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Heading South

The fleeting days of summer are upon us.  Many of us will be out on our last trips of the summer: road trips, coastal trips, camping, and more.  Rae Ann is driving down to Southern Oregon and is looking for kid-happy suggestions of diversions along the way:

My in-laws live in Ashland (I know, lucky us!), so we find ourselves trekking south rather frequently - we're headed there on vacation next week.  Now that our kids are 2 1/2 and 15 months, we find ourselves having to stop a little more frequently to accommodate their short, restless legs.  Instead of hitting up every other rest stop, I'm wondering if anyone out there has some favorite hole in the wall restaurants, coffee shops, or parks that are right off the 5, kid-friendly, and provide a break from the cramped confines of the car.


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If you have an Oregon Zoo membership, check out the Wild Safari near Roseberg. Admission to the auto tour is 1/2 off with an Oregon Zoo membership:


We were waylaid in the area once and it was a fascinating way to spend a couple of hours.

If you want to spend less time, you can skip the auto tour and just walk around the Safari Village which has animals on display, a petting zoo, mini train ride and a variety of special activities - including photo ops WITH the elephants.

I THINK access to the Safari Village is free but you may want to call or write to confirm that.

I'm from Southern Oregon, so we travel this stretch quite often. I would suggest stopping at Tolly's in Oakland for pie--- best pie ever. Also, ice cream at Rice Hill was a tradition when I was a kid. Go to the one on the West side of the freeway. They have good fries too. Around Grants Pass, there are some good parks. The Valley of the Rogue park near Rogue River is nice. There is also the House of Mystery in Gold Hill - kind of interesting. Oh, the best place for coffee on the way down is any Dutch Bros. but they are drive throughs. Some have picnic tables outside as well.

I grew up in Ashland. When you get there, there's a kid oriented coffee shop that just opened called "child at heart" or something (not sure) in the old Cantwells building.
Also I second the Rice Hill thing. It marks the halfway mark almost exactly.

the rice hill stop has already become a tradition for us so it's too funny that you guys brought that up!

thanks for all of the great ideas! i'm excited to check out some new, fun stops.

We make that drive quite a bit, but we seem to stop much more frequently than just once at rice hill!

We've been known to stop in Salem and play at discovery village (www.acgilbert.org) and we almost always stop in Eugene to play (google Riverplay Skinner Butte for info).

There's also a McMenamin's in Roseburg with a nice park (stewart park) relatively close by.

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