Harry and David, the gourmet food basket company, has a main branch in Medford, about 10 miles away from Ashland, and they give free tours of their factory.
I had often ordered gifts from them, but I never thought I would actually get to see what went on behind the scenes. It was fascinating - like following Willie Wonka.
We saw them mixing up a batch of their trademark snack, Moose Munch: mixing popcorn into a huge vat of chocolate via a machine that looked like a small Ferris wheel, and adding big slabs of butter to the mix. No calories there! (It's something I conveniently block out when eating their addictive holiday Moose Munch - dark chocolate, popcorn, and bits of peppermint stick.)
I was impressed by how meticulous they were. If an item containing peanuts is being made, anyone working on it wears gloves that are a certain color. When that batch is finished, the machinery is taken apart, and all of the parts are washed individually - a two-day process. As someone who suffers from peanut allergies, I appreciate the care they take.
Much of Harry and David's packing and gift wrapping is still done by hand, which was very cool to watch. A worker stacked boxes to make a gift tower, and the tower rolled on a conveyor belt onto a machine where ribbon was zipped around it. Another worker stuck a bow on top and took it off the belt.
My husband went along on the tour only as a favor to me, but he ended up enjoying it as much as I did!
1314 Center Drive, Medford, OR 97501. Open 7 days a week. Call for tour times.
There is free entertainment in Ashland in the summer before the plays, it is called The Green Show and offers very entertaining performers that play music and dance. Even tho we have not yet been to a play in Ashland, the Green Show has provided great entertainment during our overnight stays in the area before heading up to the northern Oregon coast. :)
Six miles out of Ashland is a popular ski boat reservoir known as Emigrant Lake Recreation Area. This is classified as a county park, this is actually a full service area, complete with 42 campsites, RV hook up, swimming, boating, fishing, and more. See the images and link below for more details. It's easy to see from I-5 on the Siskiyou Summit descent. Residents of Ashland are very lucky to have such a wealth of lakes in the area as Emigrant Lake is but one of many such lakes.
biking and hiking the road called '2060'. This is up behind Lithia Park. At times the road is cut off from automobile traffic and only mountain bikes or travel by foot is allowed. It's beautiful back in here and there are waterfalls in various spots here.
There is good information from OSF about 'things to do in the area'. Ashland is only eighty miles from Crater Lake National Park, one of the truly marvelous wonders of the natural world. The famous Rogue River is easily accessible about thirty miles away, with fishing, rafting, etc. There are mountain lakes, hiking and fishing available within thirty miles. Mount Ashland, a good ski area in winter, is overlooked by visitors, but is a beautiful natural area with unique geologic and botanical features.