Southern Oregon has a different look and feel to it than the rest of the state. It is warmer and dryer and that makes for less undergrowth in the forests. To me the sky is bluer, the forests are greener, and the lakes bluer. They really aren't (except for Crater Lake) but I think it appears that way in the summer because of the brown hills.
The Rogue River flows from near Crater Lake to the Pacific Ocean. It is well known for fishing, whitewater rafting, and boat trips. Check out Rogue River Camping for some excellent campgrounds. You will also find excellent steelhead fly fishing and whitewater rafting in the Umpqua River which also flows from the Cascade Mountains to the Pacific.
Smaller rivers and streams in southern Oregon are perfect for catching trout. When I was a kid my family liked to fish the Applegate River and my mouth still waters when I think of the dinners we had of delicious pan-fried rainbow trout.
is Oregon's jewel. I have said that if a visitor to Oregon only has time to see one thing, then they must see the Oregon Coast. I can't quite change my mind on that and I can't place Crater Lake second either. It is a must see. I have travelled all over the world and I have never seen a lake so blue. It is an unbelievable blue. The pictures are really showing you how it is.
Nearby Crater Lake is Diamond Lake Oregon where you will find good trout fishing and hundreds of camping sites at four different campgrounds plus a resort where you can rent boats, arrange for horseback riding trips, swim, hike, and mountain bike. In the winter there are snowmobile trips to Crater Lake.
The Oregon gold rush began in what is now the town of Jacksonville. It is like a time capsule of an old west gold rush town. The main street with its storefronts built in the 1800's, the old county courthouse and jail, and its well preserved old homes are good for a day of sightseeing. Jacksonville has several lovely bed and breakfasts that are in historic houses.
The Oregon Vortex just north of Gold Hill between Medford and Grants Pass makes an interesting stop. It is the sight of The House of Mystery where strange things appear to happen. Are they real? See what you think.
Near Roseburg is the Wildlife Safari. You can actually drive through the acres and acres of land and see wild animals such as giraffes, zebras, lions, elephants, camels, bears, and much, much more from your car. This is not like going to a zoo. The animals are not in cages or "settings". Talk about photo opportunities. You can even get 50% off your entrance fee through Great Oregon Vacations.
In the winter, skiers enjoy the rugged slopes of Mt. Ashland, the highest peak in the Siskiyou Mountain Range. Also in the Siskiyou Mountains is the Oregon Caves National Monument. Here you can tour the caves or even take a class on cave exploring.
You can have a fantastic vacation by staying in a Southern Oregon vacation rental. Relax and have fun by a lake, a river, or in a cabin in the mountains.
For those that love theater, the Ashland Shakespeare Festival is an opportunity to see Shakespeare on an outdoor Elizabethan stage with professional actors from all over the world. In addition there is the Angus Bowman Theater which presents plays other than Shakespeare. The season runs from February to October and is different each year. Usually 11 plays are produced with three or more of them by Shakespeare.
When you are attending the theater in Ashland, it is convenient to stay in one of Ashland's excellent and romantic hotels or a bed and breakfast.
Another reason to visit Jacksonville is the Britt Music Festival. Music by world-class artists on the grassy hillside of the Peter Britt Estate. Concerts include all kinds of music--classical, jazz, country/western, bluegrass, rock, and folk music. The festival begins at the end of July and runs through the first week of September.
You could easily spend an entire two- or three-week vacation in Southern Oregon enjoying the rivers, lakes, mountains, and cultural attractions.