When it comes to travel nurse assignments in Oregon, most people probably think about facilities in the Portland area. But the city of Medford, about 75 miles east of the Pacific coast, offers expansive outdoor spaces surrounded by dense forest and majestic mountains, and is the perfect location for travel nurses looking to connect with Mother Nature off the clock. Additionally, Medford is located in what is known as a “rain shadow,” which means that much of the rain associated with the Pacific Northwest avoids this area, making it drier, sunnier and considerably warmer than other areas of the state. Sound enticing? This is our guide for nurses wondering what to eat, drink, do and Instagram while on a travel assignment in Medford, Oregon.
There are gourmet burgers, and then there are extreme gourmet burgers, and travel nurses on assignment in Medford, Oregon can indulge in some of the best at Jaspers Café. This eatery in the city’s historic downtown began as a hot dog joint, but they currently serve more than 40 creative, unique and in their words, “extreme” gourmet burgers. It isn’t just the burger toppings that have made Jaspers the area’s go-to spot for burgers, however; it’s the burger meat! In addition to freshly hand-pressed beef burgers, they offer numerous wild game options, including bison, elk, wild boar, kangaroo (yes, kangaroo!) and camel. They also serve a black bean chipotle burger for vegetarians and a harvest veggie patty for vegans. Wash them down with a hand-scooped malt or milkshake.
Just saying the name “Buttercloud” makes you hungry, doesn’t it? Buttercloud Bakery and Café is a favorite among Medford foodies, serving made-from-scratch biscuits, scones, sticky buns and a variety of other desserts and baked goods. They are known for their biscuit sandwiches, like the Rogue Scramble with rosemary cheddar cheese from local Rogue Creamery, and the Green Eggs and Ham with spinach, ham and horseradish mayo. Coffee aficionados will be pleased with their French pressed offering, but they also serve a variety of loose-leaf teas, espresso drinks, craft beers and wines. Don’t forget to take home some bacon cheddar scones, lemon bars or cocoa nib brownies to snack on later, when reminiscing about your earlier breakfast makes you hungry all over again.
Rogue Valley wineries are some of the most world-renowned, and a local favorite is Roxy Ann Winery in Medford. This is an excellent spot to enjoy a day off sipping local wine while taking in the breathtaking views of the Rogue Valley all around you. Roxy Ann Winery has been owned and operated by the same family for more than 100 years, and it produces 15,000 cases of award-winning wine annually, including Claret, Cabernet Sauvignon and Sauvignon Blanc. Additionally, they grow delectably fresh peaches and pears, available for purchase via an “honor box” payment system that has become a local tradition. Enjoy wine by the glass or bottle in the tasting room or on the expansive lawn with plenty of seating. Pro Tip: Bring your own picnic and enjoy it on the lawn, which is perfectly acceptable as long as you purchase wine during your visit.
When you’re in search of a good post-shift drink, you can never go wrong with an authentic Irish Pub. And downtown Medford has a very good one, located inside a two-story, historic but well-kept building. 4 Daughters Irish Pub is an exceptionally inviting establishment, with brick walls and wood beams throughout, and a roaring fireplace to warm your bones on chilly days. This is a place to relax and enjoy easy conversation, an excellent selection of draft or bottled beers and other cocktails, and a full menu of classic Irish comfort food that would be hard to top even in Dublin itself. The bar often features live entertainment and theme favorites including Monday Night Trivia.
If you are into hiking, mountain biking or extremely breathtaking views, you will definitely want to visit Prescott Park while on assignment in Medford. This city-owned 1,700-acre park is the second largest municipal park in the state of Oregon and is a wonderful place for an outdoor workout that will reward you greatly with its incredible vistas. The park’s prized geographical feature is Roxy Ann Peak, more than 3,500 feet above sea level and 2,000 feet above the valley floor, which provides a 360-degree panoramic view of the Rogue Valley. Mt. Ashland, the city of Medford, the Table Rocks volcanic plateaus, the Three Sisters volcanic peaks and Mt. McLoughlin are all visible as you rotate your view in a circular motion. Bring your camera!
The natural beauty of the Rogue Valley is evident almost anywhere in Medford, Oregon, and some of the most fun ways to enjoy that beauty involve the Rogue River. Depending on where you visit, you can enjoy fishing, kayaking, rafting, camping, swimming and more with gorgeous view all around you. This is also an excellent opportunity to observe a variety of native wildlife, including Coho salmon, American black bears, black-tailed deer, bald and golden eagles, ospreys, river mink and otters, and more. Set up camp for the night and enjoy a beautiful, starry sky while the pulsing river lulls you to sleep. A variety of tours are available to explore the river on the water or off, but there are plenty of ways to enjoy it on your own, for free.
The Medford welcome sign, located on Highway 62/Crater Lake Highway near the junction with Highway 99, is a rather unexpectedly cool place to snap a souvenir photo of your travel assignment in the city. The sign is artsy, with a 70s, West Coast vibe that seems almost too hip for its location sitting all alone on the outskirts of town. There are a couple of near-boulder sized rocks in front of the sign that are perfect for you to stand or sit on as you pose for a photograph to share with your followers. If you go during the hour of magical light just before either sunrise or sunset, the sky can provide a much more interesting composition with gorgeous cloud and color combinations.
There are few locations in the world that allow you to take photographs as stunning as those you will take at Crater Lake National Park. Artists, photographers and sightseers from around the world visit this site to gaze in awe at its pristine beauty. At more than a mile deep, it is the deepest lake in North America. Its sapphire blue water -- with just the tip of a massive, sunken volcano sticking out in the middle -- surrounded by cliffs nearly 2,000 feet high are sure to leave you, and your newsfeed followers, speechless. The park, located about an hour from Medford, offers numerous activities, including boat and hiking tours.