Monday, June 22, 2009

Ojai - City Guide



This weekend I was finally able to mark Ojai off of the day trip agenda. After living in LA for five years, after wanting to visit Ojai and always visiting Santa Barbara instead the clouds parted, the sun shown through and I finally made the pilgrimage to the artist enclave North/East or West/East according to signs on the 101, of LA. I picked up my new-to-me Jeep Liberty on Friday and bright and early Saturday morning Scott, Lucas and I packed up and headed out.

As with a trip to any town it started out with a quick perusal of my Iphone Yelp application to scope a fine eating establishment and local thrift stores. Here's what we found.

WHERE WE ATE:

Jersey Mike's Subs
423 E. Ojai Avenue
Ojai, CA 93023

We ended up here for two reasons, one - it was cheap, two - they had tables outside and Lucas could join. There were a lot of restaurants on this little strip in Ojai but only two others had outdoor seating and Scott wasn't feeling Mexican that day. Jersey Mike's is simply a great sub shop with freshly saved meet, basic ingredients and a heavy helping of olive oil and vinegar.

WHERE TO SHOP:

Second Helping Thrift Store
108 Fox St
Ojai, CA 93023

Don't mind if I do take seconds when they're coming from Second Helping Thrift Store. The prices are great which is number one on my list of a good thrift store, as for the selection of clothing, it was as if no person with an ounce of taste had stepped foot inside. I found three purses, three wool scarfs, two silk scarves, two pairs of gloves - one leather, the other felt, and two shirts. What a day!

Hidden Treasure Thrift Store
Located a couple blocks past Fox Street on the opposite side, it's right on Ojai Avenue.

A little overpriced but fun quirky items - I didn't buy anything but it's worth a visit.

Community Thrift Store
North of Ojai Avenue on Montgomery

Closed after 2pm.

TO DO:

Old Creek Ranch & Winery
10024 Old Creek Rd
Oakview, CA 93022

Great things were said about this winery when my girlfriends learned I was trekking to Ojai, it has excellent Yelp reviews, and given more time it would've been a necessary stop along the way. Even so, it's still on the list for another day, another time.

WHERE TO STAY:

Ojai Valley Inn & Spa
905 Country Club Rd
Ojai, CA 93023

Having never visited the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa it's surprising that I am able say it has an aura about it. Of course that's a direct effect of advertising but it also receives rave reviews through and through. I'm longing for a romantic visit with a stay here... hint, hint - Scott you better be reading this. ; )

FINAL SAY:

A real artist community with cute shops and restaurants. If you're looking for a great day trip from LA visit Ojai, the air is fresh, people friendly, the town is peaceful - a place to breath. And if you're looking for thrift stores they are plenty, but Ojai has a lot more to offer.

We ended the day with a drive past Lake Casitas and back to the highway home.

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