In Los Angeles, an hour drive can get you a mile on the 405, through the In-N-Out Burger drive-thru on a Saturday night – or straight to the quiet, heavenly city of Ojai.
Ojai has an uber-crunchy reputation it has earned with great pride. Nestled just beneath a unique mountain range with storied energetic properties, Ojai is the kind of town that’s so quiet it’ll make you uncomfortable if you’re not in the mood for it. But when an earthy, sleepy, silent weekend is all your heart is yearning for, Ojai is just the place. Pure therapy just an hour out of the city.
Ojai’s Topatopa mountain range runs both east to west and north to south, creating what the Chumash native’s have long considered a sacred place and what many still consider a natural energy vortex. Whatever the case may be, the calming energy in little Ojai cannot be denied. Here’s how to spend the perfect day once you’re road-tripped up…
Where to stay + spa
Ojai Valley Inn + Spa – There’s no place in Ojai like the Inn. 80 years old with a charming Hollywood history, the Inn is the best of new and old California. Gorgeous hacienda and mission-style buildings have grown right in to the sprawling property dotted with gorgeous pools (one for families, one for couples, one for spa-goers) and an ancient oak tree towers over almost weekly wedding ceremonies. Suites and cottages have been newly renovated with gorgeous bathrooms and fireplaces and the Inn’s Olivella restaurant is what weekend getaway dreams are made of.
The spa at Ojai Valley Inn feels deeply Californian as well. There are movie star-worthy pools, old-fashioned steam rooms, a luxe juice bar and half a floor’s worth of fire-place warmed lounge space for spa-goers. The third floor holds two spa suites ready to host the ultimate spa weekend.
– the Himalayan salt massage: focused on boosting circulation up and down the spine.
– the Somadome: an immersion experience with color, light and sound therapy inside a tiny pod.
Where to shop
Shopping in Ojai is a special experience. Chain stores are banned by law, so the town is loaded with independent shops and restaurants, which, these days, is especially refreshing! Here are our favorites…
In The Field – As recently featured, this well-curated shop for both him, her and the home is a gift-giving mecca – maybe worth a pre-holiday trip to Ojai just to stock up! See our full feature here.
Where to Eat
Farmer and The Cook – Half market, half restaurant, this local haven offers locally made produce, breads (we bought a loaf while it was still warm!), fermented goodies and raw health food items. Head in for lunch, come out with some crazy wellness groceries.
Knead Baking Co. – This adorable cafe is situated right between some of our favorite shops. Stop in for cold brew coffee, their roasted tomato sandwich on homemade bread and a chat in their sunny courtyard.
Olivella – Back at the Inn, Olivella is serving up dishes straight from their own organic farm and herb garden. We love their exclusive feeling California wine list and gorgeous vegetable dishes like their signature salad built to look like a tiny garden.
What to do
Rainbow Bridge – Ojai’s crunchy, local grocery store is a must-stop shop for their juice bar, holistic bath and body, interesting snacks and perfectly healthy road-trip food.
Meditation Mount – Hike or drive to Meditation Mount. The small, walkable garden rests high above the valley, a short drive through orchards from town. Walk the well-tended garden and take full advantage of the meditative opportunity: the energy vortex, coupled with the gardens and view is sure to have you in a positive, thoughtful state before returning to the big city.