Since moving to California,
Ojai has been high on our list of places to visit. While we had originally been planning to go on a weekend when we could spend the night, we recently realized that Ojai was actually close enough for a day trip from LA (Winning!). I have no idea why it took us so long to figure out that it wasn’t that far away, but I’m so glad that we finally did.
We love road trips and day trips anytime of year, but there’s something especially fun about these types of trips in the summertime. They feel carefree and relaxing, more spontaneous and less structured, and the days are longer so you have more time to explore. We had tentatively scheduled in the idea of a day trip to Ojai last Sunday, but hadn’t made any concrete plans. So, when we woke up Sunday morning, it was a game time decision on if we go or not. It took us all of about 5 seconds to come to our decision, and 30 minutes later we were packed up, in the car and on our way.
We (stupidly) assumed that, because Ojai was a mere 25 minutes in from the coast, it wouldn’t be that hot. We were wrong. Oh so wrong. It felt like Palm Springs (except there were no pools for us to lounge in all day long while sipping on endless amount of mint tea), and the heat definitely hindered us from exploring fully. So, while we absolutely loved Ojai and definitely can’t wait to go back and stay overnight, we will more than likely be waiting to return until it’s at least 20 degrees cooler…like in November, December or January.
Similarly to my recent Palm Springs post, I wanted to share this Ojai post as more of an informal photo journal-style article with a few snaps and a rough itinerary of how we spent our time. This isn’t a complete travel guide by any means, but more a way to show how much you can actually do in a day away, and also as a reminder that you don’t always need to go far to get away. While social media may have you thinking you need to jet off half way around the world for every trip you take, it’s truly amazing to discover what is in our own backyards and what even just a day away can do for the mind and soul.
9am Leave Los Angeles and drive up PCH
10:00am Stop in Ventura to grab croissants at Café Ficelle (highly suggest getting the ham + gruyère and black forest chocolate croissants…I had never even seen a chocolate croissant before and was pleasantly surprised by just how good it was)
10:45am Back in the car for the final 20-30(ish) minutes of driving to get to Ojai
11:15am Arrive in Ojai and start exploring
Here are some of our stops:
The Farmer’s Market // Lots of colorful, fresh, organic produce, but also stands selling things like fresh coconuts and honey
Found 203 Studio // Cute shop with plants (very knowledgeable and friendly people running the shop, lots of cacti and succulents and even some that are very unique/rare, fyi, they’re closed the 3rd Saturday of every month)
Canyon Supply // Pretty clothes, cute t-shirts, locally made woven hats, accessories, etc.
Fig Curated Living // As the name implies, this store is a curated mix of all sorts of things for good living, from home to garden to accessories.
DeKor // The Ojai location of one of my favorite decor stores in LA; this one features more lifestyle stuff (think clothes, beauty) and even has a tea bar in addition to home goods items
Twice Sold Tales Bookstore // A used bookstore, all funds raised go to support the local library programs
The Lennon Closet // A thrift store with a mix of clothes, jewelry, books and home items; really reasonable prices
Treasures of Ojai // An antique mall with, you guessed it, lots of treasures! Because there are different booths, run by different people, the prices were a little all over the place, but there were definitely some really reasonably priced finds (if you’re willing to do some digging).
A few other places that caught our eye but were either closed or we ran out of time for were Summer Camp, In the Field, Tipple & Ramble. Also, as an FYI, there were a few other thrift stores in town (that we wanted to check out) but they’re closed on Sundays.
2:15pm Drive 5 minutes up the road to the town of Meiners Oaks for lunch at The Farmer and the Cook (highly recommended by several locals we had talked to); it is part health food store, part cafe, nothing fancy, but just good, clean, vegetarian, organic food (with lots of vegan options), an amazing salad bar (loved that all salad options/toppings were homemade), baked goods, bulk items, the ability to eat there or take things to go, and, on Thursday-Sunday evenings they do pizzas (don’t think we didn’t think about going back for pizza). We split the burrito (hold the beans, add avocado) for our late lunch and it was A+. You could tell how fresh everything was and I especially appreciate the homemade tortilla.
3:30pm Drive around to explore some of the surrounding area (so cool seeing all the citrus groves) and pull over at a roadside fruit stand to pick up some peaches and plums for the week
4:15pm The heat started to get the best of us, so we picked up our new cacti (Found Studio had kindly offered to hold them for us for the day so that they didn't have to sit in our hot car.) and made our way back to Ventura.
4:45pm Park on Main St. and explore some of the the thrift stores (there are so many all right there on Main St.)
6:15pm Start making our way back towards LA, on PCH
7:15pm Stop at one of our favorite seafood spots, Neptune’s Net, for fried clam strips and french fries (one of our favorite seafood shack meals)
8:00pm Pull over at Point Dume to watch the sun set on a perfect summer day trip before finishing the drive back home