major hiring events and advertising. I was ready to apply, just for the employee discount and free fruit!

After the tour, I used the $5 coupon from the tour to stock up on snacks for an upcoming girl’s weekend! Click here to shop Harrry & David’s collection at!

Harry & David Store in Medford

Bear Creek Park

Bear Creek Park in Medford was our first stop for some outdoor time. The park has a great playground and nice trails that follow the creek through a residential neighborhood.

Bear Creek Park, Medford

Hawthorn Park

Hawthorn Park is another Medford park we visiting during our stay. The park has a splash pad, and two fenced in dog areas, one for small dogs and one for large dogs!

Crater Lake National Park

You can’t be this close and not make a special trip to see Crater Lake National Park. Just over an hour’s drive from Medford, this National Park is a must-see on any Southern Oregon road trip itinerary. Unfortunately, I visited on the heels of some major wildfires, so the rim drive was closed and visibility severely compromised, but I got just enough of a taste to know I need to return and stay at the Crater Lake lodge so I can witness sunset and the night skies!

Crater Lake National Park

Rogue River

A visit to the Rogue River Valley isn’t complete without a spin on the river that gave the valley it’s name. There are plenty of options, from jet boat day trips to multi-day whitewater trips. A 4-day float trip with OARS is what originally brought me to the area. We had cold and rain for almost the entire time (mid-September), which can be challenging and frustrating when you are putting up and taking down a wet tent every day, putting on wet wool clothes every morning, but hey! That’s why outdoor folks like me spend so much money on gear – we may as well use it every once in a while! And a rainy day on the river still beats a sunny day in the office! (Click here to see my backcountry gear list)

Rogue River Rain

We had several cool bear sightings.

And the sun came out (or at least the rain stopped) on the last day!

Eat in Medford

In our travels, I’ve found that breweries are usually the most dog-friendly places to grab a bite. And Oregon has lots of breweries! All of the places I’ve listed here are dog-friendly!

Wild River Brewing

Wild River Brewing‘s 5 Southern Oregon restaurants feature famous pizzas & award-winning handcrafted beers. The Medford location was just 5 minutes from my hotel and offered a dog-friendly patio and great service.

Wild River Brewing, Medford, OR

Paisan’s Pizzeria

Paisan’s is a small family Italian place on a corner just a block from Main St. They have a few tables outside, but it is counter service, so you do have to go indoors at some point to place your order and pay. (They also add 0.35 for any credit card transaction, fyi) Paisan’s sells pizza by the slice, which is pretty awesome because what solo traveler needs to eat a whole pizza?!

Harriman Springs Resort & Marina

Harriman’s is technically in Klamath Falls, but chances are you will include some other towns in your Southern Oregon road trip and Harriman’s is a great dog-friendly place to stop for a meal. The place was cleared out as we just missed all the fire-jumpers who were staying here.

Harriman's Resort - Klamath Falls

Buttercloud Bakery

Buttercloud Bakery also has  dog-friendly patio, but it was jam packed when we visited, so I grabbed a scone to go. Judging by the popularity of this place, and my tasty scone, it’s worth checking out when you visit Medford.

In N Out Burger

I finally got to try this West Coast institution after seeing it on social media for years! The location near the mall has outdoor seating, so you can bring your furry friend along.

Stay in Medford

Rogue Regency Hotel

Bailey and I spent two nights at the Rogue Regency Hotel, which is pet-friendly and has no pet fees! I think that’s a first for us on this trip! The hotel offers budget-friendly rooms near the Rogue Valley Mall. There are two on-site restaurants, as well as an indoor pool.

Courtyard marriott

I also spent 1 night at the Marriott Courtyard in Medford upon returning from my whitewater rafting trip. It is not pet-friendly, but Bailey was still at the kennel and I had Marriott points to use! This was my first Courtyard Hotel in a long time, and I was pleasantly surprised at how comfortable the room was. I also took advantage of the laundry room to wash out all my soaking wet clothes after a wet week on the river!

Check out all the options for a visit to the Rogue Valley in #SouthernOregon #travelmedford Click To Tweet


Travel Medford covered my lodging for two nights at the Rogue Regency. These are solely my personal opinions and I was not financially compensated for this post.

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5 thoughts on “Medford, Oregon: Heart of the Rogue Valley

  1. I would LOVE to go to Oregon, it’s been on my list for a while. Crater Lake National Park looks absolutely stunning and I would definitely love to go there! And I’m a big fan of wineries. This was really useful!

  2. Having been to Portland and the northern Willamette Valley I would love to explore more of Oregon and this is the part I want to visit So thanks for the great ideas!

  3. That Crater Lake National Park is absolutely gorgeous. What a cute little town to visit. Love this post. Also that winery is co that they have a tour. I love going to wineries. Probably more for the tasting than anything. Thanks for sharing such a lovely post. Definitely pinning this to save it.

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