Moving to Ashland/Medford, Oregon

Related page: Visiting Ashland

Parent Q&A

  • Considering a Move to Ashland, OR...

    (1 reply)

    Hi BPN community

    the posts about Ashland are about 5 years old. Any updates from folks who moved out there or are currently living there? My husband is an it an affluent enough area for folks to pay for tree work? We are seeking a quieter life but still want to make a living! I am a doula, but am considering a transition. What type of work is there in Ashland or nearby? 

    Would love to hear about the town and any other insight.

    We love Ashland and have spent part of the summer there for the past twenty years. We even looked at real estate there this last June: it was a relief after Bay Area housing prices. However, when we returned to visit in July, we realized how smokey Ashland is due to the forest fires up north. This has been a trend due to drought and climate change. Because Ashland is located at the end of a valley, the smoke just settles there. If air quality doesn't bother you, I think it may have enough people who need their trees trimmed! I would suggest calling a local nursery up there to see if they think there's a strong demand or too many arborists!  Good luck with your next step.


Archived Q&A and Reviews


Ashland Or - any new info about living there?

March 2014

wondering if there are any reviews of moving to Ashland, Or (few in archives)? We have 2 elementry school age children so schools are a big priority. Weather, community -- ease of building a community is importnat to me. Can you live on a larger lot (acre?) and walk to town for around $500,000? or is that dreaming? anything about Ashland that would not be obvious that I should know? Thanks! possible move

My daughter now lives in Ashland. It's a wonderful place. The cost of housing seems to go down the closer you get to Medford. Ashland definitely has a special feel, partly because there are no chain stores there. Having Southern Oregon University adds a lot of ambiance.

I'm originally from Medford, OR so I know Ashland very well. Their downtown is very small (mainly one street) but the stores are great for shopping and the restaurants are pretty good. The homes there did not decline much in price over the past few years. I know the schools are very good in Ashland. Growing up I heard kids from there going to Ivy League schools, etc. The high school is strong in music. The weather in Southern Oregon is rainy from Oct/Nov through Mar/Apr. Sometimes the rain can go on for weeks and weeks. Starting in Nov it gets extremely cold (you will need a heavy heavy winter coat -- think ski jacket). It snows in Ashland because it's up higher. The roads also get icy, so be careful. The summers in Southern Oregon are extremely hot (about 95-100 degrees or more) for a few months and are very dry. J

Considering a move to Medford or Ashland

March 2011

I have lived in Berkeley for 11 years, and have previously lived in the Bay Area for 3 more. I feel very comfortable here. I'm considering pulling up stakes for various reasons, and a potential job opportunity has opened up in Medford, OR. I'm sure amongst the BPN readership there are some with past experience living in Medford or Ashland, and surrounding communities. Could you possibly describe the community, the schools, what you liked or didn't, to help me with this important decision? Thank you! Move to Medford, or...?

I grew up in Medford, and my parents still live there. I love the great hiking/outdoor activities within an hour's drive. I always run into people I know when we go out, and there is a growing cultural scene.

I don't like that it's not very walkable. The outskirts are everything I hate about stereotypical suburbs - big box stores, big chains, big streets, big parking lots ...

It's generally a conservative area, but you can definitely find some liberal community if you look for it. I appreciate that I grew up in a place where I had friends with different political views.

It's been a long time since I was in the schools, so I'd have trouble commenting.

People often gravitate to Ashland as Medford's funkier, more liberal (and more expensive), neighbor. I definitely hung out there a lot in high school, and it's only 20 minutes away. I know some like Jacksonville a lot as well.

Feel free to contact me if you have other questions. jmb

Thinking about moving to Ashland

April 2008

Greetings, We're reaching a crossroads - it's time for a smaller town, better public schools (than Oakland High), a more manageable pace - but there are so many things we love about Berkeley/Oakland: friends, culture, food, aesthetics. So we're searching around and thinking about Ashland, a town we've always loved, that seems to be about the right size, that we intuit has a great public school system, certainly has great culture. But having said all that, we'd deeply appreciate hearing from folks with first hand experience about life in Ashland, especially the school system and culture of the area. Is it liberal, is it too boutique, is it too touristy because of Shakespeare? We have two kids, one finishing elementary school and one in eighth grade, who need great schools just as we need a change. Do you have friends we might contact there to ask a few questions of? If not Ashland, can you think of something comparable that is not as big/far as Portland? The archives discuss Ashland as a place to visit but not as a place to live. Many thanks. Heading north

hi there: we were considering OR for an investment property as well as to move, specifically portland and ashland. we were fortunate to meet a local, bob ulery, who is a real estate agent BUT he won't try to sell you a house unless you are a good fit. bob is a treasure- from a local's perspective, he will tell you the nitty gritty- things you really want to know but not everyone will tell you. his background is in math, he worked in the high tech industry,and is now retired and doing real estate, but he has boundless energy. bob will drive to the interested sites/areas and give you a full report of the area, ambience, karma, and take pics! he is also a grandfather so he is a real pro family guy. try giving him a call to get a general sense of the town- you won't be sorry. good luck! e mail: uleryb [at]
ps: in the interest of full disclosure, i am not related nor have any financial incentives with bob, just blown away by what a nice, honest, down to earth person he is... judy, a we love bob fan!

Ashland, and Oregon in general, sounds wonderful to me too, but for many reasons I am staying put here in the Bay Area. Good luck to you--I can't help feeling a little envious. Shakespeare Festival, beautiful land, progressive community, and no sales tax--what's not to like? However, I have friends who raised a family there and their comment was: it's a fantastic place for kids until seventh grade or so. After then, though, they found the influence of the drug culture among Ashland teens to be too much to handle, and after sticking it out through their older kids' rough teen years, they ended up moving away from the place they loved mainly for the sake of the younger one. They're pretty open-minded people, by the way. I guess it was just hard for them to break the cycle. If you know this going in, and make sure your kids are engaged and active into their teen years (instead of naively thinking that they will be protected from drugs just because they're not in a big city) you will be better prepared. HM

Here is a response from my partner's aunt who has lived in Ashland, moved from Berkeley, for over 30 yrs, raising three children there:

I'd be happy to respond though remember it's been years since my kids were in the public schools but that said I know people with kids in school. So I still believe Ashland is a wonderful town and especially a beautiful place to rear kids. It is expensive but not like Berkelye is. The schools are very good. There are lots of tourists in summer especially but the Shakespeare Festival runs February through October so it's busy here. I think the Festival is a marvelous asset and the actors often help direct the high school plays which have been consistently fabulous and sold out. We have wonderful plays outside of Shakespeare as well and the Britt Music Festival in another attraction which is held in the summer months ( check out their website). Lots of terrific outdoor activities from hiking ( five minutes from our house) to rafting, skiing, biking, walking.....the list goes on. Easy access to the ocean, about a three hour drive. Ashland has a great university with a large population of international students especially from Japan. However, Ashland is not very diverse, very different from Berkeley. Fantastic restaurants and wonderful medical care, allopathic and homeopathic, naturopaths, lots and lots of massage therapists, and a bevy of woo woo practices as well. Ashland is liberal . We have a strong Buddhist community, lots of liberal open churches, lots of art and artists, a fantastic book store ( Bloomsbury Books), a wonderful science museum. I have a friend who has taught French in the public schools for years who would be a good resource for additional information about the public scvhools if needed. Hope this helps. SM