Travel Ashland, Oregon – Tips for Recreation in The Rogue Valley

Travel Ashland, Oregon – Tips for Recreation in The Rogue Valley

The Rogue Valley offers mountain hiking, biking, white water rafting, fishing, golfing, wine, cheese and chocolate tasting, boutique shopping and antiquing

By Patti Schulz Maghamfar

Founded in 1937, Ashland, Oregon is an eclectic community with an abundance of small town charm and the cultural sophistication of a metropolitan city; a year-round playground that attracts 250,000+ visitors each year. And while many of those visitors are enticed by the world-renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival, once here – visitors discover there is so much more to Ashland, and the surrounding Rogue Valley, than what they expected. The Rogue Valley offers mountain hiking, biking, white water rafting, fishing, golfing, wine, cheese and chocolate tasting, boutique shopping and antiquing, along with spectacular sites such as Crater Lake National Park. It is the ultimate vacation destination.

Travel Ashland, Oregon - Tips for Recreation in The Rogue Valley

Travel Ashland, Oregon – Tips for Recreation in The Rogue Valley. Photo courtesy of www.commons.wikimedia.org

With approximately 20,000 permanent residents, Ashland is home to every lifestyle choice and income level, anything goes in Ashland! Just 15 miles north of the California and Oregon border, Ashland is home to many ex-pats from California. The town of Ashland can be likened to a page out of a Norman Rockwell coffee table book with its idyllic town plaza and 93-acre Lithia Park. Ashland is home to the Oregon Cabaret Theater, the Ashland Independent Film Festival, the Oregon Chocolate Festival, the Ashland Culinary Festival and the always spectacular Festival of Lights. Also, nearby Jacksonville, an historic small town about 30 minutes from Ashland hosts the Britt Festival each summer – offering a wide variety of outdoor concerts.

Lithia Park. Photo courtesy of www.oneroadatatime.com

Lithia Park. Photo courtesy of www.oneroadatatime.com

Although the Rogue Valley (Ashland) is a year-round playground with snow skiing at the local ski bowl, Mt. Ashland, the most popular times of year to visit are spring, summer and fall. The spring bloom is beautiful; summers are lovely – but can reach very warm temperatures – and the fall colors are rich in gold, red and orange.

Flowers and Elizabethan Theatre. Photo courtesy of www.oneroadatatime.com

Flowers and Elizabethan Theatre. Photo courtesy of www.oneroadatatime.com

Primarily, the tourist season is aligned with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and productions close down between early November and mid-February, which is when Ashland settles in for a long winter nap.

Pink flowers under snow. Photo courtesy of Abigail’s B&B.

Pink flowers under snow. Photo courtesy of Abigail’s B&B.

The budget for visiting Ashland is not inexpensive, but the quality of the visit is far above average with fine dining, shopping, entertainment and lodging. On average a couple can expect to spend as much as $200/day per person which would include lodging, theater tickets and dining.

There are about 35 B&B’s in Ashland, as staying at a B&B is synonymous with visiting Ashland. B&B’s offer the comfort of lodging in a “home away from home” atmosphere and many guests feel a bit more secure staying in a B&B rather than a hotel – there is always someone home, so to speak, and well – there’s the breakfast! A great resource for selecting a B&B is the Ashland Bed & Breakfast Network – a network of 21 B&B’s who work collaboratively to represent the best in B&B stays.

Abigails B&B Inn

Abigails B&B Inn

Ashland is very casual. Most often you’ll see Dockers, dress shorts and sundresses during the summer months, but jeans and flip flops are equally accepted. Bring a sweater as the evenings can become cool, especially evenings in the Elizabethan outdoor theater. And the weather can change without warning. Locals offer words of wisdom – “Wait 15 minutes and the weather will change again.”

Ashland Elizabethan Outdoor Theater. Photo courtesy of www.osfashland.org

Ashland Elizabethan Outdoor Theater. Photo courtesy of www.osfashland.org

The most important thing to remember about Ashland is that it embraces diversity while offering the best possible vacation experience. It’s an eclectic mix of flower children and affluent retirees, it’s fun, funky and sophisticated all at the same time. Ashland is an enigma with a touch of magic!

White Water Rafting. Photo courtesy of www.indigocreekoutfitters.com

White Water Rafting. Photo courtesy of www.indigocreekoutfitters.com

If You Go:

Bio:

Patti Schulz Maghamfar and her husband, Abi, own and operate Abigail’s Bed & Breakfast Inn in Ashland – When not hosting guests they travel as much as possible exploring the best of southern Oregon, the United Sates and the world beyond. Patti writes a travel blog, One Road at a Time, which you can also find on Facebook.

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