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Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 1:33 AM
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Day Trip to Ojai, CA

On Saturday, 2.27.2021, my partner and I did a day trip to Ojai, a town we hadn't been to in many years, and only once before. And the last time we were there, it seemed really sleepy. This time around, though, it was kind of crowded with people doing the weekend thing as well.

Located about 80-something miles northwest of Los Angeles in Ventura County, Ojai is the quintessential, almost laughably stereotypical, small California town that people go to for a long weekend or a day trip. It checks off all the boxes; it has meditation retreats, wellness centers, herbal medicine shops, New Age-y kind of stores with the crystals (which seem to be dwindling, but they still exist), aging hippies, farm-to-table and vegan eateries, spa resorts, bridle paths/horse trails, a "cute" walkable downtown village, cute historic inns, protected historic native California oak trees...

Anyway, I took some pictures... some of which I'm not happy with at all. There were so many cars on the main drag, driving on as well as parked on; makes me wish we had gone there at sunrise before it started getting really crowded so I could have taken pictures with deserted streets, minus automobile clutter. Oh well.


Ojai, CA


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Lunchtime. I made a reservation for this place two days prior.

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This was a yummy cocktail. It was a concoction of tequila, sage, blackberry puree, and lime juice.

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A very good stuffed pasilla.

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I guess some locals resent people from LA coming here... yeah, we must crowd their town on weekends, but hey, we contribute to their economy. Wouldn't it be a ghost town otherwise?

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A New Age-type store. We just had to go inside.

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Yup, they sell crystals. Among other things.

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I ended up getting 2 new strands of mala to go with the one I've been wearing. I'm not into New Age stuff, but for some reason, these types of stores sell Buddhist paraphernalia; I never understood the connection between New Age-ism and Buddhism. And people not in the know seem to equate the two.

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A B&B called The Lavender Inn.

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This is a cool bookstore, called Bart's Books. It's an outdoor bookstore.

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I ended up buying this book.

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Then we went hiking. Just north of Ojai is the Los Padres National Forest; and if you drive 30 minutes north of the town, you can hike up to a waterfall, which we did.


Los Padres National Forest



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You can see damage from previous fires; but already there's new growth. Nature seems to always find a way, and to heal itself.

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It's only a half-mile hike or so...

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And worth it. Rose Valley Falls.

mg]
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A bit of a trickle, but at least it's running. I'm sure after a good heavy rainy season, it's a bigger waterfall.

mg]
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  #2  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 1:45 AM
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Oh, hi!

Interesting place--a rival to such as Santa Cruz and Mendocino in the California artsy-craftsy little town category.

Nice to see it.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 3:12 AM
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I never heard of this place, but that's why I like SSP, and your photothreads, and the wanderings of people. That's how we learn about places that are otherwise just dots on a map.

I like the California Mission architecture there!
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  #4  
Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 4:00 AM
OhioGuy OhioGuy is offline
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Never made it to Ojai while I was staying in Ventura county in the summer of 2019, though I had wanted to go (and as my cousin, a native of SoCal, informed me, it's pronounced O-hi).

Looks cute and I especially like that book store!
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 5:14 AM
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Super great...now..how to pronounce Ojai?
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 7:08 AM
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Nice, I’ve only checked it out once a few years ago and really enjoyed the food and both the built and natural scenery. I actually work with quite a few people that live in Ojai. All of them are sort of the eccentric and or hippie types. Many are teachers at the school in the correctional facility, they fit in with the incarcerated. (lol)
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 7:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Murphy de la Sucre View Post
Super great...now..how to pronounce Ojai?
O-hi

Hence my pun above.

And it's not surprising east coasters haven't heard of it although some celebs do live there and so it does get an occasional mention in the media. But most Californians know of it, whether or not they've been there.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 3:33 PM
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Thanks for the comments!

In terms of pop culture, if anyone is familiar with the 1970s TV Series "The Bionic Woman," Ojai is where the Jaime Sommers character lives while working as a part-time schoolteacher... when she wasn't out as a secret agent fighting crime using her superhuman bionic strength. If I recall correctly, she lives in an apartment above a barn or something, probably to play into that "rustic California" setting.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 6:02 PM
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Good Ole Ojai

They probably have Ayahuasca retreats now and shamanic healing I'm sure if you live around there hiking would become a past time must be tons of trails. Great bookstore.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 9:16 PM
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My mom lives there so I’m up there (20min) quite often.

Interesting things:
On certain days you can climb the post office tower. I saw it was open 2 weeks ago, though I haven’t done it in like a decade.
The arched facade along Ojai Ave is actually multiple buildings with old Victorian facades that were covered over in the late 1920s. The covered colonnade is great since it’s often 10-30 degrees warmer in Ojai than the coast.

