3 Best Places to Live in Southern Oregon

Considering a move to the United States’ Pacific Northwest? Southern Oregon is our top recommendation. And yes, we fully acknowledge our bias here — but we can also back it up! Here are three of the best places to live in Southern Oregon, and why. 

Why Live in Southern Oregon?

Southern Oregon is known for stunning landscapes, world-class wines, performing arts, and outdoor adventures. There’s no region that offers such a perfect balance between city and country, activity and relaxation, mountains and valleys, and more. Whether you’re a young professional, a family of five, or you’re well into retirement, there’s a little bit of something for everyone to enjoy — making it the perfect place to call home. 

Compared to other popular regions in the Pacific Northwest, Southern Oregon has a few distinguishing characteristics that bump it to the top of the list for putting down roots. It has: 

  • A range of natural features, like mountains, valleys, rivers, forests, vineyards, and more.
  • Lower-populated areas with close proximity to city amenities.
  • A moderate climate with four beautiful seasons (and recreational activities for each one).
  • Plenty of room to build and grow as you’d like.

You can also expect some friendly neighbors, as Southern Oregon is also home to some of the most close-knit communities in the country. Even its larger cities keep that small-town, homey feel.

The 3 Best Places to Live in Southern Oregon

What are some of these towns? We’ll fill you in. From our team of Rogue Valley locals and real estate experts, here’s our list of the top three places to live in Southern Oregon. 

1. Jacksonville, Oregon

Luxury living in Southern OR

Described in one sentence or less, we’d call Jacksonville, Oregon “the historic small town with a big heart.” Named one of the Best Small Towns in America, it’s known for being a quiet and serene haven with gorgeous views and a world-class wine region. It’s a rural, natural area that offers plenty of space to build new and grow. 

With these features, Jacksonville has many attractions and things to do, such as: 

2. Medford, Oregon

medford oregon

Described in one sentence or less, we’d call Medford, Oregon “the ‘big little’ city in the heart of the Rogue.” It’s not as big as Portland or Salem, and it comes with a slower, more relaxed pace of life without giving up all the city amenities, such as: great schools, startups and long-successful businesses, amazing restaurants, and a robust healthcare system. 

Each of these amenities makes Medford a great place for young families, and retirees moving from those big cities. They’ll be able to take advantage of things like: 

A diverse group of restaurants and food trucks

  • Fun-filled festivals 
  • Plenty of entertainment
  • Popular chain stores and other growing businesses
  • Less time getting from Point A to Point B — and more time to spend doing what you love! 

3. Ashland, Oregon

ashland oregon

Described in one sentence or less, we’d call Ashalnd, Oregon “the small town with artistic flair.” It sits on the southern edge of the Rogue Valley, just 16 miles north of the California border. It’s a bit further from Medford and the surrounding metropolitan area, but offers a ton of natural beauty. 

Ashland is home to a robust artistic community, as evident from the Ashland Shakespeare Festival, the Ashland Film Festival, as well as many artisan markets and theatres. It’s also home to Southern Oregon University. 

Some good things to know about Ashland are that it’s fairly densely populated, so finding room to build new can be tough. It also has a 5% food and beverage tax you won’t find many other places in Oregon. 

Build Your Southern Oregon Home at Stage Pass

Southern Oregon is one of the West Coast’s hidden treasures. When you live here, you can take in gorgeous natural landscapes, have plenty of fresh air and room to grow, and still be close to city amenities. 

If you’re looking for a great place to live, consider building a beautiful custom home on one of our available lots at Stage Pass — located right in the historic town of Jacksonville. Our team is happy to walk you through everything our gated, master-planned community has to offer. Get in touch to learn more, or schedule a private tour. 

Unique Ways to Experience Southern Oregon