Ojai Valley Inn and Spa:  www.ojaivallyinnspa.com

“Set in a lush and tranquil valley between the mountains and just fifteen miles from the ocean, Ojai is an ideal setting for a relaxing getaway.”

I’ve lived in Southern California for almost twenty years and have only just recently discovered one of my favorite places, Ojai, in Ventura county. With a distance of only an hour and thirty minutes from Los angeles, Ojai is the perfect weekend getaway for us. Set in a lush and tranquil valley between the mountains and just fifteen miles from the ocean, Ojai is an ideal setting for a relaxing getaway.

My first trip to Ojai was for the fourth of July weekend to stay at the Ojai Valley Inn with my family. We had heard great things about their incredible family friendly events and festivities for the celebration of our nation’s birthday in a place that feels like the south of France. Our stay at Ojai Valley Inn did not disappoint as we enjoyed fireworks on the lawn, wonderful Californian cuisine with a french flair under enormous Oak trees and their signature lavender lemonade by the pool. And a visit to the Inn would not be complete without witnessing Ojai’s famous “pink moment” where the sun is setting over the mountains and the entire valley light  is lit up with a peachy pink glow. The Inn even lets guests know at exactly what time to look to the horizon.

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I have since visited Ojai numerous times, staying at Airbnb rental houses in various locations. In getting to know the area, the first stop is into town to explore the village like center that features numerous art galleries and New Age shops. There are some amazing boutiques for fashion and home goods such as In the Field, deKor and Julia Rose. As Ojai is a hub for spiritual retreats, yoga centers and ashrams, it is worth checking out a few of its more famous ones. A visit up to Meditation Mount as well as the former home of philosopher J. Krishnamurti are a must.

The name Ojai is from the Native American Chumash tribe’s word for nest as it sits in a basin amidst the surrounding mountains. The locals like to refer to Ojai as “Shangri-La’ in reference to it’s natural beauty and health and spirituality focused lifestyle. I always return from a trip to Ojai feeling refreshed and revitalized with sprigs of lavender tucked in my bags to remember the experience.

Ojai Valley Inn and Spa:  www.ojaivallyinnspa.com

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