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New York, NY
USA

We are parents, too. We think traveling well and traveling with children shouldn’t be mutually exclusive. We have limited vacation time, and we’re not spending our few days of freedom in lousy hotels eating bad food. We know the world is full of wonderful resorts, cool urban escapes and far-flung lodges that can make our time with our kids count. We want it all, and we don’t think it should be so hard to find. So we’re going to share it with you.

 

From LA to Ojai with Nicki Sebastian

Travel Journal

Travel Journal

Dispatches from around the world

From LA to Ojai with Nicki Sebastian

Henley Vazquez

Brooklyn-based photographer, Nicki Sebastian (@nickisebastian) always steals our heart with pics of her sweet daughter, Cami, and the stream of beautiful NYC families she captures and shares on the 'gram. Following a recent trip to Cali, we tapped her for her favorite spots from Los Angeles and Ojai. 

 

1st stop: El Matador State Beach

"Malibu is a stunning destination with gorgeous rock formations and little coves perfect for shady breaks between sand castle building. Maneuvering the narrow staircase down a 150-foot bluff isn't for the faint of heart, but it's so worth it once you're there!"

2nd stop: Malibu Farm

"On the Malibu Pier, Malibu Farm is the perfect place to dine with little ones after a day in the sun. The locally sourced food and drinks are fresher than fresh, and the kale smoothie is in a category of its own! For kids, order the sweet corn pancakes — every pint-sized guest (including our own) was happily eating them."

3rd stop:  Abbot Kinney

"Venice's hippest street with endless great spots for shopping, eating, and exploring. Don't miss the Piece Collective for stylish wares, Urbanic for the cutest/cheekiest selection of paper goods, Toms Flagship store for an awesome outdoor work/play space, and Lemonade for (upscale) cafeteria-style family dining."  

4th stop:  Baby Burro

"On Abbot Kinney, Baby Burro is a must-shop for kids of all ages. The vibrant store features a unique selection of boutique toys, books, and clothing that make it easy for parents to browse, while children happily product-test."

5th stop: Griffith Park Pony Rides

"The east side of LA also has plenty of kid-friendly attractions. The Griffith Park Pony Rides are the perfect afternoon activity, and with three pony sizes and speeds, kids of any age can ride. Three dollars gets you two laps around a sizable track, and our daughter loved the fact that she could ride all on her own (at age 2.5)!"

6th stop: Jeni's ice cream

"Ice cream is always a staple in our vacation diet, and Jeni's ice cream in Los Feliz was one of our favorites. Cami ordered the wildberry lavender with sprinkles every time — adults love it for its artisanal ingredients and delightful purple hue, and kids love it because it tastes just like Froot Loops."

7th stop: LACMA

"LACMA reigns supreme as one of the west coast's best kid-friendly art museums — it's a true visual playground for children and the young-at-heart! Cami especially loved running through Jesús Rafael Soto's sensory playground of yellow tubes, watching Chris Burden's huge kinetic sculpture in action, and staring in awe at Michael Heizer's Levitated Mass (pictured here)."

8th stop: MOB Shop

"There's been so much buzz about Ojai right now, and understandably so. Just 90 minutes from LA, it's the perfect place to escape the urban sprawl, and I highly recommend exploring by bike. Rent a cruiser or two (with a kiddie seat) and helmets from the MOB Shop, and hop on the bike trails to see — and smell! — the fragrant orange groves that populate the town." 

9th stop: Bart's Books

"Bart's Books in Ojai is a sprawling outdoor used bookstore featuring a labyrinth of titles — and a terrific children's section that took us back in time. The store's resident cat Pygmy greeted us upon arrival, and we spent the morning reading children's classics in miniature vintage chairs. This place is truly quintessential Ojai." 

10th stop: In the Field

"You simply can't leave Ojai without stopping at In the Field. It's really so much more than a lifestyle boutique — it's a destination created by an amazing family of three who stock only their very favorite items, sourced from their artisan friends and from their travels around the world. We bought Cami a handcrafted Holtztiger wooden horse, and Bianca — one of the shop's incredible owners — noted that they carry these because they're her son's favorite toys as well."

11th stop: Ojai Valley Inn

"The Ojai Rancho Inn and the Ojai Valley Inn and Spa are both terrific accommodations for those with children in tow. Cami in particular loved the kid-friendly Pixie Pool at the Ojai Valley Inn as well as the resident cockatoo, Casper, who can sing, laugh, and blow kisses! (Also while you're there, make sure to reserve a patio table at the Oak Grill for dinner so you can catch one of the area's signature pink sunsets!)"