I love Ojai. Both of my sisters live in southern California, but had never been to Ojai, so on a recent visit, we made a daytrip of it! It’s a little town tucked in a valley of the Topatopa Mountains, located only 90 miles northwest of Los Angeles. Ojai is surrounded by thousands of Pixie tangerine trees that perfume the air. You can even take the scent home with you (in candle form) if you visit deKor & Co. on Montgomery Street where they sell fashion, beauty, vintage and custom home goods (worth a trip!). While there’s plenty to do and see in this town, here’s what we were able to fit into a day:
Upon arrival, the first place we saw, Wachter Hay & Grain, which was advertising “Chickens” and “Small Animals”, so naturally, we went there first and were quite happy we did.
We headed to Knead Baking Company for breakfast. I had a quiche and mixed greens with a glass of Crémant. The variety of breads and freshly made pastries was superior and I grabbed some lemon lavender shortbread cookies to keep in my bag for a later treat!
We walked down Ojai Avenue browsing the many unique shops. This downloadable walking map of downtown is very helpful.
We stopped into Tipple and Ramble which is part picnic shop, part wine bar – a pretty genius combination! They have a great patio out back where you can enjoy their charcuterie, gourmet deli items and wine, or you can fill your basket and head out to your own spot!
Our main goal while in Ojai was to visit Frog Creek Lavender Farm to pick our own lavender. They provide you not only with baskets, but with lavender paper parasols! Total princess moment. Walking among the different varieties of lavender they grow (including Provence and English Hidcote) is such a unique experience as the rows are dripping in honeybees, all splendidly lethargic, filled with nectar and pollen. For a flat rate, they let you pick as much lavender as you want! While we didn’t think to do this, it would have been a perfect place to bring a picnic.
The last stop was a late lunch at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa. This is such a beautiful resort, and you arrive via a private, winding drive. We walked around the grounds, which are beautifully maintained, and since we had little Max pup with us, they were very accommodating to serve us lunch on the outdoor terrace (which is where we wanted to be anyway). While enjoying breathtaking views of the property, we shared a brick oven pizza and a glass of bubbles to toast our splendid day!