331 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai
If you're looking for a crowd-pleasing no-frills spot to take littles, look no farther than this classic pizza joint right off Ojai's main drag. They've got shareable pizzas, calzones, subs, and an adult-beverage-friendly selection of beers on draft, too.
The Ojai Vineyard
109 S. Montgomery St., Ojai
At the Ojai Vineyard tasting room (a firehouse in its past life), you can work your way through 300-plus wines on offer, though the deliciously elegant Ojai-vineyard grown Syrahs, Pinots, Chardonnays, and Sauvignon Blancs are the main draw—and a testament to owner Adam Tolmach’s purist approach to winemaking.
Shelf Road Trail
Shelf Rd., Ojai
On the gentler side (a 3.5-mile out-and-back), Shelf Road Trail passes through fragrant tangerine orchards and leaves you at a scenic lookout over Ojai Valley. Ask your concierge if someone from the hotel can drop you off at the trailhead near Shelf Road, as the street parking (while plentiful) can land you far from the trailhead on weekend days.
Ojai Olive Oil Company
1811 Ladera Rd., Ojai
A quick but winding drive outside town, the Ojai Olive Oil Company opens its groves to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays; a guided walk through the history-rich property is a lesson in the virtues of sustainable farming. Exit through the gift shop for certified-organic olive oils of every variety to take home.
Hip Vegan (Closed)
928 E Ojai Ave., Ojai
This local standby is one of those vegan spots that you don’t have to be vegan to appreciate. The massive menu of healthful bowls, wraps, vegetarian iterations of classic salads, smoothies (the date shake is a good place to start), and rotating daily specials is written out on a chalkboard wall and can be taken on the road or enjoyed on the pretty outdoor patio. It is currently on the move to a spot downtown, and will hopefully re-open soon.
Ojai Meadows Preserve
1601 Maricopa Hwy., Ojai
For wildlife spotting, Ojai Meadows Preserve is sprawled over 58-acres of lush wetlands and counts bobcats, rabbits, and over 40 bird species as residents. The project is actually a restoration led by a local conservation group, which runs environmental education programs and guided tours year-round. If you come on your own, there's an accessible trail that makes for a low-key, 30-minute hike.
10340 Reeves Rd., Ojai
Lauded by locals as one of the most spiritually sound spots in the valley, Meditation Mount is prime for catching a famous Ojai “pink moment”—or a guided, walking, and full-moon meditation, depending on the day. Time it so you're there around sunset, and bring your camera.
Last Chance Trail
Santa Paula Canyon, Ojai
Hike Last Chance Trail for sweeping views of Santa Paula canyon and its several waterfalls. At a little over nine-miles long, it’s best suited for experienced hikers. In the summer months, some of the waterfalls empty into swimming holes that are perfect for cooling off on the long trek.
Knead Baking Company (Closed)
469 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai
While Knead Baking Company is excellent for lunch and afternoon coffee-and-pastry breaks, breakfast is arguably the best time to visit: The tartines, quiches (the selection changes daily), scones, and breads are all baked in-house by the same mother-and-daughters team who launched the business back in 2009. Ingredient-wise, the sourcing is done almost exclusively from local farms. For celebrations, this is the place to go for made-to-order fancy cakes.
The Farmer and the Cook
339 W. El Roblar Dr., Ojai
Under the watchful eye of Steve Sprinkel and Olivia Chase (the farmer and the cook, respectively), this Mexican restaurant/health-food hybrid has been in the business of all-organic, farm-to-table tacos, salads, and burritos since before it was cool. You can go the pre-made sandwich route for picnics and on-the-go lunches or have a proper sit-down meal of veggie tacos, salads, enchiladas, and more in the café (choose between indoor and outdoor seating).
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