We went to Ojai on a "scouting" trip as we are new foster parents to Bella, a beautiful and well mannered Old English Sheepdog. We had never traveled with a dog before and went looking for a weekend get-a-way within a couple hours drive of Los Angeles. We found doggie and people heaven at the Lavender Inn! There are two accommodations for people with dogs- the Cottage and one of the regular rooms. We spoiled ourselves with the Cottage the first night and would have loved to stay there the second night but it was already booked. Very spacious and comfortable with access to a private yard which opens up to an even larger yard. Plenty of room for playing with the dog. The bathroom was very nice. There is also a well stocked DVD library. The staff loves animals and showered Bella with attention and treats. The other guests did not seem to mind her joining us for the terrific breakfasts. There is plenty to eat and all requests for more food or other types of food were cheerfully granted. My wife has a gluten allergy so they provided her gluten free options. The wine and cheese tasting were a nice touch with several tasty cheeses to choose from.
We spoiled ourselves with an in room couples massage arranged through the attached spa. Our therapists, Donna and Yajaya were wonderful and customized the massages to our tastes. the ambience of the Cottage made this very special. That evening we hung out on the comfortable sofa and chair catching up on reading and enjoyed a fire. The next day we moved to one of the other rooms and it was smaller but comfortable. It faced the street but there was very little noise and neither Bella nor we were disturbed. It had a little porch where we drank coffee and read the paper.
The Inn is directly across the street from the Rainbow Market and we bought sandwiches and snacks there. All the food is organic and very tasty. The Inn is right in the middle of town so we took frequent walks with Bella through out town. The shops and several restaurants were very accommodating to people with dogs.
We ate out one evening at Azu restaurant about five minutes away. While they said they had outdoor eating to accommodate dogs, the heater was attached high up on the eave on the street side of the restaurant. Again, this was a scouting trip and next time I'll be more careful to check out eating outside. We went in early December and it was very chilly in the evenings so we shivered through a very good dinner.
Don't miss the Mediation Mount. It's about a ten minute drive from the Inn and the view of the sunset is spectacular! There was no sign restricting dogs so we took Bella with us. There are several quiet spots to view the sunset and to see the pink on the Topa Topa Mountains. We took a walk through the Ojai Valley Inn (which has dog friendly accommodations) but agreed we picked the better spot to stay at the Lavender Inn. While spacious, the Ojai Valley Inn didn't seem as charming and was further away from town which would have meant taking the car more.
For those of you traveling with dogs, there is a big park south of the Inn one block called Libby Park. Just cross the street in front of the Inn and go to the left and you will find a passage through the through the Arcade Shops taking you to Ojai Road. Libby Park is right across the street. As I was exploring the park I discovered a great bike and equestrian trail on the southern end of the park. It's called the "Ojai Valley Trail." Bella and I ended up running on that path two days in a row. I suggest going to the right as it goes for several miles. The dual trail offered a hard packed dirt trail for horses or runners and a paved trail for bicyclists. It is away from traffic. About three miles to the west it crosses Highway 33 (be very careful crossing as there is a lot of traffic on Highway 33.) Continue to the left paralleling Highway 33 and in less than a mile you will come to Hermosa Ave. On the right is the beautiful campus of the "School of Theosophy." We did the loop of the campus which has expansive lawns and rose gardens and nice views. A bit of a challenging hill but worth the effort. The other run we did was going to the east (left) from Libby Park but the Trail ends at the Golf Course. We ran for about a half mile on Ojai Avenue and took the turn on Boardman Road to Soule Park. This is a huge park with about another mile or so of traffic free running. Just be careful on Ojai Avenue.
Enjoy your trip to Ojai with or without dogs!