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Archives for December 2012

Escape: Ventura County

The shopping arcade on Ojai Avenue, Ojai's main street.

Ventura county is less than a one hour drive from Los Angeles, but it feels like a world away.  The beaches are less crowded than those in L.A. and Orange County, and there are plenty of good restaurants, shopping and beautiful scenery to entertain and delight.

Heading north on the 101 you’ll see the Ventura Pier off California Street. Stroll along the water’s edge and watch surfers catch waves. There are restaurants on the pier. The Aloha Steakhouse on the waterfront is one of my favorite restaurants and offers a great view.

The Ventura Harbor features several shops restaurants including the Greek at the Harbor.  Visitors can experience boating life up close as you walk along the docks. Main Street Ventura is also home to a variety of shops and restaurants.

The spiritual town of Ojai is a quick, 20 minute drive from the pier.  Nestled in the hills the community is famous for it’s ‘pink moments,’ when the setting sun casts a pink light on the Topa Topa mountains.  Hiking and walking in nature in Ojai can renew your spirit.

Ojai offers world class spas and golf experienices. It’s also home to a variety of unique shops and restaurants.  Soul Centered, a Metaphysical Shoppe, is a destination in itself, offering classes on astrology and other topics in the geodesic dome located behind the store.

Whatever you do in Ventura County, you’ll return home refreshed and rejuvenated.

Distance from LAX: 70 miles

Traffic411 Insider Tip: Go off the beaten path in Ojai. Meditation Mount is a peaceful retreat with breathtaking views

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Ojai Valley, CA Nature at its Finest

Ojai, CA is only a 20 minute drive from the beaches of Ventura, yet you'll feel like you're a world away. The climate is sunny and warmer than the cool coastline, and the sights are pure technicolor. Whether you're a hiker or hippie, avid golfer or spiritual seeker, there's plenty to do and see in Ojai. Even if you do nothing but R&R, the energy here will recharge your batteries and can offer new insights on life.

[img src=]2830Blue Sky Over Ojai
The Ojai Valley, located in Ventura County, CA, offers some of the most breathtaking nature scenery in the world. Source: Smitty West
[img src=]570Ojai Pink Moments
Ojai is famous for its 'pink moments.' Just before the sun goes down the valley and mountains are washed in a beautiful shade of pink.
[img src=]9940Topa Topa Mountains
View of Ojai's Topa Topa mountain range from Nordoff Ridge. Source: Smitty West
[img src=]760Ojai Rainbow over Windmill
A rainbow adds magic to this beautiful shot of the windmill at Euterope Farms on a sunny Ojai day. Source: Smitty West
[img src=]490Ojai Windmill at Sunset
This is the windmill at Euterope Farms at sunset. Ojai sunsets are among the most beautiful in the world. Source: Smitty West
[img src=]360Ojai to the Pacific Ocean
Located in the mountains of Ventura County, This shot of the Ojai Valley includes Lake Casitas, and the Pacific Ocean. Source: Smitty West<br />
[img src=]280Golden Ojai Valley
The golden valley of Ojai. Taken from Nordoff Ridge. Smitty West
[img src=]260Ojai Sky at Sunset
Sunrise & sunset in Ojai are beautiful. Source: Smitty West
[img src=]320Sunset over Chief Peak
Sunset over chief’s nose, Chief Peak, Ojai. Source: Smitty West
[img src=]380Ojai New Moon & Venus
Two-day old crescent moon and Venus in Taurus (May, 2012). Source: Smitty West
[img src=]320Photographer Smitty West
Musician and amateur photographer Smitty West shares these beautiful pictures of the Ojai Valley, an artist enclave 90 miles north of Los Angeles.
[img src=]270