Ojai, California is the crown jewel in the hippy kingdom, which has for the better part of a century lured dreamers, doers, and thinkers pursuing spiritual enlightenment and artists seeking inspiration and calm.
Now a new crop of hipster makers and merchants is traveling the 80 miles north of Los Angeles to bask in Ojai's groovy, quirky sensibility. Brad Steward is one of the six founders of Caravan Outpost—a beautifully hand-crafted Airstream hotel which embraces a small space, sustainable lifestyle.
The former apparel designer has worked between Geneva, Switzerland, Annecy, France, Helsinki, Finland and Portland, Oregon for the last 25 years. He believes that, as a travel company, a certain minimalism and utility necessarily drives what they do – Airstreams by nature lend themselves to sustainability. With that in mind, he is appealing to the type of people who consciously choose to have ‘fewer, nicer’ things in their life. But don't let that put you off investing in a Caravan Outpost emblazoned hoodie from the onsite store which has a fine range of clothing, vinyl, blankets and enamelware.
For the ultimate outdoorsy experience head to the Ojai Hot Springs, a non-profit run by a handful of locals who love the springs and want to see them preserved. It’s a hot natural spring, one that you can soak in for hours before the time comes to mosey back to your hammock at the Airstream Park. There, you'll be cooking dinner alfresco under the stars while connecting with a community of environmentally conscious like-minded folks around a crackling log fire.
It’s something the posh crowd up at the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa probably won’t get to experience, but that’s not to say you shouldn't sample their signature Kuyam treatment which means “a place to rest together" in the language of the Chumash people who originally inhabited the Ojai Valley. Combining the therapeutic effects of cleansing mud, dry heat, inhalation therapy and guided meditation, you’ll return home feeling enlightened and inspired.
caravanoutpost.com; ojaihotsprings.com; ojairesort.com