Walking around, I’ve just recognized how much my little town of Ashland, population about twenty grand, offers visitors and residents. Of course, it’s all about experiences here. On center stage is the the Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the Green Show (free) but there is also the annual Ashland International Film Festival. Southern Oregon University generate learning activities. Your reading fixes can be attended through Bloomsbury, the Book Exchange, and the Book Wagon.
Want a marijuana high or need a medical high? We have you covered. Marijuana is legal in our state, county, and town. Several dispensaries are here to guide you through your choices. You can smoke, vape or eat to fill your need, although you can’t do it out in public, as signs will remind you. Locally produced chocolates are made at Branson’s to handle that munchie or go to Market of Choice and ogle their pastries, breads, pies, cakes, cookies, scones and cheeses, or ice creams, pastries and gelato at Mix, on the plaza.
Prefer an amber or red ale, pilsner, IPA, porter, stout or lager? Local breweries, led by Caldera Brewing and Standing Stone Brewing, are doing great. Fill your growler at Gil’s or Growler Guys. Gil’s is alongside Ruby’s, where flavorful wraps and sandwiches can be ordered. Ruby’s and Gil’s share owners so you can buy at one place and consume the other. This is pretty cool; Ruby’s has patio sitting available where you can dine in sunshine. Gil’s patio is covered and has fire pits.
Growler Guys also have fire pits. Having a beer as the wind blows your face, the rain falls a few inches away, and a fire warms you as you watch people and cars pass is an an elemental experience.
If beer and grass aren’t to your taste, you can enjoy wines from multiple local vineyards, like Weisinger, literally down the street from me. Or zip across the valley to Belle Fiori. Don’t want to drink and drive? Don’t worry, you can enjoy tastings at several locations and the local wines are offered in multiple restaurants.
Yeah, like to eat? As a progressive town, vegans and vegetarians are taken care of, but places like Smithfields will satisfy carnivores. Lark’s is wonderful for more unique dining choices. Although we lack decent Mediterranean and Greek fares IMO, the downtown area and plaza can see you through yearnings for American, Sushi, Chinese, Mexican, English, French, and Italian. Martolli’s sells sensational pizzas whole and by the slice. Louie’s on the plaza is one of our favorite places to eat. Brothers, Breadboard, Morning Glory and Waffle Barn will do you for breakfast and lunch, but you can have an awesome Chicago style sandwich at Sammich. But the Ashland Food Co-op creates some of the best sandwiches and wraps, which are sold in several local stores and cafes.
Naturally, there is a farmer and grower’s market, run by the RV Growers. Fresh produce, prepared foods like pies are available at the Saturday’s Grower’s Market. The Tuesday’s Grower’s Market has a larger location, and food trucks are present to serve you as you shop. Coffee shops all over the place, less now than there were a few years ago. Noble Coffee is one of several places roasting and grinding their own coffee beans. Zoey’s handles local demands for ice cream and milkshakes. If your burden is clothing shopping, the downtown is full of new and used clothing stores and boutiques. Every Saturday during the summer and fall, the Art
Or just wander through Lithia Park by the creek, following the trails, or sitting by the ponds, watching ducks or enjoying the deer’s presence as they meander through town and the park, nibbling at plants and grasses, looking at you as you look at them.
It’s amazing. Prefer skiing, hit Mt Ashland. Want to venture further away, we’re located just off Interstate 5, seventeen miles north of the California border, less than three hundred miles from San Francisco to the south and Portland to the north, and there are many amazing places between those two.
I’d write more about it all, but I’m hungry.