Medford is a city in the Rogue Valley in Southern Oregon. The town is southern Oregon's largest and most diverse city, brimming with historical and cultural attractions while offering regional tax-free shopping. Medford is the county seat of Jackson County, and is the commercial and medical hub of southern Oregon. Its autumns tend to be very mild, and dry when compared to the rest of the state.
Medford is a city in, and county seat of, Jackson County, Oregon, United States. In 2017, the city had a population of about 82,000, with about 218,000 in the metropolitan area, making the Medford MSA the fourth largest metro area in Oregon. The city was named in 1883 by David Loring, civil engineer and right-of-way agent for the Oregon and California Railroad, after Medford, Massachusetts, which was near Loring’s home town of Concord, Massachusetts. Medford is near the middle ford of Bear Creek.
|Climate chart (explanation)|
At 1,382 feet above sea level, Medford is protected by surrounding mountains, and the area is favored with a mild climate. Annual average rainfall is 18-20 inches (45-50 cm), about the same as San Francisco. The seasons are clearly defined, temperatures are generally mild overall, and yearly snowfall is three to four inches on the valley floor. The median winter temperature is 36 °F (2 °C). Summers are warm with a median temperature of 94 °F (34 °C) and an average of 15 days over 100 °F (38 °C). Humidity is low. Because of the layout of surrounding mountains, Medford's climate is more similar to that of nearby northern California than the rest of Oregon: relatively dry, with warmer summers and more mild winters.
- See also: Air travel in the United States
The 1 Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport (MFR IATA) is major airport for commercial flights serving Medford, Ashland, Grants Pass and the surrounding Rogue Valley in southern Oregon and the Siskiyous in northern California. The airport is 3 miles (4.8km) north of downtown off of I-5 at Exit #30 (Crater Lake Hwy (SR-62)) & #33 (E Pine St/Biddle Rd). The following airlines serve Medford (some distant cities may be seasonal and/or weekly):
- Skywest dba American Eagle (Gate 1): (Los Angeles, Phoenix)
- Horizon dba Alaska Airlines (Gate 3): (Portland, Los Angeles, Seattle)
- Allegiant' (Gate 5): (Los Angeles & Las Vegas; to/from Phoenix/Mesa seasonally)
- Compass Air & Skywest dba Delta Connection (Gate 4): (Salt Lake City, Seattle)
- Skywest dba United Express (Gates 5 & 6): (Denver & San Francisco)
There are no non-stop international flights offered into southern Oregon. Additional connections (for domestic & international flights) are made in Portland, Seattle, San Francisco, Los Angeles and Salt Lake City depending on the airlines you choose.
To travel from the airport to downtown:
- A taxi from the airport will cost around $17+ 15% tip. Click here for a list of available taxi, shuttle and car rental companies at the airport.
- The RVTD (local city bus) line #61 stops hourly at the airport, and ends downtown at the main RVTD terminal. Make sure you get on the bus heading to Medford, and not RCC/Table Rock. This #61 bus schedule is available on the RVTD website here.
- Southwest Point also make a stop at the airport on it way to Ashland via downtown Medford in one direction and outbound towards Klamath Falls and Brookings on two routes. See schedules.
The central bus station is at the 2 Rogue Valley Transit District (RVTD) Front St Station in downtown for Greyhound, Oregon Point and RVTD (local buses). The station is on 200 S Front St between E 10th & E 8th St in downtown Medford:
- 3 Greyhound, 220 S Front St (old train station building facing S Front & E 9th St), ☏ . Greyhound travels primarily on Interstate 5 between Portland and Sacramento via Salem, Corvallis, Eugene, Roseburg, Grants Pass, Medford, Weed, Redding, Chico, Red Bluff, Oroville and/or Marysville. Passengers transfer to other buses in Seattle, Sacramento or Portland to continue to additional destinations. Passengers can also transfer to Amtrak trains in Eugene, Oregon or Redding, California.
- 4 Josephine Community Transit (JCT) Rt #100 (Rogue Valley Commute Line), S Front & E 10th St at RVTD Front St Station, ☏ . Express bus to Grants Pass via Gold Hill along I-5. Passengers can transfer to JCT Rt #50 to continue to Selma & Cave Junction or to Rt #80 to continue north along the I-5 corridor to Wolf Creek.
- Southwest Point (Oregon Point) & Amtrak Thruway (operated by Klamath Shuttle), (bus stop) RTVD & Greyhound Station @ 200-220 S Front St; Rogue Valley International-Medford Airport, ☏ . Goes southwest towards Brookings via Gold Hill, Grants Pass, Selma, Cave Junction, Crescent City and other towns along US Hwy 199 and east to Klamath Falls via Ashland and White City along SR-66 & 140. Passengers can also transfer to the Amtrak Coast Starlight Train in Klamath Falls.
Medford does not have a passenger rail service; however, Amtrak offers connecting bus routes to Klamath Falls, the nearest station serviced by the Amtrak Coast Starlight line. The next nearest station is down in Dunsmuir, California, an unstaffed station also served by the Amtrak Coast Starlight.
