The Local Scoop

If you’re coming from out of the area and considering the Rogue Valley for your new home, it’s about more than finding the perfect real estate. It’s about discovering your new community. When you’ve made the actual move, you will have months and years of exploration but while you’re on a time schedule, we are here for you. After so many years in the valley, we’ve gathered just a little local knowledge from local people. We’ve compiled a smattering of restaurants, places to stay, parks and leisure activities from Jacksonville to Ashland. We’ve tried most of these places ourselves and liked them. We hope you do too.

Where to Sleep…

Essential to house hunting and exploring new environments is a good night’s rest. Here are a few of Ashland and Medford’s comfy beds:

Best Western Bards Inn
Just a hop skip and a jump to the Plaza.
132 North Main St., Ashland, OR

Ashland Hills
Comfy. Cozy. Retro style.
2525 Ashland St., Ashland, OR

Plaza Inn and Suites
Kitchenettes in the heart of Ashland.
98 Central Ave., Ashland, OR

Ashland Springs Hotel
The iconic, the lovely.
212 E. Main St., Ashland, OR

Spring Hill Inn and Suites by Marriott
1389 Center Drive, Medford, OR

Inn at the Commons
200 Riverside Ave., Medford, OR

Where to Eat… But First, Coffee!

No doubt about it, house hunting takes energy. Revitalize yourself at some of these local digs. We’ve tried them and like them and hope you will too.

Noble Coffee Roasters
Impeccable quality, responsibly sourced organic coffee.
281 4th St., Ashland, OR

Mix Bakeshop
On the plaza and just down the street from our office at Gateway.
57 N Main St., Ashland, OR

Rogue Valley Roasting Company
Cozy neighborhood coffee shop.
917 E. Main St., Ashland, OR

Pony Expresso
Coffee, soups, salads, sandwiches and more.
175 Lithia Way, Ashland, OR

Now for a Hearty Meal…

Morning Glory
Lines can be long so best to go early.
1149 Siskiyou Blvd., Ashland, OR

Laidback, order at counter, coffee/breakfast/lunch/dinner.
163 Pioneer St., Ashland, OR

Brother’s Restaurant
Just plain delicious, breakfast and lunch.
95 N Main St., Ashland, OR

Wraps and Soups, vegan and GF options.
292 E. Main St., Ashland, OR

Martolli’s Pizza
Relaxed and casual, on the plaza.
38 E. Main St., Ashland, OR

Growler Guys
Great atmosphere and large selection of beers on tap.
345 Lithia Way, Ashland, OR

Ashland Food Coop
Not a restaurant, but amazing food and colorful people watching.
237 N. First St., Ashland, OR

Burgers, wraps and the like on the Plaza.
41 N. Main St., Ashland, OR

35 N. Main St., Ashland, OR

Asian across from Lithia park.
21 Windburn Way, Ashland, OR

Thai Pepper
The name says it, just great Thai food.
84 N Main St., Ashland, OR

Delicious lunch and dinner with two locations.
212 E. Main St., Ashland
& 200 N. Riverside Ave. – Medford

Great Japanese dinner place with quality food.
96 N. Main St., Ashland, OR

Common Block Brewing
Medford’s best new restaurant. Worth the trip.
315 E. 5th St., Medford, OR.

A Walk in the Park…

Have little ones that need to take a break and blow off some steam? Or maybe you’ve been house hunting all day and need some time to think, relax and digest. Here are our favorite parks:

Lithia Park
Designed by John McLaren, the landscape architect behind San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park, Lithia is one of Ashland’s crown jewels. Bubbling creek, deep refreshing shade in the summer, fall colors, spring blossoms and winter fun (ice-skating!), playground, Japanese garden, tennis courts, sand volley ball, and ducks, galore! Don’t forget to take a sip of the Lithia Water for your health.

Garfield Park
Located on East Main, Garfield is a great place to run amok, throw a frisbee, kick a soccer ball, shoot hoops, or bump a volleyball. Water park from May – October. Playground, always open.

North Mountain Park
North Mountain Park and Nature Center is a botanist’s delight. Tour the various gardens or wander the grounds to Bear Creek and if the season is right, you might see the Salmon spawning. Large sandbox and adjacent to huge sports fields for running and playing.

Dog Park
Dogs are not allowed in Lithia Park or most Ashland Parks. If they are allowed, they must be leashed, so if your furry buddy needs to open up and race around with ears flying, the dog park is the place to go. Located at the end of Helman St. Head straight north on Helman St., from N. Main St. and follow it until it appears to dead end at Nevada St. and keep going straight. You will run right into the dog park, and incidentally, the Bear Creek Greenway (in case you happen to have your bike and have a hankering to ride to Medford or maybe you have your running shoes and need to jog.)

Out and About…

Southern Oregon and Ashland in particular have long been synonymous with the world famous Oregon Shakespeare Festival that runs a variety of plays from Shakespeare to modern in several different theatres between March and October. During the good weather months of the season, there is a free “Green Show” where various performing artists will show their stuff to the pre-play crowd and the general public at 6:45 pm each evening.

But Southern Oregon is so much more than Shakespeare! It has a rich history of agriculture, gold mining and industry. And for the modern outdoor enthusiast, just pick your passion! Hiking, jogging, rafting, climbing, fishing, hunting, boating, it’s all at your fingertips. There are several rafting outfits that can take you on a day or overnight trip down some of our gorgeous and wild rivers. If you visit in the winter love the snow, Mt. Ashland is our locally owned ski hill. “Steep and Cheap” has been the slogan for years and while it doesn’t sport the longest runs, you will rarely find long lines and the lift tickets don’t cost an arm and a leg.

