Ojai Travel Guide

Discover the best places to visit, things to do, where to stay, and more in the charming town of Ojai in California with our comprehensive travel guide.

Introduction to Ojai

Located in Ventura County, in Central Coast California, Ojai is a charming town that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures. Often referred to as the “Shangri-La” of Southern California, Ojai attracts visitors looking for an escape from the hustle and bustle of city life. Surrounded by picturesque mountains, Ojai is known for its mild climate and Mediterranean-like geography, which has made it a popular destination for outdoor enthusiasts, spa-goers, and wine lovers alike.

List of Places to Visit in Ojai

Culturally Important Attractions: Museums and Historical Places

  • Ojai Valley Museum: Located downtown, the museum tells the story of Ojai’s rich history through exhibits, photographs, and artifacts.
  • Krishnamurti Library and Archives: This tranquil library features archives related to the philosopher Jiddu Krishnamurti and his teachings about art, nature, and the human condition.
  • Thacher House Museum: This historical landmark offers guided tours that showcase the life of Ojai’s first family, the Thachers, who helped shape Ojai into what it is today.

Natural Attractions of Ojai: Outdoor Adventures and Scenic Views

  • Los Padres National Forest: Ojai is surrounded by the Los Padres National Forest, which offers a range of outdoor activities such as hiking, camping, and horseback riding.
  • Rose Valley Falls Trail: This scenic trail takes visitors to a beautiful waterfall and swimming hole.
  • Lake Casitas Recreation Area: A popular spot for boating, fishing, and camping, Lake Casitas is located just a few miles outside of Ojai.

Hiking/Biking Routes of Ojai

  • Ventura River Preserve/Ojai Valley Land Conservancy: Offers a variety of trails that cater to all skill levels. Highlight trails include Cozy Dell Trail, Pratt Trail, and Foothill Trail.
  • Nordhoff Ridge Road: A popular 9-mile trail that provides breathtaking views of Ojai Valley.
  • Sisar Canyon Trail: A 6-mile out-and-back trail that is suitable for hikers and mountain bikers. The trail offers stunning views of the surrounding mountains.

Best Things to Do in Ojai: Activities and Tours

  • Ojai Olive Oil Farm Tour: Visitors can take a tour of the olive groves and learn about the olive oil production process.
  • Ojai Culinary Walking Tour: A guided tour of Ojai’s food scene, with stops at local restaurants and businesses.
  • Ojai Trolley Tour: A fun and educational tour of Ojai, with stops at historical landmarks and cultural attractions.

Week-Long Itinerary for Ojai

Day Activity
Day 1 Explore Downtown, Visit Ojai Valley Museum
Day 2 Hike to Rose Valley Falls
Day 3 Bike/Hike Trails in Ventura River Preserve and Enjoy Lake Casitas
Day 4 Visit Krishaumurti Library and Archives
Day 5 Take Ojai Culinary Walking Tour
Day 6 Spend the Day at Meditation Mount
Day 7 Outdoor Adventure Day: Horseback Riding, Kayaking, or Rock Climbing

Food and Drink Scene of Ojai

Must-Try Dishes

  • Ojai Pixie: A sweet and seedless mandarin orange that is only grown in Ojai.
  • Pink Moment: A local cocktail made with grapefruit juice and vodka, named after the pink hues that light up the mountains during sunset.
  • Deer Lodge Burger: A must-try item on the menu of the historic Deer Lodge, famous for their juicy burgers.

Local Beverages

  • Ojai Vineyard: Produces a range of award-winning wines that are made with grapes grown in Ojai and surrounding areas.
  • Topa Topa Brewing Company: A local brewery that offers a variety of craft beers.

Where to Stay in Ojai: Hotels, Hostels, and Guesthouses

  • Ojai Valley Inn & Spa: A luxury resort that offers spa services, golf course, and fine dining options.
  • Blue Iguana Inn: A boutique hotel that features cozy rooms and outdoor pool.
  • Casa Ojai Inn: A budget-friendly option that offers clean and comfortable rooms, pool, and hot tub.

What to Buy in Ojai: Souvenirs and Local Products to Bring Home

  • Ojai Lavender Products: Ojai is known for its lavender fields, and visitors can purchase products such as essential oils, soaps, and lotions made with locally grown lavender.
  • Ojai Olive Oil: Visitors can purchase locally grown and produced olive oil, which is of excellent quality and highly recommended for cooking and salad dressing.

Local Culture and Customs of Ojai

Ojai is a community that values art, nature, and peaceful coexistence. Visitors should respect the town’s culture and customs by practicing mindfulness, being kind and respectful to the locals, and following the rules and regulations of the parks and trails.

Best Time to Visit Ojai

The best time to visit Ojai is from March to May and September to November, when the weather is mild and perfect for outdoor activities. Summers can get hot, and winters can be chilly, with occasional rainfall. However, Ojai is a year-round destination that offers something for everyone, so visitors can decide the best time to visit based on their preferred activities and interests.

Do’s and Don’ts of Ojai


  • Respect the local culture and customs.
  • Explore the outdoors and enjoy the natural beauty of Ojai.
  • Follow the rules and regulations of the parks and trails.


  • Litter or damage the local environment.
  • Disrespect the locals or make excessive noise.
  • Ignore safety precautions when engaging in outdoor activities.

Safety and Health

Safety in Ojai

Ojai is a generally safe town, with a low crime rate. Visitors should take standard safety precautions, such as locking their cars and securing their valuables.

Health in Ojai

Visitors should stay hydrated and protect themselves from the sun when engaging in outdoor activities. Ojai has a few medical facilities, but visitors with specific health needs should consult with their healthcare provider before traveling.

Getting to Ojai: Transportation Options and Logistics

Ojai is located approximately 80 miles north of Los Angeles, and visitors can reach it by car, bus, or plane.

Airports Near Ojai

  • Los Angeles International Airport (LAX): Approximately 90 miles away from Ojai.
  • Santa Barbara Municipal Airport (SBA): Approximately 35 miles away from Ojai.

Bus Stations Near Ojai

  • Ojai Trolley: Offers a convenient and affordable way to travel within Ojai.
  • Ventura County Transportation Commission (VCTC): Offers bus services between Ojai and other nearby cities.

Other Options

Uber and Lyft are also available in Ojai for those looking for private transportation options.

How to Get Around in Ojai

Walking and biking are popular ways to get around Ojai. Visitors can also rent cars or use ride-sharing services for longer journeys.

Where to Go Next from Ojai: Nearby Destinations and Excursions

  • Santa Barbara: A charming coastal town located approximately 40 miles from Ojai that offers beaches, wineries, and cultural attractions.
  • Channel Islands National Park: Located off the coast of Southern California, this national park can be reached by ferry and offers a range of outdoor activities, such as hiking and kayaking.
  • Solvang: A Danish-themed village located approximately 60 miles from Ojai that features European architecture, bakeries, and boutique shops.


Ojai is a hidden gem that offers a unique blend of natural beauty, cultural attractions, and outdoor adventures. From hiking trails to olive oil farms, there’s something for everyone in this charming town. Use this comprehensive guide to plan your visit, and get ready to fall in love with the “Shangri-La” of Southern California.