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Medford, Oregon Travel Guide
Last Updated: May-06-2012, Hits: 5,069, Rating: 0, Reviews: 0, Votes: 0 Bookmark and Share
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Medford, Oregon Travel Guide Restaurants (45)
Hotels and Lodging (33)
Bars and Nightlife (16)
Attractions (33)
Services (9)
Maps (2)
Links (6)
Oregon Travel Forum (20)
Ashland, Oregon Travel Guide
Grants Pass, Oregon Travel Guide
Location: North America
Geography: City, Forest
Vacation Type: Family, Adventure
Popularity: Off-the-Beaten Path
Costs: Budget
Attractions: Skiing, Golfing, Scenery, Camping, Festivals, Fishing, Hiking, Wineries, Rafting

Facts and Stats:
Population: 75,180
Metro Population: 207,010
Land Area: 21.7 square miles
Elevation: 1,382 feet
Country Dialing Code: 1
Area Code: 541, 458
Languages: English
Electricity: 110V
Currency: US Dollar
Time Zone: Pacific (PST) UTC-8/UTC-7 (Summer)
Current Time:

This travel guide covers the following communities:
  • Applegate
  • Butte Falls - 425
  • Central Point - 17,235
  • Eagle Point - 8,520
  • Gold Hill - 1,220
  • Jacksonville - 2,235
  • Phoenix - 4,855
  • Ruch - 840
  • Shady Cove - 2,910
  • Tolo
  • White City - 5,963
Medford is a bustling small city with a quaint feel. It is Southern Oregon's largest city, and is the 4th largest city in Oregon with a city population of 75,180, and a metropolitan area population of 207,010. It is an outdooor enthusiast's town, with a mild climate and many popular natural attractions nearby such as Crater Lake, the Rogue River and the Oregon Caves. All of these places in Southern Oregon are amazing, but truly, Southern Oregon is beautiful country, and the Medford area is no exception - surrounded by many rivers, mountains and forests making this an excellent destination for hiking, camping, fishing, and rafting.

The historic mining town of Jacksonville is only 5 miles to the west, and is a growing tourist spot offering historic buildings, wineries, bed and breakfasts, and a number of good restaurants. The town was designated a National Historic District in 1966, covering over 100 buildings.

Medford is about 27 miles north of the California border, and is situated in the remains of ancient volcanic flow. Located in Jackson County, it lies in the Rogue Valley in between the Cascade Range and the Siskiyou Mountains. Medford is located 75 miles west of the Oregon Coast. The area around the city is heavily forested.

Brief History:
Before 1883, what is now known as Medford was all prairie land. The railroad built a depot in 1883 and the city came to life. People built businesses and homes, and many came to the area to capitalize on the orchard business, especially since the train could transport goods farther away. The railroad town blossomed, and was called Medford by a man named David Loring, a civil engineer and right-of-way agent for the Oregon and California Railroad. Medford was named after his home town of Medford, Massachusetts.

Medford, Oregon incorporated in 1885. The area became known as an agricultural mecca, and people flocked to Medford in droves. Unfortunately, the area burst as quickly as it grew, due to the inflated real estate and irrigation problems.

The first automobile arrived in 1903.

In 1927, Medford became the county seat of Jackson County.

During WWII, Medford became a military town and Camp White was erected as an army training post. Camp White was home to over 40,000 soldiers. During this time, the army also took over the airport.

Medford enjoyed a second wave with the timber industry in the 1940's through to the 1980's. A steep reduction of available forests for logging slowed the industry to a trickle, even though Oregon still is the largest lumber producer in the nation. Happily enough, Medford bounced back once again with a rise in the health care industry. There are 2 major hospitals in Medford that established Medford as a major regional medical center. The agricultural aspect flourishes today as well.

People & Culture:
People are laid back and there is a strong recreational outdoor element in Medford that ranges from fly fishing to skiing. There is also a distinct cultural presence in Southern Oregon, with the hugely popular Shakespeare Festival in neighboring city Ashland 8 months out of the year. Since the 1990's, Medford has dedicated a lot of resources toward revitalizing their downtown area.

Jacksonville is home to the annual Britt Festival, self-touted as "the Pacific Northwest's premier outdoor summer performing arts festival". The festival presents dozens of summer concerts, featuring world-class artists in classical music, jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, world, pop and country music. Britt's performance venue is a naturally formed amphitheater set among majestic ponderosa pines and native madrones on the beautiful hillside estate of 19th century photographer Peter Britt.

Food & Nightlife:
The mountains and valleys provide ideal growing conditions for some premiere products. There is a distinct emphasis on fresh, local, and sustainable foods, which gives rise to some quality foods and restaurants. You can find world class fruit, nuts, cheese, chocolate, coffee, wine and beer here, among many other things. Medford is known throughout the United States for the excellent pears produced in the Rogue Valley. Harry and David, the largest direct marketer of food gifts in the United States operates from here.

The nightlife might not be totally hopping, but the food, wine and beer is certainly worth mentioning again. The area has a lot of diversity for wine growing and Bordealise and Burgundian types are both grown here. There are several quality breweries nearby, and Southern Oregon Brewing Company is located in Medford.

Money & Costs:
Medford is a reasonably priced town. Most restaurants in town serve dinner entrees for under $20. Tipping follows the U.S. standard of 15-20%. Lodging in Medford is also affordable and there are many options available for under $100 per night. Another cost benefit is that Oregon has no sales tax, although there is a 10.5% lodging tax.

Getting There & Around:
Flights into Medford and the surrounding area come into Rogue Valley Medford International Airport. Once at the airport, you can rent a car, catch a taxi or take a bus into Medford. The city is located on Interstate 5 for those driving from the north or south. Below is a table showing the distances to nearby cities.

City Miles
Ashland 13
Grants Pass 32
Yreka, CA 52
Klamath Falls 77
Crater Lake 79
Roseburg 96
Crescent City, CA 111
Redding, CA 148
Eugene 166
Bend 173
Portland 274

Medford is a clean and easy town to walk through and around in. If you plan on spending on any time in the area, renting a car is recommended because there is so much to see and do outside of Medford.

Shielded by the Cascade Range and Siskiyou Mountains, Medford enjoys a drier climate than that of Northern Oregon. Medford's climate is considerably warmer, both in summer and winter, even more so than it's latitude would suggest. The climate is almost more of a mediterranean type climate, and between that and the health care industry, Medford attracts a large retiree population.

Medford's summers are hot like Eastern Oregon and its winters are more like the coast with about 5 inches of snowfall per year. Medford has the lowest average wind speed of all metro areas in the U.S.

Below are the current conditions and weather forecast for Medford, Oregon.

The table below shows the average high and low temperatures.

  Jan Feb Mar Apr May Jun Jul Aug Sep Oct Nov Dec
Avg High 48 54 60 65 73 82 91 91 84 70 53 46
Avg Low 33 34 37 41 46 52 57 57 50 42 36 33
Precipitation 2.43" 2.08" 1.71" 1.38" 1.31" 0.62" 0.28" 0.40" 0.57" 1.13" 3.02" 3.49"
Precipitation Days 12.6 12 12.4 10.2 7.6 4.6 2.3 2.6 4 6.9 13.6 13.4

Tips & Additional Information:
  • If you are visiting Medford anytime between February and October, check out Ashland's Shakespeare Festival.
  • If you have the time, make the 2 hour drive out to Crater Lake. This beautiful lake is the deepest in the United States.
  • If you are visiting in June, check out the Medford Cruise - classic, hot rods and muscles cars abound.
  • Jacksonville was home to Oregon's first Chinatown in the 1850's.

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