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MailTribune.com
  • Can't miss: Places you really have to see in Southern Oregon

  • start at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday just off South Pioneer Street.
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  • start at 6:45 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday just off South Pioneer Street.
    OSF also set the stage, so to speak, for a proliferation of live performance venues, including the Craterian in Medford, Camelot in Talent and Oregon Cabaret Theatre in Ashland.
    For OSF tickets and more information, call 1-800-219-8161 or see www.osfashland.org.
    Winery tours
    Southern Oregon's wine industry is the new kid on the block in some ways, but it has established itself as one of the major attractions in the region.
    The Southern Oregon Winery Association lists 67 wineries on its website, and wine aficionados have learned they'd need multiple days to traverse through the varied geography and growing conditions that mark the several designated viticulture areas in the region.
    That variety of topography and climate has made Southern Oregon home to a diversity of award-winning wines. Cooler areas offer varietals such as pinot noir, pinot gris, riesling, sauvignon blanc, chardonnay and gewürztraminer while the warmer areas are home to cabernet sauvignon, cabernet franc, merlot, malbec, zinfandel and syrah. Local favorites range from the Spanish-born red tempranillo to the aromatic white grape Viognier.
    There are several wine regions to choose from locally: the Applegate Valley, Bear Creek Valley, Upper Rogue and Umpqua. For details and directions to all the wineries, see the Southern Oregon Winery Association website at www.sorwa.org.
    Mount Ashland
    The highest peak in the Siskiyou Mountains, Mount Ashland tops out at 7,532 feet. To get there, take Interstate 5 south to exit 6, and travel 81/2 miles up a winding access road to a parking lot at the base of the summit at the Mt. Ashland Ski Area lodge.
    In the summer, mountain biking is popular throughout the Mount Ashland watershed, which drops down into the town of Ashland, and a shuttle service is available.
    "The trails on Mount Ashland are considered world-class mountain biking trails," said Sue Roussel, co-owner of Ashland Mountain Adventures, a mountain biking and hiking shuttle service. "It's so wonderful in the summer — you're in a canopy of trees almost your whole ride."
    In addition to several popular mountain-bike races each summer, the mountain trails are also great for hikers and offer terrain for a range of ability levels.
    A hike to the mountain's peak from the backside of the ski area rewards hikers with a view of the entire Rogue Valley.
    For more information, call Ashland Mountain Adventures at 541-499-2298.
    House of Mystery at the Oregon Vortex
    At the Oregon Vortex's House of Mystery, everything a person knows about gravity, physics and perception is put to the test. The house has been open to the public since 1930 and tours are offered several times a day from May through October.
    The House of Mystery, which long ago slipped off its foundation, leans at a sharp angle, but is still stable.
    Inside the house, visitors can watch a ball roll uphill and see a broom stand on its handle, along with other mysteries that seem to defy physics.
    "It's a strange world where the improbable is commonplace and physical facts are reversed," reads the Vortex brochure.
    The Vortex is located at 4304 Sardine Creek Left Fork Road, Gold Hill. For more information, call 541-855-1543.
    Teresa Ristow is a freelance writer living in Ashland. Email her at teresa.ristow@gmail.com.
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