Ashland Is A Wonderland Of Outdoor Recreation, Art Galleries, Fine Dining, Boutiques And Home To The Oregon Shakespeare Festival
This is a small city like few others that you'll find on the West Coast. Located near the Oregon—California border in Southern Oregon, Ashland is a small-town cultural and recreational mecca renown for its annual Oregon Shakespeare Festival. OSF draws nearly 500,000 visitors to Ashland annually for their theatre season which runs from February through November.
The season always includes 3 to 5 plays by Shakespeare, and since 1935 has staged Shakespeare's complete canon three times, spanning Shakespearean history from 1589 to 1613. While the festival is named in honor of the great William Shakespeare, each season brings a wide range of classic and contemporary works from playwrights past and present. Ashland is also known for Lithia Park, a 93-acre visual wonderland designed in part by John McLaren, architect of San Francisco's iconic Golden Gate Park. The park is an easy hike along Ashland Creek that takes you through a sculpted Japanese garden, landscaped sitting areas with playgrounds for the kids, a beautiful rose garden and across charming foot bridges, all while keeping you within a short walk of downtown Ashland's many boutique shops and restaurants. With Ashland being the quintessential art town, galleries can be found throughout the downtown area showcasing the eclectic works of Ashland's local art community. You'll even find wine bars where you can enjoy artwork on a wall as well as art in a glass, sampling some of the area's fine liquid creations from local vintners and wineries. Ashland is not only a destination for seekers of the finer things in life, it is an outdoor paradise of rivers, lakes and mountains for everything from hiking, biking, rafting and fishing, to snow skiing and awesome sightseeing. Nearby Emigrant Lake is an ideal destination for a day of swimming, boating, hiking or fishing. The campsites are ADA compliant, with fresh water showers and full RV hookups. Summer fun includes the park's 280-foot twin flume waterslide. For rafting and fishing, Ashland is home to several well-equipped and knowledgeable outfitters, offering guided trips of the Rogue and Klamath Rivers. See our Things To Do page to find a local outfitter or river guide. In the winter months, Mt. Ashland Ski Area is only minutes away with 23 trails on 200 acres of groomed slopes for skiers from beginner to advanced. Snowboarders will love the Center Stage Park, with intermediate to advanced rails, boxes and jumps, while the Schoolyard Park is a great place to learn and advance your skills. Mt. Ashland also has twilight runs for fun nighttime skiing. For more information on Mt. Ashland winter activities visit the Mt. Ashland Ski Park website. Getting hungry and finding a place to eat while visiting Ashland is a treat in itself. From an early breakfast to a late night after-show dinner, dining in Ashland offers budget to elegant, with some of the best fine dining on the west coast.When you're ready to eat, check out our Dining page for some great dining ideas. For overnight stays, this quaint little town offers you big city variety. Ashland has a very impressive cluster of B & B's around the downtown area, and a nice array of sophisticated, exceptional hotels that are close to shopping, dining and the Shakespeare Festival campus. Whether coming for summertime culture like wine tasting, art and theatre, or outdoor adventure on the area's rivers, lakes and mountains, this jewel in Southern Oregon will leave quite an impression on anyone who visits.