If you’re looking for a fun-filled weekend getaway or a more extended vacation destination, look no further than Ojai, California. This tiny town in Ventura County, in Southern California, is home to some of the state’s best wineries, restaurants, spas, and outdoor activities. Here are the best things to do in Ojai, California.
One of the best things about this city is its sheer beauty, sitting on the steps of the Topatopa Mountains. Ojai is also just minutes from Los Padres National Forest, making it the perfect place to escape the hustle and bustle of city life for some fresh air and outdoor activities.
While there aren’t any chain businesses in the city limits, there are plenty of unique shops and boutiques to explore. And because the town is only about 10 square miles, you can easily walk or ride a bike to check out the city’s best attractions.
What We Cover
- Things to Do in Ojai, California
- 1. Visit Ojai Meadows Preserve
- 2. Ride the Ojai Valley Trail
- 3. Soak Up the Sun at Lake Casitas Recreation Area
- 4. Hike at the Piedra Blanca Formations Trail
- 5. Ojai Olive Oil Company
- 6. Have Drinks at Deer Lodge
- 7. Visit the Ojai Valley Museum
- 8. Go Biking on the Ojai Valley Bike Trail
- 9. Take a Hike in the Los Padres National Forest
- 10. Explore Downtown Ojai
- 11. Visit the Rose Valley Campground
- 12. Explore the Ojai Vineyard
- 13. Experience the Ojai Music Festival
- 14. Hike the Rose Valley Falls Trail
- 15. Visit the Topa Mountain Winery
- 16. Visit the Ojai Certified Farmers Market
- 17. Nocciola
- 18. The Ojai Art Center
- Places to Stay in Ojai
- Most significant landmark – Ojai Meadows Preserve
- Park to visit – Los Padres National Forest
- Free activity – Rose Valley Falls Trail
- Activity for kids – Ojai Valley Museum
- Activity for adults – Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room
- Place to eat – Nocciola
- Nightlife – Deer Lodge Ojai
- Place to stay – Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
Things to Do in Ojai, California
1. Visit Ojai Meadows Preserve
Address: 1601 Maricopa Hwy, Ojai, CA 93023
The Ojai Meadows Preserve is a great place to take a leisurely hike and enjoy the beauty of nature. The preserve is home to several endangered species of plants and animals, so you can also learn about the local wildlife while you’re here.
The preserve has made progress thanks to the efforts of the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy, an organization that wants to bring back the beauty of the wetlands. The OVLC has several restoration projects underway. You can also join one of their volunteer groups to help with conservation efforts.
If you want to relax, you can enjoy your time here by picnicking in the meadow or fishing in the creek. There are also Ojai saddle trails for horseback riders to enjoy!
Plan your trip ahead of time so you can be sure to explore all that these beautiful wetlands have to offer. Whatever you choose on your vacation, this is one stop where you can learn, relax, and have fun simultaneously.
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2. Ride the Ojai Valley Trail
Location: Ojai, CA 93023
The Ojai Valley Trail is a great way to see the city if you don’t want to walk or drive. The trail is ten miles long and winds through Highway 33 and the Topatopa Mountains. You can ride your bike, walk, or even take your horse for a stroll.
The trail is open year-round, so you can come any time of year to enjoy the scenery. There are also several places along the route to stop and take in the view or have a picnic.
It’s also handicap-accessible so that everyone can enjoy the beauty of Ojai. In addition, the path also combines the Ventura River Trail and the Ojai Valley Trail so that you can explore even more of the area.
You can always look at the Ojai Valley Trail to check for any closures, prepare for your trip, and ensure you’re following all regulations during your trip to Ojai.
3. Soak Up the Sun at Lake Casitas Recreation Area
Address: 11311 Santa Ana Rd, Ventura, CA 93001
Ten minutes down the road from Ojai is an adventure you do not want to miss! Lake Casitas is an artificial reservoir perfect for swimming, fishing, boating, or relaxing in the sun. The lake is situated in the foothills of the Topatopa Mountains and offers stunning views of the surrounding area.
