Drive just a few hours north along the coastal highway and you reach the town of Ojai tucked in the hills just beyond the Pacific Ocean. With a friendly country atmosphere, local foods, honey, wine, and just a hint of an ocean breeze reaching over the hills, you can easily rejuvenate your mind, body, soul and heart in this little piece of California paradise.

This is where we snuck off to for a weekend of hiking, relaxing and lounging by the pool in what promised to be perfect spring weather.

And, because it was spring in California, the weather didn’t disappoint! As the pollen dusted the trees, and my husband’s allergies started to arrive, we ducked into a local shop for a jar of honey produced by local bees. Why? Because consuming the local variety of this medicinal treat can often tame allergic reactions. There’s something magical about introducing a bit of nature into your system via the hard work of the honey bee.

We stayed at the Blue Iguana Inn which was adorned with…blue iguanas! Not the real kind, but several beautifully painted pieces of art. The rooms looked like something right out of a southwestern movie with covered entries, chairs on the patios overlooking the pool, and beautiful tiled and spacious rooms. I loved the chunky wooden furniture!

The grounds were lovely. I especially enjoyed the large grassy area and mature trees where you can sit and enjoy your morning cup of coffee and breakfast.

We headed to one of the trail heads of the Los Padres Mountains. While there were many to choose from, we chose to drive just a little ways to see if we could find a waterfall. Turns out, we didn’t; however the rock formation at the end of our trail provided a little secluded hideaway from the world where we lingered for just a little bit before heading back to town for a couples massage.

Under the expert hands of our masseuse, our knots were unknotted, kinks unkinked, and minds slipped easily into a state of bliss.

Afterwards, we wandered through town and Bart’s Bookstore which is unique because it’s outdoors! Open until sunset, you can easily browse for hours. However, to be kind I kept it to a little less than an hour as my husband looked at me with that “it’s time to eat” look in his eyes.

My stomach agreed!

For dinner, we headed to Osteria Monte Grappa. What could be better than Italian food made from locally sourced ingredients, a glass (or two) of red wine, and outdoor patio seating which allowed us to enjoy the warm evening as the sun set on a perfect day.

When You Go:


Blue Iguana Inn
11794 N. Ventura Ave.
(Hwy 33)
Ojai, CA 93023


Osteria Monte Grappa
242 East Ojai Avenue
Downtown, Ojai Ca.


Bart’s Book Store
302 West Matlija Street
Ojai, California 93023
Phone: 805-646-3755
Email: [email protected]
Open 7 Days a Week: 9:30am – Sunset




Photo attribution: