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Can you name the best restaurants in Ashland and Medford?

Thanks for your question! Of course, ‘best’ is a subjective term, but I’m happy to give you my personal recommendations for Ashland and Medford restaurants, as a local. There are many we love!

In Ashland, I highly recommend checking out Brickroom for an upscale pub-like atmosphere; their cocktails and appetizers are their strongest suit, so they’re a good happy hour location as well. For a fine dining experience, Amuse gets my vote (it’s down in the Railroad District), and if you want the largest wine selection, Liquid Assets is a cozy wine bar right by the park.

You also can’t go wrong at Lark’s, located in the Ashland Springs Hotel. They’re another excellent cocktail location. For casual fare, check out Flip, a simple but delicious burger and fry place by the park…they’re owned by the same family as Amuse. Martolli’s is another solid causal dining option.

In Medford, our favorite pub and pasta place is Porters, located in an old railroad depot. They have a great happy hour menu with sliders, salads, and the like, and excellent cocktails. Lark’s also has a Medford location now, located in the Inn at the Commons. There are several fun breweries in Medford, including Walkabout and Bricktowne. Here’s a pretty comprehensive list. I also recommend Jasper’s burgers on Highway 99 between Medford and Central Point.

Hope this list gets you started!

Answered by Amy Whitley, Ask Oregon Southern Oregon Expert on January 25th, 2017 - Post Your Answer

What Ashland activities do you recommend?

Ashland is our hometown, and we love it! I’m sure you’ll enjoy a visit. Without knowing your interests, I can tell you that we believe the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to be a must-do; this season of high quality plays and performances run nearly year-round and peak in the spring through summer. I recommend seeing at least one play.

Of course, Ashland is also known as a shopping and food scene, so take time to stroll around downtown (all very walkable) and check out the shops and dining venues. I’d be happy to give you specific dining recommendations, but in general, I always recommend Pie + Vine, Caldera Brewing, and Amuse. Lithia Park is located downtown, and is lovely to visit during any time of year. In the winter, an ice skating rink is a centerpiece, and in fall, the changing colors are magnificent. There are hiking trails and single track mountain biking trails connecting the park to a large network of outdoor recreation in the hills above town.What Ashland activities do you recommend?

If you’re wine lovers, the Rogue Valley has several excellent wine trails: I recommend the Applegate Wine Trail and the Upper Rogue Wine Trail. There’s also outdoor recreation just a short drive from town at Hyatt Lake, Howard Prairie Lake, or Lake of the Woods. We also have river rafting on the Rogue. In Ashland, you can book a day trip from Noah’s Rafting, right downtown. I also recommend hiking near Mt. Ashland, where the Pacific Crest Trail can take you right down to Callahan’s Lodge, a wonderful place to stay a few nights. Otherwise, for lodging, I recommend the Ashland Hills Hotel.

Answered by Amy Whitley, Ask Oregon Southern Oregon Expert on December 29th, 2016 - Post Your Answer

Are there hikes near Rogue River (the city) that reach an elevation of 1,500 feet?

I love your question! Like you, I must have elevation hiking, and I live near Rogue River. My Adam Sawyer has written a book on waterfall hikes in Southern Oregon; he also wrote a Travel Oregon story about specific waterfall hikes along the Umpqua and Rogue River.

You can also go the other direction from Rogue River, and hike at elevation around Mt. Ashland and Pilot Rock. My favorite hike is along the Pacific Crest Trail, which can be accessed at the Siskiyou Pass just off I-5. At Callahan’s Lodge, go right toward Mt. Ashland and you’ll see the PCT signage. The PCT goes north toward Hyatt Lake (lower elevation), but south to the top of Mt. Ashland and over toward the CA border. It’s a beautiful hike, and along the way, you’ll see a ready made shelter for you just past the Mt. Ashland campground.

You can also hike Pilot Rock (also a side trail of the PCT), which you can access within about 30 minutes from Rogue River. Get directions here. While you will need to be free of a fear of heights to hike Pilot Rock, even those not wanting to accent to the top can enjoy the views at the base. I also like Grizzly Peak, which is nearby of Highway 66. Get directions here.

Answered by Amy Whitley, Ask Oregon Southern Oregon Expert on December 13th, 2016 - Post Your Answer

Is November a good time to visit Ashland?

If you visit in early November, check out the Ashland Culinary Festival. And to make a weekend out of it, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival often has discounted tickets on plays during late fall.

November in Southern Oregon tends to be chilly and rainy, but the snow hasn’t usually flown at that point. This means that during a November visit, our winter recreation won’t yet be in full swing (think skiing, snowshoeing, and the like), but in most weather, you can still hike during November, if outdoor excursions are your thing.

If you’re looking for indoor entertainment, I would suggest a wine tour in November, since our summers are quite hot (making an afternoon of wine tasting somewhat difficult at times). Try the Applegate Trail or Upper Rogue Trail to see some pretty fall colors at the same time.

