Real original right? Ojai... Oh hi! Whatever, I love a good dad joke.
This year for Christmas Drew and I decided to give each other experiences instead of gifts. We also said home goods or useful gifts were allowed, but nothing we wouldn't use on a regular basis because, well, we hate clutter (Drew naturally hates clutter, I'm a clutter free convert). Anywho! Drew got us a trip to Ojai, aka hippie, hipster, heaven that is so 'in' right now... I'm not just saying that, Vogue and other top bloggerati have been proclaiming it as such in the recent past. It is orchard country turned LA get away and I must admit, it is absolutely wonderful.
When we stay in Ojai we prefer to do so at the Ojai Rancho Inn. A wonderful couple own the place and have turned this little vintage motel (inn?) into easy living paradise. The inn has few amenities though the ones they do offer make it well worth the stay. There is wifi, a pool and sauna, and (best of all) an epic wine and beer bar where good vibes and vinyl are always on tap. Personally, we always go for a room with a kitchenette because I love cooking and having a mini kitchen feels super cozy, they also have rooms with a jacuzzi if you are feeling frisky.
The city itself is host to several fantastic shops and foodie spots, allow me divulge a few of it's (not so secret) secrets.
Shop Summer Camp. Vintage gas station turned odds (and sods) shop, plus custom frame boutique. Rachel is usually working the counter and is a gem of a human, tell her I say hello when you stop in.
In the Field is heaven in retail form. Bianca has epic taste, I mean EPIC taste. You will want five of every item on the perfectly curated shelves (and by shelves I mean beautifully crafted tables and cases and rungs and... well yeah, there are some 'normal' shelves as well). There is everything from customized LeLabo candles to perfume that is hand made in Italy on the Amalfi Coast, Moroccan and Turkish rugs, jewelry, clothing, home goods, you name it, she has it (and the best of it none the less).
Tipple and Ramble. Go for the cute home goods, stay for the amazing wine and snacks!
Dekor & Co. and Face Stockholm. Half furniture store and tea shop, half epic beauty product line and pretty (selective) apparel. I have to resist spending ALL of my money on new beauty products when I am in this store... the products are all the things free but that makes them all the more expensive (worth it).
The vintage/thrifting scene in Ojai is fantastic. Go explore, but be warned, you need to have patients, lots of patients.
Hip vegan cafe is real good... like anyone would like it but it's vegan good. Their Vietnamese Coffee is my favorite thing... maybe ever.
The Farmer and the Cook is as healthy as it sounds and real real tasty.
Knead bakery for those bread lovers out there.
HiHo Burgers, fries and sometimes pie.
The Ojai Vineyard Tasting Room is a seriously stunning space.
Tipple and Ramble, it is a food spot just as much as a shop so it gets to be listed twice.
Azu, is tapas and brunch on the weekends. Confession, I've never been but I hear it's good.
Ojai Pizza... for you know... pizza.
Eggs'n'Things, breakfast, lunch, casual diner vibes.
Rainbow Bridge- for groceries (there are a million grocery stores and liquor stores in this tiny town btw)
Stuff you may fancy-
Arrow Heart Yoga
The Farmers Market on Sunday
Classes at Shop Summer Camp (always worth checking out)
Surfing in Ventura
SO MANY HIKES
Shows at Ojai Rancho Inn
Massages at Ojai Valley Inn and Spa
Etc. Etc. Etc.
Basically Ojai is perfect if you want to have the quintessential Californian experience of relaxation and health. Do yoga, go hike and chill the f*&$ out. This past weekend we cooked, drank wine, went for walks, drank loads of coffee, read books, painted with water colors (because I'm a kid at heart) went to the farmers market, ate, walked some more, drank some more coffee, and watched a film (that makes it sound high class... we watched Mad Max, it was weird as hell). I can't really tell you why I love Ojai but I do. Perhaps that is the nature of it, to get under your skin, in a really lovely way, beckoning you to visit time and time again.
Do yourself a favor, book a ticket, rent a car, drive up the 1, and tell Sheila I sent you when you are checking in at the Rancho, you won't regret it, I can promise you that.