- Stroll through the artsy main street of homegrown shops
- Visit a local olive oil farm and taste their produce
- Enjoy the sweeping views of the picturesque valley
Venture outside of the city today for a peek into the small-town life of Ojai. From Los Angeles, take the scenic route on the drive up, and spend an extra half an hour to cruise along the Pacific Coast Highway and soak in the views on this two-hour journey. Tucked away in a valley and surrounded by the Santa Ynez Mountains and citrus groves, this cozy town is perfect for those looking to slow down and recharge for the day.
Start your morning meandering up and down Ojai Avenue. This main stretch of town is dotted with art galleries, boutique shops, plenty of local eateries, and even a couple of wine tasting rooms. Head to Ojai Coffee Roasting, Co. for a cup of coffee before continuing on.
After getting your bearings, visit Bart's Books- a local favorite. This unique place holds an expansive collection of books in a mostly outdoor set-up. Get lost in a maze of titles and shelves. Its creation and continued success are a testament to the character of this small town, as you'll find rows and rows of shelves outside sold on the honor system for over 50 years.
Having stretched your legs, head back to the main highway and stop for a late brunch at Bonnie Lu's Country Cafe. The local atmosphere and warm welcome embody the feel of Ojai with homecooked breakfast and lunch options.
Next, jump back in your car and head a couple of miles inland to visit Ojai Olive Oil. This family-owned and operated farm will give you the chance to walk off your meal. Learn more about the property and peruse the local products, visiting the tasting room to sample the variety of fresh olive oils made locally.
From there, drive over to Meditation Mount. This non-profit meditation center is open to visitors and offers stunning views of the surrounding valley Take a moment to breathe and unwind. Walkthrough the grounds and peaceful gardens, recharge, and enjoy the scenery.
Afterward, head back into town and pop into the Casa Barranca Tasting Room. This cozy wine bar offers tastings of their organic, local wines. Sip your way through reds, whites, or rosés and pick up a couple of bottles to take home with you. When you're ready, take one last stroll up Ojai Avenue before heading back to your car. On the way home, cut inland on the CA-101 for a quicker 90-minute drive and change of scenery.