Isn't that entry gorgeous? If we make it back there, I definitely want to come prepared with a picnic!
If you go – we have some recommendations…
High End: Ojai Valley Inn & Spa – this place is g o r g e o u s, and completely worthy of a splurge. It’s a huge complex with several different restaurants, bars and little enclaves to hang out in. We stopped in after dinner at the Deer Lodge and had a drink at the Wallace Neff Heritage Bar, where a very theatrical bartender was mixing very theatrical concoctions. It was very fun to watch!
Mid-Priced: Ojai Rancho Inn – we stopped here to check out their bar, Chief’s Peak, which was packed and full of hipsters (sort of like the Ace Hotel in Palm Springs). We aren’t opposed to bumping elbows with hipsters, we just couldn’t find a place to sit, and couldn’t muscle to the bar so we left. We’ve stayed at their sister hotel in Santa Ynez before, and I would definitely check them out for lodging if we visit again, although we will most certainly be the oldest people there, I am sure.
Affordable: AirBnB – this is our usual mode of accommodation these days. Ojai has a city ordinance against short term rentals in town, so most of the AirBnB’s are just outside of town. It was no problem, we were literally 6 miles from town center. The rental we had was a guesthouse in a quiet, private residential neighborhood, was super clean, modern, had a beautiful garden and a gorgeous view.
FOOD & DRINK
There is no shortage of great places to eat and drink in Ojai, whether you are looking for a quick bite, a nice, romantic dinner or just want to cool off with a drink.
Azu/Ojai Brewing Company – fresh farm-to-table fare and a nice selection of local wines.
Topa Mountain Winery – beautiful new winery just as you enter the town. They have a delicious Chardonnay, and it’s the perfect setting for a picnic, or go big with a wedding.
Ojai Deer Lodge – super casual, with a woodsy vibe, they have barbecue Friday – Sunday and it’s good stuff! I ordered the Lodge Burger, which I totally recommend…with a fried egg on top #ohmygod
Chief’s Peak – as I mentioned, we stopped in here but didn’t stay. It’s a young crowd, but we aren’t above that – I’d join the party any day! Looks like a very cool place!
Ojai Beverage Company – at first glance upon walking in, you think you’re in a liquor store. A very large liquor store with an amazing selection and very good pricing. If you walk to the back, there’s also a tap room, bar, and restaurant.
Suzanne’s – this was the birthday dinner spot, and it did not disappoint. Be sure to make a reservation because everyone in the valley hits this place on the weekend. I had the Salmon with Cilantro Pesto, which was served with steamed vegetables, and it was delicious. Scott had the penne with meatballs, which was good, but the sauce was a little loose.
I’m loving the recent influx of simple lifestyle stores that are curated with an eye toward design and bohemian living.
In The Field – love this place! Modern bohemian and beautifully curated.
deKor & Co. – similar to In The Field, but more home goods and lifestyle oriented. They also carry a small selection of apothecary and I’m kicking myself that I didn’t pick up a perfume that I tried (lesson learned!).
Fig Curated Living – this is a little hard to find as it is located down a little alley off the sidewalk between a couple of shops. A portion of it is located outside and is almost home and garden, with an emphasis on local, handmade and fair trade goods.
Have you been to Ojai lately? What is your favorite thing to do?