i've had a bit of a fantasy built up around ojai. it first started with a song my friend passed on to me. then seemingly everyone told me about their weekend getaway there. we kept meaning to go but always ended up in palm springs or san diego. last week my husband sent me a text, "ojai booked this thursday and friday." we were finally going. i threw everything into a bag and we headed up the 101 past malibu, then thousand oaks, finally to ventura. blue skies, green fields smattered with yellow flowers, gnarled old trees -- the gateway to the central coast. i grew up in southern california but the land above los angeles still feels a little foreign to me. like a sister with the same laugh but different smile. somehow, ojai felt immediately like home. it reminded me of the california i grew up in, so much unchanged from the sixties and seventies. we went with our sweet friends paige and remy. we ate, took walks, barbecued by the pool, and dyed easter eggs. the days were filled with peaceful moments and i was sad to leave after only two days. i can't wait to visit this wonderful town again!
ojai rancho inn - a relatively new option, this converted motel is unfussy and has a great design sense. we will definitely return!
ojai valley inn - beautiful grounds and i've heard great things about the spa. i can't wait to come out without the kids and check it out.
i've also heard great things about the emerald and blue iguana inns.
places to eat:
we stopped at farmer and the cook in meiner oaks every day. whether for a green juice, a cup of soup, or a delicious huarache, this place was a great gathering spot and a big part of the ojai community.
we had a fantastic dinner at boccali's - beautiful views of ojai valley and great traditional italian dishes. the strawberry shortcake is a must!
our mornings weren't complete without a trip to the knead baking company. our favorites were the breakfast sandwich and the cheddar dill scone. i wish they had an outpost in los angeles
things to do:
bring your bike and hop on the ojai valley trail which takes you past lead's bowl where there is a great park for the kids
there are a myriad of hikes. we went to one at upper sisar creek which had beautiful tree canopies and a little stream and pools of water. the drive out to upper ojai is magic!
stop by the alpaca farm on the way out of town. totally bizarre but worth it to see these beautiful animals up close.
around sunset, look for the pink moment, you'll know it when you see it.
also, have a listen to "ojai" by harmony & pollution - a lovely ode to ojai.