Note: This post originally appeared at Travelocity.com.
Ojai with Kids
Ojai, California has long been a perfect Los Angeles weekend getaway. The town of 7,500 is less than two hours from LA, but worlds apart, set in a valley of sage and oak and surrounded by orange and avocado groves. It’s easy to find activities for couples, given the town’s spas, shopping, organic dining and yoga retreats, but it’s highly underrated as a kid-friendly destination.
We’ve been bringing our kids to Ojai for years. Here are our top ten reasons to visit.
The Park and Playground
Right in the middle of downtown is Libbey Park. There’s an amphitheater that attracts surprisingly good acts, but the best feature for kids is the playground – probably the best playground we’ve seen in any small town. Our kids can play for hours, and given that the park is surrounded by shops and restaurants, it’s easy to spend half a day downtown. Pick up Ojai Ice Cream or Bliss Frozen Yogurt nearby for a quick treat, and if you need caffeine, Ojai Coffee Roasting is less than a block away!
The Kid-Friendly Dining
Boccali’s Pizza and Pasta on the east end of town is surrounded by fields and groves and has the best atmosphere for kids, with outside dining and room for kids to run. Our kids prefer the pizza at Ojai Pizza, though, near the park downtown. We love the sushi at both Hakane and Sakura and typically alternate between the two. Sakura is downtown so it’s a little more convenient. In nearby Meiners Oaks both Papa Lennon’s and Farmer and the Cook are excellent, with outdoor patios and relaxed live music several nights a week. Papa Lennon’s has Italian cuisine, while Farmer and the Cook serves organic farm-to-table Mexican during the day and pizza Thurday through Sunday evenings. If you’re looking for higher-end restaurants that are kid-friendly, we like Azu, East End Restaurant and Bar, and Nocciola.
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