Text courtesy of Los Angeles Magazine.
By Tanvi Chheda
You can huff along sage-covered slopes or swing a 9-iron, seek heat therapy in a sauna or search for inner peace on a mountaintop. More than anything, though, Ojai will take you away from where you are right now. Long an artist colony (the ceramist Beatrice Wood lived here), a spiritual retreat, and a hippie haven, the Ventura County hamlet started off in the 1870s with the name Nordhoff, in honor of travel writer Charles Nordhoff. After a fire razed the place in 1917, it was rebuilt as a Spanish revival village by the Ohio glass magnate Edward Libbey, who helped rechristen it Ojai, a moniker the Chumash Indians had given to the surrounding valley. The town is famous for its summer music festival and Playwrights Conference, but now is the time to enjoy a little elbowroom before you get swept up in the holiday rush.
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