California Cities


Carpinteria Beautiful City With Beach Camping

Carpinteria is a picture perfect, small Central Coast town with a gleaming 4.5 miles of oceanfront. Situated along Highway 101, the preferred coastal route for scenic drives between northern and southern California's beaches, Carpinteria has a few hotels, beautiful beaches, a charming downtown that is only a few blocks long, a wetlands marsh, and of course, the main draw--beach camping!

Carpinteria State Beach accommodates both tent camping and RV camping right at the beach, allowing vacationers to camp out and enjoy "on the cheap". Many of the campsites are on the beach where the sounds of surf and shore birds are a delight. Winter-time sunsets are spectacular. The State Beach features all the amenities of a wilderness campground, but the convenience of location next the shops and dining along Linden Avenue (there's even a movie theater and library downtown!)

Carpinteria "beautiful" is a California beach city that feels more like a town with its small shopping district, nurseries (including orchids) and high tech community. Beach access in Carpinteria is excellent. Lots of parking, much of it free, can be found in the fall, winter or spring. You can also access the coast from the 53 acre Bluffs Nature Preserve at Bailard Avenue. It's a longer walk to the sand, but one of incredible beauty.

Located 12 miles south of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria State Beach offers a mile of beach for swimming, surf fishing, tidepool exploring and camping. The Spanish named the area Carpinteria because the Chumash tribe, which lived in the area, had a large seagoing canoe-building enterprise, or "carpentry shop" there, because of naturally-occurring surface tar which was used to seal the boats. Seals and sea lions can be seen in the area December through May, as well as an occasional gray whale. Tidepools contain starfish, sea anemones, crabs, snails, octopi and sea urchins. Location - Directions The park is off U.S. 101, twelve miles south of Santa Barbara.

Getting there: Exit 101 at Casitas Pass Road, travel West on Casitas Pass Road to Carpinteria Avenue, make a right at the signal; then turn left on Palm. The beach is at the end of Palm Avenue.

Carpinteria Valley Museum of History

The Salt Marsh Nature Park - one of the most important wetlands in Southern California and a must-see for birders.

Sandyland - a neighborhood with panache and one of the best views anywhere.

Santa Claus Lane - an eclectic mixture of styles, shops and tastes - not to mention an enormous Santa

Surf Dog - rain or shine, Carpinteria's own hot dog vendor with a twist.

Ongoing Events

Certified Farmers Market and Creative Arts Market, Thursday's, Linden Avenue , 3-6 pm
(805) 962-5354 (Farmers Market) or (805) 684-2770 (Creative Arts)

Museum Marketplace Carpinteria Valley Museum of History
, 956 Maple Avenue, last Saturday of the month, except December. 8 am - 3 pm (805) 684-3112

Getting to Carpinteria

Carpinteria Amtrak StationThe Amtrak Pacific Surfliner makes 10 stops daily (five from each direction) at the Carpinteria platform located at Linden Avenue and Fifth Street. The Pacific Surfliner travels between San Diego and San Luis Obispo, with stops along the way. Tickets including MetroLink are sold at ticket vending machine at the Carpinteria platform. Amtrak tickets are available on-board, online, or by phone. Connections to other Amtrak trains may be made in Santa Barbara or Los Angeles. Call (800) 872-7245.

Nature Watching

From coastal bluffs to tidepools, an off shore reef, and a lagoon, Carpinteria provides a habitat for marine creatures that the public can watch. The tide pools in the Carpinteria State Beach are home to crabs, sea stars and anemones. In addition, Santa Barbara Channel Islands National Marine Sanctuary provides the amazing backdrop to watch shorebirds, migratory birds, riparian birds, and upland birds.

Carpinteria Salt Marsh docent led tours Saturdays 10 am Sandyland/Ash Avenues. (805) 684-8077

Carpinteria Seal Rookery

The Harbor seal preserve and rookery along Carpinteria's bluffs will yield lots of action and things to watch during pupping season between December 1 through May 31 (approx.) annually. Take the Bailard exit and drive towards the beach to locate the parking area and path to the preserve. Do not bring pets to the viewing area and don't get close to the molting seals. They can be dangerous, and they run fast. Call (805) 684-2247.

The Tar Pits - rich in history, nature and beauty, this park offers a look into the history of Carpinteria.

The Bluffs - one of the true natural treasures of this community, the Bluffs offer a glimpse into what the first settlers experienced when they came to Carpinteria.

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