Some people thrive in the small town way of life and love the idea of knowing most of the people who live around them. The city of Ashland, OH is a small community smack in between the larger metro areas of Cleveland and Columbus, just northeast of the city of Mansfield. If you’re looking for the small town lifestyle in Ohio, this is a great place to relocate to.
Anyone thinking about moving to Ashland will love this guide. It covers all the crucial facts you’ll want to know about what it’s like to live there. Be sure to check out each section to learn about the cost of living, local amenities, community neighborhoods, and more.
1. Quiet History and People of Ashland
Known by the self-proclaimed moniker “The World Headquarters of Nice People,” as it says on the city’s welcome sign, Ashland has produced a variety of great people including folks like NASA astronaut and Ashland High School alum, Robert C. Springer.
Beyond that, the city has had a relatively quiet history. It was incorporated back in 1815 and has slowly grown to a population of nearly 21,000 people. Though not many people move to this area, once they arrive, few of them ever decide to leave the cozy neighborhoods around town.
2. Hollywood in Ohio?
While most of the big brand film production companies like Warner Bros. Entertainment, Sony Pictures, Walt Disney Studios, and 20th Century Fox are located in cities across California, one studio decided to leave the Hollywood scene behind and made its way for Ashland, OH.
Good Deed Entertainment was founded back in 2015 by Scott Donley, another Ashland High School alumni. He has been in the film industry since 2011, but also runs the local Donley Ford Lincoln auto dealership which his father started back in 1977. He chose to move the company to Ashland for the Ohio tax incentives and a number of other benefits.
Though still a fairly small production studio, Good Deed Entertainment’s share of the distribution market is on the rise, generating nearly $7.4 million at the box office so far. The majority of this success came from the September 2017 release of their film Loving Vincent, which was nominated for both a Golden Globe and an Academy Award.
3. Things to Do and Restaurants in Ashland
Beyond the apparently growing movie industry around town, you’ll find a number of fun things to do in Ashland. Brookside Park is a large community park with a swimming pool, baseball fields, basketball courts, a mini-golf course, and more. It’s a perfect place to enjoy the outdoors no matter the season.
On the south side of town, you’ll find Freer Field, a wide open green space along Center Street. The area encompasses a large meadow of trees with about two miles of walking trails and a playground for children.
Brookside Park, 209 Parkside Dr, Ashland, OH 44805
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Freer Field, 1264 Center St, Ashland, OH 44805
And when it’s time to eat, you may want to head over to Bella Bleu’s. This fine dining restaurant is located right up against Sprinkle Lake and features a menu of comfort food like steak, fish platters, as well as breakfast plates like waffles and pancakes. On the east side of town, you’ll find the best mom and pop barbecue spot for ribs, wings, and pork dishes.
Want some award-winning pie for dessert? Then head over to Lyn-Way Restaurant for every flavor you can think of from Chocolate and Peanut Butter to Blackberry and Pecan. They also have a full breakfast and dinner menu that specializes in American dishes.
Bella Bleu’s, 170 Summerset Dr, Ashland, OH 44805
Lyn-Way Restaurant, 1320 Cleveland Ave, Ashland, OH 44805
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Belly Busters BBQ, 1159 E Main St, Ashland, OH 44805
4. Low Cost of Living
Ashland has a cost of living that will speak entirely for itself. It has been ranked as the 10th most affordable small town in America by multiple sources. Residents living in the area pay up to 30% less than the United States average for everything from healthcare and housing to utilities and transportation. Even the cost of basic groceries like milk, eggs, and bread cost nearly 10% less than the national average.
Looking to buy a house in town? The average cost of a home in Ashland is currently $109,300. If you can believe it, that is after a 6.6% increase from last year’s numbers. And anyone planning on moving to the area doesn’t have to worry about much of a change in the near future as projections only anticipate another 2.3% increase over the next 12 months.
Thanks to the remarkably low cost of homeownership in the area, only about 20% of the local population choose to lease their home or apartments. The average price of rent is around $945 per month, depending on the size and location of the residence.
5. Pick Any Neighborhood You’d Like
As a city that only spans about 11 square miles, Ashland neighborhoods don’t vary much in home size, price, or lifestyle. But they all still have their own characteristics to make you feel like part of a tightknit community. One such example that is right across the street from the Ashland Golf Club is the calm, quiet neighborhood of Countryside.
Another great area that is on the northwest side of town right next to Brookside Park, is the community known as Parkside. There are also a number of other great neighborhoods on the way down Claremont Avenue toward the US-42 Highway.
Located in Ashland County, the city of Ashland includes a single zip code: 44805.
6. Local University and Other Schools in Ashland
You may be surprised to know that Ashland is a college town. More than 25% of the city’s population represents college students who attend Ashland University. With an enrollment of around 5,700 attendees, the university has received numerous awards including a handful for its health-related degrees in Exercise Science, Nursing, and Athletic Training.
For younger students, the two local districts include the Ashland City School District and the Crestview Local School District. Each district is home to their own high school with a matching name. And each district splits about ten elementary schools around the city including the top-rated Mapleton Elementary and Montgomery Elementary.
7. Need a Job in Ashland?
If you’re thinking about moving to Ashland, you may be trying to determine some of the best places to work. The city is home to a number of employers that offer great jobs with strong benefits and growth potential. The largest company in the area is Charles River Laboratories, a biomedical research facility focused on pre-clinical/clinical laboratory services and pharmaceuticals that employs nearly 900 people.
As you might expect, Ashland University is another top employer on the list with around 765 professors, administrators, and support staff on their payroll. Next in line is the local Samaritan Regional Health System, the parent company of the local University Hospitals Samaritan Medical Center with over 700 employees.
Following close behind these larger companies are many of the Ashland County government offices, along with the local public school districts.
8. Warm Summers and Freezing Winters
The title above basically sums up what Ashland weather is all about. Summers are warm with temperatures that vary between the low 60s and the mid-80s. It can be a bit humid there as well, which can make the temps feel a bit different than it says on the thermostat.
Winters in the city are freezing and windy, and you can generally expect the sky to be partly cloudy year round. You’ll want to prepare your warm coats and boots for temps between the mid-teens and low 30s during winter, with about 35 inches of snow each year.
Tips for Moving to Ashland
Based on everything discussed previously, there are four things you should know about living in Ashland:
- It is the “World Headquarters of Nice People”
- One of the most affordable cities in the entire United States
- Home to an award-winning university
- Prepare for varying weather with each new season
If you are looking at moving to Ashland, we would love to help! Krupp Moving is headquartered right next door in Wooster and we have over 15 years of experience assisting with relocations in the area. Please feel free to fill out the Request a Quote form at the top of the page or give our Ashland movers a call today at (330) 593-2739 for more info!