To the north-end of town just on the outskirts of Ashland is Emigrant Lake www.jacksoncountyor.org/.../Emigrant-Lake. The park itself offers a host of activities for the entire family. There are some beautifully situated picnic areas at Emigrant Lake and I suggest that you head out for the day. Stop off at the Ashland Food Co-op www.ashlandfood.coop to purchase some of the amazing fresh and organic produce that they stock and then head out towards
Weisingers Winery www.weisingers.com to purchase some wine for a relaxing picnic in the sun. Fish for bass,crappie, trout if you are a fisherman or do some boating, canoeing/kyaking, waterskiing, swimming or hiking. Children can play on the playground, or slide down the refreshing 280-foot twin flume water slide all day. Day Use park Fees are $4.00 per vehicle.
To the North as well is the fabulous Mt Ashland and its hard working staff. During Winter when the snow does visit the North the mountain is turned into a hive of fun activity. Skiing come to Town!
One of our recent guests to Abigail's and Ashland had the opportunity to spend some time on the mountain learning how to Ski for the very first time. Although the snow has been a bit sporadic, there has been more than enough to cover the slopes. Our guest and his partner used the Ski Hopper which they booked on-line through www.winehoppertours.com (no wine drunk mmmm.) - the collection time from Ashland near the SOU is at 8.20 am and drop-off time back to Ashland is at 4.45pm. The couple booked an extremely reasonable package - "My Turn - 3 day learn to ski or ride" - for $124.00 per person. This fee includes 3 days, rental of boots and skis', lift and instruction. My Turn Graduates receive a further 7 visit lift ticket punch card, free rental equipment and 25% off for the rest of the season. Wow, this is an incredibly well priced package for first time visitors to the mountain. I need a refresher course..... The lodge on site offers a bar,live weekend music, food and shop facilities for both visitors and participants. The mountain is hoping to offer a whole lot more in the coming summer months so keep an eye on our events page for new postings! A great place to hang out - Apres Ski time!
Heading back into Ashland and out again on Hwy 99 we drive through Talent, home to the Camelot Theatre Company www.camelottheatre.org who offer plays, musicals and musical events in the intimate 164-seat theatre - "Broadway Quality in an Intimate Setting -".
Visit Jacksonville a small town that has been designated a National Historic Landmark. A town preserved from the 1850's goldrush era, with loads of charm, history, quaint shops and various restaurants. As you stroll through the streets you can feel the ghosts of the long forgotten cowboys, saloon girls and mud covered boots! Honky Tonk music, swinging saloon doors, dogs barking in the streets - dusty covered men heading to Beekman Bank to deposit or cash in their gold. Gun fights in the street ? Jump forward to 2015 Jacksonville is now home to the respectable Jacksonville Inn www.jacksonvilleinn.com and Gogi's Restaurant www.gogisrestaurant.com , cowboys (not guns) and saloon girls long gone. Jacksonville is also home to the Britt Festival www.brittfest.org - a premier open air performing arts festival that runs from June to September. The venue is a naturally formed amphitheater with a casual and relaxed beautiful hillside setting. Jacksonville is also the heart of the Applegate Valley and Rogue Valley Applegate Valley Wine Trail www.applegatewinetrail.com/wineries. The wineries in this area remain largely unknown, yet have become a home to some well known Pinot Noirs and other varietals. A lot of the wineries in the area local to Ashland also offer year round wine tasting, music and food. So add an extra day or two to your visit and set out to sample what our wine area has to offer.
Medford itself is a twenty minute drive from Ashland and has a lot to offer the day visitor. Driving back in the early evening, you can be bemused by stunning sunsets, the likes of which make one think of fires in the hills - only they are nothing thank goodness, but glorious early evening skies.
www.harryanddavid.com is not to be missed. Difficult for some to find it is on Center Drive. I always know because it's a road right in the middle of Hwy 99 and the I5 by Walmart. A famous landmark on Center Drive, made so by its various types of Moose Munch (you name it they have put it in it), Fruit Gift Baskets and awesome decadent chocolate truffles. The shop itself urges one to splurge money on organic produce, locally grown, candies, truffles, fruit, wine and so much more. A gorgeous shop filled with Gourmet Delights.
Medford itself is a 20 minute drive from Ashland - filled with Antique Shops for those with a discerning eye for turn-of-the century furniture and more. Some great bargains to be had as I have learnt from experience and some of those" bargains" can be found in and around Abigail's. It is home to the Rogue Valley Mall with big department stores and clothing shops that seem to have year round sales, especially on the weekends. You know they are famous for "buy one, get one free???" mmm. Lately Medford is being discovered for its secret foodie areas. I have found some surprisingly interesting food trucks on South Riverside Ave going into Medford next to the Antique stores. Stop and sample some of their delicious food on the street. You can always get parking! Then there is the Downtown Market know for its open kitchen so that you can actually watch the Chef's cooking with locally fresh sourced produce.
Medford is also home to the Collier Center - Southern Oregon's Center for the Performing Arts - www.craterian.org Craterian Performances for the 2015 season include the likes of Ladysmith Black Mambazo (from my part of the world), the Rogue Valley Chorale: Festival of Choirs, Educating Rita - Theater, One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest - Theater and much, much more. Something for everyone to enjoy!
So to all of our "would be visitors" to Ashland as you can see this little town is a whole lot of LARGE with more to it and its surrounding areas than meets the eye! We look forward to your visit this year.....