As much as I love Los Angeles, it's so nice to escape the city every now and then. Traveling and exploring new places is my favorite thing to do, but it's not always feasible - which is why I'm so in love with day trips! No need to pay for pricey hotels and flights, small little getaways tame my wanderlust (for a bit, anyway) and make me happy. I'm lucky to live in Southern California, a place filled with cute towns left and right. Ojai happens to be one of those cuties!
About a 90 minute drive northwest of LA, Ojai is set in a valley in the Topatopa Mountains. It's far enough away to feel separate from Los Angeles County, but not so far that the trip back and forth eats up a lot of your day. The adorable village center is dotted with art galleries, parks, and pretty boutiques, and the great thing is this town is very walkable. We parked in the morning when we arrived and didn't drive again till the evening!
Ojai has multiple spas, bike rental shops, the Ojai Valley Museum, horse back riding, orange groves, and more. It really is the perfect place for a day trip from LA. This past weekend I was feeling like a change of scenery, so Eddie and I jumped in the car and made our way up to this sweet town. Keep scrolling to see all the things we did while we were there!
Ojai Farmers' Market
First stop was the Ojai Farmer's Market. If you happen to visit Ojai on a Sunday, be sure to check it out. Open rain or shine 9am - 1pm, this cute lil market is chock-full of locally grown fresh fruits and veggies. I'm a sucker for beautiful blooms (obvi lol) and there's no shortage here. Awesome drippy hanging plants, nuts, dried fruit, jams, honey, bees wax candles, orchids & handmade soap all can be found at the market. You can even get a hug from the man with the "Free Hugs" sign... if you're into it.
A completely normal way to get around town here. So into it.
AZU Restaurant & Ojai Valley Brewery
After the Farmer's Market we walked over to Azu for some blueberry pancakes out on their back patio. I'm still getting over a nasty cough so I didn't partake in the bottomless mimosas, but I wish I could have! Instead I enjoyed some fresh squeezed orange juice, minus the booze. Their outdoor space is SO pretty, greenery everywhere and the cutest lil bb succulents on every table. I wanted to take them home with me tbh.
After brunch we strolled over to the Ojai Arcade & Plaza. Lots of cute lil shops!
This house's landscaping had me drooling - I just had to sneak a shot. How amaze are those succulents and cacti?? I can't even!
After brunch we walked to Bart's Books, an absolute necessity when you're in Ojai. If you visit Ojai and don't stop at Bart's Books, were you ever actually in Ojai?? It's the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the USA! It's also dripping with plants, which is always a big plus in my BOOK. ;)
Tipple and Ramble
This is my fave space in all of Ojai - the absolutely fabulous Tipple and Ramble. It actually hurt when it was time to leave, that's how much I love this place. The sign above says it all - picnic, patio, shop. My 3 obsessions all rolled into one. Eeeeek. When you arrive you'll walk into the beautifully decorated little indoor shop where you can buy all sorts of picnic and home goods necessities. After browsing and wishing I could purchase everything, we walked up to the counter to order our snacks. I can't recommend the Mediterranean board enough - absolutely delish. I wished I could order some wine, but again thinking of my cough, I stuck to an iced green tea. Sighhh. Then we walked out to the backyard patio.
This outdoor space is ultimate goals. It has me craving a house and backyard more than ever so I can set it up and make it cute just like this. That lil trailer bar! The chairs! The stairs! The plants! The plant POTS! Want. it. all.
Hummus with spiced chickpeas, pickled seasonal veggies, feta spread, herbed yoghurt dip, french feta, olives & pickles, sliced baguette. Snacking perfection!
I should probs mention Ojai gets HOT in the summer - as you may be able to tell from Eddie's dramatics. This was not posed. LOL
Thanks to the nice man behind the counter who gave me my green tea in a fancy glass so I could at least pretend like it was alcohol.
Ojai Skate Park
Eddie sprung this place on me without me knowing hahaha. We were on our way to Meditation Mount and ended up making a pit stop at the Ojai Skate Park. I didn't mind though, I had dragged him to all my shops and restaurants throughout the day, so by this time he deserved a lil skate break.
Just like Bart's Books, Meditation Mount is an absolute necessity when visiting Ojai - especially during sunset. It's such a peaceful, magical place. And that view!
We sat on this bench and watched the sun set on this overlook. Perf ending to a wonderful day.
What are your fave things to do in Ojai? If you live in SoCal, what are some of your fave day trips? I'm always looking for new places to explore, let me know in the comments!