advertisement

Pears and roses both grow well in the Jacksonville and Medford area, and these crops have given rise to two of the country's best-known mail-order businesses. Harry & David Country Village, 1314 Center Dr., Medford (tel. 877/322-1200 or 541/864-2278; www.harryanddavid.com), is the retail outlet of a fruit company specializing in mail-order gift baskets. You'll find the store just 1 mile south of Medford at exit 27 off I-5. You can tour the Harry & David kitchens and then wander through the store in search of bargains. In summer the store is open Monday through Thursday from 9am to 7pm, Friday and Saturday from 9am to 8pm, and Sunday from 10am to 6pm; other months the store closes 1 to 2 hours earlier. Associated with this store is the Jackson and Perkins rose test garden and mail-order rose nursery. Not far away, in the town of Central Point, you can see how cheese is made at the Rogue Creamery, 311 N. Front St. (tel. 866/665-1155 or 541/665-1155; www.roguecreamery.com), which is known for its bleu cheeses, including the delicious Oregonzola. The creamery is open Monday through Saturday from 9am to 5pm and Sunday from noon to 5pm. Both Harry & David and the Rogue Creamery are part of the Southern Oregon Wine and Farm Tour (www.oregonwineandfarmtour.com).

The Britt Festivals & Other Performances

The Britt Festivals are a celebration of music and the performing arts featuring internationally renowned performers, and each summer between early June and mid-September, people gather in Jacksonville several nights a week for classical, jazz, international, and popular-music concerts. The setting for most of the performances is an amphitheater on the grounds of Peter Britt's estate. Located only a block from historic California Street, the ponderosa-pine-shaded amphitheater provides not only a great setting for the performances but a view that takes in distant hills and the valley far below. When planning to attend a show, be sure that it will be held here on the festival grounds; some concerts are now held at the Lithia Motors Amphitheater in nearby Central Point. This latter amphitheater lacks the character of the original Britt Pavilion amphitheater.

Both reserved and general-admission tickets are available for most shows. If you opt for a general-admission ticket, arrive early to claim a prime spot on the lawns behind the reserved seats -- and be sure to bring a picnic. For information, contact the festival at 216 W. Main St., Medford (tel. 800/882-7488, 541/899-9924, or 541/773-6077; www.brittfest.org). Tickets range from $8 to $80, with most performances in the $20 to $50 range.

Not wanting to lose out to its better-known neighbors, Medford has a renovated old downtown theater now known as the Craterian Ginger Rogers Theater, 23 S. Central Ave. (tel. 541/779-3000; www.craterian.org), in honor of the famous dancer who lived in the area after her retirement. The theater stages everything from performances by the Rogue Opera (tel. 541/608-6400; www.rogueopera.com) to touring Broadway shows and classical music performances.

Museums & Historic Homes

With more than 80 buildings listed on the National Register of Historic Places, Jacksonville claims it's the most completely preserved historic town in the nation. Whether or not this is true, enough restored old buildings make the town a genuine step back in time. Along California Street, you'll find restored brick commercial buildings that now house dozens of interesting shops, art galleries, and boutiques. On the side streets, you'll see the town's many Victorian homes.

Wine Touring

The Applegate Valley is one of the best places in southern Oregon to spend a day wine touring. There are more than a dozen wineries in the area that you can now visit on a regular basis. For more information on area wineries, contact Applegate Valley Wineries Information (www.applegatewinetrail.com).

Wine connoisseurs also won't want to miss perusing the wine racks at the Jacksonville Inn Wine Shop, 175 E. California St., Jacksonville (tel. 541/899-1900; www.jacksonvilleinn.com), where you might find a bottle of 1811 Tokay Essencia or a bottle of Chateau Lafite-Rothschild. Oregon wines (and beef jerky) can also be tasted at the Gary R. West Tasting Room, 690 N. Fifth St., Jacksonville (tel. 800/833-1820; www.garywest.com).

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.