Does your daily commute to work involve bumper-to-bumper traffic and near collisions? Is the dense smog ruining your balcony view of Southern California? Need a quick getaway? We have the perfect solution and the answer is Ojai, California.
Only an hour and a half up the 101 Freeway – with minimal traffic, of course – will bring you to a quaint town that offers relaxation in every form imaginable. If a cup of tea and a warm croissant at a humble cafe is your idea of a cozy weekend, there are plenty to choose from. Does a glass of wine sound more appetizing; not only are there tasting rooms throughout the town, most of the wine is local to the region. Shops dedicated to handmade items and locally sourced products are a fixture.
STAY: There are a handful of options to choose from when thinking of a place to rest your head but if you want to take full advantage of your vacation and beautiful Ojai, there is no other option than The Oaks at Ojai. The Oaks has an incredible location along the main strip of downtown which means that most things are in walking distance.
The Oaks prides itself on their amenities such as spa services, fitness programs and daily dining options. Each day revolves around a plethora of events and activities that include hiking, movie nights, karaoke, meditation classes and much more. When all the activities finally come to an end, there is no better place to retreat than your room at The Oaks. Each guest is given their own bungalow equipped with a fireplace, patio, sauna, and the most comfortable bed you can ever imagine.
For such a small town, there are plenty of dining options to choose from and something for every palate. Directly across the street from The Oaks is a tiny little shop which looks like it was plucked out of a French village. Marche Gourmet Deli
a European-style deli with classic sandwiches, fresh salads, homemade desserts, espresso and an exquisite selection of cheese and charcuterie. Grab a cheese board for the road and bring it to a local wine tasting room for the ultimate pairing.
After spending a few hours walking around, you can get a feel that the dining scene in Ojai is on the verge of something great. Similar to what is happening in the Santa Barbara region, boundary pushing chefs are setting up shop in small towns and crafting exciting menus from locally grown produce. Azu
, the Mediterranean-inspired tapas bar, is the perfect example of the direction Ojai is heading in. The menu consists of farm fresh tapas, craft cocktails and local wine and beer.
The Ojai Vineyard wine tasting room
is a beautiful space with delicious wine mostly sourced from nearby Santa Barbara County. The building used to be an old pottery studio which adds to the charm of the interior. Take a quick walk in their wine cellar but don’t leave empty-handed. There is no food available so as I mentioned earlier, grab some cheese and charcuterie from March Gourmet Deli and enjoy.
The Ojai Beverage Company
doesn’t look like much from the outside but upon entering, you are engulfed in a sea of wine, spirits and craft beer. After browsing, head to the back bar for a great list of craft beer on tap with a surprising food menu that is better than most restaurants around town.
DO: If you are staying at The Oaks at Ojai, there is no shortage of activities to choose from. Simply take a look at their schedule, choose what looks best and you are all set. Hiking, biking, kayaking, or simply walking; Ojai has it all!
The Oaks at Ojai
122 East Ojai Avenue
Ojai, CA 93023