What to do for a week in Medford, Oregon
March 19, 2007 2:12 AM   Subscribe

Visiting the Ashland/Medford area of Oregon...

I'm going to be visiting friends that live in Ashland and Medford, Oregon starting this Tuesday. I'll be there for up to a week and I have a limited budget, but I do have a car. I've been there a few times before, and I'm from Portland, so I'd consider myself reasonably familiar with the area. I'm looking for interesting and cheap things to do. If it helps my friends and I are 30 year old guys. Cool bars in the Medford area (if there are any), or possibly interesting day hikes or tips on how to occupy myself while my buddies work would be appreciated. Thanks in advance
posted by efalk to Travel & Transportation around Medford, OR (7 answers total) 3 users marked this as a favorite
It's been awhile since I've been down to Medford, but I never found a bar I particularly liked. The Time Out Sports Bar was the best of a pretty meager lot. They at least had a few pool tables. You may have better luck in Ashland.

If you haven't been to the Oregon Caves in Cave Junction, you might want to check them out. It looks like it's $8.50 a person so not too expensive and I really loved them. It would be about a one hour drive from Medford. Table Rock is a short but pleasant hike this time of year. If you like trains, the Medford Train Park is a free way to kill a little bit of time. I'm not 100% sure if it's open year round, though.
posted by diamondsky at 2:40 AM on March 19, 2007

It isn't necessarily cheap, but please consider the Oregon Shakespearean Festival in Ashland. (Actually, it's fun to visit there even if you don't take in a play.)
posted by Steven C. Den Beste at 4:33 AM on March 19, 2007

My advice would be to avoid what we Oregonians refer to as Deadford or Dreadford as much as possible. Ashland is a blast, there's great parks and even a decent ski mountain not far from town -- looks like the current base is 67-103", not bad at all for March. Den Beste is right (as usual!) about checking out the Shakespeare festival -- which is one of the best in the world. They also do other plays beyond Shakespeare, looks like right now they're doing some Chekov and Stoppard as well. Ashland's just basically a fun town to hang out in, walk around town and take your pick of good brewpubs.

Jacksonville isn't too far away either and it's a funky little town that with interesting antiques and curio shops. The Jacksonville also has a terrific music festival in the summer, which is usually a mix of top notch classical music and some big name roots rock acts, all in a great outdoor venue.

There's also a bunch of great outdoor activities to be found in the area if you dig a little. Rafting on the Rogue, camping, mountain biking, and fishing season should start in about a month, just to name a few.
posted by Heminator at 7:23 AM on March 19, 2007

I went to college at Southern Oregon University. Go to Ashland and definitely go to Omars, it's a really tiny local pub on Siskiyou Boulevard down kitty corner to the seven-eleven at around 1250 Siskiyou. Visiting the campus of Southern Oregon University is cool too, the Schneider Art Gallery is always good and the student work is outstanding.

If you go up Siskiyou about three blocks, there is an excellent thai restaurant in a converted house. Worth it!

I don't think the OSF has started yet, but do definitely go to Lithia Park, which is IMHO the best public park south of Eugene. It's right in the middle of downtown next to Pioneer Square. Be sure to try the Lithia water. If you walk down from the park past the square, there is an alley that leads to a very good vegan restaurant called Pilaf. It's very good. If you go further down, there is another restaurant with great desserts but I forget the name.

If you really want to have some fun. Go the Southern Oregon University and stand in the main quad around 10 or 11 in the morning on a weekday with a sign that says "John Parman Told Me to Stand Here." and see who comes to say hello. I was a legend in Ashland.
posted by parmanparman at 8:36 AM on March 19, 2007 [1 favorite]

Check out the Rogue River.
posted by salvia at 9:14 AM on March 19, 2007

Isn't Harry and David located in Medford? Ashland has some nice pub style bars - try the Black Sheep. For breakfast, I like Brothers. Lots of good hiking in the nearby hills. Second the Rogue river rafting and jetboats too.
posted by A189Nut at 2:39 PM on March 19, 2007

Omars! I forgot all about that place-love it! Awesome oldschool steakhouse-lush red sparkly vinyl booths and strong drinks, if I remember correctly.

Crater Lake is 84 miles away. I'd also second the Oregon Caves recommendation.

The only bar I've been to in Medford was a strip club with guy friends, a few years back.
posted by purenitrous at 4:21 PM on March 19, 2007

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