Located just 90 minutes from Los Angeles and 30 minutes from the beach, the Ojai Valley is perfectly situated to take advantage of the best California has to offer. Its charming downtown corridor is characterized by Spanish Revival architecture and is filled with excellent restaurants, shopping, and wine and beer tasting opportunities. At the heart of it, all is the rambling Libbey Park, which features a large playground, tennis courts, and a world-class outdoor amphitheater, the Libbey Bowl. This artistic community is home to several galleries as well as the state’s oldest nonprofit art center but is also the hub of cutting-edge contemporary music with the annual Ojai Music Festival.

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Surrounding it all is the Los Padres National Forest, a wonderland offering myriad outdoor adventures — from casual morning hikes to world-class rock climbing. It’s not surprising, then, that its people are passionate about the environment, and support numerous organizations like the Ojai Valley Land Conservancy and its 2,000-plus acres of land free and open to the public.

Ojai is also a popular destination for spiritualists, as the home of the Krishnamurti Foundation and the Krotona Institute of Theosophy. And Ojai’s geographic orientation — it runs east to west, rather than north to south as most valleys do — has led some to hail it as a unique energy vortex, making it a sought-after destination for those seeking reflection, inner healing, and self-realization. The Chumash Native American tribes, too, have considered this area a sacred place for thousands of years.
But Ojai is also a thriving agricultural region that supports some of the best citrus, avocado, olive and lavender crops on the West Coast and beyond. A tight-knit community full of bohemians, outdoorsmen, artists, and innovators, Ojai stands as one of the jewels in California’s crown.

OJAI

Ojai Wine Festival pours out the fun at Lake Casitas

June event serves up local wine, beer, and spirits in Rotary Club benefit

By Clarissa Fishman
Wine has been around for a very, very long time. Current findings suggest that it originated in West Asia (modern-day Armenia, Azerbaijan, Georgia, northern Iran, and eastern Turkey). It is said that as people migrated, it spread through the Mediterranean and then, to the rest of the world. The vitis vinifera, the vine that grows wine grapes, was produced and turned into wine for the first time somewhere around 6000 BC, or so they say. There are still debates about this because new archaeological discoveries are continuously being made, so really, there is still a bit of mystery around this beloved elixir of life.
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OJAI

Mystical Ojai and its crystal shops

Ojai is renowned for its special energy and spiritual undertones. Many stories have been told about the healing energy that Ojai and its famous vortex exude. But this is not yet another story about Ojai. Instead, we focus on three local women — Aleta Parrish, owner of Sorenity Rocks, Kara Bauer, owner of The Crystal Corner, and Meg Goodwin, owner of Nutmeg’s Ojai House — and their crystal shops. It is interesting that Ojai is known for its feminine energy, and that all of these shops are owned by women. All of them believe, as many ancient peoples did, that crystals are a sacred and powerful tool for healing from deep within Mother Earth.
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OJAI

OJAI: Wine Destination Gem

By Don Sonderling

The charming town of Ojai (meaning “Valley of the Moon” in the Chumash language), is less than a 30-minute drive from Ventura, up Highway 33. For the better part of a century, Ojai has been known for its healthy lifestyle, food, agriculture, art, music, recreation, wellness — and yes, wine! For the wine explorer, it’s time to visit this “other” wine destination. Here are a few tasting rooms to explore:
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OJAI

Winter Wings

By Michele Roest

Winter birdwatching on the Central Coast offers opportunities to see old favorites and spot new ones When the days grow short and the weather turns cool, bird watchers look for migrating songbirds, shorebirds, and raptors to appear along California’s central and southern regions. Some remain for the winter, while others stay for just a few days before continuing further south to even milder climes. They need safe places to rest and feed while they gain strength for the next stretch of their migration. Some migrations are hundreds of miles in distance, while others may reach thousands of miles.
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OJAI

Edible and Medicinal Herbs of the Southern California Coast

by Lanny Kaufer

The Southern California Coast stretches from the Santa Maria River in the north to the U.S.-Mexico border. This fertile region is home to countless edible and medicinal herbs prized by foragers and herbalists. Both native and non-native species can be found in Southern California’s springtime mountains, canyons, valleys, yards, and gardens.  
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OJAI

Picnic Perfection

By Kerstin Kuhn

The English writer W. Somerset Maugham once wrote that “there are few things so pleasant as a picnic lunch.” And who would disagree? After all, what can beat the delightful simplicity of spreading a blanket and relaxing in nature with your favorite friends and a basket of food?
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