Since we weren't even spending 24 hours in Santa Barbara, I didn't do a lot of research about where to stay. Luckily, I found the Agave Inn, a remodeled motor inn located on the outskirts of the city. It was perfect for what we needed and came with the added bonus of being across the street from a fantastic French bakery, Renaud's Patisserie.
We decided to pass through Ojai on our way down to L.A. and it is a gorgeous drive through the mountains from Santa Barbara. We spotted all sorts of wildlife along the way including a coyote! The town itself has a funky, new-ageish feel and is home to many spas and spiritual retreats. One of our main reasons to visit Ojai was Bart's Books, the largest independent outdoor bookstore in the country.
On our way out of town we spotted The Farmer and The Cook, an organic market and restaurant. We picked up snacks for the road, the most delicious sun-dried tomatoes and some olive oil from Ojai Olive Oil. Made locally in the surrounding hills, the ranch where the oil is made is open for tours on Wednesdays and Saturdays, but we had to settle for just buying a bottle at the market.
As we approached Los Angeles we couldn't resist pulling over at one of the many beaches along Hwy 1 and dipping our toes into the surf along with the seagulls and pelicans.