20 Best Things to Do in Grants Pass, OR

20 Best Things to Do in Grants Pass, OR
Bob Pool / shutterstock.com

Nestled on the Rogue River, this city is more than just a picturesque landscape, it's a lifestyle.

A lifestyle that's deeply rooted in history, culture, and nature.

As I share with you the best things to do in Grants Pass, prepare to be captivated by the unique charm and charisma of this place.

We extend our heartfelt gratitude to the following individuals for their invaluable contributions to this article: Joanna Petillo, Melissa Levitt, Ernie Hatch, Keith Fuentes, Jeremy Benjamin, Jesus Finn and Nia Gates.

Buy Fresh Produce from the Grants Pass Growers Market

Fruit stand at Grants Pass Growers Market
Alexandraro / Shutterstock.com

I've got to tell you, there is something truly special about our city's own Grants Pass Growers Market.

You know, it's not just a place for me to grab some fresh produce, which I do, quite religiously.

It's also where I find my favorite organic sprouts!

If you have a taste for greens, you absolutely must try Terra Sol's offerings.

Their broccoli sprouts are a must-have, and I find myself stopping by more than a couple of times each month to get my fix.

You can learn more about them at growersmarket.org.

And that's just the beginning!

Fresh produce at Grants Pass Growers Market
Alexandraro / Shutterstock.com

There's an incredible variety of stands, each with its own unique charm.

One of my personal favorites is Organicos - a bakery that offers the most scrumptious allergy-friendly treats.

And Rosie's tamales? Simply to die for.

Trust me, once you sample these, you won't be able to resist coming back for more.

But it's not just about food.

The Grants Pass Growers Market is also a treasure trove for unique artisanal products, from beautiful cacti and CBD to handcrafted woodworking and even knife sharpening services.

Bread for sale at Grants Pass Growers Market
Alexandraro / Shutterstock.com

Go Fishing with Travis Malone Guide Services

If there's one thing you should know about me, it's that I live for fishing.

So, when I tell you that Travis Malone Guide Services is the real deal, you can trust I know what I'm talking about.

I've been fishing on the Rogue with Travis more times than I can count.

And every time, it's like experiencing the thrill of the catch for the first time.

The way Travis puts us in the right positions, guiding us expertly through the process, it's like magic on water.

Even on the busiest days with unfavorable weather, Travis works hard to ensure we all score a catch.

And boy, the fish we catch!

I still remember that one time when I pulled out the most delicious salmon I've ever tasted.

Thanks to Travis' dedicated efforts, none of us went home empty-handed that day.

I simply can't recommend Travis Malone Guide Services enough.

Whether it's your first time holding a fishing rod or you're an experienced angler, Travis makes sure each trip is an adventure you won't forget.

His guidance is a valuable resource, and his passion for fishing is infectious.

I'd go back out on the water with him tomorrow if I could.

But for now, I'm content with the memories of 10 fish and three keepers from my last trip.

Experience Thrills with Hellgate Jetboat Excursions

The thrill of the rushing water beneath, the wind in your hair, and the spray of the river on your skin, there's nothing quite like a trip on a Hellgate Jetboat Excursion.

I've had the pleasure of experiencing this exhilarating adventure twice already, and each time, it only gets better.

With trips ranging from one to four hours, there's something for everyone.

During my recent two-hour trip, our tour guide was both entertaining and informative, pointing out various flora and fauna along the way.

The team at Hellgate are truly top-notch!

We were able to spot a number of majestic creatures from bald eagles to black tail deer.

It's not just about the thrill of the ride, but also the appreciation for nature that Hellgate inculcates in their guests.

One thing to keep in mind though, be ready to get wet!

Depending on where you sit, you could end up just a little damp, or looking like you've been scuba diving.

But on a hot summer day, the jet boat's splash is more than welcome.

The excitement of the trip coupled with the refreshing spray of water makes it a truly unique experience.

Now, if you're considering the four-hour trip, it comes complete with a dinner.

While the food didn't exactly blow my mind, the overall experience more than made up for it.

