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Discover the best and most enjoyable things to do in Ojai, California.
Ojai, a city in Ventura County California, just 134 kilometres away from Los Angeles is a valley surrounded by high Californian mountains and served by little water bodies in its vicinity. Travellers might not be aware of the beauty of this place but the elegance and the cultural community that this place contains is remarkable.
There are more surprising things to do in Ojai as compared to any famous tourist location in California. The regional love for the history, culture and craft along with communal values, the unquenchable thirst for knowledge and occasional meditational sprees makes Ojai a once in a lifetime experience.
Below are some of the top things to do in Ojai that will help you explore this pristine part of California at its fullest.
Top Things To Do In Ojai
1. Meditation Mount
Meditation has certainly made a place in our lifestyle for a while now. People who have been regular practitioners can understand the power of it. The thoughts manifest into reality. Change the flow of energy and you can change the flow of life. These are also some of the principles considering which the Meditation Mount, commonly known as the soul sanctuary works. The mount location is the perfect place to align your body chakras and cleanse your soul all at once.
The alluring sunrise among the mountains on the outskirts of the valley makes the mornings of the mediation mount pious and serene. Hence making it perfect to detoxify your soul once in a while.
You can also soak in the magical “Pink Moment” at the Meditation Mount. Its the time prior to sunset, when the sky transforms into a palette of pink, lavender and peach tones. The views are breathtaking and it might be one of the most memorable sunset you may have experienced.
2. Ojai Valley Museum
Hidden from the eyes of most of the visitors and travellers, Ojai has its own culture and history which is beautifully preserved and showcased in the Ojai Valley Museum of Ventura County Museum. It has been noted that both visitors and locals visit the museum time and time again to know and understand the history of Ojai Valley.
The unique souvenirs, striking paintings, old yet discreetly crafted artefacts are a few of the things that can tangle your creative juices and also tell the tales of the land on which you are standing. Though art and history have a home in the heart of this place. Regular speakers, guided tours and educational visits by many people are the actual life of the museum.
The museum is currently running on winter hours that is from 10 am to 4 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday. The tickets cost $1 for children in the age range of 6-18 and $5 for adults.
3. Lake Casitas Recreation Area
If camping, waterpark and other fun activities can be bundled up under one umbrella, it would be the Lake Casitas Recreation Area in the valley. This is the adventure ground where you will find something for everyone. You can be adventurous with the water sports conducted at one corner, or you can do a bike ride across the whole area.
Indulge in someday activities or simply sit by the narrow water body and gaze at your phenomenal surroundings. You can plan the entire day but make sure to reserve the evenings for the campfires and lip-smacking snacks while your mind soothes on the calming voice of water streams flowing just beside you.
4. Bart’s Books
They say the best kind of adventure you can find is among the pages of the books. Ojai offers you a bookish adventure while you are already on a mini-adventure, exploring this place. Bart’s books is a must-visit place in Ojai. It is a one of a kind book store with a huge collection, such that you might want to forget the time and savour this experience. As the Los Angeles times rightly put the experience of this place, “If you will not find the book anywhere else, you might find it here”.
According to the native people sharing wisdom and knowledge is what connects people in a community. Hence, reading and exchanging thoughts via books is the best way to bring people closer. The book centre has been designed in such a way that you can feel cosy at the spot that suits your liking. There are more shaded and covered seating spots along with some porch kind of seating places. Just grab a book and find your spot as per your vibe.
Whether you are a casual reader or a bookworm, visiting Bart’s books will be one of the best things to do in Ojai for you.
5. Ojai Certified Farmers Market
When you get tired of exploring human creativity, it is time to indulge yourself in some shopping spree at the local shopping centre which is also known as Ojai Certified Farmers Market. As the Ojai community is a close-knit group, the farmers of the region offer their best produce on Thursdays from 3 pm to 7 pm in the form of a market. Here you will find the local farm produce, fruits, vegetables, flowers, gourmet food along artisan products as well.
Plan your trip accordingly so that you can visit the market and collect a souvenir or two from it. Shopping at the Ojai Certified Farmers Market is one of the most fun things to do in Ojai for those who love farm fresh products.
6. Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company
Horse riding is an adventure sport that people prefer on their holidays and if you are a fan of this sport then Ojai Valley Trail Riding Company is at your service to fulfil your desires and make sure you have the best of the time with over 50 horses that they provide.
Located in the Oso ranch, they have guided tours around the valley as well as the Los Padres National Forest to make sure you can experience the beauty of Ojai yourself. The horses are available from the beginner to experienced level and trips are customized as per your preferences. The ranch is open seven days a week, so you can plan a visit anytime you want.
