By Danielle Silver | 06/29/2023 | Dining, Family, Lakes & Rivers, Lodging, Outdoor Activities, Outdoor Adventure, Things to Do, Wine


If you are road tripping on I-5, inevitably you will pass through the town of Medford, Oregon. You will likely stop here for gas or grab a bite to eat on the way to your destination. What if I told you that if you just pass through Medford, you are missing out on a ton of unique outdoor adventures, great wineries, delicious restaurants and more? Medford, also known as the Heart of the Rogue™, should be a destination, not a place you simply pass through. In this blog, we are going to show this town off, highlighting the top 5 outdoor adventures in Medford, Oregon and share tips on where to stay, eat, and more!

We stayed at The Compass Hotel – Margaritaville and loved it! It is centrally located and is about 20 minutes from all the outdoor activities and restaurants. This hotel is dog-friendly, your pooch is even allowed to join you by the pool if you would like! Our favorite things about this hotel include the pool, the “It’s 5 O’clock Somewhere” poolside bar, outdoor lawn games like cornhole, and free breakfast every morning.

Medford has a little something for everyone. If you are in the mood for a beer and burger, Common Block Brewery is a must visit. For a nicer sit-down meal, Porters is a classic American restaurant serving high end steaks, seafood, and more. If you are in the mood for some brunch, Tartine or Over Easy are highly recommended. There are also a lot of fast food stops like Pita Pit, In and Out, and others if you are looking to grab a quick bite in between adventures.


The Rogue Valley has over 150 wineries so it can be hard to choose which ones to visit. One that stood out to us above the rest was Dos Mariposas Vineyard. This winery offers a wide variety of wine to taste alongside a unique food menu, including our favorite option, the butter board made with the lavender they grow on the property. This winery is dog and kid friendly – they even built a designated play area for children including a sand pit, toys, and more so families can come enjoy the winery together.

The lavender field is what really makes this winery stand out from others in the area. Rows upon rows of blooming lavender sit near the winery with Table Rock and the Rogue Valley in the background. For just $6, you can pick a bundle of fresh lavender!

The Table Rocks are a must visit if you are a hiker, specifically at sunset. These unique formations were created by lava flow 7 million years ago! Upper Table Rock is the trail we hiked at 1.3 miles long with 700 feet of elevation gain. Once you are at the top of the plateau you can walk along the many winding paths that take you to the cliffs edge overlooking various areas of the Rogue Valley. There are no fees to park or hike and there are facilities at the trailheads. No dogs are allowed on this trail to protect the fragile vegetation at the top. Additionally, the lava rock found along the trail can be rough on paws making them susceptible to cuts and possible infection. 

There is nothing quite like flying above the Rogue Valley on a 1,000 foot zipline! Rogue Valley Zipline Adventure offers a few different tours – a 3-hour zipline adventure, a sunset zipline adventure, and a 9-hour Sip-Dip-Zip adventure. We chose the 3-hour zipline tour which takes you along five ziplines that increase in length as you move through the course. The final zipline is over 1,000 feet in length with views of a tree-filled canyon below and mountains like Mount McLoughlin in the distance. Our guides, Dalton and Jonah made the experience a blast!

This adventure is even more unique for the fact that it is ADA-friendly and accessible to most (the guides always suggest calling prior to booking to discuss your abilities). The guides themselves do all the braking of the zipline so the rider gets to just sit back, relax, and enjoy the view!

This experience was quite possibly one of our favorite adventures we have ever done! Rogue Jet Boat Adventures offer a few different experiences including a 3-hour jet boat ride up the Rogue. We opted for the Discovery Park Experience which includes about 25 minutes of jet boating and at minimum, 3 hours on an island only accessible by boat.

Discovery Park is essentially an adult playground while also being very family friendly! It has a large shipping container converted into a bar that has beers on tap and many canned drinks along with great food options. The park sits between the Rogue River and a private lake that is equipped with paddleboards, kayaks, and canoes anyone can use. The lake itself has multiple floating obstacle courses, bars, sitting areas, and docks you can hop between on your watercraft. If you don’t feel like hitting the water, you can enjoy cornhole, volleyball, or simply sit in one of the many adirondack chairs spread out on the grass or docks. We truly could have spent the whole weekend here enjoying the sun and the multiple activities the park offers.

We were inspired by the accessibility of the zipline adventure we wanted to find one more accessible outdoor adventure in Medford. The Ti’lomikh Falls trail is a paved trail that can be used by bikers and hikers but also, has no more than a 5% grade, making it wheelchair friendly. This trail follows the Rogue River and the cascading white water rapids known as the Ti’lomikh Falls. This is a very popular spot for kayakers and was considered for an Olympic Whitewater Center!

Since there is SO much to see, we wanted to mention a few other options depending on what you are interested in. Oregon Caves National Monument is about an hour from Medford. You must book a ticket in advance and if you can score one, you can tour the “Marble Halls of Oregon.” Crater Lake National Park is about 2 hours from Medford and is the only National Park in Oregon. Crater Lake is a must-visit as you can only grasp the vastness of it in person. In the summer, visitors can hike down the Cleetwood Cove Trail to swim in the crystal blue water. 

Southern Oregon, specifically Medford, is HIGHLY underrated. With so much to do, in Medford and the surrounding area, this town deserves to be on the top of everyone’s destination list. We loved how there are outdoor activities for families, those traveling with pets, and those who require ADA or accessible ways to enjoy the outdoors. Medford is a place we want to revisit again and again to continue to experience the magic of the Heart of the Rogue™. 

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