Though most people visiting Grants Pass are here to enjoy the mountains and rivers surrounding the town, history buffs can pick up a free map of the town's historic buildings at the Tourist Information Center. Two small art museums -- the Grants Pass Museum of Art, 229 SW G St. (tel. 541/479-3290; www.gpmuseum.com), and Rogue Community College's Wiseman Gallery, 3345 Redwood Hwy. (tel. 541/956-7339; www.roguecc.edu/galleries/wiseman.asp) -- offer changing exhibits of classical and contemporary art by local and national artists. Rogue Community College also operates the Fire House Gallery, 214 SW Fourth St. (tel. 541/956-7489; www.roguecc.edu/galleries/firehouse.asp), in downtown Grants Pass. On the first Friday of each month, art galleries and other stores in downtown stay open until 9pm. During this roving gallery party, there's always live entertainment of some sort.
Wildlife Images Rehabilitation & Education Center, 11845 Lower River Rd. (tel. 541/476-0222; www.wildlifeimages.org), is dedicated to nurturing injured birds of prey and other wild animals back to health and then releasing them back into the wild, if possible. The center is 14 miles south of Grants Pass and is open for tours daily by reservation only. Tours cost $10 for adults and are by donation for children. One of the best things about this place is that you can get closer to the animals than you can at a zoo.
Riverside Park, in the center of town, is a popular place to play, especially in the warmer months when people come to cool off in the river.
About midway between Medford and Grants Pass and about 6 miles off I-5 (take exit 40), you'll find one of Oregon's most curious attractions: the Oregon Vortex, 4303 Sardine Creek Rd., Gold Hill (tel. 541/855-1543; www.oregonvortex.com). Straight out of Ripley's Believe It or Not!, this classic tourist trap is guaranteed to have the kids, and many adults, oohing and aahing in bug-eyed amazement at the numerous strange phenomena that defy the laws of physics. People grow taller as they recede. You, and the trees surrounding the House of Mystery, lean toward magnetic north rather than stand upright. Seeing is believing -- or is it? It's open March through May and September through October, daily from 9am to 4pm; June through August, daily from 9am to 5pm (closed Nov-Feb). Admission is $9 for adults, $8 for seniors, and $7 for children 6 to 11.
Also in Gold Hill, you'll find the large Del Rio Vineyards & Winery, 52 N. River Rd. (tel. 541/855-2062; www.delriovineyards.com), which is just off I-5 at exit 43. With nearly 200 acres of vineyards, Del Rio is one of Oregon's biggest vineyards and sells grapes to wineries across the state. In the winery's tasting room, housed in a historic stagecoach stop built in 1864, you can sample both Del Rio wines and wines produced at other wineries from Del Rio grapes. The tasting room is open daily 11am to 5pm (11am-6pm June-Aug). You can also taste local wines in downtown Grants Pass at the Oregon Outpost, 137 SW G St. (tel. 541/474-2918; www.oregonoutpostgifts.com), which also sells a wide variety of gourmet foods from Oregon.
Fourteen miles north of Grants Pass in Sunny Valley, you'll find the Applegate Trail Interpretive Center, 500 Sunny Valley Loop (tel. 888/411-1846 or 541/472-8545; www.rogueweb.com/interpretive). This small museum documents the little-known Applegate Trail, which was an alternative to the Oregon Trail. To find the museum, take exit 71 off I-5 and go 2 blocks east. June through October, it's open daily from 10am to 5pm; call for hours in other months. Admission is $6 for adults, $5 for seniors and children 13 to 18. The historic Grave Creek covered bridge is adjacent to this museum.
To Market, To Market! -- Grants Pass is home to one of the biggest and best farmers' markets in Oregon, and should you be in town on a Saturday any time between March and November, you should be sure to stop by. The open-air Growers' Market, Fourth and F streets (tel. 541/476-5375; www.growersmarket.org), has not only lots of fresh produce, but also jams and jellies, meats and seafoods, pies and cookies, and a wide variety of crafts. The market is open from 9am to 1pm.
Note: This information was accurate when it was published, but can change without notice. Please be sure to confirm all rates and details directly with the companies in question before planning your trip.