Ashland is a small town where you can reach your in-town destination in no more than 15 minutes. Though small, Ashland is rich in cultural and civic amenities and the treasures of a large city. Start with Southern Oregon University (SOU) which is well known both for the excellence of its music and theatre departments and the SOU-sponsored Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) which provides continuing education for seniors. Ashland is also home to the famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival (OSF) whose repertory company, unique in the U.S., performs in three theatres eight months out of the year. The Rogue Valley communities support the excellent Rogue Valley Symphony Orchestra and the Chamber Music Concert Series (CMC), both of which perform in the Music Hall at SOU. The CMC presents outstanding chamber-music groups from all over the world. Smaller theatre venues include the Oregon Cabaret Theatre in Ashland and the Camelot Theatre in the nearby town of Talent, just five miles from Ashland. In April, the town is crowded with film enthusiasts who have come for the annual Ashland Independent Film Festival. In October, there is a four-day Ashland Festival of New Plays where four plays, selected in competition, are presented in play readings with author talkback afterwards
The city has numerous parks including the famous and magnificent Lithia Park, situated behind the Oregon Shakespeare Festival grounds. For sports enthusiasts, choices include the Ashland Tennis and Fitness Club with indoor, lighted tennis courts, swimming pool, and a gym as well as University-owned tennis courts and track available for use by the public. For golfers, the Oak Knoll Golf Club is in town. Hiking enthusiasts will find many mountain trails to explore, and Mt. Ashland's slopes challenge skiers with their steep runs. When hungry, enjoy the culinary excellence of Ashland's many fine restaurants which offer outstanding food for every palate and pocketbook. Finally, Ashland is known for its pleasant ambiance for casual strollers.