Wednesday, February 14, 2007

Ashland is for Lovers

According to a recent USA Today article, Ashland, Oregon is one of the most romatic destinations in the country. That's what I'm talking about. Southern Oregon really does rule. In so many ways. So if you're a local reader, tune out for this post. Let's talk Ashland.

A mountain-side alpine village just 20 minutes over the border from California, Ashland is home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival the longest running theater festival in the county; to the Mt. Ashland ski resort; the Ashland Independent Film Festival, and to Lithia Park.

The charming downtown is almost European, dotted with bakeries, exotic gift and clothing stores, and a very wide variety of first-class eateries. There are more bed and breakfast inns than you might guess, and the grand dame of southern Oregon, the Ashland Springs Hotel. The town is also home to Southern Oregon University, Jefferson Public Radio, and the One World Series of world music. Of course there are numerous art galleries, and a weekly art walk. A new Tibetan Buddhist spiritual center is under construction to complement the many other faiths that are represented in town. There's an active farmer's market, a weekly artisan's market in the season, and a food co-op. And Ashland is wired. Massive broadband pipes, through the city's Ashland Fiber Network. Maybe that's why there's always a few software publishers setting up shop in the remodeled railroad district. (Pic below: Lithia Creek in the Park)

Come visit, but don't plan on relocating to this delightful village unless you've got some serious juice. Like Berkeley, Laguna Beach or Mendocino, Ashland also hosts a bunch of very upscale neighborhoods with very custom homes. Not to worry, if you fall in love there are a number of more modestly priced small towns and rural acres close by.

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