Rustic Ojai transports the eyes and the taste buds to a spiritual plane
Picturesque spots in Ojai, Calif., include the pedestrian arcade along Ojai Avenue. Though small, the Ventura County town is home to a range of activities, including olive oil tasting, stays at posh Ojai Valley Inn & Spa and the yearly Ojai Music Festival.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
The adults-only pool is but one inviting area at Ojai Valley Inn & Spa.(Rosemary McClure)
Organic farmer Cynthia Furman harvests bright yellow calendula in the Ojai Valley. The flowers are used for bouquets and to make lotions and balms.(Rosemary McClure)
Shoppers stroll through the historic Spanish Colonial Revival arcade on Ojai Avenue.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Alice de Dadelsen gives a talk during a tour of Ojai Olive Oil Company in Ojai.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
An orchard at Ojai Olive Oil Company outside Ojai.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Infused olive oils at the Ojai Tasting Room in Ojai, Calif.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
The Ojai Valley Museum is housed in the former St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
A garden-party atmosphere suffuses Suzanne’s Cuisine in Ojai.(Brian van der Brug / Los Angeles Times)
Ojai is a weekender’s paradise, a place to browse stylish shops, meet the artists and artisans who create one-of-a-kind pieces, taste the produce of organic farms, and soothe the soul in the spas and meditation centers the town is known for.
Whenever I visit the area, I pop by the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa to stroll the grounds, which harbor magnificent 200-year-old oaks, and, sometimes, visit one of the inn’s four restaurants. But this time I splurged and spent the night in a spacious, dog-friendly room with a fireplace, balcony and golf-course view.
At the spa, consider the Somadome, a high-tech, pod-like chair you crawl into to receive meditation counseling and color therapy.
And save some time for olive oil tasting. Try the Ojai Olive Oil Co., for starters, one of the top attractions in the area.
Miles, one way, from downtown L.A.
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