7. Casa Barranca Tasting Room
One of the most regional yet quaint places in Ojai is the Casa Barranca Organic Wine Factory as well as the tasting room. As the name suggests, you will find all kinds of wines here which suits your taste combined with top-class customer service and eccentric feels.
8. Ecotopia Natural Hot Springs
When was the last time, a natural hot spring or natural geyser welcomed you in its arms to relax all of the tension in your body? Maybe never or maybe a long time ago. Ecotopia, as animated as it sounds is the perfect place for relaxation for 1 to 3 hours and let you relax in the natural hot water in the Ojai Valley. The Ecotopia is based on private property, hence one has to do some pre-registrations before they visit the location. Seven years back it became so famous that regular tourists and visitors trashed it, as a result, the owner has to close it.
But they have opened it up recently and are welcoming everyone who would like to visit the place with some precautionary measures. The entry fee is $20 per person for two hours and you can explore the hot springs and the farms around it.
9. Krishnamurti Education Center
For a community that loves to indulge in meditation and exchange of knowledge and values among each other, an education centre dedicated to the members is no surprise. The place dedicated to the great Indian philosopher J. Krishnamurthy has a grounded aura in all of its’ space. You can find books written by the late author Mr Krishnamurthy along with some other famous names at the community centre.
At the present day, this education centre is a home for scholars, professors, writers, readers as well as intellectuals who either live in the neighbourhood or are simply travellers. The education centre is open for a visit from Thursday to Sunday from 1 pm to 5 pm.
10. Rose Valley Falls Trail
Surrounded by mountains and hugged by water streams on all sides, Ojai has a lot of natural adventures that you can experience. But there is a surprise for the visitors in the form of small trails ending with a beautiful waterfall which you can find enticing and worth the hike. Rose Valleys falls is a 100 foot waterfall and has various sections to it which are open for visits. The waterfall is located about 30 minutes outside of Ojai in the Los Padres National Forest. The initial hike is smaller and easier- 0.8 mile round trip.
11. Go Biking On Ojai-Ventura Beach Biking Trails
Bike through the finest and well paved trails in Ojai that take you through the scenic beauty of hills, parks and the surrounding county. There are a few overlooking points in between the trail where you can take a pause and admire the views. By the end of the trail, you can enjoy the stunning coastline of Ventura County. Check out this guided biking experience. It is inclusive of biking equipment, helmet and snacks.
Where To Stay In Ojai, California
Budget (upto $150) : Blue Iguana Inn is a uniquely designed boutique hotel that offers cosy and comfortable stay in Ojai. The interiors of the rooms have rustic decor, wooden furniture, antique fireplace and woven carpets. If you are looking for a place to stay with an unmatched calming vibe that does not feel heavy on your pocket, then this is the place for you. More facilities include a swimming pool, in room coffee or tea maker, sun terrace, outdoor fireplace, sun loungers and jacuzzi. Family rooms are available too. Click here to book your stay at the hotel or to check out its availability.
Luxury ($150+) : Boasting first class facilities amidst the gorgeous surroundings is Ojai Valley Inn. The rooms and suites are decorated with the elegance of Spanish colonial styles. In addition to the luxurious amenities, the rooms also feature in-room coffee machines. The resort also offers guests amazing spa facilities topped up with stunning views of Ojai. You will find swimming pools, sun terrace, outdoor fireplace, tennis court and fitness centre too at the resort.
If you are coming with kids, be sure that they are going to have a fun time indulging in board games, puzzles and sports at kids outdoor play area. Baby sitting services are available too on request at Ojai Valley Inn. Click here to book your stay at the resort or to check out its availability.
Essential Packing List : Ojai, California
Below are some essentials you should not forget to pack before leaving for your trip to Ojai.
- Stylish & Comfortable Flats
- Portable Charger
- Easy to carry Cross Body Bag
- Self cleaning Smart Water Bottle
- Flexible Tripod
- A nice tote bag to fill in fresh farm produce from the Ojai Certified Farmers Market
- Daypack For Hiking
- Hiker friendly leggings, sock, shoes
- Sunhat, sunscreen and sunglasses – For protection from the harmful UV rays of the sun while you are off to hiking, biking or just exploring outdoors of Ojai. This sunhat from Furtalk is our favourite pick. It is breathable, comfortable and easily foldable.
These were all the unmissable and amazing things to do in Ojai. Which activity is the one you look forward to the most? Let us know in the comments below.