Ojai is a town of 8,000 people 14 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean in Southern California. The altitude is 750 feet above sea level. Ojai is pronounced “Oh-Hi.” Locals say it means “The Nest.” Ojai is approximately 70 miles north of Los Angeles and 25 miles south of Santa Barbara. It is somewhat of a tourist town that has two world-renowned health spas, wonderful hiking trails, nice restaurants and interesting art galleries and shops.
It is also a spiritual center for a number of groups including the Theosophical Society, which began 100 years ago with Annie Besant, Charles Leadbeater and Mdm Blatvasky. They have an interesting metaphysical library and park-like grounds. It was also the former home of J. Krishnamurti, who passed away in 1986, and the Avatar Meher Baba established a center here more than fifty years ago. Krishnamurti was a world famous Indian philosopher, and Meher Baba was one of the most enlightened teachers of the last century. This quiet oasis in southern California has been a spiritual area for a long time, and has been our home for over 30 years.
If You Are Flying – You Have a Choice of 3 Airports: There are additional driving directions at the bottom of this page
Los Angeles airport (LAX) is approximately 80 miles south. If you don’t mind flying into a big city and dealing with LA traffic, LA is a good option as you can usually find good rates with the airlines into LAX. But if you find the traffic in LA daunting, there are 2 other options.
Directions from LAX: From Los Angeles International Airport (LAX)
Take Century Boulevard to 405 Freeway north, then the 101
Freeway north to Ventura. Take Highway 33, 14 miles north
to Ojai. Bear right at the junction of highways 33 and 150,
and follow 150 east toward downtown Ojai.
Total Distance: 73 miles (depending on where your hotel is)
Approximate DriveTime:1 1/2 to 2 hours (varies with traffic).
Burbank has a major airport which is a lot smaller and less congested than LAX and is about 75 miles south of Ojai.
Directions from the Burbank Airport
There are two ways to get from the Burbank airport to Ojai. The first is what is usually suggested on internet websites and GPS devices that give you directions, but it is not the best way. What is often suggested is to go on surface streets through Burbank until you reach the 134 which takes you to the 101 north. This way puts you into traffic. The better way to go is…
Get on the I-5 (Golden State Freeway) north
(The I-5 is just a few blocks from the Burbank airport).
Take the I-5 north to Highway 126 West,
The 126 takes you to Ventura where you pick up the 101 north
take the 101 north a few miles to the 33
You can only go one way on the 33 which takes you into Ojai.
Total Distance: approximately 75 miles. (Depending on where your hotel is)
Approximate Drive Time:1 hour and 15 minutes.
Santa Barbara has a quiet, yet major airport about 45 miles north of Ojai. Everyone loves this airport. It is really “laid-back.” There is never any congestion and it is an easy drive from there to Ojai.
Directions from Santa Barbara Airport:
Take Highway 101 south to Ventura, approximately 30 miles.
Take Highway 33 north 14 miles to Ojai. Bear right at the junction
of highways 33 and 150, and follow 150 east toward downtown Ojai.
Total Distance: 45 miles (mostly by freeway)
Approximate Drive Time: 45 minutes.
You can rent cars at all of these airports or get a shuttle to take you from the airport to Ojai. The shuttle charge ranges $75-$90 each way, but they will take you to your door. However, it probably won’t cost much more to rent a car. You will need a car or carpool in Ojai to get to class and restaurants. It is very likely other group participants can help you with rides, but it may be nearly as cheap to rent a car as to get the shuttle. If you book with PriceLine or Hotwire they have low prices on rental cars since they are owned by Avis.
Roadrunner 800-247-7919 or 805-389-8196. www.rrshuttle.com/fares.htm. They have the best shuttle rates of approximately $80 from the airport to your door
Super Shuttle 800-224-7767
Ventura County Airporter. (www.venturashuttle.com). (805) 650 6600
Ojai Taxi Service. 805-646-8294
24-hour taxi service in Ojai and surrounding areas.
Rates are $2.50 per mile or $45 per hour for longer trips (go, wait, return)
Bus Services: Greyhound 1.800.231.2222
South Coast Area Transit (SCAT) – Bus service in western Ventura County
SCAT provides bus service to western Ventura County, including the Ojai Valley (Ojai, Meiners Oaks, Mira Monte, Oak View, Casitas Springs) Ventura, Oxnard, and Port Hueneme. The Ojai-Main Street bus is available seven days a week, except holidays (refer to the SCAT schedule for times). SCAT connects to Metrolink, Amtrak and Greyhound at the Oxnard Transportation Center.
The Telephone Area Code for Ojai is 805
Our local phone number is (805) 649-4343
(Ojai Avenue is Main Street in Ojai)
The list below is only a partial list of motels and housing options.
