30 places to welcome spring

Blow the dust off winter with blooms gone wild, bike trips in the blossoms, gushing falls, and more

Smell the fruit blossoms
Photo by Dave Lauridsen; written by Matthew Jaffe

Smell the fruit blossoms

The Topa Topa Mountains frame a valley filled with citrus groves heavy with lemons. In midafternoon, a sweet breeze flows in and freshens Ojai with a hint of ocean air. So by the time Ojai’s pink moment arrives at sunset, well, get ready to swoon.

Insider tip: Drive through the upper valley on State 150, a narrow farm road through the orchards. “What I love is the smell of the stone fruit blossoms—apricots, peaches, and plums,” says Kerry Clasby, a professional forager who scours California farms, forests, and markets to supply chefs in Los Angeles and beyond. “The Blenheim apricots at the K.B. Hall Ranch are the first to bloom. That’s when I know it’s spring.”

Eat: The lemon-ricotta tarts at Knead Baking Company seem too beautiful to eat, until you take a bite. 469 E. Ojai Ave.; 310/770-3282.

Stay: A renovated 1874 schoolhouse, Lavender Inn has a foodie bent; take a class at its Ojai Culinary School. From $140; 2-night minimum; lavenderinn.com

Do: With local olive oil, organic produce, and fish tacos from Ideal Seafood, the Ojai Farmers’ Market is a one-stop food adventure. 9–1 Sun; 300 E. Matilija St.; ojaicertifiedfarmersmarket.com

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