Cutting inconspicuously away from the California coast, tucked between mountains and amid fragrant orange groves, is the city of Ojai. It’s miraculous how peacefully bucolic this place can feel, it being so very close to the Los Angeles metropolis (just shy of two hours away). Less popular a destination than Santa Barbara yet with all the necessary fittings for a rejuvenating stay, Ojai provides a little taste of wine country, on a smaller, cozier scale than Northern California’s destination towns. It’s the perfect place for a quick weekend getaway—though you might be tempted to stay much longer. To ensure you hit all the spots necessary to solidify your love, we’ve scouted the best places to stay, eat, and entertain yourself. Read on.
WHAT: Good luck ever leaving if you choose to stay at this one. The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa is la crème de la crème of luxury Ojai lodging. Think sprawling 200-acre grounds, four-poster beds, adobe fireplaces, aromatherapy workshops, horseback riding, tennis, hiking, and more.
WHO: Lavender Inn
WHAT: Housed in an 1874-built schoolhouse, Lavender Inn’s eight-count guestroom B&B is as charming as you would expect. Located right in the center of town but off the main road, it’s great for a romantic retreat.
WHO: Osteria Monte Grappa
WHAT: For a slightly more done-up dining experience, Osteria Monte Grappa is a perfect pick: tasty farm-fresh Italian fare, fresh seafood choices, and a killer wine menu featuring local and Italian wines.
WHO: Farmer and the Cook
WHAT: This organic grocer and restaurant has a menu stocked with Mexican-style dishes with a locavore inflection (Swiss chard enchilada and raw tacos are interspersed with more traditional burritos, huarache, and tamales). Farmer and the Cook also sells local-made pantry items and has one of the best patios for taking in the sunshine.