Ojai Valley Relaxing in 4 Days

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Ojai Valley Relaxing in 4 Days

Day 1

In April we booked a 3-night stay at the beautiful Ojai Valley Inn in Southern California for a few days of tennis, some good meals along with some well-earned relaxation. While booking the reservation we learned that this would be our 14th., and perhaps the last visit, due to our upcoming plans to sell our home and travel the world for a couple of years.

So off we go.

We departed on a rainy Tuesday morning loaded with swimsuits, tennis bags and bikes and head to Ventura for lunch at Lure, one of our favorite restaurants.

The drive from our home in Glendale to Ojai was magnificent and rather rare in Southern California. After 2 months of steady El Nino rain the normally brown hills of the west valley’s were a riot of mustard and wildflowers back dropped by emerald green hills. It was an absolutely beautiful start to our getaway.

With lunch finished we continue our drive through the Ojai Valley for the second and last leg of our journey, which was also filled with an abundance of wildflowers. This is horse country punctuated by groves upon groves of pixie tangerines and a smattering of vineyards. With the Topa Topa mountains looming in the distance it makes for a beautiful drive. The Ojai Valley is the only east/west valley in California and as such it possesses an ambiance and quality of light that you rarely see elsewhere.

Once checked in we head down to the tennis courts to join some friends that drove up for an overnight stay to celebrate with us. After a couple of hours of tennis it was time to freshen up and head to dinner.

Of the numerous dining options at the OVI the Oak Grill is one of the more casual, al fresco, spots to enjoy local-to-table fare with a great view of the front nine of the Inns world-class golf course. After a leisurely two hour meal, it’s time to retire as we walk the beautiful grounds back to our rooms.

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This is horse country punctuated by groves upon groves of pixie tangerines and a smattering of vineyards.

Day 2

We awake to a cool, clear morning with fog having settled on the golf course overnight. The quality of light here will always get your attention, no matter the time of day. But mornings and evenings are the most memorable.

We join our friends for coffee and a late breakfast before showing them some of our favorite spots on the property. Soon it is noon and time for them to check out and join us once again for an hour of tennis before they head home.

On our own again we head to one of our favorite, adults only, pool on the property (there are 4 pools total) for an afternoon of reading, writing and relaxing. Nothing will help you decompress from your day-to-day activities better than an afternoon lazing around a pool. Pure bliss!

A quick note on one of the best attributes of the OVI. Once you are on the property there is simply no need to get back in your car for the duration of your stay. There is golf, tennis, the spa and a myriad of activities for all tastes and the food is superb no matter which restaurant you choose. Plus, it is a short walk to downtown Ojai for several additional great breakfast, lunch and dinner options in addition to shopping and the tasting room of a local winery.

After spending the afternoon at the pool we head back to our room to get ready for dinner. But not before sitting on our patio with a glass of wine in hand overlooking the golf course as the late afternoon sunlight plays the light fantastic with the eucalyptus trees outside our room.

Dinner is at the Oak Grill once again and, as was the case the night before, the food is fantastic. Nightfall takes us back to our room where we light the fireplace and sleep like babies.

Once you are on the property there is simply no need to get back in your car for the duration of your stay.

Day 3

Another gorgeous morning greets us we awake and it’s off for a cup of coffee. We chose to skip breakfast this morning and head straight to the courts to beat the heat of what will prove to be a warm day.

After tennis we enjoy a lunch of tacos at Jimmy’s Pub (on the property). From there we head over to the pool for the afternoon to repeat the previous days routine. I could get very used to this!

Our last dinner is a casual one of burgers and fries with a great bottle of Syrah overlooking the golf course. Tired from a full day we knock off early and give thanks for another great day.

Playground Earth | Ojai | 4 relaxing days in Ojai

Day 4

Leaving a place as tranquil and beautiful as the OVI is never easy but we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves and now it’s time to go.

We play an hour or so of early morning tennis before heading to the pool for a quick dip to freshen up before departing. The car is packed and on our way out we stop for another round of tacos at Jimmy’s Pub (yes…they are that good!). Now it’s time to hit the road.

