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Ashland, Oregon has over twenty art galleries and four local theaters, a thriving music scene, and is home to the internationally known Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Categorized as both a special event and an attraction, the Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) was founded as a summer outdoor festival in the 1930s and is now a Tony Award-winning festival that is among the oldest and largest professional non-profit theaters in the United States. With a season that stretches from February to October, the OSF sells more than 350,000 tickets and attracts more than 100,000 visitors each year. Shakespeare and non-Shakespearean plays are presented in the Oregon Shakespeare Festival's outdoor Elizabethan Theater, as well as the Angus Bowmer Theatre and The New Theater. Special discounts are available for students and adult groups of over fifteen. To further enhance your theater experience, downtown Ashland is filled with charming restaurants and boutiques, including shops that sell Shakespearean themed gifts, games, masks and puzzles.

Lithia Park, which is a National Historic Site, is called the “Jewel of Ashland.” This 100-acre park extends from the center of town up Ashland Creek, all the way to the foothills of Mount Ashland. It includes two duck ponds, a Japanese garden, two public greens, hiking trails, tennis courts and a playground, picnic areas and a band shell (or outdoor stage.) The name “Lithia” comes from the natural mineral water found in Ashland and is famous for its strong, slightly sulfurous taste. Lithia water fountains can be found on the town plaza and also near the band shell inside Lithia Park. Visitors can sample the water, but beware – it's an “acquired” taste!

Other attractions in Ashland include a state-of-the-art museum, the ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum. This museum contains over 80 interactive science exhibits, Science Live! Performances and hands-on activities for all ages. The museum has frequently changing exhibits and shows and holds special events throughout the year, including indoor and outdoor festivals, lectures, school programs and summer camps. For current hours, call 541-482-6767. Of course, Ashland's great location in southern Oregon is another great attraction because it provides opportunities for so many different forms of outdoor recreation. Skiing nearby Mount Ashland is a popular wintertime activity and river rafting is available on the Rogue and Klamath Rivers. Many pristine mountain lakes and streams provide fishing for salmon, trout and steelhead and miles of hiking trails are located within Lithia Park and the surrounding countryside. Ashland also offers the Bear Creek Bike and Nature Trail. This trail runs along the creek, down the valley to the city of Medford. Mountain bikers can choose the challenging 28-mile Lithia Loop Mountain Route or the 31-mile Siskiyou Crest Mountain Bike Route, which provides spectacular views of the Siskiyou Mountains and Mt. Shasta. Five golf courses are available in the Ashland/Medford area and Ashland boasts two wineries that offer daily wine tasting.


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