Ojai holds a very special place in our hearts. It’s where we’ve taken so many of our vacations, including our babymoons. It’s a quick and easy drive from LA and offers lots of family-friendly activities. Some favorites include hiking to waterfalls, letting the kids play on the giant playground in the center of town, searching for old books at Bart’s books, and walks along the bike path while the kids ride their scooters. As more and more people are moving to Ojai, especially now with the pandemic, really delicious food and restaurant options are starting to emerge. If my family and I were spending a weekend away in Ojai, here is what we would do.
By far, our favorite place to stay in Ojai. An old roadside motel, this small and rustic getaway has been infused with so much charm and a hip aesthetic by the Shelter Social Club hotel group. We love to get one of the rooms with a kitchenette to cook meals and easily store lots of snacks and supplies. The pool is fully fenced, which is a major plus for parents so that you can actually sit back and relax from time to time. And, don’t miss a late-night drink at Chief’s Peak, their super cute onsite bar.
There is a bike path that runs through the town and you can enter it from the gate at the back of the Ojai Rancho Inn property. It’s great for the kids on their bikes and scooters, or just to take a stroll along early in the evening.
The world’s largest outdoor bookstore that is over 50 years old!
ROSE VALLEY FALLS
A family fun adventure, this short and easy hike leads you to the base of a beautiful waterfall.
IN THE FIELD
An up-scale bohemian boutique you could peruse for hours… you might want to leave the kids at home for this one, though.
My boys could stay here all day long—a beautiful, clean, and interactive playground with endless entertainment for kids of all ages.
SWIMMING AT THE RANCHO INN
I am obsessed with this pool because it is located in a small gated area at the hotel. It’s so kid-friendly and, because the kiddos can’t go far, is great for parents who want to try to relax a little bit.
EAT & DRINK
OJAI TORTILLA HOUSE – simple tacos, burritos, and quesadillas all made with their housemade tortillas.
OJAI ROTIE – order their rotisserie chicken meal that comes with lots of yummy sides and grilled flatbread.
KATE’S BREAD – this is not a restaurant but a fantastic home baker making delicious bread. Make sure to order ahead of time for pick-up.
SAMA SAMA KITCHEN – I’m still thinking about their signature hot wings, but really all of their Southeast Asian dishes inspired by the local ingredients are insanely delicious.
RAINBOW BRIDGE MARKET – we all love the gluten-free oatmeal pancakes from this local market.
BOCCALIS – stop by for their famous strawberry shortcake.
CHIEF’S PEAK – grab a cold beer or glass of wine at the Ojai Rancho Inn bar.
BEACON COFFEE – the spot for early morning local pastries and coffee.
OJAI ICE CREAM – obviously the boys’ favorite place, candy and ice cream galore!