Answered by Amy Whitley, Ask Oregon Southern Oregon Expert on October 14th, 2016 - Post Your Answer

Can we stay close to Crater Lake in an RV in October?

I think October is an ideal month to visit Crater Lake! The two campgrounds within the national park are only open during the summer, but there are several wonderful campgrounds located on Highway 62 between Prospect and the park, plus Diamond Lake, located just northwest.

I suggest Natural Bridge Campground or one of the others nearby along the Rogue River.

No matter where you stay, make sure to look at the operating hours and road closures before your trip, just in case something has changed. You can find that information here, on the National Park website. If you decide not to camp, you can always park your RV at the rim and stay a night in the historic Crater Lake Lodge. We love it, and you might be able to get a reservation now that summer is behind us! Here’s more info.

Answered by Amy Whitley, Ask Oregon Southern Oregon Expert on September 26th, 2016 - Post Your Answer

Is there RV camping at Crater Lake?

Yes, you can RV camp below the rim at Crater Lake at Mazama Village Campground, the only RV camping in Crater Lake National Park. You can make reservations in advance online or by phone, but only for a limited number of RV sites. However, there are a number of first come, first served sites as well.

Answered by Amy Whitley, Ask Oregon Southern Oregon Expert on August 31st, 2016 - Post Your Answer

Where can we see redwood trees in Oregon?

In Southern Oregon you can find wonderful redwood groves by driving out the Redwood Highway (Highway 199) from Grants Pass to the Oregon Coast. Along the way you can access short hiking trails into the redwoods at several locations, as well as find redwoods along the Oregon Coast once you reach that point. From Crescent City, you’ll want to drive north a few miles back into Oregon. My favorite spot is the Redwood Nature Trail in Brookings. This trail is actually a trail network of multiple loops that wind upslope of the Chetco River. You see multiple redwoods and other pines, as well as a clear, cold creek. Be sure to pay attention to which turns you take in order to find your way back to the start, as it’s not as well marked as we would like.

Directions: from Highway 101, turn east at Constitution Way to North Bank Chetco Road. Go 7.5 miles to Alfred Loeb State Park. The trailhead is half a mile past the entrance.

Should we visit Crater Lake or the Painted Hills?

I’ve fielded quite a few difficult questions, but this might take the cake. My initial response is, “why not both?”

If you have time for both, obviously it’s a no-brainer.

If not, there is no ultramarine blue that comes close to Crater Lake. I wish I was kidding when I say this but the first time I saw Crater Lake in person, I cried. Seriously. It is so beautiful. And it’s history is so interesting. Can you imagine: a mountain, taller than Mt. Hood, standing in it’s place? Can you imagine it erupting, spewing lava and ash and smoke and debris and then just sitting empty for hundreds of years? Yeah. Me neither.

But also, can you imagine a giant hole in the middle of nowhere, surrounded by rich soil and a resilient ecosystem slowly coming back to life, one saved raindrop at a time? You probably can’t. At least I couldn’t anyway, until I saw it for myself.

I vote Crater Lake. The water is cold, crisp and refreshing if you’re up for cliff jumping. The views are jaw-dropping if you’re into sunset or killer views, or both. The hiking is rewarding if you’re up for old fire lookout vista picnics. The food is decent, I’d bring a few snacks. But Crater Lake wine is something you won’t want to leave without trying.

Novice tip for you: fill up your gas tank before you get to the park. There are no stations and people run out ALL THE TIME. Don’t be one of them.

Answered by Kristen Mohror on July 11th, 2016 - Post Your Answer
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Where can I pan for gold in Southern Oregon?

For gold panning, the Rogue River is a great place. We’ve seen many people panning for gold along the lower Rogue around Grave Creek (just past the little town of Galice…take the Merlin Exit of I-5 north of Grants Pass). You can pan on any public land stretch of river, and 1/4 a mile up any tributary. Further south, what’s known as the Gold Nugget site is on the Rogue by Gold Hill in Highway 234. People also pan in the Applegate River (take Highway 138 outside of Jacksonville). This BLM pdf gives you more specific information.

What are the most dog-friendly towns in Southern Oregon?

Oregon in general is a very dog-friendly state! In my opinion, Ashland and the smaller, historic town of Jacksonville are the most dog-friendly towns in Southern Oregon, with plenty of restaurants that allow dogs on their decks and lodging options for travelers with dogs. Four-legged friends are welcome on all forest service trails in the area, on leash. We’ve taken our dogs on hikes such as Upper and Lower Table Rocks, in Medford, Grizzly Peak in Ashland, and along the Rogue River Trail, outside of Grants Pass.

The Redwood Highway, which runs from Grants Pass to the coast at Brookings, is a beautiful drive, and the state park trails and forest service trails there also accept dogs.

Enjoy Southern Oregon!

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