Cities Journal

Top 21 Small Cities In California

2. Ojai
Photo credit: Ken Lund / Flickr

14. Ojai

Ojai is often called a “Mecca” for artists and thinkers, reminding everyoneu that Ojai can pass as utopia itself. The movie Lost Horizon was set in Ojai; its scenic hills, groves, and ranches stood in for the iconic Tibetan utopia of Shangri-La.

According to USA Today, ABC even rented out Ojai’s Casa Barranca vineyard, the first certified organic winery in Santa Barbara, to film episodes of both The Bachelor and Brothers and Sisters.

The town is very committed to organic and locally sourced ingredients, which isn’t difficult because of its abundance of high-quality agriculture. Oranges are almost as plentiful as grapes, so if you move to Ojai, you can start every morning with fresh fruit, fresh air, and delicious wine all year long.

Hollywood tends to stick to Los Angeles when it comes to film shoots and glamorizing the California landscape, so it’s no accident that entertainment insiders have been picking this fast-growing, beautiful town; an abundance of natural resources sets it apart from more urban, industrialized cities in the neighboring counties.

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