If you are looking for something adventurous to do while in Ashland, Grizzly Peak may be just what you’re looking for. At an elevation of 5,922 feet, Grizzly Peak offers a breathtaking view of the Rogue Valley and the city of Ashland. The trailhead to the summit is a gorgeous 5 mile round-trip hike through a mixed forest of fir and pine. This hike is notorious for sightings of elk, deer, golden eagles, and hawks. In addition to wild life, the hike provides unforgettable views of the Cascades. These views include, but are not limited to, Diamond Peak, Mt. McLoughlin, and Mt. Shasta. The optimal season for this adventure is between the months of April and October, late spring being a favorite among the locals. Always remember to bring plenty of water while enjoying the outdoors, and never hike alone.
Complimentary Continental Breakfast
The winter seems to be shifting quickly into spring and with the slightly warmer temperatures, many of us here in Ashland are starting to stir from our winter hibernation. The question is what is going on in Ashland to entice us out of our homes? I personally have always enjoyed seeing live music, so with the warmer weather I have been taking myself out to see what Ashland’s music scene has to offer. So far, I have enjoyed an array of musical styles ranging from bluegrass and rock to soft guitar-based jazz, and folk. While varying greatly in styles, many of the artists have struck their own balance between dance-friendly covers as well as compelling original songs. The schedules for who is playing when and where often change weekly so visit www.ashlandlivemusic.com to see who’s playing tonight!
The Ashland Film Festival
Spring is upon us here in Southern Oregon. As the weather gets warmer and the days get longer, the town of Ashland begins preparation for the 13th annual Ashland Independent Film Festival (AIFF). The festival last five days and will be held from April 3rd through the 7th. Filmmakers from around the world flock to Ashland to promote their documentaries, features, shorts, and engage with their audiences. Don’t miss the chance to be one of over 7000 film lovers that travel to Ashland every spring for this momentous occasion. The festival will feature over 80 films in five days with a range of genres sure to accommodate all tastes. Special guests have included Albert Maysles, Bruce Campbell, Helen Hunt and more. The majority of the films will be shown within a few blocks of the Stratford Inn. To learn more visit www.ashlandfilm.org.
As the 2014 Oregon Shakespeare Festival kicks off another incredible season of contemporary and Shakespearean productions, we at the Stratford Inn want to take a moment to reflect upon the founder of Ashland’s Shakespearean Festival, Angus L. Bowmer. Originally invited to teach English at Southern Oregon University’s predecessor school, Bowmer moved to Ashland to take up his post as teacher and soon began organizing theater productions. It was Bowmer’s idea to offer Ashland’s community staging of Shakespearean plays on an outdoor Elizabethan stage. Since Bowmer’s first productions, attendance for Ashland’s Oregon Shakespeare Festival has grown exponentially. When it became so popular that thousands of people were being turned away, the city of Ashland joined the Oregon Shakespeare Festival in raising funds to expand the Oregon Shakespeare Festival including the addition of the 600 seat theater soon named the Angus Bowmer Theater. For more details on the life of Angus Bowmer as well as the theater named in his honor, visit osfashland.org.
Don’t Miss the Oregon Chocolate Festival!
Friday March 7th marks the start of the 10th annual Oregon Chocolate Festival held right here in beautiful Ashland Oregon. Events are held all day Friday, Saturday, and Sunday, and take place at a variety of business all within walking distance of the Stratford Inn. Events include chocolate themed tastings, demonstrations, samplings, dinners, presentations, awards and much more. The festivities kick off Friday morning at 11 with a free tasting at Paddington Station and transition into a chocolate-themed first Friday art walk from 5-8pm. Events continue all day Saturday and are highlighted by an offering of 20% off Oregon Shakespeare Festival shows (mention “chocolate” to receive discount). Things wrap up Sunday at 4pm with the people’s choice award & award ceremony. Come join us for a weekend of fun, friends, and most importantly chocolate.
Looking for something new and exciting to do in Ashland? Try Indigo Creek’s brewery tours. These tours leave from Ashland, run Thursday through Sunday and last for five hours. During that time the tour will stop at four breweries here in the Rogue Valley. These unique micro and nano breweries are considered to be “off the beaten path” and sure to delight. Due to the strong relationships Indigo Creek Outfitters has with these various breweries, you will have the opportunity to meet the owners and brewers during the tour. You will have the chance to chat with them about the breweries and learn more about their history. These tours are a craft beer lovers dream. The cost of the tours is $70 per person, and you must be 21 to ride. Learn more at www.indigocreekoutfitters.com.
Don’t Miss the Last Week of The Ashland Ice Rink
This week marks the closing week of The Ashland Rotary Centennial Ice Rink. Located next to the beautiful Lithia Park, this outdoor ice rink is fun for all ages. Skate rentals accommodate toddler size 9 up to men’s size 15. Arrive dressed to skate, as changing rooms are not available. The rink provides a variety of snacks for purchase, as well as hot chocolate, coffee, and water. Contact the ice rink directly at 541.488.9189 or call the Ashland Parks & Recreation office at 541.488.5340 for more information. Don’t miss this opportunity to have fun with the whole family, while enjoying the beauty of Ashland.
We are now in February and yet I am gazing through the window at a particularly beautiful sunny day. For the most part, it seems as though I am not the only one who has enjoyed this sunny turn of events. I have seen most of Ashland’s community relishing the unusual warmth hiking, biking, or just strolling through downtown with their afternoon coffee. And while the general tone around town is one of enjoyment, I have met a lot of disappointed skiers this year. The truth is, I am new to Ashland’s winter season, and have been welcoming these sunny days without understanding the implications of this near-rainless winter. I forget how much hotter and dryer the Ashland summers are and how we depend on a winter rainy season to temper the risk of fires. While California’s governor has declared California’s drought a state of emergency, the entire state of Oregon as well as 97 percent of Nevada is considered to be in a state of drought as well. Let’s hope for a rainy February to change the course of this dry-spell!