Slow living in Ojai

An analog journal of a week in Ojai, CA documented by our founder Michelle.

The Valley of the Moon

I've been visiting Ojai regularly for the 8 years I've lived in Los Angeles and each time I fall more in love with the slow pace and Mediterranean-style living this quaint valley offers. My (now) husband and I love it so much, we decided to host our wedding here this past April and it was truly a dream come true. From the blossoming pixie tangerine groves to the early morning fog that broke mid-day creating the most epic views of the mountains, this trip, like every other trip to Ojai, was uniquely special. This analog recap will be the first of a little series about our time in Ojai and our wedding, highlighting the beauty of slowness and simple pleasures in the Valley of the Moon.

clockwise: a garden house at our airbnb, an Ojai pixie grove, a pixie stand

Rural Spain meets modern California

I think one of the main reasons I've always loved Ojai (and so much of SoCal for that matter) is it reminds me so much of Spain. Ojai boasts the same slow pace with farms, horses, and fresh produce around every corner; plentiful citrus and olive groves, a dream climate, grand mountains, and beautiful Spanish architecture. It even has the intense heat that you experience in Andalusian cities like Sevilla where my Dad was from. All of this mixed with modern California flair makes it the perfect haven just a short drive from my home. It's a place to take deep breaths, swim in fresh waters, and enjoy epic hikes before a night cooking dinner with seasonal finds from the farmer's market or eating out at one of the many culinary gems the tiny town offers. (Hint: keep reading for our list of favorite spots to do just that.)

clockwise: Michelle wearing a secondhand dress and favorites from our AVILLA essentials collection, our vintage Mercedes stereo, a quick snap in the mirror in more AVILLA essentials

Taking the long way

For this trip, we were fortunate enough to find and rent our dream 1973 Mercedes which brought an extra layer of magic to the whole experience. We had the top down the whole time, even in the chilly mornings, which forced us to bundle up and appreciate the changes in weather while we drove her all over the town. I loved having an excuse to wear all of my vintage and natural fiber scarves to keep my mane tame. We have a sweet vintage one for sale here as well as some natural cotton gauze scarves handmade in the US available here.

Scenes around town captured on film by Michelle

A few of our favorite spots

We spent our mornings drinking coffee either by the fireplace in our Airbnb or in their dreamy native plant garden. We spent our days trail running, hiking, or meandering through town. Though our nights were mostly filled with wedding festivities, I'd be remiss not to mention a few of our favorite spots in town (some of which we made it to on this trip, others we've frequented in the past). Do yourself a favor and check them out next time you're there!


Favorite activities:

The Ventura Nature Preserve

The Sunday Farmer's Market


Favorite restaurants:

The Farmer and the Cook

The Duchess

Topa Topa Brewery and Little Sama

Favorite shops:

Bart's Books

Noted Ojai

Shop Summer Camp

Thanks for reading. Share this with someone you want to go to Ojai with! Stay tuned for the next part of the series where we get more into the wedding side of things.

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