Ojai is the Chumash word for “nest,” an apropos title for a quaint Ventura County resort town nestled in a valley along a southern stretch of the Los Padres National Forest.
This Bohemian California enclave and outdoor enthusiast’s paradise offers a mild Mediterranean climate, rich local crafts scene, soothing natural hot springs and majestic views of the surrounding Topatopa Mountains.
Moreover, its location just 80 miles north of Los Angeles and 35 miles south of Santa Barbara makes this sprawling bit of backcountry an ideal SoCal getaway for glampers of all stripes. Here, we’ll cover some of the best glamping options in Ojai and offer a bit of guidance at the bottom on things to do in the area.
This 200-acre sustainable preserve is a secluded oasis within the Rose Valley Recreation Area, combining Old West charm and modern amenities. Established in 1870, the family-owned property is one of the oldest cattle ranches in the state.
Accommodations include two large safari tents, each with king bed and private bath, as well as a two-bedroom cabin with kitchen, patio, barbecue and private garden. All guests have full access to a grand room with library, piano, big-screen TV and pool table.
Outdoor activities include basketball, horseback riding and fishing, swimming or kayaking in one of two spring-fed ponds. Guests can also pick salad ingredients from the greenhouse and eggs from the chicken coup.
|Address||7674 Rose Valley Rd., Ojai, CA 93023|
Ventura Ranch KOA
The 76-acre campground rents teepees and tent sites, RV sites with full or partial hook-ups, cabins, safari tents and Conestoga wagons. Note that pets are a no-no inside the accommodations. Guests can enjoy a watering hole, hiking trails, a climbing wall and ropes course with zipline. A community swimming pool is open Memorial Day weekend until early October, and the clubhouse offers a kitchen with dining area. Arts and crafts, a playground and a huge jumping pillow will keep the kiddies busy. An RV dump station is also available along with propane and firewood for sale.
|Address||7400 Pine Grove Rd., Santa Paula, CA 93060|
This modern hippie commune provides a taste of different, with 10 classic Airstreams parked in a half-moon crescent amongst the property’s lush gardens. Each trailer contains a private bath with shower and kitchen with free coffee, tea and cocoa, although guests must bring their own supplies. Wi-Fi is available, but no TVs. Guests can relax outside on comfy lounge chairs or borrow a bicycle for a ride around town. The property also has its own shop with branded gear like jackets, T-shirts, candles and Falsa blankets.
|Address||317 Bryant St., Ojai, CA 93023|
Rancho de Granville
This seven-acre, newly remodeled ranch is a haven for horses, boasting 30- and 40-foot round pens with sand footing, large 24×24 corrals, a grazing pasture and flat bamboo-lined trails to San Antonio Creek. The tranquil property was originally a stagecoach stop between Ventura and what is present-day Ojai. It features two RV/tent sites, an idyllic guest house and a private barn for horse boarding. Overnight and weekend stays are welcome. Riding lessons and guided trail walks are available, or just opt for a picnic under the sycamores.
|Address||9940 Creek Rd., Oak View, CA 93022|
Got a big family? Stay in the main lodge, which sports three bedrooms (one with a king, one with a queen, and one with bunk beds), three bathrooms, large living room with stone fireplace, washer/dryer, outdoor balcony and HDTV with DVD player.
Small family?Opt for the adjacent guest cottage with one queen bed, fold-out couch and an extra inflatable mattress. Just the two of you looking for a bit of rustic and romantic? Go for the teepee. You can still make use of the outdoor ping pong table, BBQ grill, firepit, stone picnic table and round cedarwood spa.
|Address||Enchanted Vacation Rentals, 476 S, Rice Rd., Ojai, CA 93023|
Geodesic Dome by Natural Hot Springs
A short drive up the coast from Ojai brings you to Montecito, a wealthy community that has played second home to Hollywood types since the days of Charlie Chaplin. Just steps from a natural mountain hot springs trail sits this unique dome tent that mixes new age cool with backwoods zen.
A private driveway leads to a peaceful backyard living area with firepit, hammock, dartboard and sitting area. Inside, you’ll find climate controls, clothing racks, a queen bed, coffeemaker, mini fridge and dining utensils. An outdoor shower and connected bathroom round out the amenities. A four-minute drive gets you to the beach and several local eateries.
|Address||Montecito, CA 93108|
Ojai Garden Cottage
This classic stone cottage is situated in a quiet, tree-filled neighborhood near the local tennis and swim club (access can be provided for an additional fee), but is otherwise completely secluded from the outside world.
It sleeps two adults comfortably, although kids are welcome, and features a full kitchen with pantry, living room with fireplace, cable TV, washer, dryer and AC for those hot summer days. You’ll find beautiful maple floors under your feet and bright skylights above, and the large oak tree shading the front porch is the perfect place to savor your morning cup of joe.
|Address||Ojai, CA 93023|
Things To Do in the Area
The nine-mile Ojai Valley Trail parallels Highway 33 all the way to the Pacific Ocean and offers Instagram-worthy views that will turn anyone into a pro photographer. Or take the longer 16.5-mile Ventura River Parkway Trail, which follows the former Ventura and Ojai Valley Railroad. Both permit walkers, joggers, cyclists and even horseback riders.
For a change of pace, check out the Ojai Valley Inn, home to an award-winning golf course and world-famous spa. Visit local craft shops like Summer Camp and Cattywampus Crafts for everything from candles to clothes to custom frames, then grab an oat milk latte from Beacon Coffee and check out some reading material from Bart’s Books, the largest independently-owned outdoor bookstore in the country.
Farm-to-table restaurants and wine-tasting opportunities are also abundant. However, Ojai Olive Oil, a certified organic olive farm with a tasting room offering oils and balsamic vinegars, and Ojai Valley Brewery, with its craft-beer-and-wine tasting room, are absolute musts.