Outdoor Retreat: Why Southern Oregon Should be on Your Bucket List

by Martin Ramirez on September 27, 2023 in Travels,

Last year, we ran a popular article highlighting the outdoor living of Southern Oregon. Dubbed as a Texan’s outside playground, this natural wonder of the West Coast offers some of the best  fly fishing, hiking, festivals, dining and small town strolling  of the country. Now, in 2023, we’d like to invite you back out again to SoOR to do something great. 

Whether on the water or way above it, Crater Lake offers breathtaking views from any angle. Photo courtesy Travel Southern Oregon.

New Perspectives at Crater Lake National Park 

If you’re up for a unique, exclusively SoOR experience, clear kayak tours offered by Crater Lake Zip Line and SkyLakes Wilderness Adventures provide the best perspective on what makes this place special. The Klamath kayak experience puts paddlers up close and personal with a clear, unobscured view of the depths without the need of a snorkel. Additionally, recent revamps to sunset and moonlight kayak tours have included a colorful LED light system, offering an illuminating experience that will leave you glowing for days to come.

Also, jet boats have landed at Crater Lake, offering visitors a chance to tour Oregon’s only national park with three options:

> A two-hour tour with an interpretive ranger to provide commentary about the lake’s history, geology and culture.

> A cruise around Wizard Island’s perimeter with a three-hour stop at the island boat docks for hiking, swimming, fishing or any much needed relaxation.

> A quick and easy direct shuttle to Wizard Island.

Experience the warmth of summer at Mt. Ashland. Photo courtesy Travel Southern Oregon.

Experience Mt. Ashland in both Summer and Winter

Now that the summer season has wound down, start planning your winter ski trip. The long-time popular destination for skiers, as well as hikers, bikers, and runners now offers hot food, cold drinks, and refreshing treats.  Mt. Ashland’s lodge cafe and retail shop will be open providing the ideal place to stop for a snack and drink with a stunning sunset in the backdrop.  

Roseburg’s city murals offer quaint strolls with a view. Photo courtesy Travel Southern Oregon.

The Different Shades of Roseburg

Indulge in the darkness with the Ghosts of Roseburg Past Tour, an interactive and historic walking tour that brings fun and fright all year round to downtown Roseburg. Showcasing fascinating characters and the dark sides of this small, southern Oregon town, the self-guided tour can be done at your own pace and at any time. Print maps are available at the Experience Roseburg Visitor Center and a GPS-enabled audio tour is also available to download. Or take a more colorful tour and experience the beautification project that includes a series of murals, brought to you by a collaboration between Experience Roseburg and The City of Roseburg. 

Whether it’s music, wine, craft beer, cuisine, or Sasquatch trekking, SoOR’s festivals have a little something for everyone. Photo courtesy Travel Southern Oregon.

A Festive Summer Ahead

With warmer months come more reasons to be outdoors, and with SoOR, this fairer climate brings food, fun and festivals that can be enjoyed throughout the summer and fall. First to mention is Roseburg’s free concert series, Music on the Half Shell at Stewart Park, which takes place between June and August. The Britt Music & Arts Festival, open from June through September, offers dozens of summer concerts from world-class artists in classical music, jazz, blues, folk, bluegrass, world, pop and country music. This premier Pacific Northwestern venue takes place on the naturally formed amphitheater set on the beautiful hillside estate of 19th century photographer Peter Britt. 


The festivals of SoOR offer a little something for everyone. For the auto enthusiast is the Grants Pass Back to the 50’s Celebration. This summer time favorite is full of events including a car show and parade. And for the squatching adventurer is the Glide Sasquatch Festival. Oregon’s only Sasquatch celebration combines merchant and artisan vendors, food, an exquisite beer garden, family games, entertainment and BigFoot experts for a true Oregonian experience set in Sasquatch’s own backyard. In the fall, you’ll find the Heart of the Rogue Festival in Medford bringing together musicians, artists, makers and growers.

The vast Oregon Outback can be appreciated by any true Texan. Photo courtesy Travel Southern Oregon.

Native Texans will appreciate the open range of the Southern Oregon outback. So when planning your next vacation, opt for big skies, long roads, quaint towns, and far-reaching land that stretches into the great beyond. 


Cover Photo courtesy Travel Southern Oregon

Martin Ramirez is a brisket-eating, Shiner-loving, road-tripping enthusiast of all things Texas. This Dallas-born writer / adventurer is ready to take his ‘78 El Camino to find the best in food, fun, and fitness throughout the Lone Star State.