Memorial Day weekend marked our first zigzagging trip to southern Oregon. We headed this way to spend some time with our niece who is currently attending Southern Oregon University. I'm not sure Ashland is really the center of the universe, but it certainly is a great place to visit and the sort of place that one could easily imagine calling home.
The town has been in existence for roughly 150 years thanks in large part to it's proximity to the terminus of the Applegate Trail.
In the 1800's mineral rich "lithia water" springs were found a few miles out of town. The pungent liquid was piped into town, originally in an effort to create a spa and bottle it, and you can still find it bubbling from a few fountains around town including this one near the edge of Lithia Park.
The Lithia Artisans Market is held weekends along the Ashland Creek. Craft and art abounds.
Ashland also hosts a farmers market each weekend.
Ashland's gem, Lithia Park, dates back to the turn of the 20th century. The park has had it's up and downs, but is lovingly cared for today and finds itself on the National Register of Historic Places.
The park's 93 acres are centered around Ashland Creek and provide miles of trails, an amphitheater, play structures, water features and so much more.
The Oregon Shakespeare Festival can trace its roots back to 1935 and the Chautauqua movement.
11 plays, 3 stages and a whole lot of drama.
The Ashland Spring Hotel, currently under restoration, is an historic, elegant and prominent landmark.
In Ashland even the town police station is adorable. But badass too - that's an locally made made Brammo electric motorcycle.
The university campus is somewhat utilitarian, but still has pockets of old-school (pun intended) charm.
The nearby rolling hills looked so inviting that we decided to take a drive up there to see what we could find. We drove for nearly an hour until the road ran out at this amazing vista.