23 Best & Fun Things To Do In Ashland (Oregon)

When you hear Ashland, Oregon, what comes to mind, and what is this city known for?

This city is located at the foothills of the great Cascade Mountains in the Rogue Valley, north of the California border. 

Ashland, Oregon is a combination of sophistication and simplicity and also an art and cultural melting pot.

A wide range of history is embedded in this city such as the tales of trappers and hunters, and the rich history of the indigenous Shasta people, 

In case you have made up your mind about spending your vacation in Ashland, Oregon, well, I see it to be a step in the right direction, and if you are still confused about the activities to engage yourself in while you are there, then, this article is specifically for you.

You will find out what makes the city a must-visit area; the painted landscape, museums, wineries and vineyards, shopping malls, and the warmth of the community are only but a few.

It’s time for us to find out some of the best things you can engage yourself with while in Ashland, Oregon

Find below the 23 best things to do in Ashland, Oregon.

23 Best & Fun Things To Do in Ashland (Oregon)

1. Watch A Show At Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Oregon Shakespeare Festival which can be traced back to 1935 is known to be one of the biggest events held in Ashland.

Interestingly, this event lasts for a period of eight-and-a-half months featuring about 800 plays, 11 plays from classical and contemporary playwrights, and accommodating roughly 400,000 visitors yearly.

This festival is better experienced than heard because it is truly one of a kind.

2. Scour Lithia Park

The name Lithia Park was gotten from lithium oxide because Li2O is present in the waters of the fascinating Ashland’s Creek.

It may interest you to know that this park which is about 100-acre is one of the leading tourist spots in Ashland.

You will find centuries-old historical landmarks, picnic spots,  a volleyball court, a Japanese garden, Ashland’s creek, an ice staking rink, tennis courts, duck ponds, a rose garden, and miles-long hiking trails through the woods in this historic park.

Endeavor to include this in the list of things you want to do in Ashland, Oregon.

3. Pay A Visit To The Schneider Museum of Art

What makes the Schneider Museum of Art an interesting place to be is the uniqueness of the permanent collection of artworks which I describe as thought-provoking.

Expect to see artworks from different celebrated artists from the 20th and 21st centuries, little wonder why it is referred to as a contemporary art museum.

Everyone has access to the museum and it is open throughout the year although guided tours are made available only on Tuesdays.

4. Travel To Emigrant Lake County Park

Emigrate Lake County Park is yet another well-known site where you can participate in different kinds of outdoor recreational activities like swimming, kayaking, picnicking, camping, fishing, boating, rock climbing, hiking, and bonfires.

In addition to this, you will find in the park, a 300-foot waterslide, several camping sites including the two camping areas – an RV park and Oak Slope Campground, picnic tables, a playground, and a snack bar.

That being said, if you want to experience southern Oregon’s astonishing natural beauty at its peak, then, you should camp here for a charge of USD 35 per night.

5. Chill In The Rogue River

For all forms of water adventure, I recommend the Rogue River. This is because it provides you with a wide variety of water adventures like boating, swimming, canoeing, fishing, white water rafting, kayaking, and lots more.

Furthermore, you are sure to feed your eyes with majestic views of richly forested surroundings and crystalline water that the river offers.

6. Pay A Visit To The ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum

The essence of establishing this museum is to assist visitors by teaching them different science concepts but not in the regular classroom way, they learn through numerous innovative, fun, and interactive ways.

Worthy of mention is the fact that it caters to all age groups, trying to make them understand easily through practical ways as well as entertaining activities.

In case you are still looking for where to visit with your family in Ashland, Oregon, this is a wonderful destination.

7. Enjoy Some Winter Fun at Mount Ashland

Interestingly, irrespective of the season you choose to visit Mt. Ashland, whether it’s during summer or winter, you will still get picturesque views.

While it is a well-known destination for reunions, stargazing, weddings, and hiking especially in summers, it offers visitors the opportunity for snow hiking, snowboarding, sledding, snowshoeing, skiing, mountain biking, cross country skiing, and other numerous winter recreation activities.

8. Have Some Wine Tours

You can’t afford to leave Ashland, Oregon without going for a wine tour, it is one of the well-known tourist activities in the city.

Below are some of the agencies that provide the best wine tours in Ashland, and they are:

  • The Oregon Wine and Farm Tour.
  • Main Street Adventure Tours
  • Bravo Outings
  • Dana Campbell Vineyards
  • Wine Hopper Tours

I bet you can’t wait to have a fun-filled day exploring vineyards and treating your taste bud to a wide range of tasty delicious wines.

9. Go Hiking at Lithia Park Hillside Trail

The beauty of Ashland majorly lies in the fact that it has a variety of refreshing hiking trails that will give you the opportunity to experience the region’s expansive wilderness.

This particular trail is a 5 miles long uphill hiking trail that has a beautiful creek, swimming hole, turkeys, granite boulders, towering trees, and a herd of deer on the way thereby offering mind-blowing views of Ashland’s flora and fauna.

Also, the hiking path is surrounded by dazzlingly-colored wildflowers in pine trees, summers, and fir trees.

Examples of other well-known hiking trails are Alice in Wonderland trail, Oredson Todd Woods, and the Pacific Crest Trail.

10. Remain Hydrated With Lithia Spring Water

Surprisingly, this water is popular as a result of its poor taste as well as its healing benefits.

How then does the public have access to it?

The public is given access to it via the water fountains established in Ashland.

Furthermore, there are two known fountains with Lithia water, while one is found in the downtown Plaza, the other one in Lithia Park.

11. Stop by Ashland Artisan Emporium

While you are in Ashland, Oregon, you may need to buy a few things as a souvenir or a glimpse of the region’s culture for yourself and maybe for your friends at home.

