I really think Ashland, Oregon is a cute little town. It's small enough that you escape many of the stresses of a big city like San Francisco or Los Angeles, but it's far from a backwater. The Oregon Shakespeare Festival and the University of Oregon help keep a strong cultural vibe running through the town.
There's a real love of nature there, I think. (It helps that Ashland's located in beautiful Southern Oregon.) In the summer there's crunchy hippies and backpackers mixing with spoiled culture harpies up to see the plays. It makes for a really entertaining mix. Downtown's full of eclectric, touristy shops.
The only thing keeping me from moving up there RIGHT NOW is:
A/ Lack of jobs. Doesn't seem like there's much to do up there besides retail and food service.
B/ I think it snows in the summer, and I hate cold.