Ashland  and the Oregon Shakespeare Festival  are undeniably the largest tourist draw in southern Oregon , although to make the most of this world-class theater festival you’ll need to make plans and reserve seats and lodgings well in advance. If you’ve waited until the last minute and can’t get play tickets, you can sign up for a backstage tour of the festival and enjoy some of Ashland’s fine restaurants —but even for these you’ll need to have reservations if you want to eat early in the evening. Once the theater hordes leave the restaurants for the theater at around 7:30 p.m., however, you can have your pick of the tables in Ashland’s dining establishments.
Increasingly, southern Oregon is becoming a major center for wine production, and it’s easy to add a bit of wine-tasting to your theater itinerary. We’ve included some of our favorite wineries, and for a full listing of area wineries, go to www.sorwa.org , the Southern Oregon Wineries Association website, where you can download a brochure and map.
Southern Oregon ’s other top destination is Crater Lake National Park . Even though a visit to the park itself—which for most travelers involves driving the loop route around the rim of the caldera—can be hectic due to excessive traffic, the approaches to the park along the Rogue or Umpqua river valleys offer excellent opportunities for less-thronged outdoor recreation.
The larger cities of southern Oregon— Medford , Grants Pass , and Roseburg —are mostly utilitarian with little to delay or seduce the traveler. If you were planning to camp during your Oregon visit, this might be the best place to do so.