A visit to historic Jacksonville, about 25 minutes from Ashland and about 15 minutes from Medford, you find yourself in a quaint old mining town and at the gateway to the Applegate wine region of Southern Oregon. Many a fine afternoon has been whiled away among the vines out here or strolling the streets of this old gold mining town.

Oregon Shakespeare Festival

Mt. Ashland Ski Area

Ashland Chamber of Commerce

Medford Chamber of Commerce

Jacksonville Chamber of Commerce

Bravo Wine Tours

Noah’s River Adventures

Ashland Schools…

Public Elementary Schools K-6 

Helman Elementary School
Helman is dedicated to the positive development of the whole child. A quick tour of the school would reveal a buzz of energetic and engaged students working on a wide variety of projects and subjects. Perhaps a resident artist is teaching them rhythms or drum-making; perhaps they are preparing for a bike safety lesson or a field trip to the Ashland Pond for water monitoring with their buddy class; perhaps they are working cooperatively to solve the math challenge of the day or just quietly reading a choice book or heading off to music or PE class. Learning takes place in so many different ways at Helman School and they work hard to make sure every child feels welcome, safe and deeply cared about.

Bellview Elementary School
Bellview is dedicated to providing a nurturing environment that prepares students for the future. The staff at Bellview School is committed to working collaboratively as a team to provide the best possible instruction for all students. Their goal is for students to develop strong academic skills and character, a sense of community and history and a genuine love for learning, while encouraging all families to participate in their children’s school experience whenever possible.

Walker Elementary School
Walker values diversity, empathy, and perseverance.  Honoring the entire learning process, from mistakes to academic mastery,  they teach their students to advocate for themselves and others. They nurture kindness, creativity, and wonder. Ideally situated in the heart of Ashland, Walker Elementary School is within walking distance to ScienceWorks Hands-on Museum, Rogue Valley Farm to School, North Mountain Nature Park, and Southern Oregon University.  These critical community partners lend real-world expertise to the academic programs at their neighborhood elementary school.  Their diverse population, dedicated staff, and engaged school community exemplify the very best public elementary schools have to offer.

Two amazing alternative public schools K-8

John Muir Magnet School
John Muir focuses on experienced-based education for grades K-8. Through integrated units of study, outdoor education, the arts, and direct academic instruction, children have in-depth learning experiences. Students are required to participate in extensive hiking/backpacking activities, encouraging students to foster a deep connection with the natural world. Follow-up discussions allow children to collaborate, construct their own meaning, and develop skills to integrate experience, knowledge and concepts.

Willow Wind
Willow Wind is a K-8 public alternative program designed to serve the needs of students who thrive in a learning environment that encourages student choice and provides opportunities for students to be actively involved in developing learning options. Each full-time student is required to take certain grade specific academic classes and has the opportunity to choose from electives to fill out his/her schedule. Parents are required to be actively involved in their child’s education by supporting their learning at home and partnering with their child’s teacher. Homeschooling families are also welcome to participate in elective classes on campus. Willow Wind serves self-motivated learners who are able to define their own interests and learning styles.

Ashland Middle School 6-8

Ashland Middle School
This school is divided into two distinct teaching areas, sixth grade in one and seventh and eighth in the other. The sixth grade team at AMS includes six teachers working together in two person teams. Each classroom of students is assigned to one primary teacher who will be the homeroom teacher and will teach the core instruction in either language arts and social studies or math and science. The partner teacher provides instruction in the other core subjects not taught by the homeroom teacher. Seventh and eighth graders are blended together in teams for language arts, social studies, science, math, physical education and Spanish classes. Students spend the majority of their day together on these teams with their team of teachers. Students at AMS have the opportunity take a variety of Cultural Art classes such as band, orchestra, art, drama, video production, theater, speech and debate, leadership, as well as, participate in clubs and after-school sports.

Ashland High School 9-12

Ashland High School
Ashland High is a comprehensive four-year high school with approximately 1,060 students and 55 teaching faculty. They are a comprehensive, four ­year high school that follows a semester academic calendar. AHS has been recognized year after year by US News and World Report as a Silver Medal School. Advanced Placement Coursework and Exams are offered and they continue to be a top performer in the state in both Math and Language Arts. Diversity and inclusion is valued and practiced in all aspects of school life. Ashland High School is an amazing place to learn, and great pride is taken in following their mission, Inspire Learning for Life.

Private Elementary/Middle School

Siskiyou School
Siskiyou is an established, highly respected educational presence in the Rogue Valley, renowned for its comprehensive Waldorf program. Their objective is to nurture the potential and creativity of every child, school the imagination, and foster a lifelong love of learning in their students. They strive to prepare their children to meet the world with a caring heart, confidence in their own gifts, and a strong academic foundation. Siskiyou School boasts an active and committed parent community. The Siskiyou School staff is comprised of both full and part-time teachers and an office team. The teachers are all imbued with a love of teaching and children, a shared commitment to the ideals of Waldorf education, and a willingness to keep talking about the children until everyone’s sure their needs are truly being well met.


Southern Oregon University
SOU provides career-focused, comprehensive educational experiences to over 6,200 students. Along with an emphasis on student success and intellectual growth, SOU is committed to diversity, inclusion and sustainability. SOU students have plenty of degree path options and can pursue their educational goals through 31 areas of study in a dynamic range of fields. Theoretical and experiential learning programs provide quality, innovative experiences for students. At SOU, students build strong community connections through internships, mentorships, field studies, capstone projects, volunteer opportunities and civic engagement. A supportive learning environment fosters creativity, innovation, and builds a solid foundation for success.