Top 5 Favorite Things to Do in Ojai

Posted: July 25, 2013 by writingsprint in Travel
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Ojai morning

Ojai is a small town (pop. ~8,000) a little less than half an hour north of Ventura. The distance is only 11 miles, but they’re winding miles through picturesque valley roads, so it takes longer to get there than you might think. Ojai is adorable. It has San Diego’s perfect weather without the big city hassle. It doesn’t have San Diego’s beaches, but San Diego doesn’t have Ojai’s small town charm. I know that I want to come back. In three days, I’ve already come up with a top five list of things I want to do every time I come to Ojai.

  1. Stay at the Blue Iguana. My supervisor recommended this place, and she earned major points with me for it. The Blue Iguana feels more like a bed and breakfast than a hotel. The rooms have a simple southwestern décor, with Mission style furniture, hardwood floors, and paintings by local artists. I also have a full kitchen with pay-as-you-go snack basket. Get one of the rooms in the back of the property; they’re quieter, and have mini patios in front and back for sitting. The rooms have air conditioning. You need it during the day, but at night the temperature drops low enough that you really don’t.
  2. Have dinner at Suzanne’s Cuisine. Worth driving out of your way and a change in plans. Get one of the seats on the back deck, facing the garden. That way you can watch hummingbirds taking a drink from the flowers while you enjoy your meal. I had two specials, a spinach salad followed by tilapia with orange and mango salsa. For dessert, I had the crispy chocolate tart. All of the above: to. Die. For.
  3. Have lunch at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. Again, delicious food with a great view, this time of the Inn’s golf course. You’ve never had a grilled cheese sandwich until you’ve had one with fresh homebread bread and heirloom tomatoes.
  4. Check out Bart’s Books. If you like quirky book stores, you’ll love Bart’s Books. I’ve been told that Bart’s is a local institution. All I know is it’s an open-air bookstore, meaning I can walk around in the sunshine and look at books at the same time. Did they know I was coming? And what do they do when it rains?
  5. Take a yoga class at Lulu Bandha’s. I have to admit I’m taking this one on faith. Lulu Bandha’s came up in a Yelp search on “Ojai yoga.” They have a class called “Stiff White Guys.” At age 44 and with the flexibility of a brick, I resemble that remark. Any yogi that would have the sense of humor to come up with a class named Stiff White Guys has to be cool. My work schedule has been too busy to get over to Lulu Bandha’s, but I’ll get there next time.

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