10 Best Things to Do in Ojai, California | Travel by Brit (2024)

Located in Southern California in the mountains of Ventura County, Ojai offers the perfect blend of exploration and relaxation! Ojai is best known for its stunning Spanish-style architecture, relaxing spas, local shopping, and exquisite sunsets.

Ojai is the perfect destination for a relaxing weekend trip. There are plenty of fun things to do in Ojai to keep you busy, but not too many to feel overwhelmed. It’s the ideal spot for a laid-back weekend filled with great food, wine, and views!

Here’s a look at the best things to do in Ojai during your weekend trip to this gorgeous California location. But first, here are somequestionsyou might have abouttravelingto Ojai!

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When Should I Visit Ojai?

Ojai is a beautiful destination to visit year-round, but like the rest of Southern California, the area shines in the spring through the fall. I’d recommend alate-springorearly-fallvisit to experience mild temperatures and constant sunshine!

I would also recommend visiting Ojai duringthe weekend. Many shops, restaurants, and other things to do in Ojai are closed on Monday and Tuesday, so it’s best to avoid visiting during these days. However, if you’re planning a long weekend in California, Monday is a great day to take a day trip from Ojai to a larger, nearby city, like Santa Barbara.You can learn more about popular day trips on this list of the best things to do in Ojai.

How Do I Get to Ojai?

Ojai is tucked away in the TopaTopaMountains, so it’s a bit of a drive from the nearest airports. If you’re flying into Ojai, here are the closest airports to choose from:

  • Santa Barbara (SBA) Airport:34-mile drive from Ojai
  • Hollywood Burbank (BUR) Airport:54-mile drive from Ojai
  • Los Angeles (LAX) International Airport:60-mile drive from Ojai

If you’re looking for the most affordable option, I’d recommend flying into Los Angeles. Since it’s such a large airport, flights and rental cars will be cheaper. If you’re looking for the closest option and a fun city to fly into, Santa Barbara is your best bet!

10 Best Things to Do in Ojai, California

1. Wine Tasting

Ojai is known for its collection of local wineries and tasting rooms, making wine tasting in Ojai a must-do activity while you’re in the city!

Topa Mountain Wineryis perhaps the most famous winery in Ojai, with plenty of space to relax, unwind, and enjoy spectacular views of the TopaTopaMountain Range. Unfortunately, Topa Mountain Winery was closed for a private event during our visit, so we couldn’t stop at this popular spot.

We did, however, stop for a glass of wine at theMajestic Oak Vineyard and Wine Tastingin Downtown Ojai, and we loved our experience! The lush, shaded patio and quiet atmosphere make this one of the best things to do in Ojai!

If you’re looking for other wine tasting locations in Downtown Ojai,The Ojai Vineyard Tasting RoomandCasa Barranca Organic Winery & Tasting Roomare two additional options.

2. World’s Largest Outdoor Bookstore

Did you know Ojai is home to the world’s largest outdoor bookstore? Even if you’re not a big reader, youhave topay a visit toBart’s Books—one of the best things to do in Ojai!

Bart’s Books is an experience within itself that’s been an Ojai staple since the 1960s. During your visit, you can get lost winding through hundreds of shelves and thousands of books, or you can sit at a table sprinkled throughout the store to read a few chapters of your latest purchase.

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3. Olive Oil Tasting

Olive oil tasting is one of the best (and most unique!) things to do in Ojai, California. You can take a self-guided tour ofOjai Olive Oil—a family-owned farm that has been making olive oils from 150-year-old olive trees for decades. They also offer free tastings!

If you don’t want to make the drive up to Ojai Olive Oil (it’s about a 10-minute drive from Downtown Ojai), you can stop at theOjai Tasting Room Carolina Gramm, located just across the street from Majestic Oak Vineyard and Wine Tasting, to sample their olive oils instead!

4. Downtown Ojai Shopping

In Ojai, you won’t find any large retail chains. Large chain businesses with five or more locations are banned from Ojai. That said, when you shop and dine in Ojai, you are supporting locally operated and family-run companies, which I think is amazing!

In Downtown Ojai, you can explore the boutiques and other independent stories filled with handmade jewelry, plants, furniture, clothing, and more. If you love shopping for unique items, you’ll adore perusing the shops in Downtown Ojai. Some cute and trendy places to shop in Ojai includeSummer Camp,In the Field, andPlant Based.

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10 Best Things to Do in Ojai, California | Travel by Brit (6)

5. Local Eateries

Ojai has tons of fabulous places to eat—here are a few of the most popular!

