Hotel at a Glance: Hummingbird Inn
The towering Topatopa Mountains create a rustic backdrop for the Hummingbird Inn’s grounds and gardens. Take in panoramic views while soaking up some sun by the outdoor pool. Each bungalow’s interior reflects the beauty outside with earthy tones of mocha and taupe.
- Where you’ll stay: Either a king bungalow or a two-queen bungalow, each replete with gleaming hardwood floors, a 42-inch plasma TV, and an iPod docking station.
- Use your dining credit towards farm-to-table venison burgers and grass-fed steak at the Deer Lodge, located about 10 minutes away. The restaurant—located inside a former grocery store from the 1930s—also frequently hosts live music.
- Start your day with complimentary fresh fruit and healthy breakfast snacks, and enjoy free tea, hot chocolate, and organic, fair-trade Peruvian coffee in the afternoon.
- Hummingbird haven: Keep your eyes peeled for the inn’s namesake birds, which can be spotted flitting around the property.
- Take a hike in the nearby Los Padres National Forest, which is home to more than 1,200 miles of trails.
Ojai, California: Artsy Small Town in Peaceful Mountain Valley
In his 1937 film Lost Horizon, director Frank Capra chose Ojai to represent Shangri-la, a utopian heaven on earth. This may have been due to the valley’s daily “pink moment”—at dusk, the setting sun reflects off the Topatopa Mountains, causing them to glow a distinctive rouge color. Meditation Mount, a local organization that promotes creative meditation and enlightenment, offers a great vantage point for seeing this rare phenomenon.
Like the fictional Shangri-La, this valley offers a slower lifestyle than Los Angeles, which is about 80 miles southeast. The area was once home to the peaceful Chumash tribe, who believed that the land held mystical power. A similar spirituality still lingers. The city boasts numerous spas and shops dedicated to holistic healing and meditation. Among the city’s handful of traffic lights and bridle paths, you’ll also find shops and farm-to-table restaurants featuring local artwork.
Just north of Ojai is the Los Padres National Forest. More than 1,200 miles of trails slice through the enormous park, where redwoods, oaks, and conifers grow tall. Among these is the popular 6.5-mile Last Chance Trail, which will take you through the Santa Paulo Canyon. While you hike, keep your eyes peeled for rare bald eagles, mountain lions, and California condors.