I told you a few weeks ago after I moved away from the PNW, I would tell you a bit more about the town I lived it. It was Ashland, Oregon and it was love at first sight. I immediately felt like it was home and the place I had been unknowingly missing my entire life.
Ashland is the most picturesque small town imaginable. If anyone has ever been there, you know what I’m talking about. It’s a very open community that accepts and supports everyone. Ashland in Rogue Valley between the Siskiyou and Cascade mountains. It sits at the base of Mt. Ashland in Southern Oregon, just 10 minutes north of California.
It’s a very active town with many people walking or biking often for transportation. I have several friends there that don’t own cars or even have a driver’s license. They just aren’t necessary. I always felt safe there and enjoyed living just a few short blocks from downtown. My girls gained independence exploring with their friends all the little shops or visiting the library just around the corner.
It’s a small town of 20,000, but feels more alive than that due to the large influx of 250,000 tourists that come through every year. They come to ski, kayak, hike hundreds of trails (including the Pacific Crest Trail!), mountain bike and for the festivals. It seems they are never lacking for reasons to close the streets downtown for a parade or festival of some kind. And the people come in droves!
They also come for the theater! Ashland is home to Oregon Shakespeare Festival.
Founded in 1935, the Tony Award-winning Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) is among the oldest and largest professional non-profit theatres in the nation. Each year OSF presents an eight-and-a-half-month season of eleven plays in three theatres plus numerous ancillary activities, and undertakes an extensive theatre education program.
You may remember me mentioning free outdoor shows in the summer. Those were the Green Show at OSF. OSF is one of several theaters in the area. You will also find street musicians at any given time. Most of the restaurants are locally owned and very unique. And the parks! There are parks everywhere! As in every few blocks you will find one. And most popular is Lithia Park. Lithia Park was designed by the same architect that designed Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Its 93 acres is picturesque and someplace I visited a few times every week. My girls and I enjoyed having a picnic on the lawn, walking around the ducks ponds, exploring the Japanese-style garden, taking pictures at the fountain, watching shows at the bandshell, hiking the trails, running the stairs and swimming at the reservoir.
And now Ashland has been invaded! It’s been invaded by 12 bloggers visiting the area courtesy of Harry and David. They are posting pictures of my home and making me miss it even more. I miss Ashland so much! I miss the activities, the laid back lifestyle, the natural beauty. I’m glad they got to see what makes Ashland so special firsthand.
Have you ever felt an immediate connection with a place you visited?
Where would you live if you could live anywhere?