Picturing Ojai

Ojai's Topa Topa Mountains

After a recent weekend in the small Southern California town of Ojai, I was excited to learn that the area’s long been a shooting location for Hollywood movies.

Maybe the film crews come for the soaring mountains, the almost-endless valleys, the acres of orange groves, the gurgling streams, the antique trains, the soft, dreamy color palette, the peace and quiet…or all of the above.

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Indulge in a Bit of Ojai

The namesake of Ojai's Emerald Iguana Inn

We truly love the small Southern California town of Ojai, a good 1 ½-hour drive from our home in L.A. For almost two decades, we’ve gone there for day trips to enjoy the scenic valleys, the small-town feel of the main drag and the best farmer’s market in Ventura County.

But now we’ve finally spent the whole weekend, only to learn that all this time, Ojai has been a lovely, peaceful place to wake up in the morning…and stuff our faces all day and night.

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The Ojai Valley

Ojai Valley signOjai is our second most common destination (after Malibu) when we feel we need a day’s drive out of town.  It’s full of people who one day decided to step off the escalator of their city lives and slow the hell down.

Ojai is all about artists and fine crafts, horse farms, Slow Food, a great farmer’s market, dappled light and friendly conversations with everyone you meet.  Even when it’s hot out, the whole town feels like a light breeze.

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The Best of Central California

The ubiquitous California Valley Oak

We get away to Central California as often as we can — it’s a couples’ paradise, with driving routes that hug both the Pacific Ocean and gently sloping hills dotted with gnarled trees.

Within this region of the state you’ll find pristine beaches, historic towns and buildings, excellent wineries, a great meal here and there, sweeping views, little inns, posh resorts, and the new millenium phenomenon known as “upscale camping.”

With all of its attractions between 2 and 5 hours north of Los Angeles, it’s easy to take regular two- or three-day weekends and always feel like you had a true vacation.

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