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18 Fun & Best Things to Do in Ojai, California

18 Fun & Best Things to Do in Ojai, California

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.

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.

Here are the top fun and best things to do in Ojai, California.

Ojai Valley Inn California
1. Ojai Valley Inn Top Recommendation

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. All rooms come complete with an iPad and a flat-screen TV, as well as a coffee machine. Plus, all rooms feature Spa Ojai bathroom amenities for your convenience.

Casa Ojai Inn California
2. Casa Ojai Inn

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. Explore the Ojai area stress free with the Ojai Trolley Service. With a stop right outside the Casa, guests can visit the attractions of Ojai, Meiners Oaks and Mira Monte within minutes.

Chantico Inn California
3. Chantico Inn

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. The hotel's helpful staff and comfortable beds are sure to make your stay with us a memorable one. Book your room today and experience all that Chantico Inn has to offer!

TLDR

  • Most significant landmark – Ojai Meadows Preserve
  • Best park – Los Padres National Forest
  • Best free activity – Rose Valley Falls Trail
  • Best activity for kids – Ojai Valley Museum
  • Best activity for adults – Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room
  • Best food – Nocciola
  • Best nightlife – Deer Lodge Ojai
  • Best all-around accommodationOjai Valley Inn and Spa

Best & Fun Things to Do in Ojai, California

1. Visit Ojai Meadows Preserve

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 conservation efforts.

If you want to relax, you can also 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.

See Related: Most Exotic Places in California to Visit

2. Ride the Ojai Valley Trail

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 leisurely 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 where you can stop and take in the view or have a picnic.

The trail is also handicap-accessible, so everyone can enjoy the beauty of Ojai. In addition, the path also combines the Ventura River Trail and the Ojai Valley Trail, so 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 ahead of time, and ensure you’re following all regulations during your trip to Ojai. Best of all, you can ensure you have the most fun possible while you’re here!

3. Soak Up the Sun at Lake Casitas Recreation Area

Lake Casitas Recreation Area Scenery
image by Management/TripAdvisor

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 a day of swimming, fishing, boating, or just 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 get to the lake. No matter how you spend your day, you’re sure to enjoy your time at Lake Casitas.

Whether you want to disc golf, boat, fish, or want a weekend camping trip, get a jump start on your planning and view their closures ahead of time. 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!

See Related: Best National Parks to Visit in November

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 trail is 2.6-miles round-trip and is generally considered an easy 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 than later.

5. Ojai Olive Oil Company

Ojai Olive Oil Company Products
image by Management/TripAdvisor

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 their 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 their 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 any specials they may be offering. For $10 per olive tasting, this is also one of the most affordable places to visit and enjoy in the Ojai Valley.

See Related: Best Day Trips from San Francisco, California

6. Have Drinks at Deer Lodge

Deer Lodge
image by Management/TripAdvisor

Address: 2261 Maricopa Hwy, Ojai, CA 93023

The Deer Lodge is a haven for music lovers, beer lovers, and those that want a relaxing, old-school atmosphere to enjoy 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 to top your night off in style while enjoying a seat by one of their fire pits. The Deer Lodge website has more information on music events, eating, and hours of operation.

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 luxurious hotel is a dream come true for visitors of Ojai.

7. Visit the Ojai Valley Museum

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 see some of the famous Hollywood movies that were filmed in the area. You can take a 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.

See Related: Best Museums in the US You Need to Visit

8. Go Biking on the Ojai Valley Bike Trail

Ojai Valley Bike Trail
image by crawfish head is licensed under CC BY 2.0.

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 trail 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 it can get quite hot in the Ojai Valley.

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 entrance points to the Ojai Valley Bike Trail and get more specific directions. If you want to go on a biking tour, there are guided biking tours available to ensure you get the best out of your Ojai trip.

9. Take a Hike in the Los Padres National Forest

Los Padres National Forest Scenery

Address: 1190 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai, CA 93023

The Los Padres National Forest is a beautiful place to go for a hike. There are plenty of trails to choose from, and you can find a path that’s perfect for your fitness level.

