20 Best Things to Do in Medford, OR

Medford, OR
Cory Sober / shutterstock.com

Medford is one of our top small cities in the United States.

It lies in Oregon and boasts of being one of the most popular tourist destinations in the USA.

It also lies near the wonderful Rogue River and is situated inside Rogue Valley.

Imagine sunny vibes and windy roads as you smooth down the roads teeming with fine architectural structures.

With comparatively warmer climates throughout the year, this is precisely what Medford has to offer.

This place is indeed one of the best places for a much-needed road trip with your family and friends.

Now let's look at the 20 best things to do in Medford, Oregon:


Enjoy Water Sports at the Rogue River

Rogue River
Jesse Stephens / shutterstock.com

The majestic Rogue River that runs through Medford is home to many different water sports you can enjoy.

From white water rafting to fishing, it has something for everyone.  

You can also rent a canoe or kayaks with your group and go kayaking.

There are also spots where the flow is relatively calm, where you can do some leisurely fishing.

The river itself is vast and divided into three sections – the upper section, middle section, and lower section.

The lower section is trendy among tourists, where everyone can also enjoy some sports with assistance from the locals.

Apart from this, you can also go trekking or hiking on the nearby rocky terrains of the river or the mountains and hills nearby.

Enjoy a Good Read at JCLS Medford Library

In addition to conventional books, journals, and periodicals, the Medford Branch of Jackson County Library Services (JCLS) provides more than 200,000 residents and tourists with various literary resources, including multimedia and newspapers.

The library has a variety of educational activities and seminars for residents and visitors alike, including book discussions, book signings, symposiums, outreach initiatives, art exhibitions, courses, reading clubs, and storytelling.

Shop at The Village

The Village at Medford Mall, formerly called The Medford Center, is a 420,000-square-foot regional retail hub in eastern Medford.

It is one of the United States' oldest and vastest malls.

It is home to the biggest movie theater in southern Oregon called Cinemark Tinseltown USA and numerous stores and services, such as Ashley Furniture, Red Robin, Ralph's, Rite Aid, and International Fitness.

Many restaurants, food trucks, and coffee shops dish up a range of casual fare, and musicians in the center on the weekends, creating a laid-back and relaxing vibe.

Shop Till You Drop at Downtown Medford

Downtown Medford
Ahturner / shutterstock.com

All shopaholics rush to Downtown Medford, be it locals or globals.

It’s the best place to buy some antiques and clothing.

Scour through boutiques and do some quaint-eyed window shopping at the various shops.

View of Downtown Medford
Ian Poellet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Coop de Ville here is great to find some rustic antiques to take back home.

There are also various shops selling souvenirs for friends and relatives.

The Rogue Valley Growers Market on Thursday mornings is also a great shopping place.

Catch a Theatrical Production by the Collaborative Theatre Project

A performing arts center hails from the Village at Medford Center called the Collaborative Theatre Project, which hosts high-quality theater plays and programming for all ages.

To encourage local artists and offer a platform to display their talents, the Collaborative Theatre Project brings professional actors, musicians, dancers, and artists together to perform full theatrical performances for the community.

They also organize public events and offer a wide variety of educational activities, including camps, classes, workshops, and outreach projects for the community.

Have Fun at the Medford Railroad Park

This huge park is spread over a large area of seven acres!

With various miniature train models and cabooses, this place gives you a real-time feel of how the railways looked like back then or how they used to work.

It is also very family-friendly, where you'll have a great time with your kids.

Travel a fun train ride with them and make some beautiful memories.

Though the trains are miniature models, the scaled size is still vast and authentic.

The park is also a great example of recycling wastelands since it was constructed on sewer plant land.

The railroad park pavilion situated in the center hosts many elite clubs and parties.

But remember: The park is open only on the second and fourth Sundays of each month.


Explore the Natural Bridge Loop

Natural Bridge Loop Medford
JMcQ / shutterstock.com

This exhilarating hiking trail is famous since it crosses as many as three natural bridges.

It is located in the Upper Rogue section and extends for two miles.

The first bridge you will hike on is called the Sipapu Bridge.

It is one of the most beautiful natural bridges and the second-largest natural bridge in the world.

This is what makes this hike more special.

So enjoy a short but excellent trek with your friends and family here.