Medford is 27 miles north of the California border, 118 miles east of the Pacific Ocean, and 75 miles west of Klamath Falls. Medford's location gives it ready access to numerous feeder highways. Medford is about midway between Portland, 273 miles to the north, and San Francisco, 373 miles to the south. Interstate 5 runs right through the middle of the city with an exit at both the north and south end of the city for easy downtown access.
- Medford's bus system, run by Rogue Valley Transit District (RVTD), transports passengers all around the city, and as far as Central Point, White City, Phoenix, Jacksonville, Talent and Ashland with aspirations to add more.
- It is relatively easy to walk all of downtown, as it is not very big.
- A lengthy bike path, the Bear Creek Greenway, runs along Bear Creek in a north-south direction from Ashland (about a dozen miles south of Medford) through the city and up to the end of Central Point (the northern district of Medford). This scenic route is very level, and runs near several important parts of town, such as the mall, downtown, and commercial districts near both freeway interchanges.
- The enormous malevolent Blackbird statue at 1810 W. Main Street.
- Medford is the regional hub for several smaller surrounding towns, including theater destination Ashland and historic goldrush-era Jacksonville. Similar historic landmarks include several early-twentieth-century buildings downtown, as well as numerous historical farms and Victorian homes in the area.
- 1 Bear Creek Park, 1520 Siskiyou Blvd., ☏ . A sprawling area near the southern end of town, next to the regional bike path, I-5 freeway, and the creek that gives its name. The park features an extensive playground, numerous picnic tables and barbecue areas, several tennis courts, an amphitheater, several small gardens, a skating and bike park, and plenty of rolling grass areas. It's a very popular place for families; during the summer, don't miss the community's free movie nights.
- Fichtner-Mainwaring Park. A large collection of soccer fields, play equipment, and tennis courts near Jefferson Elementary off of Stewart Ave on the south side of town.
- 2 Roxy Ann Peak / Prescott Park. An area surrounding the peak of the same name among the foothills in eastern Medford. While developments have slowly encroaches on its borders, the area remains popular for casual hiking and features great views of the valley.
- Rogue River and Umpqua National Forest. Surrounds a significant part of the valley to the north and south. A number of mountain lakes, as well as excellent campgrounds and picnic areas.
- Crater Lake National Park contains an excellent network of trails (also great for winter cross-country skiing), and is a very popular destination.
- 3 TouVelle State Recreation Site, ☏ . Parking $5/day.
Southern Oregon, and Oregon in general, are excellent destinations for outdoor enthusiasts. Medford, as the hub of southern Oregon and home to some of the mildest weather in the state, is a popular launching point for many outdoor activities. The primary terrain is mountainous, with a large and mild valley where the city is located.
- Rafting on the Rogue and Upper Klamath Rivers. Check out Momentum River Expeditions, Noahs Rafting, for 1/2-day, one-day, and multi-day trips.
- Fish for salmon in the Rogue River and tributaries
- Go on the Haunted Brothels and Opium Dens of Medford walking tour. Meets noon Saturdays at Sixth and Central.
- Tour the Harry & David plant.
- Sample regional wineries
- Bike the Rogue Valley along the Bear Creek Greenway
- Hike the surrounding mountains and foothills (the Pacific Crest Trail skirts the south and eastern edges of the valley)
- Ski at Mt. Ashland, the region's primary winter resort
- Tour historical landmarks and tours through the Southern Oregon Historical Society
- Ride an extensive and detailed miniature train line at the local Railroad Park, or tour several preserved locomotives and train cars.
- Hunt down local landmarks along the Applegate Trail, the alternative ending to the Oregon Trail.
- Discover the gold rush history behind Medford's foothills and immigration history
- 1 Craterian Theater at The Collier Center for the Performing Arts, 23 S Central Ave, ☏ . Box office: Tu-F 10AM-4PM. Event days: Tu-F 10AM-performance time; Sa-M noon-performance time.
Medford is host to golf courses of varying quality. Some of the more well-known are:
- Stewart Meadows (9 holes, $16)
- Rogue Valley Country Club (18 holes, private)
- Centennial Club (18 holes, $45-60)
- Quail Point (9 holes, $18)
- Stoneridge (18 holes, $40)
- Downtown is an area undergoing considerable renewal in the past few years, after a period of deterioration. There's a number of small shops, bars, and restaurants along Main Street. Parking is free on the street and in the parking structure on 6th Street between Riverside and Central. Rogue Community College and the relatively new Medford library are on the south side of downtown.
- Rogue Valley Mall is the largest mall in Southern Oregon. It's near the North Medford I-5 interchange.
- Along Biddle Road one finds a major commercial area. At the south end is the Medford Center. Going north one finds restaurants, Bi-Mart, Barnes&Noble, and the Food4Less, a large supermarket with discount prices.
- Crater Lake Center is another shopping area, to the north out Highway 62. It has a Costco, Wal-mart, Office Depot, Lowe's and other large stores.
