The Ojai Guide
For decades, Ojai, a kind of West Coast Shangri-La, has been a draw for LA locals who wanted a quick wellness fix and an easy escape from the city’s bustle. Here, the air is perfumed with orange blossom, there’s a dreamy golden hour, affectionately referred to by locals as the “pink moment” (best experienced at Meditation Mount, a 32-acre hilltop spiritual center), as well as ample hiking trails, Spanish-style buildings wrapped in bougainvillea, and a few health-conscious cafés—making it perfect for a weekend retreat. 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. Take a drive through the winding back roads, and be sure to stop at one of the many farm stands along the way, which still operate on the honor system.
Bart’s Books302 W Matlija St., Ojai | 805.646.3755
An Ojai institution, Bart’s Books has been in the rare and pre-loved book business since the 1960s. (Don't miss the thirty-five cent specials which line the outside walls, and are still for sale on the honor system—a long-held Bart's tradition.) There's a particularly good selection of cookbooks, and a nook of children's books to occupy littles for hours.
deKor & Co.105 S. Montgomery St., Ojai | 805.272.8675
The Ojai outpost of interior designer (and resident) Isabelle Dahlin’s deKor & Co. combines handcrafted and vintage furniture, tableware, and linens with an impressive apothecary; for a mid-shopping-day-breather, there’s an adorable on-site tea bar. Take home one of their orange blossom scented candles, which will remind you of your time in Ojai long after you've left.
Fig Curated Living327 E Ojai Ave., Ojai | 805.646.6561
This sun-soaked, artfully curated little shop perfectly embodies Ojai’s special brand of magic and take-it-easy vibe. A massive farm table and the surrounding displays are a treasure trove of giftables for kids, stationery, home décor, accessories, and pottery—much of it handmade by local artisans. Best part: you enter the shop through a semi-hidden walk-through garden.
In the Field730 E Ojai Ave., Ojai | 310.403.4292
In the Field owners and Los Angeles transplants Channon and Bianca Roe stock their sprawling lifestyle shop with bohemian-meets-country pieces for every room in the house—and every member of the family. Think: breezy Ulla Johnson dresses, Carré Provence bandanas, Imogene & Willie trousers for ladies; Filson duffels, Birdwell board shorts, and Gitman shirts for guys; for littles, there's a canvas tepee, make-your-own stuffed animal kits, and pint-sized furnishings. Don't skip over the expertly assorted vintage, too, including one-of-a-kind carryalls, t-shirts, and ceramics.
Summer Camp1020 W Ojai Ave., Ojai | 805.861.7109
Mid-century gas station-turned-concept store, Summer Camp, offers custom framing services in addition to vintage camping gear, Kilim rugs, succulents, and Ojai-themed souvenirs that are a far cry from touristy trinkets. There's a small corner of childrens' wear and small gifts including sweet chambray rompers and knit yarn cactus rattles, all lovingly made in Ojai.
Tipple & Ramble315 N. Montgomery St., Ojai | 805.319.9496
Tipple & Ramble is first and foremost a picnic and patio shop, swimming in piles of blankets, retro games, coolers, and gourmet snacks. Come nighttime, the adjoining garden morphs into a cozy outdoor wine-tasting space. For those who prefer a more controlled environment, there are throw pillows, baskets, cute storage containers, and kitchen-everything for the home.