What better way to rejuvenate during these waning winter months than with a quick weekend getaway that promises gourmet cuisine, incredible theater and (drum roll, please) chocolate, lots of chocolate, all within the backdrop of the picturesque Rogue Valley. The weekend of March 5th marks a double-header in Ashland: The 6th Annual Oregon Chocolate Festival and the opening of the 2010 Oregon Shakespeare Festival.

Ashland Springs Hotel, the historic downtown boutique-inn, is hosting the chocolate festival all weekend. Start your Friday night off right with a gallery walk; nibble on local wines and artisan chocolates while perusing Ashland’s illustrious arts scene.

Oregon chocolatiers show off their best and most unique combinations at the tastings, going on Saturday and Sunday between 11 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the hotel. Try unexpected combinations like chocolate-and-tequila truffles or bite into a square inch of pure decadence from Coastal Mist or award-winning candies from Lillie Belle Farms.

And don’t fret about that 10-pound New Years resolution, chocolate can actually be the dieters friend. Learn about the additional benefits from this magical plant at the “Secret Health Benefits of Chocolate” demonstration on Saturday or check out the “Use of Cacao in Spa Treatments” session to learn about the healing powers of coco (Chocolate and massage? Yes, please!).

This truly indulgent weekend isn’t complete without a visit to the Oregon Shakespeare Festival. Opening on February 26, this almost 9-month-long festival attracts thespians and enthusiasts from around the world. Be one of the first to see this year’s performances. Kicking off the season are classics including Hamlet and Pride and Prejudice, alongside modern pieces such as Well.

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These maps and directions are for planning purposes only. You may find that construction projects, traffic, or other events may cause road conditions to differ from the map results. For travel options, weather and road conditions, visit tripcheck.com, call 511 (in Oregon only), 800.977.6368 or 503.588.2941.

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  1. Jim Johnson says…

    My wife and I plan on taking a break from selling real estate in Bend and take the motor home to Ashland this summer for the festival. Ashland is a great place to visit and take in some plays!

    Written on February 21st, 2010 / Flag this Comment
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