blog header, the rogue valley summer bucket list
By Emily Hunter | 05/30/2022 | Dining, Fishing, Guides & Tours, Jetboats, Lakes & Rivers, National Park, Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Adventure, Sports, Things to Do, Trails, Wine, Winery


Rogue Valley Winter Bucket List

With wildflowers in bloom and festival events around every corner, Medford has a wealth of summer adventures awaiting your exploration. Whether you seek to taste wine overlooking the valley’s vistas or venture to The Oregon Vortex, the Heart of the Rogue has something for everyone!

Conveniently located just 20 minutes from its neighbors, let Medford be your launchpad to a bounty of summer events and activities. Kick-off summer right with Medford's natural getaways and experiences, just waiting for you to uncover them.

Stack up your itinerary with our bucket list, and plan your trip today!

Britt Festival

Settled into beautiful historic woodlands, this natural amphitheater is ready to host you in one of its many events. Surrounded by Madrone, Sequoia, and Ponderosa pines, find yourself in an oasis of natural beauty. From exciting live concerts and children’s ballet performances to showings of art, you will find yourself completely encapsulated by the wonders this outdoor venue holds.

The Britt Gardens and Performance Lawns are also home to the famous Children’s Festival, hosted each summer. Coming into its 56th year, the Britt Children’s Festival invites you for an exciting, 3-day event with over 30 arts and crafts booths. This clay making, face painting, gold panning, and storytelling experience is filled with entertainment designed to inspire creativity in both the young and the young at heart. No matter what you chose to do at the Britt Gardens, you will leave with your hearts full and your mind inspired.

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From mid-June to early August, the Oregon Lavender Trail reaches its peak blooming season, ripe and ready for your exploration. Horace’s Duskywing and Western Tiger Swallowtail butterflies soar through the air, filling up on the divine nectar the perennial plant produces. With five fields and nurseries to explore, an amazing lavender experience awaits you in the Applegate Valley and beyond. 

Reopening June 17, the Applegate River Lavender Farm (formerly Lavender Fields Forever) offers many activities and experiences for people of all ages to enjoy. Indulge yourself in the simplicity of picking a basket of fresh lavender, formulate your own special creation at a class, or enjoy the fresh items and products in the gift shop.

From honey and soap to fresh bundles to take home, delight in the rich aromas and sights of the lovely lavender fields in the Heart of the Rogue.

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Searching for over-the-top thrills and family fun? Enjoy classic fair rides and unique, gravity-defying swings alike at the Jackson County Fair! With buggies for the kiddos and giant towers for adults, there is something for everyone at this classic fair. While on your adventure, you will also find your favorite carnival food, and games at every turn. Don’t forget to visit the Expo Barn and Creative Arts Exhibit, where you will find prize-winning animals and artisan gems from local crafters and the 4H and FFA programs!

In addition to the fair, the venue also hosts diamond-selling, platinum stars at the fair’s music festival. Select your seat in the amphitheater or spread out a blanket on the large lawn space, and enjoy a live performance from one of the festival headliners!

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This June, watch as fearless flyers soar through the valley’s skies in one of the most exciting events of the summer! Paragliders from all over the country travel to compete in the Applegate Open, a National Championship Series event hosted just 30 minutes from Medford. View the gliders from the launch site on Woodrat Mountain, or get a beautiful view from LongSword Vineyard as they complete their flight and make their landing.

Whitewater rafting on the Rogue River

From world-class fishing and whitewater rapids to swimming holes and hiking opportunities, the Rogue River has it all. The legendary river is nationally known as a premier angling destination for its steelhead and salmon fishing, with bounty all year round and guided tours for your enjoyment.

Immerse yourself in the beauty of the river with a guided rafting tour or jet boat ride, and build your confidence in taking on the white waters or experiencing the thrill of zooming through them. Famous swimming holes also surround the river, perfect for a day of outdoor adventure with family or friends.

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The Heart of the Rogue is no stranger to outdoor adventure opportunities, and this includes hosting one of the most unique and scenic courses in the nation. Every June, runners trace the Rogue River through the Siskiyou Mountains, all the way to the Oregon coast over this 221-mile course. The relay consists of teams between the size of 6-12 people, with each member rotating through the transition areas. If you don’t have a team assembled - don’t fret! Runners can be paired with team members for the ultimate bonding and running experience. With opportunities to race, spectate or volunteer, this relay race is one you won’t want to miss!

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This hidden gem is just waiting for you to uncover its naturally beautiful marbled halls. Beat the summer sun under the covers of Oregon’s underground, and take a guided tour for the best viewing and learning experience. From tours by candlelight and off-trail experiences to the kids and family cave tour, there is a guide geared for everyone to take on the taverns. Journey into a richly diverse underground paradise this summer, and take on fun activities and experiences you’ll cherish for a lifetime.

Lower Table Rock overlooking the Rogue River, rogue jet boats, jet boat,

Recharge in the great outdoors with the experience of a lifetime! Take a thrilling ride with Rogue Jet Boat Adventures and experience the Rogue River like you never have before. After your exciting ride down the river, experience a private concert on a remote island called Discovery Park. Settled under the towering cliffs of the Table Rocks, this park offers local food trucks, a private lake for recreation, and shaded tables and hammocks for your enjoyment. Packed full of spectacular scenery, meaningful history, and wildlife viewing, experience the rogue like you never have before with Rogue Jet Boat’s Discovery Tours.

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Looking for a unique experience? It doesn’t get better than this. Live your best life cruising through downtown on this exciting party bike, tasting the unique flavors of microbrew stops along the way. Your host, and DJ for your trip, will guide you to specific stops you would like to venture to, or give you a general tour of the area if it’s your first time. Where the fastest speed is 5-7mph, experience a personalized tour of the vibrant and eclectic bars and breweries throughout downtown with family and friends!