  • Tipple & Ramble—Tipple & Ramble is a bohemian-style wine bar offering charcuterie boards and an Instagrammable, casual patio perfect for spending the afternoon!
  • The Nest—The Nest just opened in 2017 but has already become a favorite in Ojai thanks to the healthy options, yummy tacos, and dog-friendly patio.
  • LOVE Social Café—This spot is perfect for a quick breakfast bite, like a sandwich or burrito, and a cup of coffee.
  • The Farmer and The Cook—This organic restaurant serves breakfast and lunch with ingredients from their local farm just down the road!
  • TopaTopaBrewing Company—If you’re looking for a venue that’s a bit livelier, you’ll love grabbing a beer and enjoying the atmosphere of TopaTopaBrewing Company’s taproom location in Downtown Ojai.
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6. Relaxing Spa Day

With dozens of spas, yoga studios, and wellness retreats scatteredthroughout the town, Ojai is a great destination to enjoy a relaxing,rejuvenatingvacation.

However, nowhere beatsSpa Ojaiat the Ojai Valley Inn for a day of massages, facials, and other relaxing spa treatments. Guests can book massage therapy, hydrating facials, sound energy therapy experiences, natural nail therapy, wellness classes, and more.

7. Sunset Hiking

Since Ojai is in the mountains, it’s a beautiful location to go hiking.Ojai Meadows Preserveis a great location just outside the city to take a long walk, while theLos Padres National Forestis better if you prefer more challenging hikes.

Los Padres National Forest spans from Ventura to Monterrey. Some of the more popular hikes you can access from Ojai include Rose Valley Falls and the Wheeler Gorge Nature Trail.

Plus, you can try to time your hike to end around sunset to capture the “Pink Moment“—the nickname for Ojai’s famous sunsets.Watching the sunset is one of the best things to do in Ojai!

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8. Farmers’ Market

California grows some amazing produce! So naturally, visiting the farmer’s market is one of the best things to do in Ojai, California! Downtown Ojai has two popular farmers’ markets, and if you’re planning to stay for a long weekend, you should be able to visit them both.

TheOjai Certified Farmers Marketoccurs on Sunday mornings from 9 AM – 1 PM, and theOjai Community Farmers’ Markethappens on Thursday evenings from 3 PM – 7 PM. At each market, you’ll find tons of goods, like fruit, veggies, cheeses, flowers, and more from local vendors.

9. Beach Day Trip

If you’re looking to get your beach fix during your California vacation, you’ll be happy to discover that Ojai is just a short 15-mile drive from Ventura and a 33-mile drive from Santa Barbara.Even though there are plenty of things to do in Ojai to fill an entire weekend, it’s worth exploring the nearby cities, too!

If you’re looking to lounge on the beach for the entire day, I’d recommend visitingVentura since it’s closer to Ojai and offers a laid-back beach atmosphere.

However, if you’re willing to make the drive,Santa Barbarais filled with beautiful architecture, clean beaches, and a hopping foodie scene that’sworthchecking out during your trip!

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10. Hot Springs

Ojai has some great hot springs! You can visit during the day if it’s cooler outside or in the evening to relax under the stars.EcotopiaorMatilija Hot Springsare two places where you can find some of the steamy hot springsnear Ojai!

What are the Best Places to Stay in Ojai?

Ojai is a small town, so options for accommodations are limited. The following accommodations are by far the most beautiful and popular places to stay in Ojai, so book them plenty of time inadvanceto ensure the best rooms at the best rates!

  • Ojai Valley Inn—Ojai’s most popular place to stay, equipped with beautiful scenery, a full-service spa, and a championship golf course.
  • The Emerald Iguana Inn—Cozy hotel with a beautiful garden view and outdoor pool that’s perfect for a couple’s vacation.
  • Caravan Outpost—Trendy pet-friendly airstream getaway tucked in the Topa Topa Mountains that’s perfect for a solo trip.

Enjoy the Best Things to Do in Ojai During Your Laid-Back Weekend Trip!

Whether you’re planning a romantic vacation, girls’ getaway, or solo wellness retreat, a weekend in Ojai, California, is sure to leave you refreshed and rejuvenated! Which of these fun things to do in Ojai would you enjoy first during your weekend trip?

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Pin the Best Things to Do in Ojai for Your Weekend Trip for Later!

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Read More

Did you love this post about the best things to do in Ojai? If so, check out these other posts about Southern California to plan the perfect vacation!

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  • 6 Awesome Things to Do on Coronado Island
  • How to Spend One Fun Day in Huntington Beach
  • Perfect 3-Day Weekend Guide to San Diego
  • Great Tips for Visiting Disneyland During COVID

About the Author

Brittany Sawyer

Hi, I'm Brit! I'm a writer from Phoenix, AZ who loves coffee, golden retriever puppies, and obviously, travel! I help ordinary women (like me!) dream, plan, and do extraordinary travel experiences.