The thrill of the ride with Hellgate Jetboat Excursion, the splendid vistas, and the camaraderie among fellow adventurers, all these combined make it an unforgettable experience.

Learn the Efforts of the Wildlife Images Rehabilitation and Education Center

Just last week, I decided to spend my afternoon at the Wildlife Images Rehabilitation and Education Center.

It was not my first visit, but it was definitely the most memorable one.

I find the work they do for local wildlife absolutely captivating, and every visit presents me with a chance to learn something new about the animals they care for.

The center's staff served as the perfect guides for the day.

Their profound knowledge about wildlife combined with their friendly demeanor is always something to look forward to.

This time, they brought out a wide array of animals that I had only seen from a distance before.

The opportunity to see these fascinating creatures up close was truly a treat for the eyes.

What really caught my attention on this visit to Wildlife Images Rehabilitation and Education Center was the petting zoo.

They had a diverse variety of birds, mammals, and reptiles - each being cared for with utmost attention and love.

I couldn't resist the urge to opt for the guided tour, even though I had experienced it before.

Let me tell you, it was worth every penny.

The tour was not rushed at all, providing ample time to appreciate each creature and absorb the wealth of information provided.

Discover the Artistic Gems at Grants Pass Museum of Art

I never expected to find such a vibrant arts community in Grants Pass.

It's in our bookstore, our coffee shops, and most importantly, in our local museum, the Grants Pass Museum of Art.

You wouldn't believe the care they put into selecting artwork that perfectly complements our region.

It's as if each painting, sculpture, and installation is thoughtfully chosen to echo our unique Pacific Northwest vibe.

Not to mention, the museum is also a host to music and poetry events, workshops, and more, making it a cultural hub in our quaint city.

I still remember the awe I felt when I first laid eyes on Sayaka Ganz's sculptures.

Her artistry is simply breathtaking and it's a joy to see her work being appreciated in our small museum.

I also love how they showcase local artists.

It's heartening to see familiar names getting the recognition they deserve, and it adds a personal touch to my museum visits.

One more thing that sets our museum apart is their approach to inclusivity.

Unlike some of the larger art museums where the entrance fee can be quite steep, at the Grants Pass Museum of Art, admission is by donation.

This ensures that the museum remains accessible to everyone, irrespective of their financial situation.

The museum might be small, but the variety of art it houses is remarkable.

They have a knack for bringing in some truly exceptional traveling shows.

The art world is vast and varied, and our little museum does a wonderful job of giving us a taste of it all.

Get Active through the Serenity of Reinhart Volunteer Park

Geese on Reinhart Volunteer Park's pond
Victoria Ditkovsky / Shutterstock.com

There's nothing quite like the tranquility and variety that Reinhart Volunteer Park delivers right here in our very own backyard.

Nestled in the heart of our bustling city, the park provides a green haven that caters to a myriad of outdoor activities.

I have spent countless weekends exploring the vast expanse of this park, and every trip feels like a new adventure.

The first thing that strikes you about this park is the sheer space it offers.

Catering to both the active sports enthusiast and the leisurely stroller, its expansive soccer field, sand volleyball courts, and walking trails make for a perfect weekend getaway.

As a family photographer, I have found this park to be an idyllic setting for photo sessions.

The picturesque backdrop of ponds, bridges, and fountains provides a charming ambiance that always leaves my clients spellbound.

For those who fancy a quiet picnic, the park is well-equipped with covered shelters, providing a serene space to enjoy a meal with loved ones.

The park's close proximity to my home is an added advantage, allowing for spontaneous visits whenever I need a quick escape from the urban hustle.

Come fall, Reinhart Volunteer Park transforms into a riot of colors that is nothing short of breathtaking.

Taking walks during this season is truly a visual feast, with a beautiful display of leaves changing hues.

The park is also home to a variety of animals, including ducks, birds, and squirrels, providing an opportunity for natural wildlife observation.

And, of course, the crown jewel of the park is the stunning view of the Rogue River.

The sight of the sun setting over the river as it reflects off the water is definitely a sight to behold.

Spend a Day Among Dinosaurs at the Grants Pass Caveman

I've been living in this city for a long while now.

