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Top Five Destinations of Medford

The first thing that pops into my head when I think of Medford, Oregon, other than as the last decent sized city when you leave Oregon on Interstate 5* (or first depending on your direction of travel) is private equity. A couple years ago I read an article (it was probably this or this) that talked about the financial problems of Harry and David once a private equity firm purchased the company. If you don’t want to hit the links, the story goes that the private equity firm borrowed money to buy Harry and David and then used Harry and David (with $0 in debt) to issue enough debt to pay back the borrowing price and then used that money to pay back the original private equity investment, meaning all the risk of the purchase was put back into the company which had no risk before then. (That risk probably was a large reason Harry and David ended up in bankruptcy in 2011.)

* Yes, “The Californians,” I had to stop myself from saying the 5, but at least I didn’t tell you that you need to get on the 5 well before it meets the 405 because the traffic headache from that merge is much worse on the 405 side and don’t even try the 170 to the 5 merge after 5 pm at night.

Because of the long tie between Medford and Harry and David, those two names intertwine in many a brain throughout the world familiar with Fruit of the Month clubs and Moose Munch and it will be interesting to see how the city and company continue into the future. However, there is much more to this prime location in southern Oregon, but my list has to start with the first thing in my mind.

Tour the Harry and David Kitchens

I know if I take the tour of the Harry and David kitchens I’ll have to keep my lip zipped about the financial side of the house. Fortunately, the bankruptcy probably got rid of a lot of the unfortunate debt as that is what bankruptcy does, and probably eventually partially shifted it to taxpayers, but no one wants to talk about that when there’s free chocolate to be had at the end of the tour. Chocolate! Free!

Raft the Rogue River

I rafted the Rogue River with some good friends and it is both beautiful and very dangerous. To make sure you’re in better hands than going off by yourself, try using a guide like Noah’s Wilderness Adventures, White Water Warehouse, or Rogue Wilderness Adventures.

Drink a pint at Apocalypse Brewing Company

After a long weekend on the river, you’ll probably need a pint. Head over to Apocalypse Brewing Company, because after running Blossom Bar, you’ll want to drink a Blast Radius or Devastated Sky.

Hike around Crater Lake

Less than two hours away from Medford is Crater Lake National Park. In the wintertime, you can go on ranger-led snowshoe walks, while in the later summer months; hikes to the edge of the lake are much easier.

Get a pizza at Kaleidoscope Pizzeria and Pub

End every day in Medford with a stop at Kaleidoscope Pizzeria and Pub. Maybe the first day you’ll get the Chicken Cordon Bleu pizza. Maybe the next day you’ll get The Popeye. Maybe the next day you’ll get The Alaskan. The choices, like my list, could go on much longer.

Any suggestions for things that I missed? Any additional recommendations for the area? Just let me know in the comments.

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About Jason McClain Jason is an aspiring novelist, which means there is a lot of time to put off writing and watch baseball or go fly-fishing, hiking and traveling. By "a lot of time", Jason means "procrastination."

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