Visitors can also camp overnight at one of the many campsites located around the lake. Several hiking trails wind through the mountains if you want to explore more of the area.
You can also take a scenic drive down Highway 33 to the lake. No matter how you spend your day, you’ll surely enjoy your time at Lake Casitas.
Whether you want to disc golf, boat, fish, or enjoy a weekend camping trip, get a jump start on your planning and view their closures beforehand. If you’re looking for more hiking and adventuring, Ojai guided hiking tours can help you explore the area. Make sure you add Lake Casitas to your list no matter how you want to spend your time in Ojai!
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4. Hike at the Piedra Blanca Formations Trail
Address: Rose Valley Rd, Ojai, CA 93023
The Piedra Blanca Trail is a well-known paved trail that is easy to access and is one of the best local trails for hiking, horseback riding, and walking. The course is 2.6 miles round-trip and is generally considered an accessible route. It takes an average of 1 hour and 9 minutes to complete.
The trail is open year-round and is beautiful to visit anytime. Dogs are welcome but must be on a leash. Visitors must pay $5 for an adventure pass to park nearby.
Fortunately, the trip is well worth the price, with so many gorgeous views of the desert landscape, water troughs for horses, and picnic sites around the area. This trail operates on a first-come-first-serve basis, so it’s best to plan your visit sooner.
5. Ojai Olive Oil Company
Address: 1811 Ladera Rd., Ojai, CA 93023
The Ojai Olive Oil Company is a must-visit for anyone who loves olive oil. This family-owned business has been producing olive oil for three generations.
They use traditional methods to make olive oil and only use the highest quality olives. You can tour the mill, learn about the production process, and sample some of their products.
The Ojai Olive Oil Company also has a store where you can buy olive oil, vinegar, skin care products, and more. You can also join their olive oil club to get product discounts. If you’re looking for a unique souvenir from your trip to Ojai, this is the perfect place to find it.
Before you go, you can learn more about their products and take advantage of their specials. For $10 per olive tasting, this is also one of the most affordable places to visit and enjoy in the Ojai Valley.
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6. Have Drinks at Deer Lodge
Address: 2261 Maricopa Hwy, Ojai, CA 93023
The Deer Lodge is a haven for music lovers, beer lovers, and those who want a relaxing, old-school atmosphere while at Ojai. Deer Lodge is a cabin-style bar that hosts live music events, has a dog-friendly patio, and is one of the better places in Ojai to stop for California eats.
You can also enjoy craft beers and spirits while sitting by one of their fire pits to top your night off in style. The Deer Lodge website has more information on music events, eating, and hours of operation.
Are you looking for more relaxation? You can stay at the Ojai Rancho Inn, one of the top-rated hotels in the area that offers luxurious saunas, massages, even a tennis court, and fitness classes! Coming home to this elegant hotel is a dream come true for visitors of Ojai.
7. Visit the Ojai Valley Museum
Address: 130 W Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023
The Ojai Valley Museum is the perfect place to learn about the history of the Ojai Valley and the Chumash people who once inhabited the area.
The museum has a variety of exhibits that showcase the culture and lifestyle of the Chumash. You can also learn about the history of the Ojai Valley, how it became a tourist destination, and some famous Hollywood movies filmed in the area. You can peek at the semi-permanent exhibits online and look for special events and activities that may be happening during your visit.
The Ojai Valley Museum is a great place to spend an afternoon and one of the more affordable places to visit in Ojai. Admission is only $5 for adults, and children under six are free. If you want to learn more about the history of the Ojai Valley, this is the perfect place to start your journey.
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8. Go Biking on the Ojai Valley Bike Trail
Location: Ojai, CA 93023
The Ojai Valley Bike Trail is a beautiful way to see the Ojai Valley. The trail is a 9-mile trail that parallels Highway 33 from Foster Park on the outskirts of West Ventura to Fox Street in Ojai.
One side of the course is paved for bicyclists, walkers, joggers, and people exercising their pets. Sections wind through wooded areas and past riverbeds.
