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Local Day Trips or Fun with Friends: Ojai Edition

Just spent a beautiful summer’s day with my two best friends in Ojai, a laid back town a few minutes east of Ventura. Thought I would share in case any of you are looking for fun things to do with friends or planning a local girls day out. This particular day would be well-suited for friends who like to spend time talking together, taking photos, trying new restaurants, shopping boutique/local stores, and other mild exertion activities.  

We started with a hearty breakfast of thin pancakes with strawberries and whipped cream at Bonnie Lu’s Country Cafe. Do not let the “thin” part fool ya, this plate was full and filling! We loved the cozy atmosphere of the place and the endearing photo on the menu cover. From here we planned the rest of our day according to what we wanted to do most.

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Next we headed to Frog Creek Farms for some lavender and sunflower picking. Here you are free to roam the lavender field selecting and snipping varieties to form fragrant bundles that cost only $7 each. An affordable, unique, and fun experience, thank you Larry! (Note: This is a seasonal attraction open in June and July so if you get the chance be sure to try it. Bring a big hat and sun block cuz it’s hot.) We got lots of gorgeous photos here and could’ve stayed longer to lounge (enjoy a packed picnic with champagne mimosas?) but we wanted to go olive oil tasting and in Ojai, most things close early (around 4 or 5) so we continued on our way.

At Ojai Olive Oil Company we enjoyed their free tour about growing & harvesting olives and their tips on selecting healthy quality olive oil. As part of the tour, you enter a tasting room full of flavored olive oils, balsamic vinegars, and olive oil beauty products. Very tasty and super fun. Not one person in the tour left without buying something! Also very affordable, I purchased a bottle of Violet vinegar for only $14 dollars.

After winding our way back into town, we hit some of the local shops: Fig, Rains, Serendipity Toys, and the Ojai Pharmacy before wandering into the Ojai Ice Cream shop for some sugar cones and homemade fudge. Well worth the stop and satisfying for any sweet tooth! After shopping some more we decided to go wine tasting at Casa Baranca (right next door to the ice cream shop). We tried 5 wines at a very affordable $15 per person. Not knowing a darn thing about wine, we had a good time laughing and pondering the descriptions of flavors and aromas. . . brick dust sound appetizing to you??? Well, there it was and we gladly drank it!

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Afterwards we headed to Bart's Books, an extremely unique outdoor bookstore with charm and surprises around every corner. If you love books or just poking around unique places be sure to stop here and don’t forget to go inside the old house, my favorite sections are in there; cookbooks in the kitchen and arts & crafts stuff in the hall. There are sections for everything and always free chairs for resting tired feet and giving your selected books a browse. We considered a massage (if you like spas Ojai is the place for you-plenty of posh places to choose from-just check out their Local City Guide) but Rach really had a craving for Ojai Pizza so we selected our favorite toppings and mmm mmm the rest is delicious history.

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Finally we zigged and zagged one last time to watch the famous “Pink Ojai Sunset” at Meditation Mount. For a suggested donation of just $2, we enjoyed the peaceful garden and pond, and found a bench to settle on and recount our favorite moments of the day.

Have any memorable Ojai experiences to share? Please do in the comments below! 


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