Hotel at a Glance: Hummingbird Inn
The towering Topatopa Mountains create a scenic backdrop for the Hummingbird Inn’s grounds and gardens. You can enjoy the view while soaking up some sun by the outdoor pool. Each bungalow’s interior complements the setting with earthy tones of mocha and taupe.
- In-room amenities: hardwood floors, 42-inch plasma TV, Apple docking station
- Use your dining credit towards craft beers, local organic wine, grass-fed beef, and wild game sausage at the Deer Lodge, located about 10 minutes away. The restaurant—located inside a former grocery store from the 1930s—also hosts live music 7 days a week.
- Start the day right with complimentary fresh fruit and healthy breakfast snacks; free tea, hot chocolate, and organic, fair-trade Peruvian coffee are served in the afternoon.
- Hummingbird haven: The inn’s namesake birds can be spotted flitting around the property.
- Take a hike in the nearby Los Padres National Forest, which features more than 1,200 miles of trails.
Ojai, California: Artsy Small Town in Peaceful Mountain Valley
In Ojai at dusk, the light from the setting sun reflects off of the Topa Topa Mountains in such a way that the face of the mountains starts to glow with a distinctive rouge color. Locals call it the “pink moment,” and Ojai is one of the few places in the world where this phenomenon occurs. You can get a nice view of this event at Meditation Mount, a New Age center.
Serenity and simplicity seem to be some of the defining characteristics of Ojai, contrasting it with the sprawling Los Angeles, located about 90 minutes southeast. Ojai has just a handful of traffic lights and some well-kept bridle paths. The city also used to be home to the peaceful Chumash tribe, who believed that the land’s east-west configuration gave it magical powers. Spiritual traditions still linger; today, the town features a number of sites, spas, and shops dedicated to holistic healing and meditation.
Many restaurants in Ojai rely on local farms to source their food; the produce grown in town is well-regarded enough that residents of neighboring towns have been known to travel to Ojai on Sunday mornings for the weekly farmers’ market.
There’s also a strong artistic presence in town, due in no small part to former resident Beatrice Wood, a renowned sculptor. She worked until her death at age 105. You’re likely to stumble upon the works of local artists hanging on the walls in the area’s restaurants and shops, and many artists open up their studios to outside visitors.