Ojai, California, a small town in rural Southern California, is a favorite weekend destination for people living in the greater Los Angeles, Ventura, and Santa Barbara metropolitan areas. Located in Ventura County, around two hours northwest of Los Angeles, this sleepy town has earned a rep as a haven of peace and serenity.
Ojai may be known for its pleasant climate and abundance of gorgeous orchards and vineyards, but it is so much more than a day trip from Los Angeles or a haven for local artists. The town is also home to a thriving art scene and a population of long-term inhabitants who have helped shape the town into what it is today: a pleasant and diverse place to call home.
Let’s check out eight things to know before moving to Ojai, CA!
1. The Ojai community is close-knit
Just under 8,000 people call Ojai home, and many of them have been there for decades. Although residents can enjoy peace and quiet, this is a tight-knit neighborhood where everyone knows your name.
Trivia evenings, farmers markets, tennis tournaments, historical presentations, and monthly mixers from the Ojai Valley Chamber of Commerce are just a few of the many events and activities hosted by the City of Ojai throughout the year to bring members of the town together.
2. The city is known for its spirituality
In addition to its scenic location near towering mountains, the spiritual atmosphere of this city is a major draw for those considering a move there. Some visitors and locals alike are in Ojai in search of spiritual, mental, and physical renewal.
Maybe it’s the abundance of green space and wildlife in the neighborhood, but locals here seem so committed to health and happiness that they’ve earned a reputation for miracle-working abilities. For those seeking a “calming vortex,” Ojai is the place to be.
3. Take in the art at The Village
Ojai is home to a thriving local creative community that is as much of an inspiration as the town’s natural beauty. This town in California is known as a haven for artists and creative types, thanks to its abundance of unique boutiques, galleries, and design studios where locals can get a creative jumpstart.
Locals refer to the city’s artist enclave as “the village,” and it’s filled with galleries including OVA Arts, Human Arts Gallery, Tartaglia Gallery, and Primavera Gallery.
4. The city was once home to Chumash Settlers
Homebuyers who value living in a historic community can’t help but be drawn to Ojai. Although the first settlement in the city was established in 1874, Chumash people had been living in the region for hundreds of years prior to that.
Actually, “Ojai” comes from the Chumash word for “moon.” Many of Ojai’s historic ranches have been lovingly converted into classic prairie-style residences with magnificent mountain and oak tree backdrops.
5. A cost of living index of 168.2
Ojai is a wealthy community, so living expenses are higher than in other of the surrounding cities. It might be difficult for those with limited financial resources to meet the rising costs of housing, food, and entertainment.
In Ojai, a single person can expect to spend $48,633 a year on basic needs like housing, food, child care, transportation, health care, taxes, and other miscellaneous expenses. The Ojai cost of living index is 168.2, which is 68.2% higher than the U.S. average.
The cost of housing is significant in determining overall living expenses. When compared to the national median house value of $428,000, Ojai’s median home value of $1,079,227 is significantly higher.
6. It doesn’t rain much in this city
Ojai’s Mediterranean climate features warm, dry summers and mild, rainy winters. The city experiences an average July temperature of 73 degrees and a January low of 44.
Ojai is particularly well-known for its stunning sunsets, which are commonly colored pink or orange by dust particles from the adjacent desert. The rainy season is between the months of November and April and totals only 17 inches annually. Water from nearby creeks and springs provide for abundant orange, avocado, lemon, and olive groves around Ojai despite the area’s minimal rainfall.
7. It’s a safe place to live
When compared to other American cities, Ojai is towards the top in terms of safety. The city’s crime rate is more than 50 percent lower than the national average of 22.7 per 100,000 inhabitants, at 12.4 per 100,000.
Ojai’s property crime rate of 20.2 per 100,000 people is significantly lower than the national average of 35.4 per 100,000 people by more than 40%. In comparison to other American cities, Ojai is a significantly safer place to live, giving its citizens the confidence that they are protected from harm.
8. There are limited job opportunities
The job market in Ojai may not be as robust or rewarding as it would be in a larger city. It may be necessary to move to a larger city or adjacent town if you want to work in a specialized sector.
Unemployment in the city is at 6.4%, which is significantly higher than the national average.
Residents of Ojai get to enjoy stunning natural scenery, an abundance of outdoor activities, a safe community, friendly people, and great weather. However, before moving to this city, you should keep in mind that the cost of living is quite high, and job opportunities there are limited