You know that quiet charm of small-town life?

Grants Pass has it in plenty.

But there's something that adds an extra quirk to it.

Oh yes, I am talking about the famous Grants Pass Caveman.

It's a great sight, towering over the city with triumphant gusto.

Every day on my way to work, I pass by the statue.

It's just there, standing tall and proud in its peculiar caveman attire.

It's a constant, a symbol of something familiar and comforting amidst the hustle and bustle of daily life.

Sometimes, I just stop there, transfixed, appreciating the statue's craft and its surprisingly detailed features.

And oh boy, those times when I pull up to the nearby gas station!

Its larger-than-life silhouette against the backdrop of the setting sun?

Now that is a sight to behold!

The Grants Pass Caveman has been a part of my daily routine for so long that it feels like an old friend.

It's not just an artistic structure; it's a symbol of Grants Pass, a story etched in stone, a testament to its rich history, and an alluring attraction for visitors.

You won't believe the number of tourists who stop to take photos with the Caveman.

From folks fulfilling their cross-country bucket lists to ardent art enthusiasts, the place is always buzzing with visitors.

And honestly?

Seeing their wide-eyed fascination brings a smile to my face.

Have a Movie Night at Barnstormers Theatre

There's something truly special about the flickering lights and the anticipation that fills the air right before a play begins.

For my wife and I, this feeling is best experienced at Barnstormers Theatre.

We've been there multiple times, and each experience has been unique and memorable.

I still remember our last visit vividly.

We decided to have a date night and instead of heading to a movie theater, we chose Barnstormers.

There's just something truly different about watching live actors on stage, feeling their raw emotions, and appreciating their craft.

The theatre was bustling with theatre-goers, yet it was intimate - a rarity in the world of entertainment.

What I love about Barnstormers Theatre is that there's not a bad seat in the house.

You can truly immerse yourself in the performance from any angle.

The people, from the theatre-goers to the staff, add to this atmosphere with their congeniality and love for the arts.

They make you feel right at home, and that's a feeling you can't put a price on.

The acting was superb, and it was a timely reminder of how we all navigated through that challenging period.

Indulge in the Cheesy Delights at Rogue Creamery Dairy Farm

I've always been a bit of a cheese enthusiast, I mean, who isn't?

So, when I discovered the world-famous blue cheese right in my backyard at the Rogue Creamery Dairy Farm, it felt like a dream come true.

Being a regular visitor, one of the staff members even recognizes me now.

Last time, she gave me a birthday sticker, just like the one she had given to my husband previously.

It's these little touches that make the experience at the farm even more special.

Going there is like my little escape - I love to enjoy the cheese right where it’s crafted.

They have picnic tables set up on Rogue Creamery Dairy Farm, perfect for a sunny afternoon indulgence.

The Classic Grilled Cheese is my go-to, it's a unique blend of cheddar, blue cheese, and honey and believe me, it’s a culinary masterpiece.

The melting cheese, gooey and fresh, coupled with the subtle sweetness of the honey, creates a taste that words cannot justify.

If you think that's all, you're mistaken.

They also have a great tour that showcases their operations.

It’s fascinating to see the transformation from milk to cheese.

And, their cheese selection is phenomenal, with my personal favorites being the smokey blue and vampire cheese.

Hike the Cathedral Hills

It isn't every day you stumble upon a paradise like Cathedral Hills.

Just a stone's throw from my home, I've found my personal sanctuary in this network of trails.

There's something magical about the place - a sort of rugged serenity that seeps into your soul and lingers long after you've left the woods.

No two days in Cathedral Hills are the same.

Some days, I opt for the leisurely routes that meander through the dense woods.

The verdant canopy overhead is a sight to behold - a patchwork of green set against the infinite blue of the sky.

On other days, I venture along the more challenging trails, the ones that offer sweeping views of the landscape below.

On those days, I like to stop and take a moment to absorb the beauty around me.

I find myself mesmerized by the changing seasons - the vibrant tapestry of autumn leaves, the delicate dusting of snow in winter, the intoxicating fragrance of spring flowers in bloom.

It's like witnessing Mother Nature in her most candid moments.