Attend the Britt Music & Arts Festival

Groove to some great hip hop and rap music in this free festival.

It is usually held in the amphitheater and in the open air.

The Britt Music & Arts Festival has many historical buildings to visit.

There are also various cafes and restaurants, where you can try out some great burgers and fries.

The city is also great for shopping, as it has some high-end boutiques and local souvenirs to bring back home.

Luxurious Wine-Tasting at the DANCIN Vineyards

All the alcohol connoisseurs should definitely visit this alcoholic heaven to get a dose of some of the finest wines and alcohols in the world.

From Burgundian-style pinot noirs and chardonnay to Italian-inspired varietals, such as Barbera, Sangiovese, Syrah, and Zinfandel, you can have fun here at DANCIN Vineyards.

The tasting room has a great gallery overlooking some natural beauty.

Moreover, it is located very close to the rogue valley, making it a very accessible place.

It also has its own vineries and farms, where they source its organic produce.

They also serve some delicious dishes made of fresh produce you can try.


Watch a Show at the Craterian Theater

Outside View of  Craterian Theater
Ian Poellet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The Craterian Theater was one of its kind when it was first opened to the public before getting ruined during the Multiplex and Television times.

But, as more people started enjoying theater again, it was restored and reopened for the public in 1997.

The theater today is back with a bang and serves you a variety of theater styles on its platter.

You can watch a children’s musical, a Russian ballet or comedy shows as per your liking.

Music lovers might also love the acoustic music concerts and symphony shows hosted here.

Make sure you try to attend at least one of the shows at this regal theatre.

Stay Active at U.S. Cellular Community Park

One of the most advanced athletic facilities in the country, the U.S. Cellular Community Park has multiple world-class sports fields.

These include a professional-sized baseball field and two junior-sized ones, four softball fields, a professional soccer field, and two general sports areas for field hockey.

To date, it has hosted over 47,000 child and adult soccer games.

More than  1.5 million square feet of artificial grass are installed in the park, making it the largest municipal FieldTurf installation in the U.S.

Witness the Start of the Holiday Season in Winter Lights Festival

If you're around Medford in the first week of December, it may be worth your time to attend this festival.

Gather the entire family and make the drive downtown to Pear Blossom Park for the yearly Winter Lights Festival.

Have your kids take photos with Santa, join a coloring contest, catch performances from area choir groups, and take part in the annual Candy Cane Hunt!

And what about the main event?

The traditional Tree Lighting Ceremony in downtown Medford officially kicks off the holiday season.

Have Fun at the Bear Creek Park

Bear Creek Park
BrittneyLiffick / shutterstock.com

The area is spread over almost 113 acres with plenty of fun things to do!

Since it is a dedicated wildlife refuge, three acres of the park are home to many cute and seasonal species of animals and birds.

The Bear Creek Park itself is also a fun place and great for a family outing.

View of Bear Creek Park
ZabMilenko at English Wikipedia, CC BY-SA 2.5, via Wikimedia Commons

It has a skate park, an outdoor amphitheater, a BMX track, and many mountain biking and hiking trails where you can enjoy some sporting activities with your kids.

Also, the park is open all year round, so you do not have to worry about finding the right time or seasons to visit.


Picnic at the Prescott Park

The huge Prescott Park is one of the largest parks and is present on the East of Medford.

It spreads over an area of 1700 acres and is lovely for unwinding.

Plan a nice family picnic here or pack some beers and spend time reminiscing about old times with your friends.

There are hiking and biking trails too.

The major attraction of the park is the Roxy Ann Peak.

One of the largest and tallest peaks, it stands at the height of 3,576 feet.

People hike up to the top of this massive giant and get some great views of the breathtaking scenery.

The park remains closed during monsoons and dry seasons, so you should plan in advance if you don’t want to miss picnicking here.


Dine at Some Fine Dining Restaurants

Drinks and pizza are always a great combo, and even more so when combined with some picturesque interiors.

Kaleidoscope Pizzeria and Pub offers you this exact delight.

From wood-fired pizza to hand-crafted beers, this pub provides you with delicious food and drinks.

Order from a wide set menu has soups, salads, starters, calzone pockets, and more.

The best part? These are all made from local produce.

