Condos: $500,000+ • Homes and Cottages: $750,000-$2 Million • Ranches and Estates: $4 Million+
So idyllic it was reportedly an inspiration for the locale of the 1939 film “The Lost Horizon,” Ojai is a town of about 8,000 residents, including a sizeable contingent of artists, musicians and health practitioners. Although it was long inhabited by the Chumash and settled by other groups in the 1880s, it was not incorporated as a city until 1921. Originally a Western-style town, it was mostly razed by a fire in 1917 and rebuilt in mostly Spanish Revival-style architecture with funds provided by Edward Libby, the founder of Libby Glass Company. Resting in the shadows of the 5-6,000 foot Topatopa and Sulpher Mountains, Ojai and the Ojai Valley are about 15 miles inland from the Pacific Ocean.
Tourism and recreation are the mainstays of the town’s economy. The charming business district is home to an abundance of shops, art galleries, restaurants and cafes. Culturally rich for such a small community, Ojai has hosted the annual “Ojai Music Festival” since 1947, resulting in visits and performances by many of the world’s greatest musicians, composers and conductors. The “Ojai Playwrights Conference” brings together writers and actors from around the country. There is also a well-attended yearly wine festival and a popular annual bicycle race.
Edward Libby did not just finance the building of the town; he commissioned a country club and golf course that have evolved into one of the premier destination resorts in the United States, the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa. This five-star facility draws visitors from all over the world. Its guests include dignitaries, celebrities and business magnates from the ranks of the well-heeled and well-known. Many have been known to fall in love with Ojai and its location, and have purchased their own piece of real estate, ranging from modest bungalows and pieds-à-terre, to multi-acre historical estates.