So you need a weekend away?
Ojai, California has long been one of our favorite weekend retreats.
Only an hour and a half north of LA, it feels like a different world when you arrive. The Chumash Indians who settled the valley over 10,000 years ago recognized the healing and magical powers of the valley and called it Ojai, or moon.
The moment you arrive to this desert mountain town, you may feel an energetic shift towards slow and steady. In fact, the whole town slows down each day to observe Ojai’s infamous ‘pink moment’; the surreal and magical moment when the sun sets across the distant ocean casting an amazing pink glow across the entire valley. If you’re lucky enough to stay at the luxurious Ojai Valley Inn and Spa, the time of the ‘moment’ is announced each day each day with the ring of an old mission bell to remind guests and staff alike to pause, take a breath and observe the beauty of the moment.
It can be overwhelming to plan a weekend getaway with intentions to both explore and relax in a new land. We figured we’d help out by giving a quick rundown of some of our favorite things to do while there.
Get started with these, but we’re big believers in letting the path show you the way. So make sure to leave some room for magic.
Where to stay:
This, err, lodge, is for those travelers who want to be into camping, but so far they’ve only gotten to glamping levels of commitment. These airstreams have been remodeled for a modern look and feel in an otherwise caravan’y world. The privacy is a major plus, and how cool are these personal outdoor chill zones?
OJAI RANCHO INN
This is a rustic meets desert cozy hotel that caters to a crowd who wants a bit more room to spread out while away, but doesn’t need luxury in order to feel relaxed. See for yourself.
OJAI VALLEY INN + SPA
If pure luxury is your thing, Ojai Valley Inn + Spa is your place. Quiet, refined and dog-friendly (bonus!), this Spanish Revival-styled resort offers every amenity you could imagine. The spa is world class and includes unique experiences like the not-to-be-missed Kuyam experience. Kuyam, a Chumash word that means “a place to rest together,” is a heated room, much like a dry sauna, where you apply therapeutic desert clay infused with essential oils and relax to the guided meditation of traditional Chumash narrative.
Relaxing, natural, spiritual, totally Ojai.
What to do:
IN THE FIELD OJAI
What’s a weekend getaway without shopping of course. If you arrive feeling terribly out of place because you haven’t scooped up your ocean+main threads, hit up this shop for a dose of desert-hipster chic. Beautiful distractions range from home decor, amazing hats, goodies for the kddo's and impossible to resist apothecary mixtures.
An absolute treasure of a shop, Bart’s Books has been an Ojai staple since 1964.
The history of this outdoor book shop, almost in the middle of nowhere, is quite unique. We invite you check out their page for a fuller history and to entice you even more to make a visit.
Our last recommendation would be to this mountain top meditation center just on the outskirts of the town center. Be mindful of their hours and days of operation, but if you’re lucky enough to be in town when they’re open, we’d highly suggest taking a few moments out of your trip to visit this retreat, particularly around sunset, and take in the beauty of the Ojai Valley.
p.s. All photos are owned by their respective websites