Medford was originally founded in 1884 as a depot for the Southern Pacific railroad. Due to the temperate climate and abundant resources, it later grew to be a shipping point for pears and lumber. These products later turned into such businesses as the world-famous Harry & David's.
If you enjoy history and the arts, then Medford certainly has plenty to offer. In the middle of our downtown lies the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theatre where you can see a variety of acts ranging from cabaret, symphonies, musicals, and comedy. A 15-minute drive will take you to the historic town of Jacksonville. First settled in 1851, Jacksonville is a National Historic Landmark with over 100 buildings on the registry. A walk down California Street will give visitors a pleasant experience of history, quaint shops, and fine dining. Also located in Jacksonville are the Britt Gardens, home to many concerts throughout the summer months.
A few miles south of Medford, tucked into the side of the Siskiyou Mountain Range, is the town of Ashland. Home to an amazing variety of eclectic shops and eateries, visiting Ashland is a great way to spend any afternoon. If shopping isn't on your list, then visit the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival. With an eight-and-a-half-month-long season consisting of eleven plays in any of three theatres, it’s not to be missed.
Within about an hour of Medford are six different lakes that offer a variety of activities. Camping, hunting, boating, fishing, and hiking can all be found at one of our beautiful mountain lakes. The Rogue River also offers the opportunity to land the big one, or just take a leisurely trip in a raft rented from one of the many stores in Shady Cove. All of our waterways are well-maintained and patrolled for safety.
The Medford area also has extensive trails for the off-road enthusiast. Whether riding an ATV or a motorcycle, there are two different trail systems that are groomed and maintained for riders of all levels. Also, a three-hour drive will take you to any one of our great Oregon Dunes riding areas. Home to many events and featured in some of the premier ATV magazines, the Oregon Dunes are a great place to spend a weekend.
Southern Oregon also offers a quality place to get an education. Many of our schools are being updated and remodeled, or even rebuilt. In the middle of downtown Medford is one of the best community colleges in Oregon. Rogue Community College has three campuses to provide education in a variety of different subjects, many of which are linked with Southern Oregon University, located in Ashland. This makes the transfer from a community college to a four-year university much easier.
Not to be forgotten, Medford also has some of the finest cardiac and cancer care in the Pacific Northwest. In either of our two hospitals, or any of our three clinics, there is quality healthcare for the young and old alike.
It is difficult to describe all the reasons to live in the Medford area. Whether it be a good bottle of local wine complimented with some Rogue Creamery cheese while watching a concert at the Britt Festival or boating with friends and family at any one of our numerous (and well stocked!) lakes—there is something for everyone in our beautiful Rogue Valley.