Sixty-five miles north of Los Angeles, Ojai has long been known as a small town (population 8,150) that melds Mayberry’s easy hominess with European sophistication; the post office, where everyone knows everyone, is housed in a Castilian bell tower. But of late, this heaven-touched valley — face the pinking Topa Topa Mountains at sunset and you’ll understand — has raised fruit, in its myriad forms, to new heights. As you read this Ojai farmers, with help from scientific cohorts at the University of California Citrus Center at Riverside, are fomenting new citrus variants; sweeter, juicier, easier to peel. Not to be outdone, local winemakers — several, like Adam Tolmach and Manfred Krankl, with an avid global following — are creating new alchemy with grapes. And Ojai restaurants are bringing this fruity bounty to the table in innovative and yummy forms. Start with chef Laurel Moore’s stuffed dates at Azu.
Ojai sounds positively dreamy. Read more about what to do there here.