Prices are not accurate and are for comparison purposes only.
There are many other housing options if you Google Ojai.
The Oakridge Inn 780 N. Ventura Ave.(Hwy 33)in Oak View. 805-649-4018
$70 price range if you tell them you are staying 4-5 nights. Kitchenettes are available. All rooms have TV, refrigerator and microwave. Some suites available. Ask for a quiet room in the back of the motel to be away from traffic noise. This motel is about one-and-a-half miles from the retreat location.
Luxury Suites near downtown Ojai. You can easily walk to shops and restaurants from this hotel. 1-866-646-7080 or 805-646-7080. Very Nice.
The Ojai Retreat 160 Besant Road. 805-646-2536
Located on the West side of the Valley, about 2 miles from town.
The Ojai Retreat is set on five acres on a secluded hilltop with
breathtaking views of the Ojai Valley and surrounding mountains.
The facilities include a Main House and 4 Cottages containing a total
of 12 bedrooms. Most rooms have private bathrooms and some
have kitchenettes. It may be a little tricky to find the first time, but it is a nice place to stay.
Hummingbird Inn 1208 E. Ojai Ave, 805-646-4365.
Prices range around $70 and up.
Located a tick over one mile from downtown Ojai. The Hummingbird Inn
is rated a Three Diamond Hotel. Relaxation and enjoyment is the key
to their spacious grounds, lawns and gardens. The pool, spa, and sundeck
lounging area is completely enclosed for your privacy.
Capri Motel 1180 E. Ojai Ave 1-877-589-5860 or 805-646-4305.
Room rates are around $130, but if you stay for a week
the rates drop to between $75-$90. Be sure to ask.
Located across from the Soule Park Golf Course, and just over one mile
from downtown Ojai. The Capri has spacious rooms with refrigerators
and microwaves in most of the rooms. There is a pool and jacuzzi area.
It is adjacent to the Ojai Valley walking trail and breathtaking mountain views.
Rooms have 42″ plasma TVs and DVD players. Newly renovated nice rooms. (www.ojaicaprimotel.com).
Casa Ojai 1302 E. Ojai Ave. 805-646-8175
Located slightly more than one mile from the downtown Ojai.
Located across from Soule Park Golf Course, nestled below Los Padres
National Forest. Steps from the Ojai Valley Hiking Trail.
Free Trolley to Downtown, swimming pool and spa, complimentary
continental breakfast, under counter refrigerators.
Emerald Iguana N. Blanche St. 805-646-5277 (weekly, and very nice)
11794 N. Ventura Ave. Prices are in the $175 range. The rooms are very nice
and if two or more share the cottage it ends up being reasonable.
Located about 2 miles from downtown Ojai, and 5 miles (12 minute drive) from our retreat location. Each room is hand-designed and decorated
in authentic California-Mexico style. Beautifully landscaped gardens
surround heated pool and spa. One and two bedroom suites with
kitchens are available. Owned by the same people who own the Blue Iguana
Lavender Inn & Moon’s Nest (B & B) 805-646-6635
Located in the heart of town, the Lavender Inn was
originally built in 1874 as a single-story school
house and community center. Today it offers intimate
charm and as a Victorian Style B&B. Each room is
uniquely designed offering mountain or garden views.
Ojai Valley Inn/Spa 905 Country Club Drive. 805-646-1111.
Expensive but a world-class full-service spa and resort with a pro golf course.
Rooms are in the $300-$800 a night range, but sometimes they offer specials
if you ask. This sophisticated getaway offers guests the feeling of being on their
own private country estate. The Ojai Valley Inn & Spa has been
rated by Conde’ Nast Traveler’s readers as the #1 golf resort in
California and in the top 50 of all U.S. resorts. Pets OK. Several restaurants.
Some of the motels in town offer discounted day rates to use the spa facilities.
Be sure to ask. (I know the Blue and Emerald Iguana do)
Blue Iguana Inn 11794 N. Ventura Ave
Located about 2 miles from downtown Ojai on Hwy 33.
Very nice, but expensive rooms. kitchens are available
We suggest you read reviews on all housing to help
insure the facility is all they advertise.
IF YOU ARE A CAMPER
Camp Comfort 11969 North Creek Road, Ojai.
Camping: Tent, RV, BBQ/Fire Pits, Showers Restrooms, Electrical Hookup
San Antonio Creek flows through the park. Shade trees.
Two barbecue areas. Indoor showers and laundry facilities for campers.
16 campsites. Camp Comfort is about 1 mile from downtown Ojai.
