The distance from LA to Ojai used to be described as “one CD away.” These days, I’m not sure what that would be in iTunes language, but usually you can bet on an hour and fifteen minutes to get to there. The town of Ojai is enchanting, with mission-style buildings draped with bougainvillea and the scent of sage floating in the air.
Even better, there’s a shaded bike trail that you can take to explore the entire downtown area. The Ojai Valley bike trail runs 9 miles from Ventura to the heart of Ojai, but for families with young children, a ride through downtown Ojai is an experience in itself. You can access the trail in a number of places, but the easiest access is probably from the park. The trail runs behind Libbey Park and parallel to Ojai Avenue, the main thoroughfare.
And speaking of Libbey Park… the recently renovated playground would easily earn 5 stars from most kids.
You’ll likely be hungry after a bike ride and the playground. Head to Ojai Avenue and start with a honey tasting at the Heavenly Honey Company to tide you over while you choose from one of the many restaurants in the area.
Best time to go: Winter, Spring, Fall
Good for: Kids 5+
Watch out for: streets that cross the bike path
Get there: 101 Freeway to Venture to HWY 126 W to Ojai
Wear: helmet, sunscreen, layers
Bring: bikes, helmets, water, picnic, snacks, first aid kit, camera
Bike Rental/ Repair: The Mob Shop 110 W Ojai Ave, Ojai, CA 93023