About 80 miles from Los Angeles is a little valley, where for the most part time has stood still. Sheltered from big retail and restaurant chains, shopping malls, and endless urban sprawl, Ojai is just far enough away from L.A. that it is not overtaken, but close enough to make it a perfect destination for a weekend getaway.
The city's self-styled nickname is "Shangri-La" referencing the natural beauty and relative isolation that the valley enjoys. The cities main street is famous for it's Spanish-style arcade and bell-tower reminiscent of the famous campanile of the Basilica Menor de San Francisco de Asis in Havana, and a pergola opposite the arcade. I love the drive up to Ojai, with each corner you are greeted by a breathtaking view be it the bell tower of Thomas Aquinas College or the farm filled valleys. Be sure to give yourself a long afternoon or the whole day as you will find there is a lot to see once you get to town.
The valley is nestled in the Topatopa Mountains, which means great Southern California mountain roads. There are only two roads into Ojai the 150 from Santa Paula or Carpinteria, or the 33 from Ventura or the Central Valley.
Once you get to Ojai there is a great selection of restaurants, art galleries, shopping, and if you plan on staying overnight several boutique hotels and resorts. For more you can check out the official Ojai website HERE.