On the drive home we take a different route through the miles of twisty back roads filled with citrus groves and horse ranches. It proved to be just as delightful as the drive here. While on the road we laugh and reminisce about our 4 days in Ojai as we plan our next getaway!

Leaving a place as tranquil and beautiful as the OVI is never easy but we have thoroughly enjoyed ourselves.

History and Character Located on 220 gorgeous acres in the oak and citrus covered valley. The earliest dwellers in the valley were native Chumash Indians followed in the late 1700’s by Spanish and Mission societies. The Spanish and Mission people were then followed by Don Fernando Tico who in 1837 was given a land grant by the Mexican government. In 1917 the town was officially named Ojai. The Resort was founded in 1923 by the wealthy Ohio based glass manufacturer Edward Libbey. Libbey wanted a clubhouse on his private golf course and hired famed architect Wallace Neff to design it for him. He was also responsible for building Ojai’s unique downtown arcade business district as well as the post office. Since those humble beginnings in 1923 to the present day the Ojai Valley Inn has welcomed generations of travelers from around the world to immerse themselves in an atmosphere of casual elegance. This would be our 14th stay at the Inn and as such we have witnessed multiple changes over the years, all of which have continued to keep it in the eye of the most discriminating traveler. The landscaping has never been more lush. The restaurants have all adopted a local-to-table ethos that not only provides the freshest food possible but also supports the local farmers. The recently built, adults only, Indigo pool is nothing short of a masterpiece complete with amazing views of the mountains. And the spa services continue to keep pace with what a 5 Diamond resort guest would expect. With the recent addition of the Farmhouse the Inn is positioned to become a regional powerhouse of the culinary arts headed by none other than Nancy Silverton of La Brea Bakery, Campanile and Mozza fame. This venue will bring in leaders from wine makers, top chefs, honey farmers and more as they host a wide range of culinary classes, events and lectures. If you have never been to the Ojai Valley Inn I would strongly encourage anyone to plan a visit. You will truly be rewarded with a great experience and many fond memories. Dining There are several dining options at the Inn including the flagship Olivella, Jimmy’s Pub, Libbey’s and The Oak as well as the Spa Cafe which serves light fare & freshly pressed juices poolside. Over the years our reliable favorite has been The Oak as it consistently offers up great food in a casual and beautiful setting. With indoor/outdoor seating you have a choice of dining next to a cozy fireplace or al fresco overlooking the golf course and the mountains beyond in front of the namesake centuries old oak trees festooned with hanging lanterns. The setting is most charming at night when the lanterns are aglow. The Oak serves breakfast, lunch and dinner featuring fresh local food in addition to produce from the newly completed Farmhouse garden. From tacos and burgers to fine Italian inspired cuisine no matter which restaurant you choose you will not disappointed with the quality of food or the fine service.

Tennis

During our stay at the Inn, we were able to book plenty of court time on the 4 courts available for guests. The courts are clean, well surfaced and lit until 9pm every day. The views from either end of each court are toward the surrounding mountains which makes playing all the more enjoyable.

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Oaji Valley Inn Tennis

Pools & Spa

There are several pools at the Inn catering to families or adults only. Each pool has its own special charm, amenities and gorgeous views. We spent our time at the Tranquility and Energy pools. Inside each of the men’s & women’s spas there are wet & dry saunas, jacuzzis and a plunge pool.

Playground Earth | Ojai | 4 relaxing days in Ojai
Oaji Valley Inn Main Pool

Food

Dining any time of day at the Inn is always a special occasion. With an emphasis on local-to-table ingredients, great service and beautiful views we enjoyed several great meals without having to get in the car! With the addition of the “Farmhouse” the Inn now has a world class facility able to handle large groups in addition to hosting a wide range of culinary events.
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NEXT TIME

Santa Barbara Winery Visits

Pack a lunch and take a day trip to visit the numerous wineries along the backroads of Santa Barbara and Los Olivos.

Meditation Mount

Visit the Meditation Mount Garden of Peace. It is located high above the Ojai valley with spectacular 360 degree views.

Ojai to Ventura Bike Path

Ride the 15 mile (1 way) protected bike bath from downtown Ojai to the beach town of Ventura. Stop for lunch and return.