California is located on the west coast of North America. It is the largest US state by population, and the third largest by area. California offers something for everyone: hiking, food, beaches, surf, can, snow, .... 

Human occupation in California goes back 50000 years; California was home to thirty different tribal groups prior to the arrival of European explorers in the 1500s and now over 120 tribes are left. The first Europeans were the Spanish and Portuguese, who built a settlement in California, establishing twenty-one missions in California by the late 1700s. After the Mexican War for Independence in 1821, California became a part of Mexico for 25 years until 1846 where it briefly became a sovereign nation, California Republic, before it was annexed by the United States in 1846. In 1848 the discovery of gold in the Sierra Nevada mountains kicked off the California Gold Rush, and California's non-native population surged from 15,000 to over 300,000 within two years. California was recognized as a state in 1850, and its population increased steadily since then. Today California is the most populous state in the US with over 38 million residents.

While this road trip would technically be about 24 hours or driving total, in order to truly bak this trip and make the most of out it, you would need to spend about a month on your journey. Since that amount of time isn't likely to happen for most, this list is intended to be used for those traveling in any of these areas in California -- insiders view to what is possibly the most diverse and wonderful place in the world. Being from California and never having lived any where else could possibly make me a little bias. 


Sam Chowder house - get the lobster roll , but anythings good

swanton berry farm

whale city cafe

pescadero - harley goat farm and artichoke bread for a picnic at the beach


bean hollow - find agates and jasper

waddle - hike or bike up the creek to the waterfalls or watch kite and wind surfers

Gorilla Barbeque


Los Angeles

Ojai / Ventura / Santa Barbara


farmer and the cook

To Stay //

Ojai Rancho Inn

- there is no doubt this inn is the hippest spot in town. the rooms have that rustic/bohemian vibe. burn some palo santo, lounge by the pool or have a picnic on the lawn. you can even bring your dog. make sure to stop by their bar cheif's peak to have a beer and listen to vinyl. 

Ojai Valley Inn

- looking for a more luxurious getaway, than this is your place. a sprawling resort known for it's spa, golf course and celebrity guests. they have three pools and six restaurants on the property. both couples and families alike flock here. a slightly older crowd. 

Caravan Outpost

- this place could not be cuter. stay in one of eleven decked out airstreams and end your nights around the cozy fire pit getting to know the other guests. there are picnic tables, a shop for all your needs and yes there is wifi. borrow one of the many bikes they have available for guests and ride a short distance into town. 


- looking to have a more authentic Ojai experience? check out one of the many cute vacation rentals. 

Emerald Iguana Inn

- a peaceful boutique inn about a 10 min walk from town. perfect for couples or friends looking to relax. no kids allowed. some of the rooms have kitchens, wood burning stoves and clawfoot tubs. 

Lavender Inn

- this charming schoolhouse from 1874 was turned into a bed and breakfast with 8 guest rooms. it sits right in the center of town, walking distance to most restaurants and shops. 

To Eat //

Farmer and the Cook

 - an organic grocery store and restaurant where you'll find me most days.  on saturday and sunday from 8:30-11:30am they serve my favorite huevos rancheros and other yummy breakfast items. friday and saturday from 5:30-8:30pm they have a weekend farm cafe with yummy salads and wood fired pizzas. other daily favorites are the salad bar, the dairy free chai and their acai bowl. 


 - a tapas restaurant great for lunch or dinner or to just grab a drink at the bar. one of my favorite spots in town. 


Knead Baking Co

- my favorite place to go in the mornings for coffee , housemade pastries and baked goods. their seeded bagel with cream cheese and their breakfast sandwich are my go-to's. closed mon and tue. 

Osteria Monte Grappa

 - go for a romantic italian meal and a bottle of wine. closed mon. 

Hip Vegan

- delicious and healthy. grab lunch and a date shake and sit on their shaded patio. 

Ojai Tortilla House

- the perfect place for a quick and easy lunch. there is no seating, so I take my tacos to-go and eat them at beautiful libbey park across the street. 


 - this homey italian restaurant is a staple in Ojai. It's the one and only restaurant on the east side of town. they're known for their delicious tomato salad and strawberry shortcake. 

Bonnie Lu's

 - if you're looking for a classic american breakfast with a kitschy diner feel this is the place. closed wed. 

East End Restaurant & Bar

- this gastropub on the east end of town has become a go-to for my family. they have a full bar and really good pot pies perfect for a chilly night. 

Coffee //

Ojai Coffee Roasting Co

- right in the center of town. you'll see the locals here every morning (including my dad).

Coffee Connection

- organic coffee in the meiner's oaks part of town.

Bars //

Deer Lodge

- grab a beer and see some live music at this classic Ojai spot that feels right out of a different era. on sundays a sea of bikers come from far and wide to have brunch here. 