Of course, the trails aren't just for me.

They're a hub of activity, frequented by a variety of visitors.

From hikers and mountain bikers to horse riders and nature lovers, Cathedral Hills is a haven for anyone seeking a break from the hustle and bustle of city life.

It's not uncommon to see families enjoying a picnic or dog owners playing fetch with their furry friends.

Have a Picnic at Riverside Park

View of Riverside Park in Oregon
Rob7 24, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

When I think of a wonderful day outing in my city, my thoughts almost always land on Riverside Park.

Situated alongside the beautiful Rogue River, it's a popular spot with locals and tourists alike.

From the lush green fields to the ready-to-use picnic areas, it offers the perfect backdrop for a cozy family outing.

On a typical day, you'll find me trying my hand at a game of disc golf or maybe soaking up the sun while watching my children play at the well-equipped playground.

The park is spacious, allowing for a lot of activity without feeling crowded.

A recent visit during the Boatnik event was an experience in itself.

View of Riverside Park in Oregon
Rob7 24, CC BY-SA 4.0, via Wikimedia Commons

The park was bustling with people, the air filled with enjoyment and the sweet smell of funnel cake, which is a must-try when you're there.

The people at the stall have been serving it for years, and let me tell you, they've only gotten better with time.

Riverside Park is a place close to my heart.

It's where my children have their fun, where I've spent many sunny afternoons, and where we, as a community, come together to celebrate events like Boatnik.

For anyone visiting our city, I would recommend spending a day at Riverside Park.

It's a place that truly represents the essence of our community.

Grab a Seasonal Treat at Fort Vannoy Farms

Every October, a magical transformation occurs in our sleepy little city.

Fort Vannoy Farms, known for their dedication to the community and exceptional produce, comes alive with seasonal festivities.

You can find more about them at Fort Vannoy Farms.

Attending their fall festivities has become a yearly tradition for my family and me over the last seven years.

The farm's pumpkin patch is a sight to behold with its sprawling array of pumpkins in all shapes, sizes, and colors.

My kids' favorite, of course, is the giant pumpkin that holds court over the patch.

The farm doesn't just stop at pumpkins.

They pull out all the stops to entertain with a pumpkin catapult and a dedicated play area for the little ones.

The corn maze is always a delight to navigate, and for those seeking a thrill, the haunted corn maze offers a terrifying adventure once the sun goes down.

One unique attraction that always gets my adrenaline pumping is pumpkin shooting at an old bus.

Sounds a bit quirky, right?

But it's all in good fun and a truly unforgettable experience.

As for food, the farm serves up their own produce and other local foods, providing delicious sustenance to keep the energy levels up for all the activities.

For my son, the piece de resistance is getting to shoot the pumpkin cannon, followed by the sacred task of picking out pumpkins for himself and his cousins.

The joy on his face during these activities is worth every second spent at Fort Vannoy Farms.

Have a Family Time  at Tom Pearce Park

Every time I step into Tom Pearce Park, it feels like I'm stepping into my personal haven.

The park is incredibly well-kept and immaculate, from the sprawling green lawns to the wonderful play structure that seems to beckon children from miles around.

The structure is not just clean, but it boasts a variety of activities to keep the young ones engaged for hours on end.

If you're anything like me, you might find yourself drawn to the sprawling disc golf course.

It's a favorite among many of us here in Oregon, and the local club does a stellar job of maintaining it.

Each hole presents a new challenge with multiple pin locations, and some of them can really test your skills!

I've been playing here since 2008, and even though I don't get to visit as often as I'd like, it's always my first choice when I have the time.

Just a heads up - there's a $5 parking fee if you don't have a pass, but it's worth every penny.

While the park does see its fair share of visitors, it never feels crowded.

I love that it provides such a tranquil escape from the bustle of everyday life, especially when I want to relax in the shade and chase a few balls around.

Despite the size of the park, it's remarkably clean.

The restrooms near the parking lot are spotless, and there are plenty of benches scattered around for when you need a breather.

Tom Pearce Park, with its ample space and variety of activities, is more than just a park.

