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.