Did you get to see the ‘pink moment’ on the Topa Topa Mountains? It’s especially wonderful when they are covered in snow.
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Old Posted Mar 1, 2021, 10:06 PM
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Originally Posted by plinko View Post
My mom lives there so I’m up there (20min) quite often.

Interesting things:
On certain days you can climb the post office tower. I saw it was open 2 weeks ago, though I haven’t done it in like a decade.
The arched facade along Ojai Ave is actually multiple buildings with old Victorian facades that were covered over in the late 1920s. The covered colonnade is great since it’s often 10-30 degrees warmer in Ojai than the coast.

Did you get to see the ‘pink moment’ on the Topa Topa Mountains? It’s especially wonderful when they are covered in snow.
I read the plaque on the colonnade; I believe it said that it was completed in 1917, the same year as the post office. I have seen an old picture of that block pre-colonnade, and yeah, it looked like old west/false front-type of buildings; I didn't realize they're the same buildings just covered over. I know that what is now Libbey Park used to have structures on them, and I guess they were demolished when the post office and colonnade were created.

We did not get to see the pink moment. After our hike, we decided to go to that meadery in Carpinteria. However when we got there, all the outdoor seating was taken, and we would have had to wait a while. So instead we just bought some bottles of mead and had dinner in Carpinteria. The restaurant we went to the last time we were there looked like it was crowded with a long wait, so we decided to go to a place called Clementine's---very old school. We thought we could just order an entree salad, but they had nothing like that on the menu... hehe we ended up getting a full-blown course meal with soup, salad, an entree and dessert, because the soup, salad and dessert were included with the entree. It was all very good, but we both ended up really stuffed!
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 3:30 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by sopas ej View Post
Thanks for the comments!

In terms of pop culture, if anyone is familiar with the 1970s TV Series "The Bionic Woman," Ojai is where the Jaime Sommers character lives while working as a part-time schoolteacher... when she wasn't out as a secret agent fighting crime using her superhuman bionic strength. If I recall correctly, she lives in an apartment above a barn or something, probably to play into that "rustic California" setting.
The first thing that came to mind when I saw these photos was that it looked like one of those small, expensive California towns where TV characters manage to live extravagant lives with no visible means of support.

The other thing that came to mind is that a place that stays dry and warm enough to safely maintain an open-air bookstore does -- not -- compute. Here, it's only pleasant enough to be outside about three or four months of the year and the rest of the time it's either too hot or too cold. And twelve months out of the year it rains, to the tune of 47+ inches of rain a year, with our driest month only receiving a mere 3 inches of rain on average. If you tried to maintain an open-air bookstore here, you'd have to wring out every book and dip it in mildicide before you could give it to a customer.
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 7:06 PM
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i've heard of ojai quite a bit actually, but never seen it before.

yeah what a great place for a day trip.

anywhere that has those browsy indoor outdoor bookshops gets my thumbs up.

not to mention cool beads and beautiful hiking.

quintessential cali indeed, although to be fair we certainly have these hippy towns in the midwest and northeast as well.

very nice thread -- i even feel more relaxed - ha.
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 7:57 PM
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Originally Posted by hauntedheadnc View Post
The first thing that came to mind when I saw these photos was that it looked like one of those small, expensive California towns where TV characters manage to live extravagant lives with no visible means of support.
Quote:
Celebrities Who Live in Ojai / Ventura County
Updated July 15, 2019

. . . Some famous Ventura County residents are actors and other Ojai celebs are rock and roll or pop musicians. A few of the famous people who live in Ojai and Ventura County are directors and producers.

Kevin Costner, Amanda Bynes, and Kaley Cuoco are a few of the celebs from Ojai/the Ventura County area . . . .

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.

Twin Peaks co-creator Mark Frost lives in Ojai. "There’s something very special here. There’s a kind of magic that you rarely find in other places," he said in a 2016 interview . . . .
https://www.ranker.com/list/celebrit...elebrity-lists
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Old Posted Mar 2, 2021, 9:09 PM
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^ Coming from Mark Frost, that's high praise indeed! He knows a thing or two about magical places.
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  #16  
Old Posted Mar 18, 2021, 7:25 PM
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i spent part of my honeymoon in ojai. very chill place. i enjoyed that outdoors (?) bookstore as well. great pics.

i remember being surprised by how cool it was at night, and remember walking back
up the hill to our place from downtown and remarking upon the starlight.
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Old Posted Apr 4, 2021, 10:21 PM
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I have still never been to Ojai...but seeing that outdoor bookstore, I want to go. Unique.
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