Nestled in a small California valley about 15 miles from the Pacific coast, Ojai is a small town with about 7,500 inhabitants. However, despite its small size, the town has a lot to see and do. The town is surrounded by stunning scenery, including citrus gardens and vineyards, but it also boasts great local cuisine, interesting museums, and art galleries, as well as nearby Beautiful Los Padres National Forest. If you’re planning to visit this tiny hidden gem, these are the Best Things to Do in Ojai, California if You’re Planning a Visit there.
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Ojai Olive Oil Co
The Ojai Olive Oil Co is located on the east end of the Ojai Valley on Asquith Ranch. The Mediterranean climate is ideal for farming and at Ojai Olive Co. they pride themselves on having some of the healthiest trees in the valley. See for yourself by taking a free tour (no reservations required). The property is open to the public every Wednesday and Saturday. Be sure to purchase some olive oil; they bottle fresh from the barrel within days of production, making it some of the finest olive oil you will ever taste.
The Beautiful Lake Casitas
Lake Casitas is an artificial lake created after the construction of the dam on Coyote Creek. The lake was made to provide water for important activities such as irrigation. Swimming is prohibited at the lake, however, you can enjoy camping, fishing, and boating in the serene environment of the lake. It is also surrounded by the Lake Casitas Recreation Area where you can enjoy golfing, lunch with the view of the lake, water park, and more.
The Magnificent Los Padres National Forest
Los Padres National Forest is the second-largest national forest in central and southern California that includes the majority of the mountainous land of the Californian coast. The forest is home to over 400 species of animals along with more than 1200 species of plants, which makes it a quintessential destination for nature lovers to enjoy birdwatching or to just explore the abundant flora and fauna of the forest. The best way to explore this green space is by walking on the various trails in the forest that are very easy to walk on.
Taste Organic Wine At Casa Barranca
Casa Barranca is a rustic wine bar overlooking the magnificent Ojai Valley. It serves several different types of wines made from organic grapes grown in the Casa Barranca vineyard. Casa Barranca vineyard is the first organic winery on the central coast of California. All the wines are handcrafted very delicately from the best quality grapes to make sure that you taste the finest wine in California.
Enjoy The Lavender Festival
Every June, visitors can enjoy the annual Ojai Valley Lavender Festival. Taking place at Libbey Park, the festival pays tribute to the fragrant plant that grows prominently in the valley’s Mediterranean climate. The festival features 100+ vendors selling lavender plants, jewelry, clothing, and other wares, plus live entertainment and food.
Ojai Valley Land Conservancy
Ojai Valley Land Conservancy is a non-profit organization that buys the vacant lands in the Ojai Valley and then works towards preserving them by converting them into recreational areas where visitors can enjoy hiking, walking, running, or mountain biking while relishing the beauty of the valley. Some of their trails are easily accessible on foot and are located near downtown. They also host interpretive nature walks to encourage people to connect with the environment. Don’t forget to make a small donation to support this organization and its important work.
Casitas Water Adventure
Part of the Lake Casitas Recreation Area, Casitas Water Adventure is a compact water park with two family-friendly water playgrounds. An 18-inch-deep lagoon boasts a central jungle gym with slides, bridges, and water features; parents can join their children in the water or relax on the complimentary lounge chairs. The other section offers a lazy river that passes by waterfalls and jet sprays, and tubes are available free of charge on a first-come-first-served basis. Food and drink are not permitted inside the park, but picnic tables and a snack shack can be found just outside the entrance.
Friend’s Ranch, Ojai, California
Best Things to Do in Ojai- Family-owned and operated, Friend’s Ranch has been growing citrus fruits in the Ojai Valley for more than a century. The orchards grow everything from oranges to lemons to tangelos, but the fruit they’re best known for is the Pixie tangerine, a sweet, seedless fruit that has become something of a local legend. Citrus fruits from the ranch are available for sale at several local stores, but you can also pick up bags of fruit and freshly squeezed juice from the Sunday morning farmer’s market or stop by the packing house on a Tuesday or Friday morning.