In Ojai, the Sespe Hot Springs are the perfect end to your getaway, especially during the springtime. It is one of seven hot springs in the area, and it’s 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 also allowed in the Sespe Hot Springs wilderness area. Nevertheless, this is one of the most magical and remote places in Ojai and worth the effort to get there.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Venice, California

10. Explore Downtown Ojai

Downtown Ojai Scenery

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. Take, for instance, Bart’s Books, which is known as the world’s largest outdoor bookstore, and they have 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.

Just 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, from wineries to modern restaurants in Downtown Ojai.

11. Visit the Rose Valley Campground

Rose Valley

Address: Rose Valley Lake Rd, Ojai, CA 93023

The Rose Valley Campground is the perfect place to go for a weekend getaway. The campground is located in the Los Padres National Forest, a great place to enjoy the outdoors.

There are plenty of hiking trails 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 the summer months. 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

Ojai Vineyard Scenery

Address: 109 S Montgomery St, Ojai, CA 93023

The Ojai Vineyard is a great place to visit if you’re a fan of wine. The vineyard produces award-winning wines, including 24 wines such as chardonnay, pinot noir, and cabernet sauvignon.

The vineyard also has a beautiful tasting room where you can 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 for yourself 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 every year in June, and it features a number of musical performances. In addition, the festival also has many educational events and workshops.

The Ojai Music Festival is the place to be if you’re looking for a fun and festive atmosphere. It is also known for its acceptance of all music types: experimental, contemporary, and world music. No matter your taste in music, you’re sure to 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 to 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 a long day of exploring Ojai.

See Related: Best Things to Do in Los Angeles, California

14. Hike the Rose Valley Falls Trail

Rose Valley Falls Trail
image by Management/TripAdvisor

Rose Valley Falls Trail is one of Ojai’s most popular hiking trails. The trail is located 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 it’s 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 be flowing if there hasn’t been any rain recently.

Take 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

Topa Mountain Winery View
image by Management/TripAdvisor

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 really appreciate their extensive wine list and tasting rooms.

The winery produces various wines, including reds, whites, and sparkling wines. 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 has to offer with a small group of friends.

See Related: Fun & Best Things to Do in Napa Valley, California

16. Visit the Ojai Certified Farmers Market

Ojai Certified Farmers Market
image by chiaragen74/TripAdvisor

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 am to 1:00 pm.

The Ojai Farmers Market features a wide variety of 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.

17. Nocciola

Nocciola Interior
image by MarinaVmusic/TripAdvisor

Address: 314 El Paseo Rd, Ojai, CA 93023

Nocciola is one of the highest-rated restaurants in the city! Their handmade pastas, 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 your meal, head over to the spa at Ojai Valley Inn.

You can also explore their many classes online, 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 so many things to do.

See Related: Best Places to Visit in the US

18. The Ojai Art Center

Address: 113 S Montgomery St, Ojai, CA 93023

Since 1939, the Ojai Art Center has provided the community with 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, and 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. If you’re looking for a creative outlet or want to support the arts, be sure to check out the Ojai Art Center.

FAQ

What are the best tourist attractions in Ojai, California?

Ojai is known for the Ojai Meadows Preserve, one of the best-preserved wetlands in the area. The Ojai Music Festival is also a big attraction in June.

What is the best thing to do with kids in Ojai, California?

Bart’s Books is one of the best places to visit with kids to help them explore books. The Ojai Valley Museum is also a great educational place for kids to learn and explore the history of Ojai.

What are some fun things to do in Ojai, California?

Los Padres National Forest is full of fun activities such as hiking, camping, and bike riding. You can also go wine tasting at the Ojai Vineyard for more adult-oriented fun.

What are some things to do in Ojai, California when it’s raining?

The Ojai Certified Farmers Market is open, rain or shine, for you to explore. If you want to stay indoors, the Ojai Art Center is a perfect way to explore art galleries indoors.

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