Where: Ashland, Oregon.
Why: For the ninth annual Ashland Culinary Festival (11/6-11/8). Sure, it’s a bit of a trek, but the Chef Showdown is worth the travel. Look forward to a weekend of food demos, live entertainment and sizzling competition. Friday-night ticket holders can sip, savor and socialize at the Meet the Chefs event. The Chef Showdown will take place Saturday and Sunday, from noon to 5 p.m. In the mornings, eventgoers can choose from various food-themed workshops, including “All Things Chocolate” (need we say more?) and the “Farm Tour and Food Pairing” (bring those rubber boots!). The competition will be judged by three prestigious chefs: Cory Schreiber, Fabiola Donnelly and Iron Chef Oregon winner James Williams.
Where to Stay: At the Ashland Hills Hotel & Suites, where the competition will be held, or check into A Midsummer’s Dream Bed & Breakfast—with rooms named for Shakespearean characters and just 10 minutes from the fest.
Don't Miss: The last week of The 39 Steps at the Oregon Cabaret Theatre. Matinee and evening shows run through the weekend.