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Medford, Ore.: Autumn Weekender

A vibrant arts scene and great eats await in Medford.

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  • Rafters float down the Rogue River, image
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    Rafters float down a mellow stretch of the Rogue River near Gold Hill.
  • Lamb with mint-balsamic glaze at Porters Dining at the Depot, image
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    Tuck into lamb with mint-balsamic glaze at Porters Dining at the Depot.
  • interior of the Rogue Gallery & Art Center, image
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    Ceramics, sculpture, and other art is on display at Rogue Gallery & Art Center.
  • basket packers at Harry & David, image
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    Watch basket packers during a tour of Harry & David.

Discover the perfect place for exploring autumn’s natural beauty while indulging in delicious treats and a robust arts scene. Area code is 541 unless otherwise noted.

To Do and See Craterian Theater at the Collier Center for the Performing Arts A mix of Broadway plays, comedy, and concerts, with major acts such as Gordon Lightfoot (Oct. 3) and Sinbad (Oct. 11). 23 S. Central Ave., 779-3000, craterian.org. Harry & David Tour the kitchens to see churning cookie mixers and mesmerizing candy conveyors. Afterward, customize a gift basket at the flagship store. Reservations recommended during the autumn preholiday rush. 1314 Center Dr., (877) 322-8000, harryanddavid.com/h/view/tours. Kid Time Discovery Experience An indoor kingdom of interactive imaginative play featuring a gold rush–era bank, a farm, and a giant fishing boat with nets and plastic fish. 106 N. Central Ave., 772-9922, kid-time.org. Medford Railroad Park Open April–October. On second and fourth Sundays, kids and adults chug around the railroad tracks aboard a miniature steam train. 2222 Table Rock Rd., 774-2400, soc-nrhs.org/medfordrrpark.htm. Rogue River Raft mild to wild rapids on a half-day beginner trip from one of the area’s many river outfitters (travelmedford.org/discover/outdoor-adventure), or zip along 28 miles of the upper Rogue with Rogue Jet Boat Adventures. (855) 538-8747, Rogue Jet Boat Adventures. Southern Oregon Music Festival Oct. 10–12. Let loose on the dance floor during this three-day event featuring live jazz, swing, Dixieland, rockabilly, and zydeco. (866) 448-1948, somusicfest.org. Table Rocks The flat, grassy summits of two volcanic mesas offer spectacular views of the Rogue River, the Siskiyous, and the Cascades. The 5.4-mile hike to Lower Table (versus 2.8 miles to Upper Table) rewards your effort with better views and fewer people. Access off Table Rock Road. 618-2200, blm.gov/or/resources/recreation/tablerock/index.php.

Eats and Drinks Bambu Hidden inside a strip mall, this fine-dining spot serves unique combinations of Asian flavors with inspirations from Hawaii, Indonesia, and the Philippines. 970 N. Phoenix Rd., 608-7545, tigerroll.com. Bricktowne Brewing Company Grab a stool at the small U-shaped bar and sip one of a dozen microbrews. The hoppy Ore-Gunslinger Double IPA packs a punch; the Siskiyou Pass English Pale Ale is made with water treated to taste like Britain’s. 44 S. Central Ave., 973-2377, bricktownebeer.com. Downtown Market Co. The menu changes every two weeks at this low-key lunch spot featuring local ingredients. The pork ribs are a mainstay. 231 E. Main St., 973-2233, downtownmarketco.com. Elements An after-theater crowd shares tapas like cardamom- and apricot-braised pork empanadas and bacon-wrapped dates stuffed with chorizo. The cocktails, such as the old fashioned with a house-made maraschino cherry, rival those of big-city mixologists. 101 E. Main St., 779-0135, elementsmedford.com. 4 Daughters Irish Pub A family-friendly spot for fish-and-chips as well as a wide assortment of brews. Friday and Saturday nights bring laser lights and a crowd of young revelers. 126 W. Main St., 779- 4455, 4daughtersirishpub.com. Jaspers Café Juicy burgers made with elk, wild boar, kangaroo, or local grass-fed beef have developed a cult following. 2739 N. Pacific Hwy., 776-5307, jasperscafe.com. Porters Dining at the Depot Customcut Northwest Angus steaks topped with Rogue Creamery blue cheese are paired with an extensive selection of Oregon wines at this eatery housed in a National Historic Landmark, a former railroad station built in 1910. 147 N. Front St., 857-1910, porterstrainstation.com. RoxyAnn Winery Friday night parties at the historic white barn feature food vendors, live music, and free-flowing wine. 3285 Hillcrest Rd., 776-2315, roxyann.com.

Shopping Glory Days Antiques More than 50 dealers sell collectibles such as midcentury kitchenware, American Indian beadwork, and antique toys. 335 E. Main St., 772-0284, glorydaysofmedford.com. Rogue Gallery & Art Center Exhibits from national and local artists range from landscape photography to abstract watercolors. Take home prints, pottery, and one-of-a-kind jewelry from the adjoining gift shop. 40 S. Bartlett St., 772-8118, roguegallery.org.

Photography by Jared Cruce

This article was first published in September 2014. Some facts my have aged gracelessly. Please call ahead to verify information.