What is the first thing that comes to mind when you think of Oregon? Portlandia? You are not alone. But Oregon is comprised of so much more …, and Southern Oregon is a show all its own, with Ashland being the star.
Ashland sits at the southernmost tip of Oregon’s Rogue Valley and is just a jump, skip and hop from the California border. Ashland has a hippyish small-town vibe combined with a massive amount of culture. Add in four seasons, a mild climate, and more sun than most of the state sees, and you may have found perfection in Oregon.
Additionally, the naturally stunning location, multiple theaters, engaging music, and art ensure that you’ll never run out of things to do in Ashland. This small college town has approximately 20,000 residents and features a state university (Southern Oregon University), the renowned Oregon Shakespeare Theater, and a prized city park system. The famous Lithia Park is a 93-acre park in downtown Ashland designed by John McLaren, who also designed San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. Lithia features walking paths, playgrounds, duck ponds, picnic areas, a Japanese garden, lawns, wooded areas, a bandstand, and more.
In addition to Lithia Park and all of the city’s other parks here in Ashland, there is a massive trail system above that takes you out into the wilderness. Hikers, runners, and mountain bikers spend endless hours exploring these trails above the town and can’t stop raving about how awesome they are. Locals race up to Mt. Ashland during the winter months to get their skiing and snowboarding fix. As you can see, Ashland is a city that offers year-round access to outdoor activities for those with a focus on health and wellness.
Ashland may not be what first comes to your mind when you think of Oregon, but one visit to this town surrounded by natural beauty, an array of outdoor activities, culture, and peaceful progress will keep you coming back time and time again.