Set in a valley in the Topatopa Mountains, Ojai is a small but charming city with pristine views, world-class resorts and spas, and incredibly fresh air surrounded by beautiful nature. Ojai is a great place to go when you want to unwind, relax and refresh, and it offers an abundance of activities that will keep you entertained during your stay. From outdoor hikes and strolls to organic wine tasting and olive oil sampling, Ojai is guaranteed to inspire you during your next visit. Check out the 10 best things to do on a weekend in Ojai.
Here Are The Best Things to Do in Ojai
This relaxing wellness resort is the ultimate getaway, with a focus on mindful health and education. They offer a variety of activities such as yoga, Pilates, hiking, art tours, educational classes, movie nights, and cooking demonstrations. We highly recommend the Ojai History Stroll, where a knowledgeable guide explains the town’s interesting history while seeing the different sites including the Ojai Bell Towner. After your activities, relax and unwind in the Oaks at Ojai Spa, which offers a range of massages (we recommend the Sweet Slumber and Ultimate Massage Collection) along with skin care treatments, hair and nail salon services. Stop by The Nest on your way out—The Oaks at Ojai’s spa boutique sells luxury robes, workout gear, and their famous Spa Bark made with dark chocolate, raw nuts and dried fruit.
Address: 122 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai
Learn everything you ever wanted to know about olive and more—from how the stuff is made to why you shouldn’t just buy any bottle at the store. They offer free tours to the public and do not require reservations. Ojai Olive Oil is open on Wednesdays from 1 to 4pm and Saturdays from 10am to 4pm. After your tour, step into the tasting room where you can sample different varieties of olive oil and vinaigrette, which are also available for purchase.
Address: 1811 Ladera Road, Ojai
Every Sunday morning from 9 to 1, everyone gathers at this incredible farmers’ market to browse and purchase everything from fresh fruits and vegetables to local jams and honey, free-range eggs, organic body products, homemade lavender wreaths, and more. There’s even a booth that offers free hugs. Rain or shine, the market is always alive and bustling with activity.
Address: 300 E. Matilija Street, Ojai
4. Bart’s Books
A unique bookstore unlike any other, Bart’s Books has been around since 1964 and is the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the US. They offer a wide variety of rare and special books, including out-of-print first editions and high-value art books. Stop by and browse through the bookshelves that line the outside of the store along the sidewalk, and be sure to visit during one of Bart’s special events, which include author book signings and spoken word nights.
Address: 302 W. Matilija Street, Ojai
Photo: The Vacation Gals
Whether you’re craving farm-fresh tapas, craft cocktails, or local wine and beer, Azu has something for everyone. Their products and ingredients are sourced from local farmers, and the bar menu features craft cocktails with juices that are straight from the citrus orchards of Ojai. Some of the must-try items on the menu include the honey-baked brie, chorizo stuffed dates, and the kebabs.
Address: 457 East Ojai Avenue, Ojai
If you’re interested in sampling organic wine, stop by Casa Barranca’s craftsman-style tasting room located in downtown Ojai’s historic Arcade. While sampling their different wines, an expert will tell you all about the wine making process. They also sell fun souvenirs like aerators, coasters, and fancy corkscrews to serve as a reminder of your visit. Tasting room hours are Sunday through Thursday from noon to 6pm, and Friday and Saturday from noon to 7pm.
Address: 208 E. Ojai Avenue, Ojai
Get your daily citrus dose and more by stopping at this local packinghouse and citrus farm, which has been around for more than 100 years. From lemons and grapefruits to blood oranges, Friend’s Ranch grows it all, but they’re especially well known for their Pixie fruit. Come by for a tour and sample the different varieties, including fresh-squeezed lemon and orange juice. You can also buy fruit to take home, and enjoy stunning views from the actual orchard.
Address: 15150 Maricopa Hwy., Ojai
The Center celebrates the life and work of Beatrice Wood, an important member of Ojai’s art community in the 1940s, while at the same time presenting various exhibitions, performances and educational opportunities. Aside from regular exhibitions, the Center offers artist workshops and performances, and is closely affiliated to the Besant Hill School, which benefits from and contributes to its activities.
Address: 8585 Ojai-Santa Paula Rd, Ojai
9. Ojai Valley Bike Trail
Rent a bike (if you didn’t bring one) and enjoy a scenic ride that offers views of the surrounding mountains and various flowers in bloom. Completing a one-way leg of the ride takes less than an hour, and it’s a great way to start or end your day in Ojai. If you go for a ride in the later afternoon, you just might get lucky enough to catch the “Pink Moment”—one of Ojai’s famous sunsets.
Address: 438 Casitas Vista Rd, Ventura
Owned and operated by award-winning taxidermist Chuck Testa, this interesting oddity of a place has become extremely popular with visitors. Testa’s shop is connected to his home, and he’ll give you a tour of all of the different projects he’s been working on. On another note, if you need to get something stuffed, cleaned or mounted, Testa is your go-to guy.
Address: 318 N. Arnaz St., Ojai
This article was written by Kamala Kirk.