If you ever find yourself in Los Angeles for an extended period of time, take a day trip to Ojai – a beautiful and small city in The Ojai Valley- north of Los Angeles and east of Santa Barbara, in Ventura County. It reminded me very much of Australia’s hippy Byron Bay – extremely laid back with a focus on health and spirituality. I didn’t go to the famous Meditation Mount but I would have if the temperature hadn’t been over 100C.
Every Sunday there is a farmers market – food, organic cosmetics, fresh herbs and plants. People were extremely friendly, an older gentleman cornered me in the farmers market for about 15 minutes, and even wanted to exchange details so that I could come and meet his family! I said I didn’t have a cell phone…or a current address! On the other corner of the market a gentleman was offering ‘Free Hugs’. After I took this photograph of him, it felt rude not to hug him!
I learnt on wikipedia before my visit that because of Ojai’s location it is one of few towns in the world to have a “Pink Moment” occur as the sun is setting.
‘The fading sunlight creates a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes on the Topatopa Bluffs, over 6,000 feet above sea level at the east end of the Ojai Valley.’
One of my favourite things about the day in Ojai was the drive – after coming off the 101 – the area is absolutely beautiful – so serene. It’s a very sleepy part of the world. It’s like a detox day away from LA.
The drive from LA takes about 90 minutes, and takes you directly past the Camarillo Outlets, which are absolutely enormous!
Where to eat –
Bonnie Lu’s Country Cafe –
Bonnie Lu’s serve breakfast all day. Sadly the day that I went to Ojai, they had a power cut. However apparently the place for breakfast.
328 E Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023 +1 085 646 0207
A charming Italian restaurant, this was recommended to me by my friend Jaymo, and now I want to recommend it to you. Really friendly, and relaxed – ideal for families, couples, or solo travellers.
3277 Ojai Santa Paula Rd, Ojai, CA 93023 +1 805-646-6116
Useful Addresses –
Meditation Mount – 10340 Reeves Rd, Ojai, CA 93023
Farmers Market – 300 E Matilija, Ojai, CA 93023