Ojai is situated in a small east-west valley, north of Ventura and east of Santa Barbara. It is approximately 15 miles inland from the Pacific coast.
Since Ojai is lined up with an east-west mountain range, it is one of few towns in the world to have a “Pink Moment” occur as the sun is setting, when the fading sunlight creates a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes on the Topatopa Bluffs at the east end of the Ojai Valley, over 6,000 feet above sea level. Nordhoff Ridge, the western extension of the Topatopa Mountains, towers over the north side of the town and valley at more than 5,000 feet. Sulphur Mountain creates the southern ranges bounding the Ojai Valley, a little under 3,000 feet in elevation.
The Ventura River flows through the Ventura River Valley, draining the mountains surrounding Ojai to the north and east and emptying into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Ventura.
The climate of Ojai is Mediterranean, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters, with lows at night sometimes below freezing. As is typical for much of coastal southern California, most precipitation falls in the form of rain between the months of October and April, with intervening dry summers.
The town of Ojai and its surrounding area is home to many unique recreational activities. Los Padres National Forest borders the town on the north, and many backcountry areas within the forest are accessible from Highway 33, which is the major highway through town south to north. To the west, the Lake Casitas Recreation Area offers camping, picnicking, and hiking as well.
Special Events in Ojai
The Ojai Music Festival, founded in 1947, is an annual festival of performances by some of the world’s top musicians and composers, and occurs on the first weekend after Memorial Day. Notable appearances include Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Pierre Boulez, who was festival director in 2003.
The Ojai Wine Festival which began in 1987, draws approximately 4000 people and 60 wineries each year to the shores of Lake Casitas in the Ojai Valley. The event is held at the picturesque site of the 1984 Olympic Rowing competition and features approximately 200 wines, a selection of beer, 10 local restaurants, live music, free boat rides, and many art and craft vendors. Many of the wineries consider this festival to be their favorite as it is the best combination of good weather, great scenery, and enthusiastic people who come to enjoy the food and wine culture of the Ojai Valley. The event is held annually on the second Sunday in June.
Ojai Visitors’ Bureau: Ojai California is a travel and tourism destination where you will find wonderful spa, retreat, festival, shopping, winery, restaurant experiences and more!
Ojai hosts the oldest competitive tennis tournament in the United States, known as The Ojai, which has been held since 1893.
The outdoor bookshop Bart’s Books, subject of news programs and documentaries, has been in Ojai since 1964.
Ojai is home to the annual Ojai Playwrights Conference, a two week playwrights festival that brings professional writers and actors from across the country to Ojai.Over a period of just a few years, the Conference has become one of Southern California’s most eagerly anticipated annual cultural events.
Local Businesses We Recommend
*The Ranch House Restaurant
Located just down the hill from The Ojai Retreat is the famous Ranch House restaurant. This 60-year-old restaurant offers gourmet cuisine in a beautiful garden setting. Guests of The Ojai Retreat can also enjoy a 20% discount when dining at the Ranch House! Reservations recommended, contact (805) 646-2360 or visit www.theranchhouse.com.
*Enhanced Day Spa & Boutique
Located west of Downtown Ojai in the quaint little area known as Meiners Oaks, just a 1/2 mile from the Ojai Retreat. Enhanced has been award the Health and Lifestyle award, as well as being voted one of our local favorites year after year. Their full day spa offers award winning massage treatments, along with professional skincare treatments that are not only pampering, but effective in maintaining that fountain of youth glow! Visit their website to view their full menu of services and to schedule your spa time during your stay with us. Guests of the Ojai Retreat can enjoy a complimentary Infrared Sauna Therapy with their scheduled spa treatments while staying at the Ojai Retreat. http://enhancedojai.com
Trails by Potter. Guided hiking, biking, rock climbing and tennis in Ojai. http://hikingojai.com