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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Wineries

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 Amazon.com!

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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Dog-Friendly Destinations: Bend, Oregon

I have heard so many great things about Bend, Oregon over the years, so I had to include it on my career break itinerary. I knew that Bend would make a great dog-friendly destination. Bailey and I enjoyed 3 nights in Bend before moving on to Southern Oregon. Thankfully, we arrived just after the majority of smoke from the wildfires, although the smoke did blow back in the day before we left. Bend is known as a destination for outdoor adventure, and although I was surprised at how large the town is, I really enjoyed Bend.

Here are the dog-friendly spots we found in Bend, Oregon.

Eat in Bend

There is no shortage of dog-friendly food stops in Bend! We enjoyed several al fresco meals, where Bailey was treated like a valued guest.

Currents at the Riverhouse

Currents at the Riverhouse

I enjoyed a birthday dinner on the patio at Currents at the Riverhouse. Everything, including the service, the setting and the food, was top notch! I started with a pomegranate coconut cider and the Rogue Smokey Bleu Cheesecake. It sounded weird, but I took the server’s recommendation and it was delicious! I would come back and just order this again!

Currents Restaurant at the RiverhouseRogue Smokey Blue Cheese Cake - roasted garlic, pear chutney, baby arugula, crostini

I chose a steak for dinner, and savored every bite along with this amazing view of the Deschutes River. Bailey lucked out and got leftover steak from the couple sitting next to us! We both had filet for my birthday!

Birthday Dinner at Currents at the Riverhouse

McKay Cottage

The McKay Cottage is located very close to the campground we were staying at, so I stopped in for a yummy breakfast on the patio. The outdoor area is really large, but it was full when I visited, including several dogs and families enjoying the fall weather in Bend. Bailey was happy to receive a bowl of water and a dog treat!

Broken Top Bottle Shop

The Broken Top Bottle Shop is a “brew hub” and mostly serves bottled beer, although they do offer a food menu with counter service and outdoor seating. I had a tasty iceberg wedge salad. No beer for me!

Play in Bend

The Bend area offers tons of outdoor adventure activities.

Smith Rock State Park

Smith Rock State Park is located just outside of Bend and is an icon of outdoor adventure in the Bend area. The park is popular with rock climbers and slack liners, as well as hikers. We hiked part of the Misery Ridge Trail, although turned around when it got too hot. There was no water on the trail, so I didn’t want to push it with Bailey. Instead we headed back and I let her splash in the river.

Smith Rock State Park

Robert Sawyer Park

Sawyer Park is a nice little city park which is also close to Tumalo campground, where we were staying. There’s a bridge over the Deschutes river, that leads to a trail network and offered access to the river for splashing around.

John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

The Painted Hills unit is almost two full hours from Bend, but well worth the trip. I can’t say that I’ve seen any place like this in the US! I only learned about it when I was looking into a trip to the Painted Mountains in Peru! There isn’t much hiking here, just a short trail up to some overlooks, but it’s a great spot for photography! It’s also a beautiful drive from Bend.

Painted Hills - John Day Fossil Beds National Monument

Stay in Bend

Tumalo State Park

We camped at Tumalo State Park for this visit and it remains one of my favorite campsites of the trip. It is practically right in town, but you would never know it when you’re at the park. The lower loop, which did not have hookups, is right along the river and very quiet. The upper loops featured shower houses and you can also rent yurts here!

Tumalo State Park

Tumalo State Park

Riverhouse Hotel

If camping isn’t your jam, check out the Riverhouse Hotel for dog-friendly digs. They were full when I visited, but we were given a tour of the property before dinner at the restaurant. My first impression of the hotel was the scent – the lobby and common areas smell like Westin’s White Tea scent, which is one of my favorites. I was already sold!

The location along the river can’t be beat!

Currents at the Riverhouse

The hotel recently underwent a major renovation, which you can see in the guest rooms. The pet fee at the Riverhouse is a bit high at $75, but if you’re staying more than a few nights, it’s not bad averaged out over the stay. Only 2 of the buildings are pet-friendly, so be sure to reserve early!

The Riverhouse Hotel

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I was provided with a complimentary dinner and a tour at Riverhouse Hotel. These are solely my personal opinions and I was not financially compensated for this post.

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