It's a relaxing retreat, a sports enthusiast's dream, and a treasured part of our community here in Oregon.

I absolutely adore it and I'm sure you would too.

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I don't care what anyone says, there's no such thing as too much art, and Gallery One is a testament to that.

Tucked away in our neighborhood, it's a hidden gem that I stumble upon every few weeks.

Each visit is like stepping into a different world; a world where creativity knows no bounds.

The one-room downstairs presentation has a charm of its own, the simplicity of it all allows the art to truly shine.

And the friendly staff they're always willing to engage in a conversation about the art on display.

This is no ordinary gallery where you just view art, it's a place where you learn, engage and understand the artist's perspective.

And the best part?

The inventory keeps changing.

It's a constant surprise, a box filled with creativity that keeps on giving.

No two visits have ever been the same.

It's always a joy to find new pieces, and even more so when there's an artist present to share their insights.

The art presented there is a tribute to the local talents of our city, with most pieces very affordable.

Watch a Production at the Rogue Theatre

One of the things I love about my city is that you don't have to go far for a good time.

Just take the Rogue Theatre, for instance.

Nestled in an art deco building that's seen more years than I care to recall, it's a beacon of culture and entertainment that's become an essential part of our community.

Now let me tell you, it's been quite a while since I last stepped foot in this theater.

Boy, does it bring back memories!

I remember seeing the movie "Ants" here when it was still a movie theater.

But the times, they change, and today Rogue Theatre is a hub for live music, theater, dance, and film events.

I recently had the pleasure to watch an ABBA tribute band called Mamma Mia perform here.

What a blast that was!

The nostalgia, the atmosphere, the music – all in all, a fantastic evening out.

And let me tell you, their bar doesn't disappoint either.

The mixed drinks were strong and well worth the money, so if you do drop by, don't forget to grab a drink.

Don't get me started on the fabulous rock concert I attended recently.

Rogue Theatre never disappoints with their line-up and the crowd that shows up is always electric.

Every corner of the venue resonates with enthusiasm, making it a truly immersive experience.

Walk Down Memory Lane at Schmidt House Museum & Library

Exterior of Schmidt House Museum & Library
Ian Poellet, CC BY-SA 3.0, via Wikimedia Commons

I have a deep emotional connection with the Schmidt House Museum & Library.

It's a beautiful site nestled in the heart of Grants Pass.

The Museum, a historic house dating back to 1901, often takes me back to my childhood.

I remember my parents taking me there to have letters from our family in Austria translated by the Schmidt sisters.

They were always so gracious.

They would serve us cookies and lemonade, creating a warm and welcoming atmosphere.

These are memories I still cherish, even after fifty odd years.

One of the standout features of this house museum is the period interiors that perfectly capture the essence of the era it represents.

You can learn more about it on the Johnsons County Historical Society's website.

Not only does it house a plethora of artifacts, but they also offer weekday guided tours.

This gives you a chance to immerse yourself in the history of the house and gain a deep understanding of its past.

Recently, I decided to participate in a virtual geocache hosted by the museum.

It was a delightful experience!

Schmidt House Museum & Library cleverly used a picture to hide all the clues necessary for the geocache.

It was a fun activity that further deepened my love for this charming place.

Experiencing the Joys of Josephine County Fairgrounds

One of the highlights of our city life is the annual event at the Josephine County Fairgrounds.

Trust me when I tell you, it's not just a fair, it's a community tradition!

This year was no different, with Josephine County Fairgrounds bustling with enthusiasm and a sense of camaraderie.

The event lineup was spectacular as always, with a tractor pull event stealing the show.

The adrenaline rush from watching those powerful machines go head to head is something you won't find anywhere else!

And don’t even get me started on the food.

It was certainly a feast for the senses, from the incredible smell wafting from the food stalls to the tantalizing taste of the BBQ.

As for the seating, the fairgrounds had it well-planned.

There was plenty of space for everyone to enjoy the events comfortably.

Practice Your Swing at Dutcher Creek Golf Course

You don't truly get to marvel at the beauty of Grants Pass until you've had the pleasure of teeing off at the Dutcher Creek Golf Course.