For information call: (805) 654-3951
Lake Casitas Recreational Area 11311 Santa Ana Road (Highway 150)
A beautiful freshwater lake filled with trout & bass, nestled in the Ojai Valley
and surrounded by 6,200 acres of rolling hills. The area’s largest
campground with 450 spaces around a man-made reservoir.
Boat rentals, hiking, biking, but no swimming.
Facilities include 13 campgrounds, showerhouse, picnic tables,
fire pits and sanitation stations. Rangers are on duty 24 hours a day.
Full service marina and Park Store. Basic camping site: $16 per day
For information call (805) 649-2233. For reservations call (805) 649-1122
Lake Casitas camping sites are located about 3 miles from downtown Ojai.
Dennison Park 7250 Santa Paula-Ojai Rd., Ojai. Hwy 150
For information call: 646-7299. Camping: Tent, RV, BBQ/Fire Pits
Serene and quiet year around. Outstanding view of Ojai Valley.
Shade trees. Secluded individual campsites.
For information call: (805) 646-7299
Foster Park 438 Casitas Vista Road, Ventura.
CAMPING: Tent, RV, Group, Youth, BBQ/Fire Pits, Restrooms
Historic park, first developed in 1906. Ventura River flows
through the park. Shade trees. Trailhead for the highly popular
Ojai Valley Trail that connects Ventura and Ojai.
For information call: (805) 654-3951
Los Padres National Forest For further information about camping
in the Los Padres National Forest contact the Ojai Ranger
Station, 1190 E. Ojai Ave. Ph: (805) 646-4348.
DRIVING INTO OJAI
To get to Ojai if you are driving you will take the 101 freeway in Ventura, California to highway 33. The 101 is the main highway near the coast between Los Angeles & Santa Barbara. Highway 33 goes from the 101 right into Ojai. The drive is about 13 miles. Highway 33 starts out as a 4-lane and then narrows to a 2-lane. When you come into Ojai there will be a small shopping center on your left with a Vons supermarket and a few other small shops. There is a traffic light at this intersection, which the locals call the “Y” because highway 33 goes to the left into the mountains, but you will proceed to the right, which is called Highway 150 and Ojai Avenue. Go about mile and you will find the downtown area.
Please call Jackie if you have other questions. If she doesn’t answer, please leave a message including your phone number so she can call you back. You are also, of course, welcome to email me at any time. Our local phone number is 805-649-4343 or 800-265-4213.
This is only a partial list of Restaurants: (Ojai Avenue is Main Street in Ojai).
http://www.ojairestaurants.com/ – Ojai Restaurants .com is your one-stop resource for all Ojai restaurants, Ojai dining and other places to eat in Ojai which make this town uniquely wonderful to live in and visit. Whether you want a quick bite or a long, romantic dinner, a wrapped-up sandwich for the hike or a salad after a massage, we have the information you need to find the place you want to eat.
* = Strongest Recommendation
* Ranch House 500 S. Lomita (www.theranchhouse.com) 646-2360. Exceptional! Dinner only.
* Ojai Cafe Emporium. 108 S. Montgomery 646-2723 Near downtown. Indoor/outdoor. Good breakfast & Lunch
* Suzanne’s Cuisine 502 West Ojai Ave. 646-1961 (Contemporary Fine Dining. Nice atmosphere)
* Rainbow Bridge Health Food & Deli. 211 E. Matillija. One block from downtown. (www.rainbowbridgeojai.com) 545-6623 (Deli)
* Farmer & The Cook. 339 W. El Roblar Dr. 640-9608. Health Food Store with daily lunch specials
* Sea Fresh 533 E. Ojai Ave 646-7747 (Popular. Often busy. Fresh Sea Food)
Azu. 457 E. Ojai Ave. 640-7987. Spanish tapas. Good food. Near downtown
Boccali’s 3277 Ojai-Santa Paula Rd 646-6116 Italian. Indoor/Outdoor eating. About 2 miles east on main.
Exotic Thai. 849 E. Ojai Ave. 646-6618.
Eggs & Things. 1103 Maricopa Hwy At Vons shopping center. A place for breakfast. 646-5346
Jim & Rob’s Fresh Grill. 535 E. Ojai Ave. American & Mexican food. Pretty good for a taco stand.
Ojai Coffee Roasting Company. 337 East Ojai Ave. 646-4478. Coffee shop. Best coffee in town.
Ojai Pizza 331 E. Ojai Ave. Downtown. 646-7878.
Pangea 139 East Ojai Ave. 640-8001 Contemporary European
Ruben’s Burritos. 104 N. Signal St (downtown). 646-6111. Mexican
Things to do
Ojai is a beautiful enclave nestled in a valley adjacent to the National Forest, with orange blossoms, jacarandas, hiking trails, golf, music festival, wine festival, and much more. All just 14 miles from the Pacific ocean.