Southern Oregon

With a warm, sunny and dry climate that belongs in nearby California, Southern Oregon is the state's 'banana belt.' Rugged and remote landscapes are entwined with a number of designated 'wild and scenic' rivers, which are famous for their challenging white-water rafting, world-class fly-fishing and excellent hiking. There's good birding in the area – especially for bald eagles – and exceptional lakes to visit, including spectacular Crater Lake, Oregon's only national park.

Gold and timber originally brought pioneers to Southern Oregon cities, and today the migration continues with families and retirees seeking affordable housing. Downtowns have been revitalized, and there's plenty of culture: Ashland is home to the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, while nearby Jacksonville hosts the music-lovers' Britt Festival. The region is also an up-and-coming destination for wine lovers.

Top attractions

These are our favorite local haunts, touristy spots, and hidden gems throughout Southern Oregon.