Who knew an ‘Emptynestcation’ was a thing? Traveling with children is incredible and the memories created are truly priceless, but I have a little secret to share… once your children have flown the coop your ‘Emptynestcation’ options are endless. There’s no need to travel during school holidays (paying top price) – the world’s now your playground to explore whenever it fits into YOUR schedule.
Spoiler alert… marriage is hard. Very hard. It’s important to take time to disconnect from the world and reconnect as a couple. To honor our 24th wedding anniversary, we wanted to celebrate with something special. We decided to explore our own backyard in Southern California and drive to Ojai, and visit the unique ‘glamping’ resort Caravan Outpost.
Caravan Outpost is a beautiful oasis walkable to downtown Ojai and each of the ‘guest-rooms’ are actually a luxury Airstream trailer! As we pulled into Caravan Outpost we saw ten gorgeous Airstream trailers each surrounded by large palm trees and stylish, outdoor furniture. It was so refreshingly different to anywhere we have stayed before. After the easy check-in process by a friendly staff member we were introduced to LALA our Airstream trailer for the weekend, and she was GORGEOUS!
Lala is the new Airstream Pottery Barn Special Edition Trailer with all the comforts of home. She was filled with quirky amenities like a turntable with vinyls, paperback books and our bed was more comfortable than most hotels we’ve staying in. It felt lush and and our trailer felt private and secluded. The perfect place to unwind for our ‘Emptynestcation’. Bikes are also available for guests, to ride around town to local restaurants and wineries, which is a nice extra touch.
The Caravan Outpost common area is charming and thoughtfully furnished with a fire-pit, long dining tables, and outdoor games. It’s perfect to enjoy a late night glass of wine while meeting your neighbors. We spent both evenings after dinner chatting with other guests curled up on the comfy furniture under the stars. Caravan Outpost is not your typical hotel experience, it’s more like an oasis in the middle of town. The resort is beautiful with easy access to downtown Ojai, and it’s the perfect place to explore everything this cozy town has to offer.
Ojai is a fairly small wine region with about 6 wineries and Casa Barranca Organic Wines & Tasting Room is the first organic winery on the Central Coast. The tasteful Craftsman decor that greets you when you enter their quiet tasting room provides a relaxing and intimate ambience. Casa Barranca is located in the middle of town on Ojai Ave, and open from 12:00 PM – 6:00 PM most days.
Casa Barranca’s organic wines have no added chemicals or sulfides, and ferments from the natural sugars. There’s an extensive tasting menu of whites and reds, and our favorite by far was their creamy Sauvignon Blanc and the smoky Pinot Noir.
We borrowed the bikes from Caravan Outpost (free to registered guests) and rode the 9.3 Ojai Valley Trail that’s located directly behind the property. It’s scenic, not too tough, and I’d suggest you pick up a sandwich from town to eat at the halfway point to soak in the peaceful and tranquil views.
Surrounding Caravan Outpost there are endless options for hiking for all levels. We enjoy trails that are a great workout AND incredibly scenic, and we settled on the 3.5 mile Pratt Trail. I consider this a moderately difficult trail, since the first two miles are all up a steep hill.
Once we arrived at the top, the views of the Ojai Valley were impressive, however the 96 degree weather made the hike extra challenging and forced us to move more slowly.
Ojai has a variety of restaurants from fine dining to delicious family run sandwich shops. We LOVED Ojai Beverage Company. The restaurant is actually located at the back of quite frankly the most impressive liquor store we’ve ever encountered. This isn’t a place you come to for stylish decor and fine dining (although Nate was an incredible server), instead you come here for the extensive selection of beer, cocktails and tasty burgers. They carry almost 1,000 different beers from around the world in cooler cases along the walls of the store and have 50 beers on tap in the bar. The selection of wines from Ventura and Santa Barbara counties is also impressive. The store is filled with liquor from all over the world at all different price points and it was fun to wander the isles checking out the unique bottles.
If you’re looking for something a little different and unique I’d HIGHLY recommend Ojai for your ’emptynestcation’ escape from Los Angeles. 48 hours in this charming town didn’t feel long enough to explore and enjoy all Ojai has to offer, and we left feeling as though we wanted more.
*** This article is sponsored but all opinions are my own***
I’m a travel and health writer, digital and brand consultant, breast cancer survivor, and supermom to two active boys! I keep it real and share stories of raising teenage boys, family life after a cancer diagnosis, and family travels around the world! Each story is shared with my dry, and sometimes naughty sense of humor.