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California Bucket List

Here’s your daily travel guide to the best adventures and experiences in the Golden State. Each of these essential California adventures has been tried and tested by a Travel section staffer or contributor.

Tell us what's on your California bucket list. Email travel@latimes.com and put California Bucket List in the subject line.

Central Coast

Enjoy a sunset, and maybe an orange snack, in Ojai

Arcade, Ojai. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)
Arcade, Ojai. (Spencer Weiner / Los Angeles Times)

Why: They're just sunsets, really. But in artsy, spiritually inclined Ojai, locals like to call them pink moments. And Ojai is a fine place for unplugging from city life. Good for oranges and classical music, too.

What: The pink sunsets have something to do with the way the light filters down into Ojai (population: about 7,600) through the surrounding Topatopa mountains. (The Ojai Valley runs east-west, which is unusual in these parts.) Stroll the arcade shops on Ojai Avenue, pedal the 9-mile Ojai Valley Trail, frolic in Libbey Park (home to the Ojai Music Festival every June). Browse Bart's Books. Mention to your friend that the town was named Nordhoff until 1917 when locals redubbed it Ojai. (Much of the town's Spanish Revival architecture dates to that year, too -- there'd been a fire, and there was a lot of rebuilding.) Pick up some fruit from Friend's Ranch. Get spa treatments at the Ojai Valley Inn. Book into a boutique hotel.

Or, to double down on the peace and quiet, you might prefer the Krishnamurti Foundation's 11-acre Pepper Tree Retreat, where guests can rent 10 rooms and suites in an updated 1910 farmhouse. The foundation's history stems from J. Krishnamurti, the philosopher who lived in Ojai from the 1920s to the 1980s, receiving visitors who were said to include Aldous Huxley, John Barrymore, Greta Garbo, Dr. Jonas Salk, D.H. Lawrence, Jackson Pollock and Igor Stravinsky.

Where: Libbey Park, at Ojai Avenue and Signal Street, Ojai, is 83 miles northwest of downtown L.A.

How much: Rooms at Pepper Tree Retreat rent for $125-$185 nightly.

Info: Ojai Visitors Bureau


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