Oh, Hello, Ojai!

Los Padres National Forest, Santa Barbara County, CAIf someone was tasked with writing about the Top Ten things to do in Ojai, California, let’s hope they have a diligent (or understanding) editor….because you can’t stop at 10. This beautiful valley city, located about 90 miles north of LA and just 30 miles from Santa Barbara, is a bundle of charm, rolled up in a mix of culture and arts and displayed in a setting so scenic and serene, your Instagram posts will be nonstop!

So, we won’t stop at 10 or 15, but just show you some highlights to send you on your way to discover all there is to see and do in Ojai.

The first thing you will notice is the surrounding countryside. There are citrus groves, vineyards, and the Los Padres National Forest. Filled with wildflowers, wildlife, hiking and biking trails and beaches, Los Padres is a wonderland for wanderers. You can also choose to fish, horseback ride or enjoy a lazy picnic with nature as a side dish!

Enjoy a tour of an olive grove at the Ojai Olive Oil Company (www.ojaioliveoil.com) or sample some of the wines at the various wineries located in and around Ojai (visit www.ojaivisitors.com for a listing of wineries). If your visit to Ojai begins after June 1, definitely stop by Frog Creek Farm (www.frogcreekfarmojai.com) to enjoy the lavender and also mark your calendar for the Ojai Valley Lavender Festival, scheduled for Saturday, June 29, at Libbey Park.

In town, you want to make sure you visit the Ojai Certified Farmers Market for locally grown fresh fruits and vegetables, as well as meats and seafood, honey, jams, soaps, and candles. The Market is open every Sunday, rain or shine, from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. For a list of fruits and veggies in season, visit www.ojaicertifiedfarmersmarket.com.

Also, you can’t miss Libbey Park, which is located in the center of the town and contains walking paths, a fountain, a bandstand, Libbey Bowl, a renowned concert venue, and of course tennis courts as it plays host annually to the oldest amateur tennis tournament in the US, “the Ojai,” in late April. The park will also host Art in the Park, an annual event since 1977, allowing local artists the opportunity to showcase and sell their work. This year’s event is scheduled for May 25.  Just one week later on June 1, the park hosts the 2019 Ojai Blues Fest, followed by the Ojai Musical Festival, a four-day event featuring classical music that will run June 6-9.

Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort, Santa Barbara, CA

There are also plenty of dining options from gourmet to farm-to-table and shopping possibilities include clothing boutiques, antiques, jewelry stores, and trinket shops, art galleries and of course Bart’s Books. Bart’s is the largest independently owned and operated indoor/outdoor bookstore in the US. The store’s collection of more than 1 million books overflows to freestanding bookcases outside the store, which are paid for by customers on the honor system! Inside, visitors will also find rare, first editions and specialty art books.

And, when your perfect day, or days, in Ojai are coming to a close, don’t miss the “pink” sunset where, thanks to a combination of the mountains, the valley, the sun’s location, etc., the sky takes on a pink glow at dusk that can only be described as indescribable!

Rancho Oso RV & Camping Resort, Santa Barbara, CA

If you want to make your own To-Do in Ojai list, consider a stay at Rancho Oso, in Santa Barbara and book one our unique Petite Retreats. Check out www.PetiteRetreats.com to see what options are available to make your home base while exploring nearby Ojai.

Fall for Santa Barbara

There’s no doubt about it – any time of year is a great time to visit Santa Barbara. Thanks to its mild climate that boasts a steady mid-70s year-round and the constants of the Santa Ynez Mountains as a backdrop, stunning Pacific Ocean views, and the rich history of this charming town, a visit to Santa Barbara is always a good choice.
But come fall, when the summer crowds have gone, Santa Barbara is still a classic beach town with plenty of events dotting the calendar. Book a stay with us at Rancho Oso RV Resort and mark your calendar for these fun-filled fall events.

Rancho Oso RV Resort | Santa Barbara, CA
Rancho Oso RV Resort | Santa Barbara, CA

On Saturday, September 29, Santa Barbara hosts the second annual California Brew & BBQ Festival! This event features over 50 breweries, cideries, and wineries at an oceanfront venue complete with live music and delicious food. BBQ highlights include a BBQ competition and an appearance by World Champion Pitmaster, Doug Scheiding. Admission includes unlimited tastings and a souvenir tasting glass. Designated drivers can obtain reduced admission tickets. Admission is restricted to those 21 years and older. For more information visit californiabrewfestival.com.

Learn all about the history and architecture of Santa Barbara with an easy walking tour. Every Saturday from 10 a.m. to 12 p.m., you can enjoy a guided tour of the city led by docents of Santa Barbara’s Architectural Foundation. Learn all about the rich architectural history of Santa Barbara and all its amazing architectural detail (think wrought iron, stonework, arched entries and more). Visit afsb.org for more information.

Santa Barbara County Courthouse in Downtown Santa Barbara. Photo courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara by Blake Bronstad.
Santa Barbara County Courthouse in Downtown Santa Barbara. Photo courtesy of Visit Santa Barbara by Blake Bronstad.

Foodies should make note of two major events happening this fall in Santa Barbara – the Harbor & Seafood Festival, scheduled for October 13, and the Santa Barbara Chowder Festival, set for October 21. The Harbor and Seafood Festival is all things seafood including lobster, oysters, crab, and albacore with a nod to sustainable harvest. Admission is free and in addition to the seafood, there are a variety of entertaining activities for both adults and children. The Chowder Festival is a friendly competition for the bragging rights of the best chowder. Proceeds benefit the Legal Aid Foundation of Santa Barbara and event-goers can also enjoy tastings from area wineries, live music, and of course, chowder!

Rancho Oso RV Resort | Santa Barbara, CA
Rancho Oso RV Resort | Santa Barbara, CA

Make Rancho Oso RV Resort your home base as you enjoy America’s Riviera, aka Santa Barbara, and take it one step further by booking one of the resort’s cozy cabins or one-of-a-kind covered wagon. The resort’s location is another plus to a Santa Barbara stay – Rancho Oso is bordered by the Los Padres National Forest and the Santa Ynez River and offers guided horseback riding and hiking adventures onsite.