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.
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 Film Festival Celebrates Two DecadesThis fall the Ojai Film Festival celebrates 20 years of bringing film to Ojai, and pays tribute to classic Hollywood with Lifetime Achievement Awards honoring actors Pat Boone and Eva Marie Saint. For directors, screenwriters, producers, animators, actors, students, Hollywood veterans, Academy members, and industry insiders alike, the Ojai Film Festival welcomes filmmakers and film lovers from around the world Oct. 31 through Nov. 10.Read More
Ojai’s must-see art scene
By Amelia FleetwoodThe Ojai Valley has long been known as an inspiring place for artists of all genres to settle and work. It’s not surprising that with the artists comes a multitude of diverse gallery styles. In Ojai you’ll find galleries hosting collectives, monthly shows, and even artist-owned galleries. Each gives local and out-of-town artists a platform to show their work and interact with the community at large.Read More
Holiday season on the Central Coast
By Misty HallThe holiday season is here! (Unless you’re a pumpkin spice fan, in which case you kicked things off in August at Starbucks.) The Central Coast plays host to hundreds of holiday events, from haunted houses to winter wine walks, so get out there and celebrate!Read More
Mark Churchill: Caveman Chemistry
By Amelia FleetwoodMark Churchill has been making pottery for more than 25 years. Inspired by traditional Japanese and Korean craftsmanship, his collections feature handmade dinnerware, mugs, vessels, and sculptures. “I make everything, but creating really practical pieces is important because my life is very much based on function,” Mark said. “Those are the things that matter.” Drawn to pieces that have a quiet, uncomplicated presence, Mark has a unique style that mixes a Mid-Century/Scandinavian feel with more traditional Asian influences.Read More
Treasure Hunting up the 101
By Sami Zahringer
There is an air of hushed reverence in an antique store, almost like being in a church, as one peruses old objects with many tales to whisper. It is here you find the gimlet-eyed shopper looking for a bargain — a unique find — a treasure! Together, they create an atmosphere that most people find irresistible. Almost everybody loves snooping around in an antique store, including children, making it a fun outing for the entire family. It feels a bit like granny’s attic.
Read on for some of our favorite antique stores on the Central Coast, and design your own treasure trail.Read More