Posted on 3 Mar
By Anne Burkin I’ve been eager to return to Ojai after spending a weekend at the gorgeous Ojai Valley Inn and Spa a few years ago. On that trip, however, we never left the hotel, so I was excited to go back and get the flavor of what this historical, laid-back “Shangri La” was all about. For years I've been predicting that Ojai is to become The Hamptons for Angelenos. With its close proximity to L.A., beautiful setting, and wide variety of activities that are different from what we can find in the city, the quick jaunt helps us escape the daily hustle and bustle. In addition, Ojai offers a completely distinctive vibe – different from another quick jaunt, Palm Springs. Some say that Ojai has a more of a hipster atmosphere, as opposed to Palm Springs’ more glam and desert feeling. In researching Ojai, I learned some interesting things:
- There are 15 private schools in Ojai. Arguably, the most prestigious of which is The Thacher School.
- Edward Libbey, largely credited for the shaping of modern Ojai, made his fortune in the glass business in Toledo, Ohio.
- Most Ojai residents are sure its name means “nest” in the Chumash language but experts disagree and say it means “moon."
- Ojai hosts many festivals, including but not limited to wine, music, film, lavender, and playwrights’. The Playwrights Conference is an impressive feat, as Terrence McNally, Jon Robin Baitz, and Christopher Durang have all had works that were developed at this annual festival.