Active + Adventure

Vacation Boot Camp

by Sarah Tuff

Rock Climbing in Ojai, California

Calories burned: Up to 2,100 in one weekend

Call to action: Just about the only thing more exhilarating than rock climbing is doing it above a paradise of orange groves and vineyards, with wall-to-wall sunshine overhead. Such is the life in Ojai, California, north of L.A., where veteran rock climber Ian Potter coaxes both newbies and rock jocks ever skyward on the Ojai Valley's sandstone cliffs. Routes are rated 5.5 (basic moves) to 5.11 (complex moves that require more experience) and are far less crowded than those at Joshua Tree or Yosemite. If you've got energy to spare, you could also bike and hike with Ian and play tennis with his wife, Stacy, a former pro. Plan for a bit of rest at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa, where the 308 Spanish Colonial rooms have views of Los Padres National Forest—or go all out and join one of the hotel's spinning, Pilates, yoga, or weight-training classes.

The warm-up: Even couch potatoes can have fun in Ojai; just click on the "not very fit" button on Ian Potter's sign-up page.

When to go: The weather is ideal year-round, but summer means festivals (music, wine, lavender, Shakespeare) as well as abundant produce at the Ojai Farmers' Market.

Excursions from $90 for a morning with Ian Potter, including equipment; doubles at the Ojai Valley Inn & Spa from $350 per night

Next: Learn the "sport of kings" in Barbados >

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Information may have changed since date of publication. Please confirm details with individual establishments before planning your trip.



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