Photo Courtesy: Travel Medford on Facebook
There are plenty of great ways to explore Southern Oregon, no matter what season it is. But as the temperatures start to mellow out and the leaves begin to change colors, the region unveils a special kind of beauty. It’s autumn in the Rogue Valley.
If you’re looking to spend some time outdoors taking it all in, a day trip is a perfect opportunity.
7 Fall Day Trip Ideas in Southern Oregon
Here are some day trip experiences that our team recommends, filled with our favorite things to do in Southern Oregon.
1. Savor the Best Tastes of Southern Oregon on a Wine Tour
Southern Oregon is a wine wonderland. The region’s celebrated wine history dates all the way back to the mid-1800s when settler Peter Britt created his first glass of pinot noir. Since then, the area has grown to be one of the nation’s top wine destinations, featuring many world-renowned vineyards and wineries.
The Southern Oregon vineyards take on a whole new level of beauty in the fall. The grass is covered in colorful foliage, which you can crunch below your feet as you walk your way around the grounds. The temperature is cooler, but there are still a few warm rays of sunshine poking through. Plus, there’s always an extraordinary glass of wine available to warm you up.
If you’re interested in tasting the splendor of Southern Oregon, there are various opportunities to do so. Anywhere you are, there’s likely a vineyard or winery within a few short miles. Plan a wine tour with friends, or attend a special wine festival or event. You won’t be disappointed!
Need some recommendations? Here are a few of our favorite wineries in the area:
- DANCIN Vineyards
- Cowhorn Vineyard & Garden
- Schmidt Family Vineyards
- 2Hawk Vineyard and Winery
- Cricket Hill Winery
2. Hike Miles and Miles of Jacksonville’s Beautiful Trails
Perhaps the best way for you to get your fall foliage fix is to walk right through it! Southern Oregon has myriad beautiful hiking trails surrounded by gorgeous old-growth forests. You’ll get bursts of color wherever you look, making hikes feel a little less like you’re exercising and a little more like you’re dreaming.
Some of our favorite trail networks are located in Jacksonville. The Jacksonville Woodlands trail network stretches about 16 miles, with various access points in streets and neighborhoods in the area. And right here at The Vineyards of Stage Pass, we have our own seven-mile network of trails onsite for our homeowners to enjoy.
3. Challenge Yourself and Run a Marathon
If you’re looking for more of a physical challenge than a leisurely hike can offer, maybe you’d be more interested in running one of Southern Oregon’s annual marathons, half marathons, or 5ks. The region’s moderate fall temperatures and amazing seasonal views make for the perfect running conditions.
There are three big Southern Oregon races that take place in October:
- Medford’s Rogue Marathon, Half Marathon, and 10k – October 15, 2022
- Central Point’s Stagecoach 10k and 5k – October 15, 2022
- Talent’s Harvest Festival 10k and 5k – October 1, 2022
4. Head to the Pumpkin Patches and Orchards
Southern Oregon doesn’t just offer the perfect climate for growing grapes and wine varietals; it’s ideal for other types of produce as well! And there’s no produce that says “fall” more than pumpkins, apples, and pears.
Spend your fall day trip in Southern Oregon by visiting one or more of our favorite pumpkin patches and orchards. Then go home and enjoy some family time carving and snacking!
- For pumpkins:
- For apples and pears:
5. Test Your Skills at Oregon’s Most Beautiful Golf Course
Oregon is home to some of the West Coast’s most beautiful golf courses. They offer more comfortable climates and more picturesque views than some found in California and Arizona — especially during the autumn months.
Our best recommendation is to visit Bandon Dune Golf Resort, which is home to a few internationally recognized golf courses. They were designed by Scottish architects back in the 1990s and feature traditional Scottish styles along the cliffs of Oregon’s breathtaking coast. It’s just a few hours’ drive west from Medford.
6. Reel In Your Dinner
Southern Oregon’s rushing Rogue River offers over 215 miles of fishable water. The river is home to many species, but is recognized as one of the country’s best places to catch salmon, steelhead, and trout.
Fall Chinook salmon are best caught in August-October, with the most populated areas being in the mid-to-lower sections of the river near Grants Pass. Some common fall Chinook fishing spots are:
- Griffin Park to Robertson Bridge
- Matson Park-Findley Bend area
- Valley of the Rogue State Park to Coyote Evans Wayside
Each year, the Oregon Department of Fish and Wildlife sponsors free fishing weekends throughout the state. This means you don’t need a license, tag, or endorsement to fish. The next free fishing weekend is November 25-26, 2022.
7. Drive to Oregon’s Best Kept Secret: The Stunning Oregon Coast
There’s no way to understand the beauty of Oregon’s coast until you’re there — and even then, it can be hard to believe. We wouldn’t be reaching to say that it offers some of the most underrated, awe-inspiring views in the country. And you don’t need blistering hot weather to enjoy it; the secluded, rocky beaches are just as enjoyable when the temperature dips below 70 degrees.
The Oregon coast is just a 2-3 hour drive from the Medford-Jacksonville area. Along that drive, you’ll be able to take in breathtaking fall scenes. And when you get there, there are plenty of beautiful hiking trails, forests, and vibrant art communities to explore.
Enjoy Fall in Southern Oregon Every Year by Building a Home at Stage Pass
The truth is, it’s not possible to see all of Southern Oregon’s wonder in just a day’s time. If you’d like to immerse yourself more into our region and culture, building a custom home at The Vineyards at Stage Pass is the best way to do it.
Whether it’s your permanent residence or your seasonal vacation home, Stage Pass offers some of the most beautiful, expansive lots in the area — complete with gorgeous natural scenery, high-end amenities, and a network of architects and builders that are ready to bring your dream home to life. To schedule a private tour of our homesites, contact our team online.