Ashland is a small city with a passion for art, culture and gastronomy. It’s set at the foot of the Cascade and Siskiyou Mountains and surrounded by forests, rivers and vineyards. Outdoor adventures are a dime-a-dozen, with everything from hiking and mountain biking to skiing and snowboarding on offer.
Things to do in Ashland
Despite its compact size, Ashland is home to a variety of award-winning galleries. You’ll find some of the best galleries in the Historic Railroad District. Visit the Schneider Museum on the Southern Oregon University campus to admire works by modern masters like Alexander Calder and Mark Tobey.
Lithia Park is the crown jewel in Ashland’s public park system. Relax on emerald-green lawns, work up a sweat on the beach volleyball courts and stroll through the formal rose gardens. Ashland Creek flows through the park and feeds a tree-lined natural swimming pool.
Spend the day touring Rogue Valley Wine Country. You can try the different wines made in the region, including Bordeaux styles like Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon. Higher altitude vineyards grow varietals from Burgundy, including Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. If you prefer beer, head to the local microbrewery in Downtown Ashland.
Strap on a helmet and set off on a rafting trip along the Rouge River. Depending on the time of year, the rapids can be gentle or exhilarating. Slow-flowing sections of the river are great for kayaking and canoeing.
Visit in the winter and use the city as a base to Mt. Ashland Ski Area. With dozens of runs and a vertical drop of more than 350 metres, it’s one of the top ski resorts in Oregon. You can also try activities like sledding, snowshoeing and cross-country skiing.
Getting around Ashland
Downtown Ashland is compact and easy to get around on foot. Rental cars offer the freedom to visit Ashland and explore Jackson County at your own pace. The city is on the Oregon/California border, a five-hour drive from Portland and 6.5 hours from San Francisco.