10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 4: Ojai & Santa Barbara, California

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Overview: Plans changed due to extreme weather and our Channel Islands trip was cancelled. The day was spent visiting Ojai and Santa Barbara, California.

Prior to coming on the trip, my husband booked tickets for our family to venture out to the Channel Islands on a cruise ferry and then embark on a semi-private half-day kayak tour around the island.

Both Clayton and I have been to the Channel Islands National Park before – he and his brother kayaked around the island, hiked and camped overnight back in February 2019, and then he and I took the Painted Cave boat tour back in 2019. *Camping on the island = completely pack in what you need as there are no provisions on the island.

I was so excited about the kayaking part of the tour, as that is one of my most favorite outdoor activities. However, we woke up early on day 4 to find out that the cruise ferry had been cancelled going out to the island due to bad weather.

California has been having unprecedented rain and snowfall this year (2023). On this particular day, there were storms, making it too dangerous to venture out to the island. So, our plans were shot and we needed to quickly pivot to salvage our day.

When you travel with Clayton and I, there’s one thing guaranteed; you are never going to be bored, because you stay so busy seeing so many things!

Being the master trip planner that Clayton is, he was able to quickly change our plans, even with the terrible weather.

Hollywood Beach Cafe in Oxnard, California

We decided to let the kids sleep in a little longer (6am wake up calls are never that much fun on vacation, lol!). We then headed out to this little cafe in Oxnard called Hollywood Beach Cafe.

Hollywood Beach Cafe, Oxnard, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

The food was delicious, the service…ehh. But out bellies were fully and we were ready to have some fun!

Zachari Dunes Beach in Oxnard, California

After breakfast, we came back to the resort to spend some time out on the beach walking and playing…the rain would start and stop every couple of minutes šŸ™‚

Zachari Dunes beach Oxnard, California | Gathered In The Kitchen
Oxnard beach, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

Ojai Farmer’s Market

After playing for a while on the beach, we loaded up in the rental car and headed 35 minutes north and inland to Ojai, California. Ojai is a quaint little mountain town, with lots of little shops, restaurants and even a brewery.

Clayton and I stayed here back in 2019__. It reminds us of our favorite North Carolina mountain town, Blowing Rock. If you are familiar with that town, then you get it šŸ™‚ (ohhh, how I love North Carolina!)

We had heard that Ojai’s farmers market was a fun thing to do, so we went straight there, with just a few minutes to shop before they closed for the day!

We bought several types of fresh oranges and avocados. Yum!

Ojai, California Farmer's Market | Gathered In The Kitchen

Downtown Ojai, California

After the farmers market, we walked around Ojai, stopping to play on some insanely old and crazy looking trees and a fun park! Then we stopped in for a couple of Mochi Crepes and Boba teas and then headed to the local brewery.

Downtown Ojai, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

While typically Ojai is sunny and bright, the weather had drastically changed the look of downtown. Being so cloudy and rainy, it was hard to even see the mountains that line the outskirts of town. Here’s a comparison image.

Downtown Ojai, California | Gathered In The Kitchen
Downtown Ojai, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

*Note about Ojai – typically Ojai does not look this green! The rain surely has done a lot for the plants in the area!

Libbey Park in Ojai, California

I’m totally certainly this is how you are “supposed” to play on this spinning thing! HA! #boys!

Libbey Park, Ojai, California | Gathered In The Kitchen
Mochi Crepes in Ojai, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

Topa Topa Ojai Brewery in Ojai, California

Topa Topa Ojai Brewery | Gathered In The Kitchen

Santa Barbara, California

After a few hours in Ojai, we headed 35 miles west, back to the coast to visit Santa Barbara, California. The dreary weather coming along for the ride!

Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

I loved how these two trees, whom seem like an unlikely pair, were growing alongside each other – a palm tree and a “pine??” tree!

Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen
Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

Beautiful birds of paradise flowers!

Birds of Paradise in Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

We headed out to the pier to get a better look at the water!

Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen
Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

Look at those clouds! Honestly, it was a strange feeling having such dark, gloomy weather in California…where it’s normally full of sunshine!

Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

After a couple of hours, we hopped back in the car and drove 40 miles south, down the coast, back to Oxnard.

Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

The kids had fun playing night games of tennis, basketball and swimming!

Zachari Dunes Resort, Oxnard, California | Gathered In The Kitchen
Bellagio Water Show Las Vegas | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 1: Las Vegas, Nevada

Joshua Tree National Park | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 2: Joshua Tree National Park

Santa Monica Pier | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 3: Santa Monica & Ventura, California

Santa Barbara, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 4: Ojai & Santa Barbara, California

Channel Islands Island Packers Cruise | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 5: Channel Islands National Park, California

Solvang, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 6: Solvang, San Simeon & Big Sur, California

Point Lobos State Natural Reserve | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 7: Big Sur, Point Lobos, & Cannery Row, California

Muir Woods National Monument | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 8: Santa Cruz, Muir Woods, California

Golden Gate Bridge | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 9: San Francisco, California

Walnut Creek, California | Gathered In The Kitchen

10 Day California Coast Road Trip | Day 10: Walnut Creek, California

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