- Numerous regional wineries have tasting rooms, and several stores feature local wine selections. Medford is in a warmer, drier climate than other wine-producing regions of Oregon, producing several vintages unique to the state. One of the larger public wineries, Roxy Ann Winery, is five minutes east of downtown.
- The Harry and David store is near the South Medford I-5 interchange. You can get items listed in their catalog, often at reduced prices.
- Grilla Bites, 226 East Main St, ☏ . M-F 7:30AM - 8:30PM, Sa 8AM - 8:30PM, Su 8AM - 6PM. Organic grilled sandwiches, salads, soups, juice bar, coffee, and tea. Open for breakfast, lunch dinner. Vegetarian fare. $3-10.
- Porter's Restaurant, 147 N. Front St (West of Central and Riverside Avenues), ☏ . Dinner, from 5PM. Very nice historic train station, converted into upscale dinner house. This restaurant features nightly specials, extensive local wine list, and exceptional steak and seafood options. Brunch is served seasonally on their gorgeous patio. The bar ambiance is unmatched. $$-$$$.
- Oh's Osaka, 35 N Central (One block south of Main-Central intersection), ☏ . Dinner from 5PM. A local landmark, features fresh sushi and Japanese food prepared in an open teppanyaki-style restaurant. Family-owned and operated; first generation Korean and Japanese parents whose son works the sushi bar. $$.
- [dead link] Vinny's Italian Kitchen, 970 N Phoenix Rd (Just south of the Barnett-North Phoenix intersection), ☏ . Tu-Sa 4-9PM. Cleverly disguised as a small cafe in an east Medford strip mall, but it turns out some of the best Italian food in the state. Small and humble (you'll see Vinny himself in the kitchen most nights tossing pizza dough or tasting dishes), but well-decorated. Try any of their flat-crust pizzas or the excellent chicken marsala; the menu is very reasonably priced, and you can pick up meals to go.
- Eddy's Old Fashioned Burgers, 415 North Riverside Ave (Right after the Jackson intersection, driving north on Riverside), ☏ . You can't get a burger like this anywhere else in the state - juicy, dripping with grease, and fresh off the grill. It's a cheap way to satisfy your lunch craving while encouraging the eventual heart attack. Very authentic and down-to-earth diner-style cafe near downtown. $5-10.
- 38 Central (fine art of casual dining!), 38 N Central (6th and Central), ☏ . M-Sa. Great place with the best food in the valley! Casual, cool, urban and trendy: Voted Best Steak, Best Seafood, Best Wine Bar. Owners & chef from Napa Valley -- wine cool and the place to be seen!
- Elements (Tapas Bar and Lounge), 101 E Main St (Westbound Main Street, on the corner before the railroad crossing), ☏ . Tu-Su 4PM - late. Serves excellent tapas food (somewhat couture for the region), but their main strength is in a highly creative cocktail menu, a well-stocked bar, and an excellent wine list. Though not cheap, it's very easy to lose track of time when you're just meeting up with friends for a drink.
- 4 Daughters Irish Pub (Pub-style drinks and food), 126 W Main St (Right before the old library on West Main), ☏ . M-Th 11AM - 11PM, F Sa 11AM - 2AM. Serves marginal pub food, but has an excellent whiskey and beer menu. The atmosphere can be quite fun, especially with their music and game room.
There's a KOA in Gold Hill, to the northwest down I-5; another commercial campground is out Highway 140 about 10 miles east of White City. Farther away are national forest campground, but they are a bit of a commute.
- Best Western Horizon Inn, 1154 E Barnett Rd, ☏ , toll-free: , fax: .
- Candlewood Suites, 3548 Heathrow Way, ☏ .
- Courtyard Medford Airport, 600 Airport Rd, ☏ , fax: .
- Holiday Inn Express, 1501 S. Pacific Hwy, ☏ .
- Motel 6 Medford North, 2400 Biddle Rd, ☏ , fax: .
- Motel 6 Medford South, 950 Alba Dr, ☏ , fax: .
- Ashland, a dozen miles south of Medford on the I-5 freeway, is a popular destination for theater and restaurant connoisseurs.
- Crater Lake National Park, about 90 minutes north of Medford, is a popular destination. This former mountain blew its top off several hundred years ago, and is now one of the deepest lakes in the world.
- Jacksonville, Oregon, is only a few minutes west of downtown. A picturesque historical slice of gold-rush era buildings and culture, it is also a National Historic Landmark and home to the popular Britt Music Festival.
- Mt. Ashland, about 18 miles south of the city, is a popular regional ski resort.
- Wildlife Safari is 96 miles north of the city in Winston, near the city of Roseburg, just off the I-5 freeway. A zoo with great prices, it is one of the only zoos in North America that allows close and personal elephant encounters.
- Medford is also a common access point to eastern Oregon destination points such as Bend, Mt. Bachelor, Klamath Falls, and other high-desert features.
|Routes through Medford|
|Eugene ← Grants Pass ←||N S||→ Talent → Redding|
|END ←||W E||→ Jct E → Crater Lake N.P.|