Travel & Leisure Magazine
Three days in Ojai, California
One of Southern California's prettiest escapes is just a short skip from Los
Angeles. All you need is three days and the right itinerary.
By Elizabeth Woodson
The 220-acre Ojai Valley Inn & Spa (905 Country Club
Rd.; 800/422-6524 or 805/646-1111; ojairesort.com; doubles from $400)
was recently overhauled to the tune of $90 million. The result: 308
refreshed rooms, with four-poster beds and adobe fireplaces, plus the Artist
Cottage, which hosts crafts classes and aromatherapy workshops. A full slate
of activities such as golf, tennis, and hiking mean you'll never have to
leave the property. In the heart of town, try the Mission revival-style,
all-suite Su Nido Inn (301
N. Montgomery St.; 866/646-7080 or 805/646-7080; sunidoinn.com;
rooms, suites and 2 bedrooms range from $185 - $559). All nine suites and 3
rooms have super-plush feather beds and custom tile work; five have vaulted
Take a hike Of
the 24 hiking paths that crisscross the valley, the 6.5-mile Last Chance
Trail, which winds through the forested Santa Paula Canyon, is the
most beautiful-and the most popular. To avoid crowds, opt for the Shelf
Road Trail, with its dramatic valley views.
Grab a bite Dine
by candlelight on the slate patio at Suzanne's
Cuisine (502 W. Ojai
Ave.; 805/640-1961; dinner for two $80), a 15-year-old local institution
that serves Mediterranean-inspired dishes made with organic produce from
Hit the town Ojai's
not known for its nightlife, but those looking to unwind can head to the
art-filled Movino (308
E. Ojai Ave.; 805/646-1555), a sultry little wine bar where residents
and visitors alike mingle over glasses of regional favorites; the 54-bottle
list includes three from the Ojai valley itself.
Start Fresh Begin
the day at the low-key Ojai
Caf� Emporium (108 S.
Montgomery St.; 805/646-2723; breakfast for two $15) with just-baked
blueberry muffins or decadent cinnamon-roll French toast.
Stop and Shop Most
of Ojai's galleries and boutiques are located in and around the main street
shopping arcade (see "Where to Shop"). If your tastes veer more to the
homegrown variety (artisanal soaps, candles, honey, and breads), time your
visit to coincide with Ojai's
Certified Farmers' Market (300
E. Matilija St.), held on Sundays.
Get Cooking Nancy
Michali trained at San Francisco's renowned Tanta Marie culinary school
before opening the Ojai
Culinary Studio (315
N. Montgomery St.; 805/646-1124; ojaiculinary.com; classes from $30) in
a wood-floored house. The assortment of international cooking classes
features ingredients from the on-site garden.
Find your spiritual side Pilgrims,
gurus, and yogis have been drawn to these chaparral-covered hills for years.
To see why, follow Reeves Road to the serene Meditation
Mount (10340 Reeves
Rd.; 805/646-5508; meditation.com), where rock platforms seem suspended
over the valley.
Sweat it out The
31,000-square-foot spa at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is the only one in the
country to offer Kuyam-a Moroccan mud treatment and guided meditation. More
traditional treatments include several facials that use the inn's natural
Treat yourself Small
plates (tomato-and-basil-stuffed artichokes; smoked salmon on baguette) make
up the menu at Azu (457
E. Ojai Ave.; 805/640-7987; dinner for two $50), a diminutive tapas bar
inspired by chef Laurel Moore's travels in Spain. With more than 60 wines,
20 vodkas, and six beers on tap, it's also the perfect place to round out
the night-and your visit.
Travel & Leisure: Three Days in Ojai, California