Posted by on Sep 9, 2015 in Featured, LeTravelista, Portfolio | 1 comment

If I Had to Pick One Place to Visit

Having spent most of my adult life traveling the world, you would think that if I had to pick one place to convince you to visit it would be somewhere exotic. In fact, if you know me well, you would probably say it would be somewhere tropical such as Bora Bora. But it’s not.

The one place that I think everyone should visit at least once is Ashland Oregon. More specifically, I think you need to spend the 4th of July holiday there. And before you say I am biased because it’s my hometown, let me explain.

4th of July in Ashland is like no other place. From the morning smells of barbecue coming from the park to the sounds of Air Force jets flying over, this small town knows how to come together and create a celebration for all ages.

Start the morning off right and head downtown early. For those who enjoy running, there is a challenging 10k race. On the other hand, if you aren’t a runner you may prefer the fun walk or short run that is only two miles. Or if you’d rather just watch, grab a cup of coffee at the water street cafe and cheer the runners on as they race past.

Once the last runner has crossed the finish line, the parade will prepare to start, but not before the loud roar of the Air Force jets. As the jets pass over the starting line, a loud cheer erupts from the crowd and the marching bands begins to play. The sidewalks are lined with family and friends, and children wait to catch the candy flying off of the floats. Everywhere you look people are smiling, cheering, and enjoying the parade.

After the parade, take a walk through the stunning 93-acre Lithia Park. Splash in the creek, throw a Frisbee, enjoy walking the trails, and visit the Japanese Gardens. Watch for deer because you are likely to pass several along your way. If you are hungry, there are several booths throughout the park where you can pick up a full meal or grab a snack.

Last but not least is the amazing fireworks show that lights up the sky above Ashland. For the best spot beneath the lights, plan on making your way over to the University. Lay back in the grass and watch as the sky lights up with red, white and blue. This show is more artistic than most as it is timed beautifully with patriotic music.

4th of July in Ashland, Oregon is truly special, but this small town knows how to celebrate all of the holidays; Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Halloween are equally as great. However, if you can’t time your visit on a holiday, don’t fret there is plenty to do. There is the world renown Shakespeare Festival, and fantastic restaurants that can be visited year-round. So plan a trip, and visit the best small town in America.


Image by Patrick Glassford via

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One Comment

  1. 9-9-2015

    I too have traveled extensively and found that Ashland is the best place to be on the 4th of July. It is hard to pinpoint why as I have certainly been to bigger and brighter celebrations. Perhaps it is the small-town vibe, the trinkets sold by local craftsman, the micro-brew, the friendliness of the locals, the way the entire town comes together to celebrate, the expression of awe on the childre’s faces as families sprawl out on the field to watch the fireworks. I can’t put my finger on exactly what makes this place so special, but there is no place I would rather be.

    Thank you for writing this article.

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