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Ojai is situated in a small east-west valley, north of Ventura and east of Santa Barbara. It is approximately 15 miles inland from the Pacific coast.

Since Ojai is lined up with an east-west mountain range, it is one of few towns in the world to have a "Pink Moment" occur as the sun is setting, when the fading sunlight creates a brilliant shade of pink for several minutes on the Topatopa Bluffs at the east end of the Ojai Valley, over 6,000 feet above sea level. Nordhoff Ridge, the western extension of the Topatopa Mountains, towers over the north side of the town and valley at more than 5,000 feet. Sulphur Mountain creates the southern ranges bounding the Ojai Valley, a little under 3,000 feet in elevation.

The Ventura River flows through the Ventura River Valley, draining the mountains surrounding Ojai to the north and east and emptying into the Pacific Ocean at the city of Ventura.

The climate of Ojai is Mediterranean, characterized by hot, dry summers and mild winters, with lows at night sometimes below freezing. As is typical for much of coastal southern California, most precipitation falls in the form of rain between the months of October and April, with intervening dry summers.

The town of Ojai and its surrounding area is home to many unique recreational activities. Los Padres National Forest borders the town on the north, and many backcountry areas within the forest are accessible from Highway 33, which is the major highway through town south to north. To the west, the Lake Casitas Recreation Area offers camping, picnicking, and hiking as well.

WANT TO SWIM? While you are at The Ojai Retreat, enjoy 2 pools at The Ojai Valley Athletic Club!  The Recreation pool is always available and the lap pool is available during non-class hours. Day passes are only $13.50 and include access to swimming, all classes and workout equipment. For more information about the facilities and to download a class schedule go to the OVAC home page. The club is conveniently located in downtown Ojai at 409 S. Fox Street, less than 10 minutes from The Ojai Retreat. (805) 646-7213.

Local Links We Recommend

Cultural Events in Ojai.
• Ranch House Restaurant.
• Horseback Riding in Ojai: see Western Trial Rides.
Ojai Valley Vegetarian Blog ... by Randy Graham.
Hiking, biking, rock climbing with experienced guides Ian & Stacy Margolin Potter, in beautiful Ojai: see website.

Special Events in Ojai

The Ojai Music Festival
, founded in 1947, is an annual festival of performances by some of the world's top musicians and composers, and occurs on the first weekend after Memorial Day. Notable appearances include Igor Stravinsky, Aaron Copland, Esa-Pekka Salonen and Pierre Boulez, who was festival director in 2003.

The Ojai Poetry Festival began in 2003 as a biennial gathering of poets for two days of readings and discussions. It features poets of national repute such as Lawrence Ferlinghetti, Galway Kinnell, Jane Hirshfield, Robert Bly, Coleman Barks and Gary Snyder.

The Ojai Wine Festival which began in 1987, draws approximately 4000 people and 60 wineries each year to the shores of Lake Casitas in the Ojai Valley. The event is held at the picturesque site of the 1984 Olympic Rowing competition and features approximately 200 wines, a selection of beer, 10 local restaurants, live music, free boat rides, and many art and craft vendors. Many of the wineries consider this festival to be their favorite as it is the best combination of good weather, great scenery, and enthusiastic people who come to enjoy the food and wine culture of the Ojai Valley. The event is held annually on the second Sunday in June.

The Ojai Big Chili Cook off, held on the first Saturday in October each year, brings thousands of eager tasters and approximately 50 cooks together for the areas largest chili and salsa competition. The chili village is set on the shore of Lake Casitas and includes live music, free boat rides, a kids area, food, beer, and wine. The cooks compete in multiple categories for over $4000 in prize money. Attendees taste a wide variety chili and salsa and participate judging.

Ojai Visitors’ Bureau: Ojai California is a travel and tourism destination where you will find wonderful spa, retreat, festival, shopping, winery, restaurant experiences and more!

Ojai hosts the oldest competitive tennis tournament in the United States, known as The Ojai, which has been held since 1893.

The outdoor bookshop Bart's Books, subject of news programs and documentaries, has been in Ojai since 1964.

Ojai is home to the annual Ojai Playwrights Conference, a two week playwrights festival that brings professional writers and actors from across the country to Ojai.Over a period of just a few years, the Conference has become one of Southern California's most eagerly anticipated annual cultural events.

The Ojai Retreat: 160 Besant Road • Ojai, California 93023
Phone: 805.646.2536 • Fax: 805.646.0075
Email: info@OjaiRetreat.com