If you need a dose of magic, Ojai California is your place. It’s the most healing place I’ve ever been. Ojai is a beautiful mountain town just 30 minutes from the Pacific Coast and less than 2 hours from Los Angeles. It’s a West Coast wellness Utopia for LA locals looking to get out of the city and travelers who love spectacular golden hours, hikes, Spanish-style architecture, and health-conscious cafes. In place of Starbucks, you’ll find locally owned shops and farm stands with plenty of family history. If you find yourself in Ojai (in all the ways a person can be found), I highly recommend these places to eat, drink, play and stay during your trip! I hope you enjoy this healthy Ojai California travel guide as much as we did.
So, here’s the true story: we didn’t end up in Ojai totally on purpose, but I am SO glad we did. What happened was, we tried to quit nomad life after many years and move to LA (check out my LA guide here!) but the whole experience of trying to get a house was so over-whelming. I ended up having a full-fledged panic attack, crying on the bathroom floor, so Zack and I retreated back to nomad life. After asking friends and scouring the internet for the best places to stay, we found amazing long-term rentals in Ojai which is just 90 minutes outside of Los Angeles.
The time we spent in Ojai was the most magical and healing three months of my life. There are a lot of magical places in this world (I’m looking at you, Tofino) but Ojai has this energy. You can go on hikes in the gorgeous valley, then soak in the hot springs. You can browse the bookstores, take advantage of the many healing treatments there are in town, and eat seriously some of the best food I’ve ever had in my life. Practically every restaurant and cafe is farm to table.
Ojai is also a special place to me because it’s the place that I finished writing the draft of my new book and where we launched our complete line of Healthier Together Conversation Decks. If you haven’t played these yet, I highly, highly recommend getting one to play on your trip to Ojai. There’s truly a deck for every occasion!
All of this to say, if you are needing a getaway to find yourself and heal, Ojai is calling and you must go. I hope this Ojai California Travel Guide inspires you to find peace and sanctuary in one of the most beautiful places in California.
What’s a healthy travel guide?
I call my itineraries “healthy travel guides” because in every place that I visit, I seek out wellness and relaxation activities, note-worthy restaurants with nourishing foods (for the body AND the soul), and overall things to do that contribute to a happier, healthier life! I don’t think there could be an Ojai travel guide that wasn’t healthy, because literally the whole town is just brimming with wellness and opportunities to tap into your healthiest self. So, out of all of the healthy foods and treatments I tried, this list includes my must-dos!
If you have more recommendations on the best restaurants, bars, hotels, and things to do in Ojai California, please share them in the comments so I can add them to this Ojai California Travel Guide! We already can’t wait to go back.
The Best Restaurants in Ojai
- Ojai Roti: eat here for fast-casual fresh Lebanese food! This chef/farmer driven spot is a picnic and artisan sourdough bakery. The carrot salad, rotisserie chicken, & white bean hummus are must-orders, but everything on the menu is phenomenal!
- The Dutchess: pick up the best pastries of your life in the morning or have delicious Burmese-California dinner at night! If you go on a Thursday evening in Spring or Summer, head to the back patio for live music from local artists, $3 grilled skewers & laid-back vibes.
- Pinyon: eat here for life-changing sourdough pizza. They also offer salads and plates if you’re gluten free.
- Farmer and the Cook: pick up a quick vegan breakfast or lunch and don’t sleep on their cookies
- The Thursday & Sunday Farmers Markets are wonderful for lunch and happen year round!
- Revel Kombucha Bar: grab a pink moment kombucha which features ginger, hibiscus, and orange zest and sip this award-winning bevvy while you watch the real pink moment (that’s what locals call the golden hour here) over the mountains. They also have organic açaí bowls!
Things to Do in Ojai California
- The Ojai Valley Inn is pure magic, so pay it a visit in any way you can. I recommend booking a spa treatment and then spending a day enjoying the facilities. If you can, sneak in dinner at Olivella or The Oak, their on-site restaurants.
- Enjoy a delicious, vineyard-fresh olive oil tasting at Ojai Olive Oil
- Visit Ecotopia to soak in hot springs on sacred land (note: it’s temporarily closed because of the 2023 winter storms. You can check the website for opening day!)
- Book a sound bath at Meditation Mount and then enjoy a walking meditation through the gardens overlooking the valley
- Shop for unique, chic finds at Ali Golden, my favorite boutique in town. Dekor Living is a gorgeous shop for home furnishings, and the vintage stores are also really fun!
- Pay a visit to Barts Books, an all outdoor bookstore!!
- Pick up ceremonial grade teas at Club Magic Hour to bring the magic of Ojai home with you
- Take a day trip to alpaca paradise at Canzelle Alpaca Farm in Santa Barbara! It’s only a 45 minute drive.
- If petting adorable alpacas aren’t your vibe, take a day trip to Santa Barbara, the Channel Islands, and San Ysidro
- Hikes the loops that start at Valley View Preserve for gorgeous valley views
- If you too need healing while you’re in town, schedule a session with Erin Yee. She will change your life!
Where to Stay in Ojai
Zack and I were in Ojai, California for three months, so we did long-term rentals. However, if you’re staying in a hotel, the Ojai Valley Inn is amazing if you can swing it! We’ve also stayed at Caravan Outpost in the past and it’s such a fun and unique option where you stay in renovated Airstreams, tiny homes, and other caravans all on a community camp ground!