Are you looking to experience Southern Oregon like a true local would? We’ve got the guide for you! Read through this helpful guide to discover some of the most unique adventures and attractions the region has to offer.

10 Fun-Filled Things to Do in Southern Oregon

If you’re considering building your dream home at The Vineyards at Stage Pass but are curious about how you’ll spend your time, we’re here to put you at ease. Read on to learn about the best things to do during your new life in Southern Oregon. 

1. Grab a Bite to Eat at Some of Medford’s Best Food Trucks 

As a cultural and residential Southern Oregon hotspot, Medford has grown exponentially over the past few years — and so has its food truck scene! What makes Medford’s food trucks so unique is the diversity and creativity in their cuisine. 

Whether you’re looking for a small bite or a hearty lunch, there are tons of curated menus to choose from every day of the week. You’re unlikely to find one you can’t call delicious, but if you’re a foodie who likes to do their research beforehand, we recommend some of our favorite, award-winning Medford food trucks (and specifics on where to find them!) here

2. Get Tickets to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival

“All the world’s a stage” at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF)! Located in Ashland, OSF is a nonprofit theater arts organization inspired by William Shakespeare’s work and the cultural richness of the United States. The annual festival features a number of classic Shakespearean plays, as well as new plays, backstage tours, park talks, lectures, classes, workshops, and post-performance conversations. 

OSF runs from April through the end of October, so there are plenty of opportunities to find a show or event you’d like to attend — whether that be a Shakespeare classic like “The Tempest” or “King John” or something more contemporary like August Wilson’s “How I Learned What I Learned.”

3. Head to the Lake

Exploring the serene lakes in Southern Oregon’s Rogue Valley is an absolute must, and several stand out for their charm and recreational offerings. With its inviting cabins and lodge, Lake of the Woods offers a picturesque retreat amid nature’s embrace, perfect for a tranquil getaway. 

Lost Creek Lake beckons adventurers with its expansive waters, ideal for boating and fishing, while Applegate Lake, nestled close to Jacksonville, boasts scenic vistas and hiking trails along its shores. For those seeking a quieter escape, Fish Lake, adjacent to Lake of the Woods, offers a more secluded experience, promising a serene atmosphere amidst stunning surroundings. It’s an excellent choice for a peaceful day by the water in the Rogue Valley.

4. Summit Mt. McLoughlin

Southern Oregon is known for its gorgeous, adventure-filled landscapes — some of which include the towering Cascade Mountains. Within this range, Mt. McLoughlin is the region’s most popular climbing destination. 

Summiting Mt. McLoughlin is no easy task, as it boasts the highest peak in Southern Oregon. However, the views and personal satisfaction at the end of five miles of rocky trails are well worth the effort. As long as you wear comfortable hiking shoes, bring a lot of water and food, and are ready to “rough it” for a few hours, you’ll be able to capture incredible, breathtaking views that are exclusive to only you and the others who’ve been brave enough to climb it. 

5. Reel in Your Dinner

Another distinguished piece of Southern Oregon’s landscape is the beautiful Rogue River, which provides over 215 miles of fishable water. While the river is home to various fish species, it’s highly recognized as one of the best places to catch salmon, steelhead, and trout. 

The best part? Each species has a different season and appears more prominently in the river in different months of the year. So, whether you’re an avid angler, a more casual hobbyist, or you’d just like to try something new, there are ample fishing opportunities in the Rogue all year round

6. Go Sightseeing

As mentioned above, Southern Oregon is filled with mountains, valleys, vineyards, rivers, and lakes. Sometimes, the best way to explore and enjoy this diverse topography and wildlife is just to sit back and look at it. In fact, if you took a relaxed and scenic drive, you’d almost be able to see it all! The terrain and creatures that live among it are naturally beautiful and don’t always require an adventure to appreciate them. 

Want to go chasing waterfalls? Medford and The Rogue Valley are home to many mesmerizing waterfalls. Some of the most notable are Mill Creek Falls, White Horse Falls, Toketee Falls, and the Rogue River Gorge. 

If you’d like to see something truly extraordinary, we recommend traveling a few hours west to the Southern Oregon Coastline to do some whale watching. Every year, from mid-December through January, almost 25,000 gray whales migrate south along the coast. This is an experience you’ll never forget! 

7. Play a Round of Golf

If you love golfing but don’t love the year-round heat in states like Arizona or California, Southern Oregon is a great place. You’ll be able to try your hand at some of the most beautiful courses on the West Coast while enjoying more comfortable climates and picturesque views. 

If you need convincing, check out Bandon Dunes Golf Resort, home to a few world-renowned golf courses. Built by Scottish architects in the late 1990s, the courses are designed in traditional Scottish styles along the cliffs of Southern Oregon’s coast. The resort is just a few hours’ drive west from Jacksonville, and you’ll likely see some amazing scenery on the ride. When you don’t want to make the drive, stay local and choose from plenty of fantastic golf courses, including Eagle Point Golf Club, The Rogue Valley Country Club, Centennial, and Stone Ridge

8. Discover a New Way to Practice Mindfulness

Southern Oregon is a naturally tranquil place, but there are also many other unique activities to help with mental well-being and mindfulness. From vineyard yoga to sound healing to Japanese baths and tea gardens, you’re never far from experiencing a sense of rejuvenation and recovery. 

Do you enjoy pilates or want to try it for the first time? Head to the Reformed Pilates studio in downtown Jacksonville. At only $15 per class, there’s no reason not to! 

Southern Oregon is also a great place to take the time you always wish you had to observe and create art. Choose from art festivals, galleries, classes, and performances to see which best suits you.

9. Taste the World’s Best Cheese

Naturally, a place that produces so many award-winning wines needs some award-winning cheese to pair them with. In 1933, Rogue Creamery opened as Southern Oregon’s first artisan creamery cooperative. From there, it became internationally recognized, earning the award for World Champion Cheese at the 2019 World Cheese Awards in Italy. It was also recently recognized in 2021 as the winner of the US Dairy Sustainability Award in Dairy Manufacturing and Processing.

Yes, Rogue Creamery’s cheese is delicious — but that’s not the only thing that makes the company great. The cheese is also organic and created with sustainable ingredients and practices, allowing the company to earn other environmental accolades, such as being named Oregon’s first Certified B Corporation.

10. Live at Stage Pass & Make Southern Oregon Your Permanent Home

If you’d like to take a step toward becoming a true Southern Oregonian, consider making it your permanent home. There’s no better place to plant your roots than at The Vineyards at Stage Pass. Our master-planned, gated community offers exclusive access to wine country living, stellar views of awe-inspiring landscapes, proximity to nearby attractions, and amenity-filled custom homes.

By settling down at Stage Pass, you’d also choose the perfect place for your friends and family to join the fun! Southern Oregon is a great vacation spot that presents an abundance of year-round activities without the stress, traffic, and chaos of other popular destinations. At The Vineyards at Stage Pass, our homes are advantageously located in a peaceful corner just minutes from it all.

Experience the Magic of Southern Oregon and The Vineyards at Stage Pass

So, there you have it: 10 unique ways to experience the best things to do in Southern Oregon. Now, it’s time to start exploring and experiencing the magic! And, of course, if you have any questions about the region or our vineyard community at Stage Pass, call our team at (541) 899-1964 or contact us online. We’re happy to discuss details and schedule a private tour to show you around. 

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