During a brief excursion up to Oregon, we stayed in a charming small town named Ashland, full of culture, restaurants, shopping and outdoors activities. Ashland is the home of several points of interest, most notably the year-round Oregon Shakespeare Festival. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival, founded in 1935, is the nation’s oldest and largest professional non-profit companies with very high production values and strong artistic values. During its eight-and-a-half-month season, they put on eleven plays annually with an attendance of approximately 400,000.
Ashland also has a university, springs, wineries, restaurants and interesting parks. Most notably, Lithia park, where much of the Shakepere festival is held, also hods somthing for everyone.
In addition to the over 80 restaurants, Ashland hosts a variety of culinary events throughout the year including the Oregon Chocolate Festival, Taste of Ashland and the Food & Wine Classic. During our visit, we experienced some yummy cupcakes from Larry’s Cake Shop. With over 50 flavors to choose from, we wish we had more time here to sample.
In addition to the food, wine and cultural activities, Ashland is also the gateway to many of southern Oregon’s outdoor activities. Surrounded by mountains and lakes, there’s a lot out there to be experienced.
Ashland also hosts various outdoor attractions, such as equestrian trail rides through the countryside’s evergreen forests, elevated lakes, and photogenic mountains. Croquet on the Lithia Springs lawn spurs gentle competition during mornings and evenings Thursday–Monday, with lessons and touch-up sessions available. Whitewater rafting (through September 4), golf, and excursions along the Applegate River Valley soothe visitors with the crisp air and untouched beauty of Oregon’s rolling landscapes.
Lithia Fountain, found in Ashland Plaza downtown, gets its water from the Pompadour Chief Spring, four miles east of downtown. This fountain is built with locally quarried Ashland Granite.
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