If you have yet to visit Ojai, you are in for a treat. As many of you know, I am a third generation northern California girl. I don’t venture to southern California often. Ojai is its own little oasis, just outside of Los Angeles, yet worlds away from the big city. Enjoy!
There are so many restaurants to choose from in Ojai. I enjoyed Azu restaurant for dinner and Feast Bistro for lunch. Save room for the homemade gelato at Azu and the cookies of the day at Feast Bistro.
To escape work, or LA in general, go to Shelf Road for a long walk over looking the Ojai valley or up to Meditation Mountain for a peaceful Ojai sunset.
For something different, go horseback riding with Western Trail Rides along the Ventura River in the Los Padres National Forest.
If you have to order one thing off the menu at Vesta Restaurant, get the pesto, goat cheese and shrimp pizza. It’s a thin crust, 10” pizza with pesto sauce and it was delicious.
If you are looking for a romantic getaway, Su Nido Inn has nine suites (king beds and fireplaces) and is within walking distance of downtown Ojai.
For a low budget meal with great taste, go to Gourmet Tamale for a large $2.50 tamale with the green “Gringo” sauce.
The Ranch House or Suzanne’s are the places to dine if you are feeling cash rich and have deep pockets.
Photo ops in Ojai, California include the Piedra Blanca Rock Formations in the Los Padres National Forest.
The most random thing about Ojai is that everyone I met appeared to be an escapee from Los Angeles or the East Coast.
In Ojai, an active day outdoors involves biking, climbing, hiking, horseback riding or walking in the mountains or on a paved trail to the ocean. Of course, you can hang out with a latte or book at one of Ojai’s great coffee shops or cafes.
A favorite way to pass the day is window shopping along Ojai Avenue or hiking on one of Ojai’s beautiful trails.
If you like museums, check out the Ojai Valley Museum.
Jesters is the place to go for a night of dancing.
Feast Bistro on Ojai Avenue is the spot for late night dining in Ojai. The pulled pork sandwich is yummo!
If you want to look like a local, read the Ojai Valley News.
To catch up on the latest gossip or see the locals, go to the Ojai Certified Farmers’ Market on Sunday.
In the spring you might like The Ojai Tennis Tournament (The Ojai)
In the summer, the Ojai Music Festival is the place to be.
In the fall you should visit Ojai Wine Festival or Taste of Ojai.
In the winter you should come and visit this Ojai Oasis for the best weather around.
A hidden gem in Ojai is Bart’s Books
For a good old fashion breakfast, go to Bonnie Lou’s. I miss the cini minis at Ojai Café Emporium.Where are the best cinnammon rolls in Ojai now?
Don’t forget about Upper Ojai; have lunch at the Summit. My favorite is their Ortega Cheeseburger.
Ojai is a great walking town. At night, take in some local theater at Theater 150, www.theater150.org. During my visit I saw Bent to the Flame; A Night with Tennessee Williams written by and starring Doug Tompas.
If you have kids, you won’t want to miss the Lake Casitas water park. Adults will have as much fun picking Pixie tangerines at Friend’s Ranches on the two-hour tasting tour. Call ahead for reservations.
What are your favorite things to see and do in Ojai, California?
Photos and video by Nancy D. Brown