10 months ago

My Trip To Ojai – Socal’s Hidden Gem

 

If you haven’t visited Ojai, it’s an easy day trip or weekend trip from anywhere in Southern California. In my opinion, it’s one of our hidden gems. If you are looking for someplace relaxed, low key and with a slower pace to do a getaway- Ojai might be just the place. It’s pretty perfect for a romantic weekend or a girls’ trip where the vibe is not party-centric. I have visited with my hubby in the past, but recently went back on a girls’ trip with my sister, nieces and daughters. Here are my recommendations:

Where To Stay:

If you have the money to spend, Ojai Valley Inn is the place to stay. You can really spend a whole long weekend never leaving the resort if you wish and not feeling like you missed out on anything. They have a ton of planned activities, a killer spa, many of their rooms are basically cottages, and their restaurants are top notch. This place is a destination in itself. But it’s pricey. If it’s not in your budget or you need more space, Ojai has plenty of Airbnbs at all different price points and locations. Our Airbnb had room enough for all of us, board games for us to enjoy, and a patio perfect for our morning yoga.

Where to Eat:

We had a lovely tasting menu at The Ranch House on our first night in Ojai, a true farm to table restaurant set in a old farmhouse with beautiful gardens. This was a real treat and the atmosphere was definitely the highlight, would be super romantic for a date night. For a more casual meal, we enjoyed drinks and appetizers at The Ojai Beverage Company in their back room restaurant with a cool, hidden sports bar feel. This is a locals place and the food was great. We ate a delicious seafood dinner at Sea Fresh Sea Food on their expansive patio, casual but super good and everything was really good. There are so many options in Ojai and I love how they are not corporate restaurants but locally owned, mostly farm to table and with many vegetarian and vegan choices.

Things to Do:

We had a great time at Topa Mountain Winery hanging out and doing a wine tasting, their grounds are beautiful and inviting as a way to spend time relaxing, playing some lawn games and enjoying a wine flight. Walking through downtown Ojai and strolling all the little shops is a must, there are so many gems- don’t pass up all the cool metaphysical and spiritual shops, you will see things you have never seen before and meet the coolest people! There are a ton of art galleries and parks, street musicians and small cafes. One of the highlights of the downtown strip is Heavenly Honey, where we did a really enlightening honey tasting. I had no idea there were so many varieties of honey or that I would be able to taste all the differences! I feel like a connoisseur now! The proprietor was really nice and educated us so much about bees and honey production and we left with jars of honey and tons of knowledge! Another famous place you do not want to miss is Bart’s Books– it’s off the main strip but worth seeking out if you’re a bookworm like me.

There are amazing bike trails through Ojai that are picturesque to explore as well as horse trails and horseback riding and rental companies. There are hiking trails with maps available at all the hotels and visitors centers. Ojai is supposed to be a geomagnetic vortex of positive energy and many people recommend hiking to Mediation Mount to get the maximum amount of calming and positive vibes before returning to your regular hectic daily lives. It can’t hurt, right?

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