Ashland, Oregon, is the gem of the southern Rogue River Valley. Nestled in the beautiful rolling green hills that have made Oregon famous, the town boasts all kinds of amenities for its small size. In addition to the world-class ScienceWorks Hands-On Museum, you can also visit historical landmarks, parks, hiking trails & natural wonders, and much more.
National Fish and Wildlife Forensics Laboratory
Did you know forensic science can help animals and the environment, as well as people? Ashland is home to the world's only laboratory dedicated to solving crimes against wildlife. Using forensic science, experts at the laboratory help wildlife officers to investigate possible crimes against animals and to establish links between victims and suspects in cases that go to court. The laboratory has assisted the International Criminal Police Organization (INTERPOL) and foreign agencies concerned with the Convention on International Trade in Endangered Species (CITES).
Butler Memorial Band Shell
If you like music — and who doesn't? — you may be able to catch a live performance from the Ashland City Band at the historic Butler Memorial Band Shell gazebo in Lithia Park. The band was originally formed in the late 1800s, so you might say they've had a lot of practice. The band gives summer public performances in the gazebo from June to August.
Ditch the Car
As Edward Abbey once said, “A man on foot, on horseback or on a bicycle will see more, feel more, enjoy more in one mile than the motorized tourists can in a hundred miles.” For a fresh-air tour of Ashland, grab your bike, scooter, or walking shoes and stroll along the intercity river path. You'll never know what you might see!
Take A Hike
The Ashland area is home to many great trails that allow you to get away from the "big city." Alltrails.com has a list of their own top trails, like Grizzly Peak, Pilot Rock and the White Rabbit Trail. Pack your water, snacks, sunblock and map, and spend the day exploring the hills and woods just outside of town.
To Be Or Not To Be!
What list of Ashland's finest attractions would be complete without including the Oregon Shakespeare Festival? Held annually at the repertory theatre, It welcomed its millionth visitor in 1971, its 10-millionth in 2001, and its 20-millionth visitor in 2015. At any given time between five and eleven plays are offered in daily rotation six days a week in its three theatres. It takes place from April to December, and was founded in 1935, which was a long time ago, but still not as long ago as William Shakespeare lived. Something tells me, though, he'd really enjoy Ashland's version of his classic plays.
For more information, visit the City of Ashland's website.