The history of Grants Pass reads like a classic chapter of the American West. The railroad, the gold rush and the lumber boom all shaped the town. Today, this hamlet in Southern Oregon is colored by the wild flavor of the Rogue River, which bisects the town. Pay a visit to Grants Pass for all that the river inspires — outdoor recreation, fine wine, arts and more.

Historic Charm: Stroll through the National Historic District to view classic 19th-century commercial buildings and homes. Browse a rich collection of antique stores like the Old Town Antique Mall, Stovepipe Antiques and Elegance. Take in a show at the lovingly restored Historic Rogue Theater, first built in 1938.

River Time: The lively Rogue River offers adventures to suit all types. Rip upriver with Hellgate Jetboat Excursions to view the dramatic Hellgate Canyon, or take a longer trip and stop for lunch at a riverside lodge. Hike and camp your way along the 40-mile Rogue River Trail and take in the wild beauty of the woods. Raft or kayak on the 33-mile section of the Wild and Scenic Rogue River for the trip of a lifetime.

Fine Wines: Part of the Applegate Valley wine region, Grants Pass is rich with big reds and classic whites. Pay a visit to the Craftsman-style tasting room at Schmidt Family Vineyards for cabernet sauvignon, tempranillo and cabernet franc. Soloro Vineyard offers Rhone varietals like syrah, Grenache and viognier. Woolridge Creek Winery overlooks the lovely Applegate Valley and features many wines available on tap (just like beer). For more great wines, check out the nearly 30 vineyards on the Applegate Valley Wine Trail.

Riverside R&R: The Weasku Inn, set on 10 gorgeous acres along the banks of the Rogue, was built as a fishing lodge in 1924 (and turned 90 this past May.) Stay in the historic lodge or in one of the romantic river cabins. Kick back on the lawn under the trees and watch the river flow by.

about author Eileen Garvin

Eileen Garvin is the editor of Travel Oregon’s Seasonal Features, enewsletters and annual visitor guide. When she’s not cooking up trip ideas, Oregon Dreamer profiles and outdoor adventures to write about, she’s out exploring Oregon.

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