SOUTHERN OREGON TRAVEL GUIDE

PLANNING

When traveling to Southern Oregon’s wine country, it’s easiest to make a trip to the Umpqua Valley, which lies about 50 miles north of the Rogue and Applegate Valleys, on your way in or out of the region. Although more bed-and-breakfasts and noteworthy eateries are opening up in places like Medford, Roseburg and Jacksonville, Ashland is by far the liveliest town and thus the best base for jaunts afield.

WHERE TO EAT

Amuse The menu at this swanky, candle-lit, sunflower-and-green dining room is French in both style and technique—but with just a bit of our region’s rustic culinary flair thrown in. A pleasing wintry dish of black-truffle-roasted game hen with lacinato kale practically begs to be paired with one of Southern Oregon’s big red wines, while creamy Dungeness crab cakes offer a clean taste of the Pacific. 15 N First St, Ashland; 541-488-9000

New Sammy’s Cowboy Bistro Set in an impressively renovated old service station in the town of Talent, the multiroomed dining area may be a little quirky (although less so since they remodeled), but don’t be discouraged: New Sammy’s boasts one of the most extensive wine lists in the state (about 3,000 labels last we checked), curated by owner Vernon Rollins. Vernon’s wife, Charlene, prepares delicious simple dishes made with organic ingredients, like roasted poussin and braised buffalo tenderloin. With only 10 tables, it’s essential to make reservations. 2210 S Pacific Hwy, Talent; 541-535-2779

Chateaulin Restaurant & Wine Shop When this old-school French restaurant opened back in 1973, it was Ashland’s very first fine-dining establishment. Since then, the menu has remained faithful to the French classics—escargot and filet mignon are standard fare here—and the food has remained consistently good. The prix fixe menus that Chateaulin offers, while not inexpensive, are a great deal: They include three courses, often accompanied by two glasses of Oregon or French wine. As a bonus, check out the restaurant’s well-curated wine shop next door. 50 E Main St, Ashland; 541-482-2264

 

WHERE TO STAY

Winchester Inn A classic inn set in an 1886 Victorian, the Winchester is within walking distance of Main St and Lithia Park. Rooms offer a flowery, cottage aesthetic without feeling stuffy, and the tiny dark-wood wine bar, headed by knowledgeable and friendly bartender Andy Phillips, offers Southern Oregon’s best wines, as well as a superb selection of bottlings from around the world. $135-295; 35 S Second St, Ashland; 541-488-1113

Ashland Springs Hotel Southern Oregon’s accommodations aren’t exactly known for luxury—except at this 75-year-old hotel set in the heart of downtown. The lobby and ballroom are graced with antique chandeliers; a palm-filled conservatory leads to a fragrant English garden; and some 70 rooms offer comfortable beds dressed with French-style botanical toile quilts. The hotel restaurant’s brunch menu—which includes Dungeness crab Benedict and Grand Marnier custard French toast—is especially popular among locals. $89-289; 212 E Main St, Ashland; 541-488-1700