I just returned from my first trip to Ojai and it was delightful. Ojai is only a 1 1/2 hour drive yet it feels a million miles away from LA. The whole town has this permeating free-spirit vibe that makes if feel like a real escape. Upon arrival everything slows down and relaxation begins.
While the posh head to Montecito and the hipsters drive to Palm Springs, I was looking for something a bit off the beaten path . Ojai is positioned at the base of several vast mountain ranges giving it a very quaint and charming feel. There are several trails to hike, roads to bike, and sunsets to watch. There are moments of more subtle magic too…like driving through the citrus groves….or stumbling upon a roadside fruit stand.
Here are a few things I enjoyed…..
On the east edge of town you’ll find Meditation Mount, a sacred spot on 32 acres of serene land. It is lovely to wander through the gardens and take in the panoramic valley views.
Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is where I stayed. I spent most of my time reading and drinking delicious cocktails by the herb garden pool. It was nothing short of heavenly. The spa has everything you need and an amazingly talented and qualified staff. I can’t wait to go back for another treatment!
If your trip falls on a Sunday between the hours of 9 a.m. and 1 p.m., swing by the Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market, where a live bluegrass band provides background music for a dizzying selection of citrus, baked goods, homemade soaps, local olive oil, and small-batch honey.
There are some fabulous restaurants, like mother/daughter owned Suzanne’s. My favorite was a small market of fabulously curated health foods called the Farmer and the Cook. If you love real deal healthy juices and salads this is the place for you. They also make some specialty canned products to take home. I had such a wonderful getaway. I am sure there is much more to see and discover so I am happy to have an excuse to go back!