The Deer Lodge is a rustic restauarant & bar which includes dancing. At night this place is filled with bikers and locals alike. Very cozy and unusual place with fireplace, wood and stone walls for a very outdoorsy appearence. Check out the interesting website for more info. Varied menu includes venison, buffalo and lobster. Check out my local custums tip.
Casitas Lake is a really lovely recreation area just minutes from downtown Ojai. The lake also has a fabulous water park for kids, and a pool that looks like a resort. Great in summer.$7 a car to get into the lake. The lake offers picnic tables, camping facilities, fishing possibilties and hiking trails.
The lake is off Bryant road off the 33/150 highway.
Very close to downtown Ojai.
They host Indian festivals at the lake during summertime.
Ojai visitors bureau or www.visitojai.com
RTK Studios is a tile workshop that specilizes in reproduciton tiles of Spanish, Craftsman and art deco designs. I think their reproductions are better than the originals. Their studio is located in downtown Ojai in a lovely craftsman bungalow.
I have mentioned RTK studios before in other California pages (Catalina & Malibu) , because I am a big fan of their work. The studio produces tiles that are literally works of art. Their studio is open by appointment only, so you must call ahead. If you have the time, the studio is a real treat and I highly recommend it. One of a kind tile tables, framed tile murals, and other works of art are on display and for sale. The back of the studio has overruns, which are just perfect for creating a boarder or frieze for a bathroom or kitchen remodel. I have also seen the tiles used in pool designs with great success. Prices are reasonable considering the qualtiy and craftsmanship. Tiles start at about $15. The studio has overruns, plus field and trim tiles, and of course they take on custom commisions as well. Visit their website for more info and beautiful examples of their work.
This place is absolutely gorgeous. The website does not do it justice. Beautiful spanish architecture in a fantastic setting with spectacular views. Rooms can run upwards of $350 a night, but this place is incredible. Wonderful spa, golf course, stables and tennis facilities. They have overnight packages that include a massage and access to the pools and yoga classes that are pretty reasonable. ($165) You can also just stop in for a massage or horse ride.
This is a new park recently built within the last few years. It's on Ojai Ave at the beginning of town where the street bends.
The park is a triangle filled with a lovley fountain, veranda and tons of flowers. Makes for a nice place to have lunch, even with the cars whishing by. The park stands now where an old auto mechanic garage used to be.
This place is but a memory now. It is closed and boarded up. Very sad, because it was really nice.
On your way into town from highway 33 you will see a big red barn, that's Rancho Arnaz Market. It's the oldest ranch in the area, and boasts the oldest adobe house in Ventura County.
The market is very cute and rustic. They sell antiques in front and upstairs as well and fresh produce and homemade goodies. They sell several varities of salsa, nuts, and carmel popcorn. They even sell natural creams and lotions. Fresh juices are on hand as well as old fashioned candy.
We bought the hickory smoked pistachios , a jar of apple butte and peach salsa. Lots of samples are available before you buy. Fun stop on your way in or out of Ojai. There is a winery behind th barn that I did not have time to explore. Horse stables are next to the barn.
Sisar Canyon Road is off of Santa Paula Road towards Santa Paula. This hike is for the somewhat expereinced hiker, but it's not that difficult or dangerous, it's just not for the very old or very young. Gets hot in the middle of the day so always bring water and a cell phone. Hike is best in the morning on a clear day. Dress in layers because the first part of the hike is covered by trees, then as you ascend it becomes open and can get hot. Great views of the Topa Topa mountains. Takes about 2-3 hours. Great creek and waterfalls that run along side the hiking trail. Mountain bikers, hikers and horses are welcome. Drive up to the water tank and park, unless you have a four wheel drive. My car is low to the ground and could not make it past the water tank. Actually thought I destroyed my engine trying to do so. There's a little ways before you get to the trail head, but look to your right, there is a lovely creek and small water fall. Gorgeous flora and fauna. Bunnies, squirrels, butterflies, and numerous birds. Poison Oak lines the hiking trail. Check out my warnnings tip.
Also, check out my VT Sisar Canyon Travelogue on directions and more photos. Click website link.
I love Ventura. It's the stepchild of Santa Barbera, but I don't care. It's unprentenous and eclectic. Great downtown area near the Mission, with tons of thriftshops, antique stores and cute cafes. The harbor is very pretty. Try Andrea's seafood restuarant for wonderful food. The beaches are also very nice.
The Camarillo Outlet Mall is just what it's name implies.
Miles of shopping. The mall has the usual Gap, Nike, Calvin Klein, etc. I always stop on my way home. I usually pick up one or two things. Sometimes you can get a good deal, but typically the sizes are strange. Worth a stop if you like shopping. Camillo is south of Ojai, roughly about 40 minutes.
Amazing gem in Ojai, Bart’s Books store, is a very cool book store that has a great selection of used and new books for every taste. The store spans both an inside of the house and outside and even has a selection of book that are outside. When the store is closed honor system is in place - they trust you to pay for the book that you decide to adopt. Indoors part of the store goes from one room to the next and books are organized according to the room, such as kitchen has cooking books. An excellent store to peruse the books or just to cool off and enjoy the company of great authors from every generation