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10 Best Things to Do in Ojai, California | Travel by Brit (2024)


What is Ojai, California famous for? ›

Ojai has long been known as a haven for creatives – from woodworkers, to painters, to ceramicists, sculptors and more. Discover one-of-a kind treasures, meet local artists and learn about their inspiration.

What is the best month to visit Ojai? ›

The warmest months in Ojai are June and July, and the least rainy month is May. The temps drop a bit in the fall, so October and November are also great time to visit.

What celebrities have houses in Ojai? ›

Celebrities who own or have owned houses over the years in Ojai include Ted Danson and Mary Steenburgen, Larry Hagman, Reese Witherspoon, John Krasinski and Emily Blunt, Diane Ladd, Rashida Jones and Ellen DeGeneres.

What famous person is from Ojai California? ›

James Paxton was born and raised in Ojai, California. He studied British Film in London before studying at the Vincent Chase Workshop in Los Angeles, California. He starred in the USA Network drama series, Eyewitness, directed by Catherine Hardwicke and executive produced by Adi Hasak.

Why is Ojai so special? ›

The name is derived from the native Chumash people, who for thousands of years considered the valley to be a sacred ground and named it after their word for “nest” or “valley of the moon.” Indeed Ojai's history as a spiritual sanctuary is strongly linked to the Chumash tribe of hunter-gatherers, fishermen and basket ...

What fruit is Ojai known for? ›

Known for our citrus, especially the Ojai Pixie Tangerine, the early springtime air is naturally perfumed with the uplifting fragrance of blossoming trees.

What is the pink hour in Ojai? ›

For a few fleeting moments the Topatopa mountains illuminate with glorious shades of pink along with bands of orange and red. While the sun does set daily, the Pink Moment is not always visible due to clouds, precipitation, or other impediments that block the sun's light from reaching our 6,000+ foot mountains.

Is Ojai a walkable city? ›

You can easily explore downtown Ojai by foot. Most shops, galleries and restaurants are located in a compact, two-block area.

Is Ojai worth going to? ›

Ojai is a small agricultural community in Ventura County that is known for its Mediterranean climate and it's cultural focus on spirituality, outdoor exercise, wellness, and art. It is a charming town that is the perfect spot for some rest and relaxation, good food, and beautiful views.

Is Ojai a hippie town? ›

The enduring hippie presence is a long-established Ojai tradition.

Is Ojai an affluent? ›

About. In 2022, Ojai, CA had a population of 7.61k people with a median age of 50.4 and a median household income of $76,569. Between 2021 and 2022 the population of Ojai, CA declined from 7,640 to 7,610, a −0.393% decrease and its median household income grew from $71,700 to $76,569, a 6.79% increase.

Does Tom Selleck live in Ojai? ›

Britney Spears is one of the famous people in Ojai, with 20-acre property worth at least $7.4 million. Another of the Ojai celebrities is Tom Selleck, beloved for playing Magnum on Magnum, P. I. and Richard on Friends. He has a ranch in Ventura County with a 20-acre avocado farm.

What does "ojai" mean in Spanish? ›

The name Ojai is derived from the Mexican-era Rancho Ojai, which in turn took its name from the Ventureño Chumash word 'Awha'y, meaning "Moon".

What does "ojai" mean in English? ›

By 1864, the area had been settled, and in 1874, the City of Nordhoff was founded. The city was renamed Ojai, a Chumash word meaning “the Nest” or Valley of the Moon, when the name Nordhoff was deemed too German post-World War I.

Why is Ojai a vortex? ›

Some equate this vortex to the valley's unusual positioning of the mountain range that runs East to West, and that this helps hem geological tremors and atmospheric energy.

Is Ojai a wealthy town? ›

Ojai is a wealthy community, so living expenses are higher than in other of the surrounding cities.

Is Ojai, California worth visiting? ›

Will You Like Ojai? Ojai is a good place for a relaxing getaway or a romantic interlude, with just enough to do at a leisurely pace. If you're a photographer, the oak trees, mountains, and orange groves provide plenty of things to point your lens at. And the annual "pink moment" could be worth planning a trip around.

What does the word "ojai" mean? ›

By 1864, the area had been settled, and in 1874, the City of Nordhoff was founded. The city was renamed Ojai, a Chumash word meaning “the Nest” or Valley of the Moon, when the name Nordhoff was deemed too German post-World War I.

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