The Perfect Cali Weekend Escape in All Its Glamping, Skinny-Dipping, Lemonade-Sipping Glory
Ojai, you just might be the perfect Cali getaway. You’re groovy but not too crunchy, rustic but not too rugged. And let’s hear it for those glam Airstreams and that casual-but-inventive food. So,dear reader, consider yourself invited. Less than two hours away, your no-stress quickie escape awaits.
Snooze in an Airstream
The vibe at Caravan Outpost, the set of 11 Instagram-ready Airstream trailers in a palm grove, is way more hipster summer camp than grandparents’ trailer park. Play board games with friends in the clubhouse, borrow a bike to explore downtown Ojai or just read until it’s wine o’clock around the campfire.
317 Bryant St., Ojai; 805-836-4891 or caravanoutpostojai.com
Browse Rustic-Luxe Home Decor
Lofty deKor & Co. has vivid velvet pillows, just-dinged-enough antiques and kilim-upholstered everything. In other words, it’s perfection. Check out the casual clothes and bath products, then take home a chic souvenir: the signature orange-blossom candle.
105 S. Montgomery St., Ojai; 805-272-8675 or dekorandco.com
Become One with Nature (Ahem…Naked)
Spiritual rumor alert: The land around Ojai is said to have a powerful and uplifting electromagnetic charge, aka the “vortex.” Get super into this good earth with a visit to Ecotopia, a multi-acre CSA garden and hot springs. Reserve a two-hour spot (only eight people are permitted at a time), then loll with or sans your bathing costume in one of the handful of sizzling spring-fed pools. End by strolling down a short path and jumping into the invigoratingly chilly pond.
2566 Matilija Canyon Rd., Ojai; 805-272-0011 or ojaiecotopia.com
Experience Next-Level Patio Dining
Ojai native Kiona Wachter grew up in the restaurants her father ran, and her knowledge of the biz shows at The Nest. Sit under the awning and nosh on irresistible comfort foods like dirty fries (french fries with mushroom gravy), Buddha bowls full of wild rice and kalamata-chickpea salad and fizzy fruit-infused lemonades. Delish? Let’s just say we were embarrassed by how we consumed our banh mi hot dog in the manner of Ms. Pac-Man.
401 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai; 805-798-9035 or thenestojai.com
Rub Mud All Over Yourself
During the Kuyam treatment at the spa at Ojai Valley Inn, you recline in an ornately tiled sauna and apply desert clay infused with essential oils. This is your communal combo platter of inhalation therapy, Chumash Indian vision quest and Euro spa pampering.
905 Country Club Rd., Ojai; 855-697-8780 or ojaivalleyinn.com
Shop the Coolest Party Dresses and Board Shorts
You know the dream you have of moving to paradise and opening a little boutique? It’s been done perfectly at In the Field. The vibe is chill, the clothes are crush-worthy (linen duster coats, silky maxi dresses) and the men’s, kids’ and home items are equally well edited and giftable.
730 E. Ojai Ave., Ojai; 805-633-0021 or inthefieldojai.com
Cop a Sugar High at A Farm-to-Table Biker Bar
Ojai Deer Lodge started life as a gas station and now the log cabin structure is home to a forward-palate chef. You’ll find ale-marinated pulled-pork sandwiches, lemon-lavender cheesecake and 20 beers on tap. Evenings, live bands in styles ranging from indie prog rock to disco pack the place.
2261 Maricopa Hwy., Ojai; 805-646-4256 or deerlodgeojai.com
And Get a Load of That Sunset
With a magic hour so magical that it’s been nicknamed “the pink moment,” it’s de rigueur to halt whatever you’re doing and gaze upward, north to the serrated Topatopa Mountains. The particular orientation of the valley plus the reflection off the rock face results, just for a moment, in a rosé tinge everywhere you look. (Get ready to make pink your new favorite color.)