Best hotels in Ashland
Ashland IntroductionBritain’s favorite bard helped to put the city of Ashland on the map when the Oregon Shakespeare Festival was inaugurated in 1935. This prestigious theater season attracts hundreds of thousands of culture-hungry visitors to the city from February to October/November each year, all of them eager to dine, shop, and stay in the Jackson County community. Ashland is also the home of Southern Oregon University and the renowned Lithia Park, which is named after the natural mineral water that flows from the city’s fountains and is also listed on the National Register of Historic Places.
Hotels in AshlandAccustomed to catering for cultural tourism, hotels in Ashland offer a wide variety of amenities to suit every taste and pocket. From historic family homes converted into cozy B&Bs to lavish resorts complete with high-end spa and leisure facilities, Ashland knows how to spoil its guests. During the busiest months of the theater festival, you’ll need to book well in advance to secure the best rates. At quieter times of year, it’s easier to find Ashland hotel deals—the season between Thanksgiving and New Year is perfect for enjoying the spectacular natural beauty on offer in this corner of Oregon.
Where to stayDowntown Ashland is hard to beat if you’re attending the theater festival. The pleasant, laid-back center is easily explored on foot, and all the entertainment you need is on your doorstep. Spend the day in stores and art galleries, and discuss the evening’s performance over a meal in a neighborhood restaurant. For a close encounter with the great outdoors, book into a ranch in Klamath Falls on the picturesque Klamath Lake, around 60 miles east of Ashland. If easy transportation access is your priority, there are plenty of cheap Ashland hotels near the airport at Medford, just 12 miles away.
Things to seeIt’s impossible to overemphasize the importance of the Oregon Shakespeare Festival to life in Ashland. This world-renowned institution began as a modest 4th of July celebration in 1935 and has since grown into one of the most ambitious theater festivals in the country. Three main venues and a range of ancillary buildings present productions—not just by Shakespeare, but also by other well-known playwrights—along with an annual New Plays Festival to showcase contemporary writing. For nature lovers, Lithia Park is one of the guaranteed highlights of any visit to Ashland—this unspoiled natural park straddles the banks of Ashland Creek, the source of which springs from Mount Ashland, the highest peak of the Siskiyou Mountains. In winter, this range is a popular ski area, while in summer the walking trails of the Rogue River-Siskiyou National Forest traverse some of the most breathtaking scenery in Oregon.
How to get to AshlandAshland’s location on Interstate 5, just north of the Californian border, makes it ultra-accessible for Pacific Coast travelers. The nearby Medford International Airport operates domestic flights to Portland and other major hubs, and the most efficient way to get to Ashland from the terminal is with a pre-booked shuttle or taxi. Travel in Ashland is coordinated by the Rogue Valley Transportation District (RVTD), which runs a bus service to Medford and the Amtrak station at Klamath Falls. The Bear Creek Greenway cycle trail begins in Ashland and follows the creek for 25 miles to the Medford suburb of Central Point.