Nestled among the stunning landscapes of our city, this golf course offers a blend of scenic beauty and an invigorating challenge for golfers of all skill levels.

Just last summer, I had the privilege of joining the #golfjam tour at this remarkable venue.

The panoramic views around Dutcher Creek Golf Course made for some unforgettable golf shots and picturesque photo sessions.

The course was well-kept, and the pricing didn't leave a dent in my wallet.

The staff were genuinely warm and the drinks reasonably priced.

To top it all off, the golf course had just undergone an upgrade, featuring brand new cart paths for a smoother ride.

Certainly a welcome relief for my back!

Both the front and back nine holes were truly engaging with their unique challenges.

It became clear that this was one of those courses where prior knowledge of the terrain could give you a significant advantage.

I'm eagerly looking forward to my next round, armed with the experience gained from the previous game.

Recently, the new owners have undertaken a series of improvements aimed at enhancing the overall experience for golfers.

The landscaping efforts have helped open up the fairways and enhance the greens, providing breathtaking views of the snow-dusted foothills and the abundant wildlife that calls this place home.

Spot the Wildlife at Tussing Park

Every day after work, I make sure to take a refreshing stroll through Tussing Park, a tranquil oasis amidst the hustle and bustle of our city life.

The park at Tussing Park has wide-open green spaces that effortlessly blend into the picturesque river views.

One of the main highlights of my walks has to be the walking trails.

They cover the entire park, including a few spots by the river, and provide an invigorating experience.

The trails have become my sanctuary of solitude, where I can connect with nature in all its glory.

It's not just me, they're popular with dog owners, too, who enjoy the accommodating atmosphere for their furry friends.

If you are lucky, you might spot some wildlife.

From my personal encounters, there's a plethora of birds around.

The geese and ducks are always a sight to behold, especially when they are in large numbers.

It's a simple yet enchanting spectacle that adds to the charm of Tussing Park.

Just remember, don't feed the wildlife.

Remember to take a break and sit at one of the many picnic tables dotted around the park.

From these spots, you can enjoy a scenic view of the river that flows through the park.

The cool bridge over the river is another sight that you shouldn't miss.

It adds a unique touch to the beautiful surroundings.

There's also a kids' playground and a baseball field.

I often notice families enjoying their time, with kids running about and having fun.

The field also doubles as an impromptu play area, thanks to its grassy surface and gated boundary.

Weekends often see this place buzzing with local baseball games.

Sure, there are some homeless folks here, but they've never caused any issues.

In fact, they've always been polite and friendly.

Go Biking at Loveless Park

It's true what they say; the best things in life are free - Loveless Park is a prime example of that.

I've spent countless sunny afternoons amidst the whispering trees and rugged bike trails of this hidden gem, located right here in Grant's Pass.

Check out more about this park on the official website.

Whether it's for a quiet picnic or an adrenaline-filled afternoon, Loveless Park has something to offer everyone.

I remember the first time I stumbled upon the bike jumps, or as the kids like to call them, the "B Street Jumps".

It wasn't just another usual day at the park - kids from all over city were there, testing their bravery on these artificial moguls.

The sound of laughter filled the air as they raced and jumped their bikes, and to be honest, it was quite a spectacle.

But don't be fooled by the thrill of these jumps, it's not just for kids.

On my adventurous days, I've even taken my RC Cars for a spin around the jumps, and boy, was it fun!

The park may be small, and the playground even smaller, but the charm of Loveless Park lies in its simplicity.

It's a place where you can escape the city's hustle and bustle and immerse yourself in the peaceful ambiance of a wooded area.

The soothing sound of the creek in the back only adds to its tranquil atmosphere.

Final Thoughts

Over the years, I've come to appreciate how lucky I am to call Grants Pass my home.

Between the stunning natural beauty, the intriguing history, and the lively arts and culture scene, there's never a dull moment in this city.

Whether I'm taking a thrilling Hellgate Jetboat Excursion, browsing through our local growers market, or enjoying a relaxing round of golf at Dutcher Creek, I am constantly reminded of the rich palette of experiences that Grants Pass has to offer.

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