Hotel at a Glance: Hummingbird Inn
Hummingbird Inn sits in the shadow of the Topa Topa Mountains in Southern California, and you can get picturesque views of the peaks from almost anywhere on the property. You’ll almost certainly want to spend some time outside admiring the scenery from the inn’s sun deck. Even though the inn feels like a remote mountain hideaway, it’s a short walk from downtown Ojai, a small city lined with restaurants, art and pottery galleries, and boutiques.
- Ojai’s claim to fame: It was the setting for the idyllic Shangri-La in Frank Capra’s 1937 film Lost Horizon.
- Recommended hiking trail: Valley View Loop, a 6.2-mile trek into Los Padres National Forest, has nice views of Lake Casitas.
- Hummingbird haven: The inn attracts the colorful birds by the dozen with hummingbird feeders and bright flowers.
- Farm-to-table food is the specialty at the Deer Lodge. You can use your included dining credit toward dishes made with local beef and organic produce.
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.