Drop A Pin: A Day Trip To Ojai

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Ojai sounds like a faraway land, but lucky enough for Los Angeles residents like myself it’s only a quick 80 mile trip north. Tucked away in the valley of the Topatopa Mountains in Ventura County, this peaceful town is a wonderful way to escape the fast-paced hustle of its nearby cities.

Every year my mom and I spend her birthday weekend exploring new places. Last year was Catalina Island, Oceanside and San Diego. 2015 was a cruise to Mexico. This year, Ojai was the little oasis we’d been eager to visit. 

After reading several Ojai guides on Pinterest (by the way, such a great resource for travel tips), I made a bucket list for all the stops we could make within a morning and afternoon. 

First was East Ojai Avenue, home to mom and pop shops, delicious eateries like AZU Restaurant and Ojai Vallery Brewery, art galleries and spanish-style buildings. 

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Moving away from the main road, we followed signs for the Ojai Makers Market. It wasn’t quite like the large fairs I’m used to (Renegade Craft Fair, Unique LA, etc). It was much more quaint, with a handful of vendors selling soaps, felt bags, photo prints and other knick knacks. 

I picked up a bouquet of lavender for my apartment and my mom scored some locally made soaps. 

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On the way back to the main area of town, we stopped by an old gas station that was turned into a cute shop called Summer Camp. With a great amount of plants and home decor, I wish I could have transferred everything to my own home.

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I had to make a stop at Ojai Rancho Inn as well, after seeing photos from my boss’ wedding. One day I’ll be cool enough to stay for a night and take a dip in their pool. 

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I heard that Bart’s Books is a must see place of Ojai and I have to agree. The outdoor bookstore was so charming. I felt like Belle stepping into Beast’s home library for the first time. 

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Because I was overwhelmed by the number of books available, I picked four random ones, 50 cents each, based on their titles and blank covers (oops, I judged some books by their colors and bindings). Either they’ll be good reads or fun decor pieces!

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To end our trip, we stopped by the gorgeous Tipple and Ramble to have a glass of sparkling rosé and enjoy a few more relaxing moments before the drive back to LA. I legit fell asleep for a couple of minutes because of how chill the vibe was. 

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So where to next? Keep an eye out for the next pin I drop.

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