Home of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Oregon Cabaret Theatre, it’s nestled right in the middle of the Southern Oregon Wine Region; there are so many things to do in Ashland. Located between the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountain Ranges in Southern Oregon, the climate is perfect for all kinds of outdoor activities. One can hike or mountain bike one of our beautiful trails in the morning, then see a fabulous theatre production at the Oregon Shakespeare Festival mid-day then go onto the Oregon Cabaret Theater for an evening dinner show that will leave you with the fondest of memories.
The town of Ashland is gorgeous. A small town with a big heart is how it’s been described. What I love most about our town is downtown. The shops lining Main Street are still so quaint and you won’t find any big name stores. Mostly, the shops are owned by locals who love their wares or crafts. You can find little boutiques selling interesting hand-made clothes or goods, or if you love knitting, we’ve got a great not-so-little well-visited yarn store. Sometimes, it’s the first thing my guests do the morning after they arrive and have breakfast at the Bayberry Inn, they hit the yarn store to stock up. NW Raw make hand-crafted, delicious, organic cold-pressed juices that will send you on your way with a buzz all day, filled with healthy goodness.
Our two favorite grocery stores are locally owned, the Ashland Food Co-op and Shop ‘n’ Kart, where you can find pretty much any kind of organic food and speciality products you would want. Both stores support local businesses and make you feel like you’re a part of something very special, like you belong to a community. On any given day, you will find musicians or other local artists performing outside in the courtyard of the Ashland Food Co-op and it’s one of the hot spots for lunch. Their hot and cold food buffet is always fresh and prepared lovingly. Their hand-made sandwiches are wonderful and healthy and you can take it outside to sit at one of their outside tables and watch the Ashlanders go by. It is a locals favorite so you’ll get a real feel for Ashland when you’re there. It’s located in the Railroad District, a quaint little shopping district just a few blocks away from the Bayberry Inn & downtown, along the old railway line. Shop ‘n’ Kart is where most Ashland Families do their shopping and though it doesn’t look like much from the outside and is located on the South End of town, so you have to drive to get there. It’s advised because once inside, you’re sure taken into another world where you can buy just about anything locally-made or handcrafted and will need a car to transport it back. Filled with hand-crafted products, such as ginger-jasmin or lavender honey soap to artisan ear wax candles or locally grown organic produce, you can find so many carefully selected ethically produced products.
Lithia Park is one of the most beautiful little parks right downtown Ashland, off the plaza which is the center of town. It’s a gorgeous park with so many different paths that take you along the creek, past a Japanese Garden, through wonderful floral trees and you’re sure to see one of our many local deer. The deer in Ashland are many and often my guests will come back from a walk amazed at seeing a family of them nibbling at someone’s rose plant at their front door, but it’s part of the charm of living in such a beautiful town where nature remains unspoiled in so many ways. Lithia Park is a two-mile long in town but it’s 93 acres and reaches all the way up to Mt. Ashland. You walk outside of the Bayberry Inn and within 4 blocks, you’re on the trailhead that will take you through the park, up into the hills, along creeks and as far as Mt. Ashland.
For the wine lover, we are smack dab in the middle of the Southern Oregon Wine Country. The Upper Rogue, Applegate & Rogue River offers over 70 vineyards, mostly locally owned and still maintain the charm of the old world of wine. Last weekend, I went to pick up my wine from Pebblestone Cellars, just a few miles from the Bayberry Inn at their Wine Club Member’s party and just relished in how sweet our wine tasting experience is here in Southern Oregon. The owners, a lovely couple who relocated here from bustling careers in California, shared their love of wines and poured for us while explaining which part of their land such and such grapes were grown and loving every minute of it. You won’t find that in the highly developed California wine country anymore.
I hope I’ve shed some light on what to do in Ashland, I know my list is incomplete and there are so many other great things, such as the two Growers Markets & Artisan Markets, but I’d be writing for days so I’ll end my post here and hope to see you soon at the Bayberry Inn. I’ve got tons of brochures for River Raft Tours, Trolley Tours through the wine country to Opera & Rock concerts in the park-like setting of the Britt Festival
. So I’ll say goodbye for now and see you soon.