You can start at any point on the trail, but many prefer to begin at Foster Park following the Casitas Vista Road exit on Highway 33. If you want to take your time and enjoy the scenery, there are plenty of places to stop. Be sure to bring plenty of water and sunscreen, as the Ojai Valley can get quite hot.
Fortunately, this is a gentle bike ride with only a 5% incline, so it’s perfect for all levels of cyclists. Interested visitors can look at more Ojai Valley Bike Trail entrance points and get more specific directions. If you want to go on a biking tour, guided biking tours are available to ensure you get the best out of your Ojai trip.
See Related: Things to Do in Ventura, California
9. Take a Hike in the Los Padres National Forest
Address: 1190 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023
The Los Padres National Forest is a beautiful place to hike. There are plenty of trails to choose from, and you can find a path perfect for your fitness level.
In Ojai, the Sespe Hot Springs is the perfect end to your getaway, especially during the springtime. It is one of seven hot springs in the area and a great place to relax after your hike.
Remember that the hike to the Sespe Hot Springs is moderately challenging, so prepare before you set out on your adventure. It’s best to wait until the spring to visit since temperatures can reach over 100 degrees.
No mountain bikes are allowed in the Sespe Hot Springs wilderness area. Nevertheless, this is one of Ojai’s most magical and remote places, and worth the effort to get there.
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10. Explore Downtown Ojai
Location: Ojai, CA 93023
Downtown Ojai might be small, but it’s packed with shops you can’t find anywhere else in Southern California and perhaps the world. For instance, Bart’s Books, known as the world’s largest outdoor bookstore, has everything under the sun (almost literally).
This shop is one of the most fun places to explore in downtown Ojai with children, and it’s a great way to support the community. Find the book you’re looking for, shop for a souvenir for your loved one, and relax in the serene and natural beauty.
A two-minute walk away is Nocciola, considered one of the best places to dine in Ojai, thanks to its handmade pasta, high-quality wines, and seasonal entrees. There’s also a haven of shops to explore in Downtown Ojai, from wineries to modern restaurants.
11. Visit the Rose Valley Campground
Address: Rose Valley Lake Rd, Ojai, CA 93023
The Rose Valley Campground is the perfect place for a weekend getaway. The campground is located in the Los Padres National Forest, a great place to enjoy the outdoors.
Plenty of hiking trails are nearby, and you can also go fishing or swimming in the creek that runs through the campground. The campground has fire pits, grills, and picnic tables if you want to bring the family. Its many amenities make it one of the more popular campgrounds in Ojai.
Make a reservation in advance, as the campground is often full during summer. In addition, you should also consider bringing a camera. The cottonwood trees, aspen groves, and wildflowers make this campground one of the most beautiful places in Ojai. Did we mention the night sky is also incredible here?
See Related: What to Bring on a Camping Trip with Friends
12. Explore the Ojai Vineyard
Address: 109 S Montgomery St, Ojai, CA 93023
The Ojai Vineyard is a great place to visit if you love wine. The vineyard produces award-winning wines, including 24 chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon.
The vineyard also has a beautiful tasting room to try their delicious wines. In addition, the Ojai Vineyard is home to several events throughout the year, including live music and wine dinners.
The vineyard also offers wine tastings and private tours if you’re looking for a romantic evening. Make a reservation in advance, as these events often sell out quickly.
You can find more information about the Ojai Vineyard and a list of their premium wines on their website. While you can try their high-quality wines worldwide, nothing beats experiencing the Ojai Vineyard in the city’s heart.
13. Experience the Ojai Music Festival
Address: 201 S Signal St, Ojai, CA 93023
The Ojai Music Festival is one of the most popular events in Ojai. The festival is held annually in June and features several musical performances. In addition, the festival also has many educational events and workshops.
The Ojai Music Festival is the place to be if you want a fun and festive atmosphere. It is also known for accepting all music types: experimental, contemporary, and world. No matter your music taste, you’ll surely find something you’ll enjoy at the Ojai Music Festival.
If you’re stopping into town for only the Ojai Music Festival, one of the best places to stay is the Chantico Inn! This boutique hotel is centrally located and within walking distance of all the action, 5 minutes from Ojai. Its beautiful stone fireplaces, private balconies, and comfortable Spanish-style rooms make it the perfect place to relax after exploring Ojai.
