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Overview

Ashland, home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is the cultural hub of southern Oregon. The town, home to Southern Oregon University, is full of good restaurants, lodgings ranging from cute B&Bs to swanky hotels, and all manner of faux false-timbered buildings. The Shakespeare Festival's season runs nearly year round; two indoor theaters show plays from mid-February through October, and the outdoor Elizabethan Stage is open from June until early October. It's best to buy tickets to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival well in advance of your visit, especially if you want to see a specific play.

Although there's always at least one ...

Ashland, home to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival, is the cultural hub of southern Oregon. The town, home to Southern Oregon University, is full of good restaurants, lodgings ranging from cute B&Bs to swanky hotels, and all manner of faux false-timbered buildings. The Shakespeare Festival's season runs nearly year round; two indoor theaters show plays from mid-February through October, and the outdoor Elizabethan Stage is open from June until early October. It's best to buy tickets to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival well in advance of your visit, especially if you want to see a specific play.

Although there's always at least one Shakespeare play, the playbill includes lots of modern shows. During the day, plan to wander around town. Lithia Park (named for the high lithium content of the water in the creek flowing through the park...and into the plaza drinking fountains) is right downtown and a great place for a stroll or a picnic. Shop for clothing (you won't find better fashions anywhere in southern Oregon), herbal skincare potions, or a new mandolin.

Downtown has a lot of great restaurants; Amuse is a real winner. You can also drive up the road (reservations are a must) to the tiny, quirky and top-notch New Sammy's Cowboy Bistro. A good day trip takes in the historic and charming town of Jacksonville and the Applegate Valley, home to some good wineries. Head a few miles south of town to find wintertime skiing or summertime camping and hiking on Mt. Ashland.

Judy Jewell
About the Expert

Judy Jewell and W.C. McRae are frequent collaborators: together they have written Moon Handbooks to Montana, Utah, and Zion-Bryce and updated the Moon Handbooks to Oregon and Coastal Oregon. Judy wrote the Compass American Guide to Oregon.

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Judy Jewell for Triporati

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Facts at a Glance

Climate

  • Best Time to Visit:

    Late spring or early summer brings generally good weather and lots of plays.