Ashland Artisan Emporium is a place to get all of these things because it’s a marketplace that sells a wide variety of locally made things.

In this place, you will find goods that are locally made by more than 200 regional artists and artisans which include fiber art, paintings, furniture,  body care, home décor,  candles, apparel, books, jewelry, and glassware, and the rest.

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12. Visit North Mountain Park Nature Centre

In North Mountain Park Nature Centre located by the beautiful Bear Creek, you will feed your eyes with ponds, beautiful gardens, a playground, picnic areas, soccer fields, hiking trails, baseball fields, and softball fields, and it houses several fishes, turtles, and ducks.

Please note that the grounds are usually open from dawn to dusk every day, while the nature center is open during the week from 8.30 am to 4.30 pm.

13. Drive to Crater Lake National Park

Worthy of note is the fact that in whole southern Oregon, Crater Lake National Park is one of the well-known tourist destinations and draws thousands of visitors yearly.

Also, it is known to be the deepest as well as the most transparent lake in the entire country with its deep blue and crystalline waters.

A wide range of recreational activities like cross country skiing, hiking, cycling, camping, and snowshoeing take place in this area. Please note that you are only allowed to swim in designated areas.

This is yet another must-visit tourist spot in Ashland, Oregon.

14. Explore Art at the Gathering Glass Studio

Aside from the fact that this glass art gallery by Keith Gabor is a tourist spot, it’s a business that takes customized orders from visitors, and also provides lessons and practicals pertaining to the process of glassblowing.

15. Lodge At Ashland Springs Hotel

Previously known as the “Lithia Springs Hotel,” Ashland Springs Hotel, a three-star hotel is a famous landmark in southern Oregon offering picturesque views of Ashland and the majestic mountain crests.

So, if you are looking for a place to lay your head after having all the fun you can, say no more because Ashland Spring Hotel alongside The Winchester Inn, Ashland Hills and Suites, The Peerless Hotel, Lithia Springs Resort, Plaza Inn & Suites, and  Best Western Windsor Inn is exceptionally comfortable.

16. Visit Oregon Centre for the Arts

This center for the Arts is a branch of Southern Oregon University, and they organize different artistic live performances throughout the year like short film screenings, musical concerts, plays, and more.

17. Attend Ashland Culinary Festival

The Ashland Culinary festival is a yearly festival that lasts for four days in November.

This festival was tailor-made to honor southern Oregon’s chefs, restaurants, brewers, winemakers, chocolatiers, and also farmers.

Certain events take place during this festival, and they include local restaurant cook-offs, junior chef competitions, wine tours, mixology competitions, award celebrations, top chef competitions, and more.

18. Enjoy a Cabaret Act

Cabaret Act popularly called “the Old Pink Church” is situated in downtown Ashland, Oregon and presently hosts about 300 performances yearly by powerfully talented artists.

The good thing is that it is normally open from February to December, and hosts up to six shows weekly.

I consider this to be the most suitable spot for an exciting evening’s entertainment and tasty food.

19. Shop at Lithia Artisans Market

Lithia Artisans Market has more than 35 stalls and is best described as a weekend outdoor artisans’ market in Ashland situated close to Lithia Park.

At Lithia Artisan Market, they sell fiber art, pottery, handcrafted jewelry, glasswork, photographs, home décor, and drawings by regional artists and artisans.

You will also be entertained by live music and live sketches.

20. Get Entertained During Film Festivals

This festival is organized yearly in April for a period of five days and displays more than 100 documentaries, domestic and international short films, and features.

That being said, if you are a movie fanatic, head to the Historic Ashland Armory, the Varsity Theatre, and the Ashland Street Cinemas festival where these events are hosted.

Varsity World Film Week is yet another well-known film festival in Ashland, and it lasts for seven days in October.

21. Visit Long Walk Vineyard

Simply put that the vineyard concentrates on producing elegant rosés and fine wines like Syrah, Mourvedre, Zinfandel, Carignane, and Grenache.

You can locate the onsite Long Walk Vineyard tasting room which is a beautiful open field in downtown Ashland, close to the Rogue River and shrouded by towering trees.

22. Taste Some Mouthwatering Delicacies

Food can never be an issue when you are in Ashland because you will be treated to tasty meals till your tummy is filled.

Well-known diners and restaurants in Ashland are Larks Home Kitchen Cusine, Alchemy Restaurant and Bar, Greenleaf Restaurant, Smithfields Restaurant, Peerless Restaurant, and Bar, Martolli’s Hand Tossed Pizza, and Bar, Caldera Brewery, and Restaurant, Amuse Restaurant.

23. Treat Your Taste Bud To Fine Wine At Belle Fiore Winery

Are you one of those who appreciate classic wines and Mediterranean countries? If you find yourself in Ashland, Oregon, visit the Belle Fiore Winery which is adorned with gardens and vineyards throughout the property.

You will also be entertained by live music while gracing your taste bud with divine Italian wines whether you are enjoying some wine out of their garden terrace or on the vineyard.

Worthy of mention is the fact that Belle Fiore Winery endeavors to grow beautiful grapes themselves that give outstanding character to their wines.

In fact, they grow grapes for each and every one of their wines, and most of them are of Italian, French, and Spanish origins and their traditional land.

Lastly, some of the high-quality flavors produced are  Chardonnay, cranberry, oak nutmeg, cinnamon to apple, and blackberries from Pinot Noir, Merlot, Syrah, Sauvignon Blanc Cabernet Sauvignon, and Petit Verdot.

In conclusion, by now, I bet that you have moved from a place of having no knowledge of what to do in Ashland, Oregon to a place of having a wide range of options to choose from.

I am curious to find out which of the options you’ve already included on your to-do list of fun things to do in Ashland.

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