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14. Hike the Rose Valley Falls Trail
Rose Valley Falls Trail is one of Ojai’s most popular hiking trails. The trail is in the Los Padres National Forest beside the Rose Valley Campground. However, unlike the campground, you don’t need to make a reservation to hike the trail. The trail is only half a mile long and is rated as one of the easiest in the area.
The views of the waterfall at the Rose Valley Falls Trail end are worth the effort. Remember that the waterfalls depend on rain, so they may not flow if there hasn’t been rain recently. Bring some cash with you so you can park in the day-use lot. The fees are used to maintain the trail and keep it in good condition.
15. Visit the Topa Mountain Winery
Address: 821 W Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023
The Topa Mountain Winery is considered one of the best wineries in Ojai and near Santa Barbara. You will appreciate their extensive wine list and tasting rooms.
The winery produces various wines, including reds, whites, and sparkling. In addition, the winery is also open for events such as weddings and corporate getaways, making it the perfect place to celebrate a special occasion.
This is also one of the best shops for various guest groups. There is no charge for one to six guests and only $10 for seven to 12 guests! The Topa Mountain Winery’s beautiful backyard patio is perfect for a dinner for two, a family gathering, or to experience the best Ojai offers with a small group of friends.
See Related: Things to Do in Napa Valley, California
16. Visit the Ojai Certified Farmers Market
Address: 300 E Matilija St, Ojai, CA 93023
You can find the Ojai Certified Farmers Market every Sunday, rain or shine. This market is open from 9:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m.
The Ojai Farmers Market features various vendors, selling everything from local organic produce to dried meats, jams, honey, flowers, and so much more. This is the perfect place to stock up on groceries for the week or to find a unique gift for a friend.
You can also enjoy live music while you shop. The Ojai Certified Farmers Market greatly supports local businesses and farmers. You can’t go wrong with all vendors certified organic and selling high-quality, farm-fresh foods.
Address: 314 El Paseo Rd, Ojai, CA 93023
Nocciola is one of the highest-rated restaurants in the city! Their handmade pasta, delicious desserts, and high-quality ingredients make it a favorite of visitors.
All entrees are served with seasonal vegetables, so you can rest assured everything is fresh and wholesome! They also have a wide selection of wines to pair with your meal. If you want to relax after dinner, head to the spa at Ojai Valley Inn.
You can also explore their online classes, such as mindful jewelry making, beekeeping, and aerial yoga. You’ll never be bored and can unwind at this award-winning hotel and spa with many things to do.
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18. The Ojai Art Center
Address: 113 S Montgomery St, Ojai, CA 93023
Since 1939, the Ojai Art Center has provided the community a place to learn, create, and appreciate the arts. This non-profit organization dedicated to promoting the arts in the community offers a variety of classes and workshops for all ages. It is the oldest multi-disciplinary arts organization in California.
There are eight branches, including arts, dance, film, photography, and theater, so you can find the perfect fit for your interests. The Ojai Art Center is also home to the Kwan Fong Gallery of Art & Culture, which features rotating exhibitions of local and regional artists.
Places to Stay in Ojai
Situated in the picturesque hills of Ojai Valley, the Ojai Valley Inn is a historic resort that offers its guests a world-class experience. From the championship golf course to the full-service health spa, there is something for everyone to enjoy. And with five different restaurants on site, you can be sure to find a dish to your liking.
Looking for a comfortable place to stay in Ojai Valley, California? Look no further than Casa Ojai Inn! This California hotel offers comfortable accommodation and modern amenities only steps from the local shops, galleries and unique leisure opportunities in Ojai Valley. The front desk is not open 24 hrs. On-call staff is available by phone.
Looking for a place to stay in Ojai that offers all the amenities you need for a comfortable and relaxing visit? Look no further than Chantico Inn. Hotel guests can enjoy an outdoor pool, a spa tub, and terrace, as well as in-room conveniences like refrigerators and microwaves.