My Town: Ashland, Oregon

Travel + Leisuer

Wild river rapids by day, The Tempestby night—and all manner of adventures in between. Our teenage guide shows us that Shakespeare isn't the only drama in this entertaining town

With its vegan cafés, hiking trails, science museum, and Tony-winning Shakespeare festival, Ashland, in southwestern Oregon, is an intriguing blend of hippie and brainy—very much like 17-year-old Shaina, an accomplished violinist and lifelong Ashland resident. Shaina has a 13-year-old brother, Kai; parents who run Brothers', a popular café on North Main Street; and a colorful assortment of friends (skateboarders, snowboarders, and fellow musicians). Things here, she says, are always interesting, thanks in part to the festival, which runs from February to October and draws 100,000 people to this hamlet of 20,000. The other big plus: the wilderness right in the town's backyard. Let Shaina be your guide.

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Best Affordable Fall Foliage Towns

Travel + Leisuer

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his artsy town in southern Oregon—a few hours south of Portland—has galleries, ethnic restaurants, and day spas that utilize the Lithia Springs mineral waters. It’s a good combination with the amazing fall foliage, which peaks in mid-October. Hike or mountain bike in the surrounding hills to really appreciate the changing scenery.

Fall Color Hotel: Chanticleer Inn is a six-room bed-and-breakfast with a view of the Cascades. It has a garden, koi pond, and hammock.

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