Ojai : California


What It Is Like to Retire in Ojai

Ojai is a beautiful resort town in the mountains near Santa Barbara.  The population is over 7,000. Ojai has a small town community feel (everyone seemed to know everyone), home to several vineyards/wineries, 15 miles or so from Ventura beaches, adjacent to thousands of acres of state and federal protected land (Los Padres Nat'l Forest), and miles of flat, paved bicycle paths around the town and county.  Beautiful downtown area with old spanish style architecture - the shops and restaurants seemed geared toward the retired crowd but there were still some young families and tourists.  The climate was significantly warmer in Ojai than Ventura, especially this time of year (85 degrees vs 60 degrees, midday) even though they are only a short car ride apart.  We found Ojai to be similar but larger than Santa Ynez. Notes and photos courtesy of Jeff Russell.


Where to Retire in Ojai and Home Prices

Real estate is expensive in Ojai, Zillow reports the median home value was $1,136,075 in late 2022. There are some developments in the area that would appeal to active adults.


What Is Special about Ojai

Ojai is in the mountains near Santa Barbara, one of the loveliest areas on earth. Great vineyards, restaurants, biking, and outdoor fun. The Sunday Farmers Market is quite famous. Nearby Lake Casitas Recreation area offers camping and hiking.


What Is Not Special about Ojai

Real estate is expensive and it is a curvy ride down the mountains to get to the coast.


Who Will Like Retirement in Ojai

People who like the mountains and the outodoor, wine and food, and a relaxed lifestyle will like OJai. It also has a New Age aura and is reputed to be "hippie-friendly".


Local Economy Is Driven by

Tourism and agriculture are big drivers of the economy, including wine making.


Climate and Physical Environment

OJai is in the mountains between Santa Barbara and Ventura.  Los Padres National Forest almost surrounds it.  The average January temperature is in the low 50s and the average July temperature is in the low 70s.


Restaurants & Cultural Scene

There are numerous restaurants, inns, and B & Bs in the area, thanks to this being a tourist area. The downtown has numerous galleries. There are 3 branches of the Ventura County Library in the Ojai Valley.



The crime rate is less than half the national average.


Medical Facilities

Ojai Valley Community Hospital provides emergency medical services. The nearest full service hospital is in Ventura.



Santa Barbara Municipal Airport is about 50 miles, the nearest international airport is in Los Angeles about 85 miles away.


Valuable Links

Ojai, CA

Wikipedia page on Ojai


What people are saying about Ojai

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