It’s been a while. The weather in San Francisco has been unseasonably wet (and cold!) and it has me thinking a lot about my visit to Ojai, CA back in November.
Ojai, which means ‘nest’ in the native Chumash language, is a picturesque little town set in a valley of the Topatopa Mountains just north of Los Angeles. Fifteen miles in from the coast, peaceful Ojai feels far removed from the noise of city life and congested freeways.
Ojai’s climate is Mediterranean enough that the surrounding acres grow olives and grapes, which means you can spend your afternoons strolling up and down the main part of town alternating between getting tipsy and eating cheese. But lest you forget you’re in California, there are plenty of vegan cafes and crystal shops to remind you. Due to a ban on corporate chains, you won’t find a Starbucks for miles, but you’ll find plenty of locally run, mom-and-pop-style spots that are big on charm and have been around for years.
This chic little VRBO was just a 5 minute drive into the city and steps away from amazing hiking trails and fragrant orange groves. If hiking is not your speed, Bart’s Books is the largest independently owned and operated outdoor bookstore in the United States, so you can browse without sacrificing any time spent in the sun.
If you’re craving a delicious vegan breakfast and perfect matcha latte art, look no further than Beacon Coffee. Be sure to try the everything bialy with cream cheese and cinnamon roll– you won’t be sorry.
I would be remised not to mention Tipple and Ramble. Part picnic shop, part wine bar, and 100% every millennial’s dream; Tipple and Ramble’s dreamy outdoor patio features plenty of palm-printed blankets, retro games, outdoor plants, and gourmet snacks.
All that day drinking and shopping will make you hungry, so head to Nocciola for dinner, where you can sit on the patio of a converted Victorian house and eat homemade pasta off the tasting menu and drink local wine. It will be dark and quiet on the walk home– be sure to check out those pretty stars above.