Ojai is the West’s Eden. When Lost Horizons was made into a movie, overview scenes of “Shangri-La” were filmed of this luxuriant little valley sheltered by towering Coast Range mountains. At the heart of the canyon lies Ojai, sequestered among centuries-old oak trees and gardens surrounded by lush citrus and avocado orchards.
Late in the nineteenth century, the subtropical climate, and natural beauty that included nearby hot springs, began to attract fruit growers, artists and dreamers. Resort developers interested in capitalizing on the valley's healthful appeal soon followed.
Today, the village fulfills its destiny as a horticultural cornucopia, an artists' colony, and a serene resort. The compact downtown is a charming medley of inspired Spanish-Colonial architecture, bountiful vegetation, and smart shops that lends itself to relaxing strolls and shopping. Numerous studios and galleries display unique arts and crafts including some by renowned local artisans. Sophisticated restaurants showcase oranges and other distinctive local subtropical fruits, herbs and produce. Lodgings, while relatively scarce, include several romantic getaways featuring famous spas catering to recreation, relaxation, health and beauty. Scenic golf courses, tennis complexes, and riding and hiking trails are enjoyed year-round. An innovative dual trail (horses in one lane/bicycles in another) that parallels the scenic main road into town for nine miles is especially popular. Nearby Lake Casitas is a favorite for fishing and boating. Pacific Ocean beaches are only fourteen miles west.