Looking for fresh, artisan food and local handmade crafts? The Rogue Valley Growers and Crafters Market serves as the embodiment of community and creation every Thursday in Medford at Hawthorne Park. With local food trucks, pottery, woven creations and plenty of farm-fresh picks, you will discover the very best of the valley all in one place.

Rogue Valley Zip Line

Take your adventures to the tops of the trees, and soar through the valley via zipline for the ultimate rogue experience. Get a birds-eye view of spectacular views, including Crater Lake’s rimMt. McLoughlinthe Table Rocks and several nearby vistas. Experience the valley like never before on five diverse, progressive zipline courses in the heart of Rogue Valley Zipline Adventure’s private park. For a day packed full of fun, test out their Zip, Dip & Sip tour package, where you will experience the thrill of ziplining, rafting and wine tasting the beautifully bountiful rogue!

Crater Lake National Park

The deepest, bluest lake in the nation will be right in your backyard when you travel to the Heart of the Rogue. Packed with trails, tracks and unique seasonal activities to explore, the possibilities are endless at Crater Lake National Park. One of the most notable experiences during your trip is riding along the rim of the lake. You can either bike or drive around the 33-mile, panoramic road. Each curve and contour of the paved road were intricately designed to complement the natural landscape, with over 30 overlooks, 5 picnic areas, and ample parking. No matter what you choose to do, this magnificent park is a wonder you won’t want to miss this summer.

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Formerly known as Kid-Time Children’s Museum, this non-profit children’s museum is the largest in the state of Oregon. The exciting play center offers a plethora of hands-on discovery spaces designed to spark curiosity and wonder in young minds. Each station, class and event is specifically designed to stimulate imagination with free-play and fun. Bright colors, sensory toys and themed exhibits are just the beginning of what you will discover at this exciting museum designed specifically with your littles in mind.

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From meticulously manicured greens to luscious, forgiving fairways, the Heart of the Rogue is a golfer’s paradise. Whether you are a seasoned-pro or you’re just beginning your golfing journey, the valley has a course for you. From breathtaking views of the mountains at Stone Ridge Golf Club to the exceptional practice greens at Bear Creek Golf Course, you will find all you are searching for and more when you golf the rogue.

Touvelle, best Oregon hikes in Medford, hiking and biking trails in Medford

Sprawling along the banks of the mighty Rogue River, TouVelle State Park is an incredible location to spend a day fishing with friends or family. The friendly, rushing waters are regularly populated with migrating steelhead, and species of trout and salmon can also be discovered there. TouVelle’s recreation site is also a terrific place for picnics, get-togethers, relaxing, or hiking. Become hooked by the terrific oppor-tuna-ties TouVelle offers, and discover why the bountiful rogue is known for its world-class fishing.

wine, wine country, vineyard, glass of wine, scenery

Home to over 80 wineries, the Heart of the Rogue is a grand host to four diverse wine trails, each with unique topography and cultivated offerings. From the stomping grounds of downtown Medford and the off streams of Bear Creek, to the peaks and slopes of the Applegate Valley, become welcomed into the ever-growing wine mecca Medford has to offer. Explore each winery at your leisure on a self-guided experience, or sip in style with Bravo Tours, leading you between each destination. 

Vintage Car - Car Events

A Medford tradition since 1985, the Cruise Classic Car Show includes many free events for locals and visitors alike to enjoy every June. Happening right in the heart of downtown, watch as a range of different classes of cars cruise through the streets. View them up close after the main event, seeing the memorabilia of the interior inner workings and smooth, new paint jobs on select rides. Whether you’re a car fanatic or you’re looking to experience the vibrance of downtown for the first time, Medford’s Cruise is an event you won’t want to miss.

With unique wildflowers in bloom and ranging views of the valley at every turn, hiking Table Rock at sunrise is an experience you’ll never forget. You can choose between the Upper and Lower Table Rock trails, or venture to each one if you have enough time during your travels. Each trail features a unique, flat top that allows for views from all around the top. When you find a good place to perch in preparation for sunrise, you will slowly see the entire valley begin to lift with color and light over the mountain ranges. The coolness of the skies and peaceful sounds of nature create a wave of calm and a sense of nurturing you can truly only find sitting with the trees. 

Cascadia Axe Company, things to do in medford, indoor activities, glow in the dark

Southern Oregon’s premier axe throwing facility, Cascadia Axe is the place to be for all things sharp and thrilling. Visitors of all skill levels are welcome to learn and sharpen their skills, with classes, time-slots and friendly team members all curated to broad spectrums of expertise. If it’s your first time visiting, you will receive a debrief on the basics and tips and tricks from Cascadia’s “axe-perts”. To the core, Cascadia is dedicated to bringing you the best experience possible. Whether you choose to throw axes or enjoy the additional games and bar, you will discover a world of excitement and freedom when you take on this excursion. 

The Oregon Vortex

Open 7 days a week, the Oregon Vortex is a world-famous location that will leave you questioning the laws of physics. Their immersive, guided tours are exciting and hands-on. The area provides a glimpse of strange phenomena, where commonplace physical facts are reversed. All experiences can be captured on film, and are able to be discovered and enjoyed by all ages. Experience the original House of Mystery, dive into the mysterious history of the location, and participate in activities throughout the grounds, including marking your name in their book of visitor history!

From hiking legendary mountaintops to sipping wine on a private island, the possibilities of exploration in Medford are truly endless. Enjoy all the bountiful rogue has to offer you under the warm summer sun this season!

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