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

Fall Comfort Food

By Randy Graham

Fall brings a yearning for cozy blankets, hot apple cider, and comfort foods here on California’s Central Coast. One of my go-to comfort foods is poutine with plenty of tangy gravy.

My riff features French fries, cheese curds, and gravy made with vegetable stock and rice vinegar. If you’re looking for comfort food for Halloween or Día de Los Muertos, give my quesofundido a try. It is good with a bowl of fresh tortilla chips or small handmade flour tortillas for dipping. If you need to provide comfort food to vegetarians visiting at Thanksgiving, we have you covered there too.

Try my veggie meatballs made with walnuts, onions, fresh sage, and mild longhorn cheese. Veg heads and meat lovers of all ages love this recipe. AnotherThanksgiving favorite of mine is my mom’s riced potatoes recipe, made with russet potatoes, butter, half-and-half, sour cream, and Parmesan cheese.

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OJAI

Beato Embodied

With handcrafted chocolates and inspired tableware, the Mama of Dada is back in the spotlight at the Porch Gallery By Misty Hall Part of the allure of Ojai’s Porch Gallery is its juxtaposition of contemporary art housed in a historic Victorian building. An expansive porch wraps around the exterior, creating a welcoming space dotted with pink lounge chairs. This is not a cold and formal “look reverently and leave” type of gallery. It is inviting — intentionally so. Come on in, it seems to say. Stay awhile.
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OJAI

Farm Stand Fans

Ojai’s country roads offer fresh-picked produce — and nostalgia for simpler times

By Hannah Little
All photos by Misty Hall
the Ojai Valley citrus trees bulge with juicy and delicious oranges, lemons, and Pixie tangerines. But thanks to the valley’s ideal growing conditions, you can find fresh fruit year-round in this corner of Ventura County.
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OJAI

Jewelry With Meaning

By Marlowe Hast

Sometimes when you step into an unfamiliar place, there’s a vibe, an energy, a magic to it — something that’s hard to describe, but undeniably there. That’s how you’ll feel entering Jes MaHarry’s shop in downtown Ojai. The renowned jeweler/artist and her family have put countless hours into revamping the flagship store, where every item, every light fixture, even the boards in the floor, tell a story that’s entirely MaHarry’s.

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OJAI

Finding The Spirit Of Soule At Ojai’s Public Golf Course

By The Unknown Golfer

If you are a golfer of any kind and you’re looking for a world-class public course experience, look no further than the Soule Park Golf Course in the beautiful city of Ojai. The Soule Park course plays 6,856 yards from the championship tees and is a par 72 course with a USGA course rating of 72.8 and a slope of 128.

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OJAI

Randy’s Recipes: Fresh Spring Salads

Before Caesar Cardini (of Caesar salad fame), Henri Heyraud (Niçoise salad), or Jamie Oliver (mixing salads with fingers), there was the plain old garden salad. The Oxford Dictionary of Food and Drink in America says that garden salads were popularized in ancient Rome as raw leafy vegetables covered in salty, oily dressing. It is not surprising, then, that the word salad derives from the Latin word for salt (sal).
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