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Ask the Locals: Ashland, Oregon Favorites

The best way to get to know a place is by talking to the locals. Check out these Ashland, Oregon favorites!

Patti Maghamfar and her husband, Abi, own and operate a Bed & Breakfast Inn in Ashland, Oregon where they have lived for 19 months. Patti and Abi chose Ashland because they fell in love with their Inn and the Rogue Valley (southern Oregon).  In 2011 they left behind their life of 33 years in San Jose, CA to begin this new chapter. Patti launched her travel blog, One Road at a Time, in October 2012.

Here are some of Patti’s Ashland, Oregon favorites:

Restaurant: Pasta Piatti – 385 E. Main Street – Ashland.  Pasta Piatti (fresh new world Italian) is the first restaurant we ate at on our first visit to Ashland.  We were sitting in a window seat and the rain turned to big white fluffy snowflakes and it felt so magical, as if it was a sign from the universe.

Outdoor activity: White water rafting on the Rogue River with Indigo Creek Outfitters is an awesome outdoor experience.  The trip is 2 ½ hours in length, about 5 miles.  The water is cool, the sun is warm and the views are beautiful.  There are several (class 3 or 4) runs that make the ride so much fun!

Bicycle riding is a popular sport in the area.  The Bear Creek Greenway offers 17-miles of paved multi-use trail.  Cycle Oregon passes through each year as well.

"Ashland Creek running through Lithia Park in Ashland, Oregon"
Ashland Creek running through Lithia Park, Ashland

Cultural or historical venue:  Lithia Park is a 93-acre wooded park in the heart of Ashland with 2 ½ miles of designated hiking trails that often break off onto other trails.  The well-maintained trails follow Ashland Creek and it makes for the perfect hiking experience.  The park has a band shell for outdoor concerts, duck ponds, playgrounds etc.  It was established in 1892 and was listed on the National Registry of Historical Places in 1982.

Event or Festival:  Founded in 1937, Ashland is home to the world renowned Oregon Shakespeare Festival which runs from mid-February through early November.  There are 3 theaters including the Elizabethan Outdoor Theater and the company presents 11 productions each season. It is an exceedingly professional company that helps to attract 250,000 visitors to Ashland each year.

Day Trip: The most popular day trip is a 2-hour drive, which follows the Rogue River, to Crater Lake National Park; an absolutely stunning pristine lake, the result of a volcano.  There is a beautiful lodge that sits at the edge of the lake, surrounded my hiking trails and a rim-drive also circles the lake.

Romantic or Nightlife Spot: Live music is available at many venues in Ashland including Alex’s Plaza Restaurant and the Standing Stone Brewery

Wine Tasting: Southern Oregon is fast becoming a leading wine producing region in the country. With approximately 60 wineries and vineyards in the area, there are many wine tasting opportunities to choose from.

Insider Tips:

  • Seasonal visits:  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.  Primarily, the tourist season is aligned with the Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
  • Budget:  The budget for visiting Ashland is not inexpensive, but the quality of the visit is above average with fine dining, shopping, entertainment and lodging.  On average a couple could expect to spend as much as $200/day per person which would include lodging, theater and dining.  There are nearly 40 B&B’s in Ashland as staying at a B&B is synonymous with visiting Ashland.
  • What to wear:  Ashland is very casual.  Most often you’ll see Dockers, dress shorts and sundresses, but jeans and flip flops are equally accepted.  Bring a sweater as the evenings can become cool, especially evenings in the outdoor theater.  And the weather can change without warning.

Anecdote about Ashland: Here’s the thing about Ashland… absolutely anything goes.  It’s an eclectic mix of flower children to affluent retirees.  Ashland has a population of 22,000 and it has the charm and sense of community of a small town with the sophistication of a culturally advanced metropolitan city.  Ashland is an enigma with a touch of magic!

Patti, thanks for sharing your Ashland, Oregon favorites and insights!

Photo courtesy of Patti Maghamfar

If you would like to tell us about your local favorites, please use the contact form or email us at info@boomerwomentravelers.com. Tell us where you live and request the “Ask the Locals” questionnaire. We want to hear from you!