Ojai has two major claims to fame: the wines produced in the region, and the fact that is was the setting of the movie "Easy A" starring Emma Stone. It's a small town situated just north of the sleepy beach town of Ventura, and just south of Los Padres National Forest, in a valley with mountain views in all directions. Shops and wine tasting rooms line the main street through town, just waiting to take all your money in exchange for delicious-smelling candles and healthy pours of reds. So naturally, it sounded like the perfect place for a girls' weekend getaway.
If visiting for a quick weekend, there are a few things that most definitely shouldn't be missed.
1. Try the wines! Let's be honest, isn't that the main reason why you were going anyway? Topa Mountain was an incredible spot to start our wine tasting adventures - it's just a short walk outside of town, and the venue has a quaint feel with tons of outdoor seating and live acoustic music. Then head downtown to The Ojai Vineyard, a tasting room right downtown with one of the best reislings I've ever had.
2. Have a tarot card reading. We had a lot of fun with this one. We decided on a whim that we'd have our tarot cards read "just to see what she says." I wish I had grabbed a business card from this woman, because she was so sweet and she was quite incredible. I know there are skeptics out there, so I'll just say this: the cards I got would not have made sense for my friend, or vice versa. And it was just...fun! If you're interested in finding her - look for a little knick knack shop just north of Su Nido Inn on N. Montgomery Avenue - maybe she already knows you're coming!
3. Hang out for the pink moment - The "pink moment" is a phenomenon for which Ojai is known - that moment when the sun hits the mountains and the surrounding atmosphere just right and turns everything a beautiful shade of pink. I think we may have seen an exceptional "pink moment" while we were there, and we just happened to catch it! Don't take the chance we did - check out the general time for sundown and make sure to be outside so you don't miss this spectacular moment of rosy hues.
4. Get some tacos at The Nest. Not that much need be said about this one - these tacos. Were. Incredible. And they're vegetarian! Don't get me wrong, I love meat, but these tacos were really to die for. I'd drive all the way back to Ojai for these. Definitely get the cauliflower tacos, and the brussel sprouts tacos. And then treat yo' self with an order of bao buns, too.
5. Go olive oil tasting. There are places in the mountains of Ojai where visitors can tour the olive oil mill as well as visit the tasting room, but I was quite impressed with my visit to Carolina Gramm's downtown olive oil tasting room. Carolina, an Italian living in Ojai, now imports olive oils from her home country and infuses them with herbs and florals from her personal gardens. I walked out of her tasting room with two olive oils and one balsamic vinegar simply because I couldn't decide which one was most delicious.
Ojai was the perfect place for a quick girl's trip. And it's close enough to the LA area that it can absolutely be done in a day! But who doesn't wanna get a little wine drunk while the sun sets over those mountains?