Ojai Beverage Co

- pick up a bottle of wine, beer or liquor from their large selection to drink back in your hotel room or order beer and bar snacks in their tap house.

Chief's Peak

 - a charming beer and wine bar located at the Ojai Rancho Inn.

The Hut

- an authentic dive, equipped with pool tables and karaoke. you may get starred down by the locals. 

Shops //

Bart's Books

- an Ojai institution. wander, sit and enjoy this outdoor bookstore where you can pay for a books on the honor system during closing hours.

Summer Camp

 - nestled in an old gas station is this adorable shop and custom framer. whether it's a vintage blanket, local pottery or a campfire scented candle I have trouble leaving here empty handed. closed mon.

Fig Curated Living

- as you walk down the hallway/entrance to this tucked away little shop you will feel like you're in on a secret. They have an array of gifts for both the home and garden. 

Tipple & Ramble

- stock up on beautiful home goods and table top decor at this new shop in town. you can even pack a picnic and eat on their patio under the oak trees. 


- come to this boutique for a nice selection of denim, cozy scarves and cashmere sweaters. 

To Do //

Farmer's Market

- if you happen to be in Ojai between 9am-1pm on a sunday you must check out the farmer's market. since Ojai is surrounded by some of the best farm country in southern california it is one of the best (in my opinion). there is also a nice selection of hand carved bowls, baskets and artisanal goods made by locals.

Porch Gallery

- after you go to the farmer's market walk next door and check out this art gallery inside a house built in the 1870's. each month they feature new and established contemporary artists, including many locals. 

Ojai Meadow Preserve

-  a stretch of 58 acres owned and maintained by the Ojai Valley land conservancy. walk around, take a hike. In the spring months it is covered with wild mustard flowers. quite a beautiful sight to behold. 

 Bocalli's Pumpkin Patch

- I absolutely love autumn in Ojai. while it's still quite warm during the day, the leaves are changing and the fall produce overflows from roadside trees. around halloween I like to roam around the bocalli's pumpkin patch and corn field. I try to get my fall fix when I can. 

Beatrice Wood Center For The Arts

- the famous avant-garde artist and ceramicist beatrice wood lived most her life in her beloved Ojai, until her death at 105. you can go visit the center named in her honor, to see her work as well as rotating exhibits and workshops. 

Meditation Mount

- I grew up down the road from this magical place and spent many a sunset here, so it holds a very special place in my heart. It is perched on top of a mountain on the east end of Ojai Valley. go to meditate, roam the gardens or to watch the famed "pink moment." the views are simply breathtaking. just remember to whisper. 

Spa day at Ojai Valley Inn

- if you're looking to relax and be pampered while in town you must head here. get a luxurious massage or just a day pass to use the pool, steam room and jacuzzi. 

Aa Relaxing Station

- a little chinese massage place right in the middle of town. get an hour foot massage for only $35. you will not be sorry. 

Sespe River

- hike to the sespe river and look for the hot springs (if they're open). 

Ojai Olive Oil

 - tour the olive orchards and go for an olive oil tasting. only open on wed or saturday. 

Old Creek Ranch Winery

- on your drive into town stop to do a little wine tasting.

Bike Ride

- many of the local inns lend out bikes to their guests. ride into town or on the bike trail. 



natures grill

beach tacos 



go to the channel islands 




Bakesale Bettys

Cholita Linda

Curbside Creamery

The Cook and Her Farmer 

Authentic Bagel Company



Dopo, 4293 Piedmont Ave, (510) 652-3676
Grand Fare Market, 3265 Grand Ave, (510) 899-9610
W.C. Morse Cafe, Blue Bottle, 4270 Broadway, (510) 653-3394
Kronnerburger, 4063 Piedmont Ave, (510) 410-7145
Pizzaiolo, 5008 Telegraph Ave, (510) 652 4888


First and Last Chance Saloon 


, 4200 Piedmont Ave, (510) 594-2288Neighbor
Book/Shop, 482 D 49th Street, (510) 907-9649
Esqueleto, 482 A 49th St Suite A, (510) 629-6216
Marisa Mason, 484 49th St, (510) 289-6002
Standard & Strange, 5010 Telegraph Avenue, (510) 373-9696



Novo is a local and tourist favorite in the heart of downtown SLO. Their outdoor patio dining in the evening is an SLO experience not to be missed. They serve a global cuisine with a plethora of wine choices (and great cocktails, too!). try the salmon bisque - so delish! 

 Scout Coffee

Old San Luis BBQ Co

Sally Loo’s Wholesome Café



Ruby Rose

Len collective 



Avila Valley Barn

hot springs 

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