One of the beauties of living in Roseburg is its central location to so many fun things to see and do. For this perfect day everything is close by, yet the scenery, site, smells, foods and drinks are second to none. Heck, even the drives are nice.
My go-to place for breakfast, especially when the weather is nice, is the Lighthouse Center Bakery in Umpqua. It’s a bit of a drive from downtown Roseburg, about 20 minutes, but it’s a pretty drive and well worth it.
Menu items include muffins, carrot cake, Danish, biscotti and more. My two favorite breakfast items are the almond Danish and the blueberry muffin. They also offer soups, salads and sandwiches for lunch.
You’ll want to sit outside if at all possible. There you’ll sit in the middle one of the prettiest gardens around.
After breakfast I like to stretch my legs, so I often will head out to River Forks Park. It’s just a 10-minute drive through picturesque wine country from the Lighthouse Center Bakery. This gem of a park is bordered on two sides by the North Umpqua River and Umpqua River at the confluence of the North and South Umpqua Rivers.
There’s plenty of room along the riverfront to stroll and a beach area to get some sun and go for a swim, although the water can be a tad chilly except in late summer. The park also has four playgrounds for children of all ages, a boat ramp and several picnic areas. But the main attraction are the rivers; the way the sunlight shimmers off the beautiful water, with the hills in the background, is a sight to behold.
On the way out of the park (back at the entrance) I like to stop at the magnificent Discovery Garden, which is maintained by the Douglas County Master Gardeners. There you will find hundreds of flowers, bulbs, vegetables, herbs and more. There’s even a Japanese garden with a stream running through it. The garden was a collaboration between Chiaki Koyama, an expert gardener from Roseburg’s sister city, Shobu, Japan, and Roseburg master gardener Wiley Wood.
As I said River Forks Park is in the middle of wine country, with a dozen or so wineries in the vicinity. Most have tasting rooms that also offer food; it’s worth it to stop into one, sip some wine and have a tasty lunch. One of my favorites is Melrose Vineyards, located on what used to be an early french settlement.
Current Melrose Vineyards’ owners Wayne and the late Deedy Parker arrived in 1996. The dream was to have a small boutique winery. In 2000, the first wines were in the barrels and it was decided that the 100-year-old barn on the property, complete with breathtaking views, would be the ideal location for the Melrose tasting room.
The tasting room features a menu that includes empanadas, house smoked salmon, hummus and an artisan charcuterie board for four.
After visiting a winery, I like to come back home to relax a bit. As the sun sets, I head downtown. Three of my favorite places are Salud Brewery and Food Truck, North Forty Beer Co. and True Kitchen + Bar.
Salud features unique Latin-inspired foods, including shareable appetizers, street nachos, Cuban sandwiches and tapas, as well as spot-on craft beer and terrific hand-crafted cocktails.
North Forty Beer Co. is a larger space that also features a terrific bar style menu (Italian sausage, panini, burgers, soups and salads) and top-notch beer made on site. North Forty also offers live music most Friday and Saturday evenings, at least it did pre-COVID-19.
True Kitchen + Bar is a once-a-month, get-out-the-good-clothes splurge restaurant that features a terrific cost-savings happy hour, with food and drink specials from 4-5:30 p.m. Menu items include shrimp and grits, fried calamari, seared scallops, and braised short ribs; you can’t go wrong with any of them.