Road Trip: Southern California Coast
Escaping Los Angeles is harder than you'd think—unless you drive north to Ojai, possibly the world's most enlightened town.
Ojai is gifted with a forgiving Mediterranean climate, a boon for local farmers—which seems to be everyone. Even Boccali's, a pizza parlor, grows its own produce (3227 Ojai Ave., Ojai, boccalis.com, sandwiches from $10). Ellen and I split an Italian-sausage sandwich and a fresh green salad. At the farmers market, I overhear a lady say she comes there from Ventura because Ojai's produce is superior, and then Ellen and I spot Ron from Ojai Olive Oil and wave hello. We have the impression we know half the town—and in my fantasy version of a simpler life, we do.
WHEN TO GO
You're almost guaranteed sun in May through October. But even the winter months are mild, with highs in the upper 60s.
WHAT TO PACK
Board shorts, flip-flops, and totes for farmers market fare.
Plan your L.A. escape and reentry around the rush-hour traffic, which peaks from 7 a.m. to 10 a.m. and again from 5 p.m. to 7 p.m.