Thinking about moving to Southern Oregon? You might have some questions about what it’s like to live here.
When in doubt, it’s never a bad idea to ask a local — that’s us! We’ll be your local guide to a few things about Southern Oregon, so you can learn a bit more about what everyday life looks and feels like here.
8 Things to Know Before Moving to Southern Oregon
Below is a list of things to know before moving to Southern Oregon. Some are little, some are big — but all of them show unique aspects of living here that you might not already be aware of!
1. There Are Endless Outdoor Adventures, All Year Long.
Southern Oregonians are known for their sense of adventure and love for the outdoors. The region’s moderate climate makes this possible. It presents four different seasons throughout the year, which allows for a wide range of fun outdoor activities.
Try skiing Mt. Ashland in winter, fishing for Chinook salmon in spring, rafting down the Rogue River in summer, and camping at beautiful campgrounds in autumn — plus so much more!
2. Wine Is an Integral Part of the Culture.
Southern Oregon also provides the ideal locale for wine production, which has made wine a huge part of the culture. Its rich wine history dates all the way back to the 1850s, when the Rogue Valley’s first vineyard and winery was established by Peter Britt.
Since then, the region has earned federal recognition as an American Viticultural Area (AVA), which means that 85% or more of its wine is derived from grapes grown within its boundaries. It’s also earned regional, national, and international recognition — including being named a Top Global Wine Destination by Forbes and Wine Enthusiast!
Needless to say, wine is big here. If you’re a wine lover, you’ll be able to enjoy many wine festivals and events (including the Oregon Wine Experience, held at Stage Pass in 2022!). If you’re not big on wine, you’ll still appreciate the beautifully landscaped vineyards that surround the valley and hillsides.
Side note: at The Vineyards at Stage Pass, we’re located right next to some of the region’s best wineries and vineyards — plus we have a vineyard of our own! It’s a beautiful sight to wake up to, and a unique way to truly embrace the Southern Oregonian lifestyle.
3. There Are a Ton of Farm-to-Table Food Options.
In Southern Oregon, “farm-to-table” and “locally sourced” aren’t just trendy dining terms; they’re the real deal. The same climate that allows for fun activities and quality wine production allows other types of produce and livestock to flourish as well.
You’ll find healthy, delicious, local ingredients all around — at farmers’ markets, restaurants, and food trucks alike. If you consider yourself a foodie, you’re in for a treat.
4. There Isn’t a State Sales Tax.
As a whole, the state of Oregon doesn’t have a sales tax. However, some cities and towns have implemented their own tax on certain items.
In Southern Oregon, Ashland is one of these towns. It has a 5% tax on prepared food.
5. Pumping Your Own Gas Is Prohibited.
Oregon is also one of just two states in the country where pumping your own gas is prohibited. There are some exceptions, such as gas stations in rural areas, but for the most part, it’s not the norm.
6. Yes, the Shakespeare Festival Is Real. And It’s Amazing.
If you haven’t already heard of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF), you will after moving to Southern Oregon. OSF is a performing arts venue that’s inspired by Shakespeare’s work. Every year, it features a number of modern and classic plays. There are also backstage tours, lectures, park talks, classes, and workshops for guests to participate in.
All in all, OSF is a unique venue with lots to do and a historic piece of Southern Oregon. But if you’re not into performing arts, there are plenty of other artsy activities to explore as well.
7. You’ll Be Far Away (But Not Too Far Away) From Big Cities.
One thing Southern Oregon locals love about our region is that it’s far enough — but not too far away — from the city. It’s on the other side of the state from big cities like Salem and Portland, so there’s a great sense of relaxation and connection to community and nature.
The good thing, however, is that there are still city amenities nearby. The smaller city of Medford is just a few miles away and is growing to offer all of the fun, entertainment, and resources you need — including some nationally recognized businesses we’ll mention in the next section.
8. Many Nationally Recognized Healthcare Systems, Hospitals, and Businesses Started Here.
Southern Oregon isn’t just a great place to live; it’s also a great place for businesses to grow. It’s home to many successful, well-known businesses, healthcare systems, and hospitals — some of which you might recognize, even if you’ve never visited the area.
Asante is a local, community-owned, nonprofit healthcare system with a wide range of specialties. The Asante network currently includes three hospitals, three urgent care clinics, and dozens of other diagnostic clinics, but it continues to grow and thrive in the area. It serves over 600,000 patients in Southern Oregon.
Asante is an award-winning system that has received a ton of recognition in its industry. This past year, it was named one of Watson Health’s Top Health Systems in the Nation for the 10th consecutive year. It’s the only healthcare system in the country to achieve and maintain that level of excellence, for that long.
Other than Asante, here are a few other great businesses that got their start in Southern Oregon:
You can read more about each of these successful companies in this blog post.
Make the Most of Your Move to Southern Oregon by Living at Stage Pass
Ready to pack your bags and make the move to Southern Oregon? To make the most out of your new life as a Southern Oregonian, consider building a beautiful custom home among the vineyards at Stage Pass. Our location grants you special access to some of the best things our region has to offer while introducing you to a life with the perfect balance of relaxation and adventure.
Contact our team for more information or request a private tour of our community online.