Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Oooooh Ojai! Weekend Getaway Relaxation Station

Perhaps you've noticed the beautiful landscape picture on our sidebar or maybe you've just been dreaming about paradise. Either way, here is a weekend guide for my favorite little town in America: Ojai, California. Home to my high school, my Aunt and Uncle, Reese Witherspoon and the place I was married... This dreamy little town has a whole lot of pretty going on.

Located two hours from LA and 45 minutes from Santa Barbara, Ojai is an agricultural valley at the base of the Los Padres mountains and only 25 minutes from the beach. It's chill, it's all about the scenery and despite it's small scale town and population it has some amazing restaurants and hotels. Keep reading for the insider's scoop!

How to get there:
Nearest Airport: Santa Barbara (45 mins away)
Cheapest Nearby Airport: LAX (2 hours away)

Driving From San Francisco: Take Highway 101 South about 5 hours to Ventura. Take Highway 33 north 14 miles to Ojai. Highway 33 becomes West Ojai Avenue - Highway 150. Follow 1 mile and you will be in the center of town.

From LAX: Take Century Blvd to 405 freeway north then 101 freeway north to Ventura. Take Highway 33 north 14 miles to Ojai. Highway 33 becomes West Ojai Avenue - Highway 150. Continue about a mile and you will be in the center of town. Approximate drive time 90-120 minutes (without traffic). Drive north on the 101 until you hit Ventura then take route 33 inland.

Where to Stay: While I usually stay with family when I head to Ojai, there are some amazing hotels in town that I would recommend for a relaxing weekend getaway...

Best Value - The Capri Hotel - While not cheap, this is one of the less expensive options in town and totally worth it. This hotel has an old school Cali vibe with art deco decor, palmtrees and a great swimming pool area. Rooms are small but modern and white with big screen TVs and they wrap around a centralized pool area. All our friends stayed here for the weekend of our wedding and had a great time socializing around the pool or watching the world cup together on the lobby tv.

Splurge- Ojai Valley Inn and Spa -- ok so this is a big time splurge - but even if you can't afford to spend the night it is worth your while to book a massage, facial or anything at the world class spa at this resort. If you're a golfer you should sign up to play a few holes because the course is so beautiful you won't forget it. I don't golf and even I can appreciate how amazing it is!

What to Do
Bike or Run: Anywhere, it's all pretty.

Tennis: Ojai is home to the country's biggest amature tennis tournament and for some odd reason seems to have more tennis courts than people. Play at the public courts in downtown Libby park or Hit the gym, play tennis or just lounge poolside at the Ojai Valley Athletic Club, 409 South Fox Street (805) 646-7213, $13.50 for a day pass or $18.50 to include use of tennis courts. The Ojai Valley Inn also has world class tennis facilities for those willing to pay.

Relax: Ojai is famous for its spas. Make yourself an appointment for a yoga class, a massage, a manicure or a haircut at the world famous Ojai Valley Inn and Spa (805) 646-1111. Or just buy a day pass for the spa to use their beautiful locker rooms and hang out by the spa pool (complete with underwater music.) For a more affordable option, hit up the Day Spa of Ojai, 1434 East Ojai Avenue (805) 640-1100 for all your pampering needs!

Hit the beach! (Check the weather first! The coast is often foggy when Ojai is most beautiful.)
Hop in your car and drive 40 minutes to beautiful Harbor Cove Beach (just one of many options)… Directions: From the 101 take the Seaward exit and turn towards the ocean. Turn left onto Harbor Blvd and follow this road as it curves around the edge the Marina. When you get to Spinnaker Drive (the main entrance to the Marina) turn right. Drive until you reach the end of Spinnaker. The parking lot for the beach is on the left.

What to Eat - Don't worry, I know this is the most important part :)
Cheap (and delicious): Pick up an AMAZING burrito or mole plate at Ruben's on Signal street. Walk a block to Libby park and have yourself an amazing picnic. You will NOT be disappointed.
Upscale and Pretty: Enjoy the gorgeous gardens and tasty cuisine at Suzanne's on Main street. They have a great lunch menu and the service is great --- we had an awesome time there for a fun bridal luncheon my sister threw me!
Breakfast Out: Going out for breakfast is an essential indulgence for any good weekend getaway. I love the spread at Cafe Emporium. Or if you want a good spot for coffee a muffin and some free wi-fi, Ojai Coffee Roasting company is right on the main drag (East Ojai Ave) and has friendly baristas and good lattes.

Well now that I've told you all the hot tips you must plan that weekend getaway to Ojai! I am dying to get back down there and super excited for an Ojai trip next month to celebrate our 1 year anniversary!!


  1. I could use a little Ojai right now!

  2. Just thinking about Ojai makes me happy

  3. and Ojai converted me to a - yes-maybe-I COULD-live-in-California-afterall-state of mind!