It is locally owned, and the restaurant itself is very rustic and has a charm to it.

Wooden ceilings and stained glass windows beautify the look.

There’s also a patio in the front.

The bar has a variety of wines, cocktails, mocktails, and craft beers in store.

Let loose, and don’t count your calories while here.

Another recommended restaurant is the Pomodori Bistro & Winebar.

Enjoy some authentic Italian fare, such as Bruschetta, Caprese salads, and different types of pasta.

Medford is thus an eclectic balance of sporty and aesthetic.

Make sure you visit this beauty in Oregon the next time you plan a trip with friends.

Other Things to Do Nearby

Relax at the Applegate Lake

Applegate Lake
Victoria Ditkovsky / shutterstock.com

This is a great place to cool off if you happen to visit Oregon in the summer.

Applegate Lake is near to California and frequented by many locals to have some fun and recreation.

The lake itself was named after the legendary pioneers, Lindsay and Jesse Applegate, who had crossed the Applegate River when they were making the Southern Emigrant Trail in the 1840s.

View of Applegate Lake
Drew Atkinson / shutterstock.com

You can enjoy a wide array of activities in its cool waters, like swimming and fishing, as well as some trekking and hiking near the river banks.

The lake itself is beautiful and has some scenic locations around for the perfect photoshoot.

Visit the Crater Lake National Park

Crater Lake National Park
Bill45 / shutterstock.com

Crater Lake is the deepest lake in this country and one of the huge natural lakes ever created.

It was formed because of a 7000-year-old volcanic eruption, and it rests today as a scenic spot.

Even then, it provides for some great trails to go trekking or hiking.

There are also excellent camping facilities available here where you can spend the night.

Light up a bonfire and have fun here as you drown your sorrows away.

View of Crater Lake National Park
Zhukova Valentyna / Shutterstock.com

Visit the Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve

Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve
Eugene Kalenkovich / shutterstock.com

Though it is located a little far away, Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve is worth a visit.

Filled with many natural wonders of rock formations and crevices, it will leave you enthralled with its beauty.

This subterranean world has a great underground location, and you have expert guides to walk you through the different rocks and formations.

View of Oregon Caves National Monument & Preserve
Jeffhollett, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The adults can try out the popular discovery tour while there are other tours specially designed for kids.

There is a special site called the Cave Creek Campground, which has 17 sites.

The service is strictly on a first-come-first-serve basis, so make sure you plan ahead of time.

Fish at Diamond Lake

Diamond Lake
AsiaTravel / shutterstock.com

This lake was named after its discoverer, John Diamond, after he paced the Diamond Mountain.

Spend some leisurely time lazing on the lakeside and having a picnic.

Pack some sandwiches and cola and you are all set.

View of Diamond Lake
Checubus / shutterstock.com

You can also combine this with low-paced fun activities, like fishing, swimming in the lake, horseback riding, hunting, and mountain biking near the banks.

You can also do some low-key canoeing and kayaking in the waters.

If you visit Medford in the winter months, you can also enjoy some great winter sports like cross-country skiing, snowmobiling, Alpine and Nordic skiing, and sled dog racing on the snow-covered lands.

Hiking on the Upper and Lower Table Rocks

Table Rocks Medford
Sherri R. Camp / shutterstock.com

The famous Upper and Lower Table Rocks are one of the most prominent features of the rogue valley.

It has huge monolithic rocks located near the Rogue River.

These flat-based rocks are jutted out from the river bank and situated uphill.

View of Upper and Lower Table Rocks
Sherri R. Camp / shutterstock.com

It provides for a great and refreshing hike to the top of the mountain, where the view is breathtaking -- a favorite among tourists.

These majestic monolithic mesas were formed almost seven million years ago due to a massive volcanic eruption.

These were critical factors that shaped the culture and traditions of the indigenous tribes.

Final Thoughts

When you visit Medford in Southern Oregon, you'll discover that the alternatives for things to do are virtually limitless.

The center of the Rogue Valley provides a diverse range of natural environments and a strong sense of community.

The regional tastes are sure to please your taste senses.

Southern Oregon's world-class hiking, fishing, and rafting are all waiting for you out in the great outdoors.

Explore what Forbes has dubbed a "global wine destination" and so much more!

Best Airbnbs in Medford

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