Carpinteria State Beach

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PARK: Carpinteria State Beach
LOCATION: The park is off U.S. 101, 12 miles south of Santa Barbara.  Exit at Casitas Pass Road from either North or South Hwy 101, go down Casitas Pass Road to Carpinteria Avenue and make a right at the signal and a left on Palm, the first left. Go to the end of Palm Ave. at the beach.
SIZE: One mile of beach.
NATURAL SETTING: Almost precisely halfway between Santa Barbara and Ventura on California's southern coast, this quiet town boasts a protected beach renowned for being "the world's safest."
AMENITIES: Anything and everything you and the family need to make it a great fun outing. As one of the most busy State Beaches they even rent beach toys galore. If there is something you forgot or want to grab a bite at a restaurant instead of the campfire, you head three blocks up Linden and will have all the luxuries of town.
WHAT TO EXPECT:  Carpinteria State Beach offers a mile of beach for swimming, surf fishing, tidepool exploring and camping. In addition to the obvious and extraordinary beach, this park is blessed with fabulous views of the mountains.  Within walking distance you will find Tar Pits Park, which has fabulous history, and the Estuary, home to many rare and beautiful birds. At low tide the tidal pools are filled with sea life.  Part of the beach is closed during seal birthing time because there's a nearby rookery, but most of the year there's clear and open access.
WHAT MAKES IT GREAT: One mile? That’s it? Yes but it’s one mile of a beautiful place in an amazing location. What it lacks in size it makes up for in convenience and amenities. It truly is a great park to take the family to where everyone is going to have a great time.

This small list of California State Parks is only to provide you with the inspiration to think differently about what it means to go on a surf adventure. Planning a trip across the world takes so much in the way of costs, planning, and hassle when surf and outdoor magnificence is only a short drive away. This list shows that there is a park that will suit all the different needs and desires for almost any surfers.
From the wilderness hiking of the Lost Coast to the rollerblade rentals (I didn’t know people still did that) at Carpenteria, the California State Park system is a diamond in the rough for the surfing world. Protecting the high quality experience and ecological importance of all State Parks and beaches should be a central part of every Californian surfer’s heart.
Note: SurfShot would like to remind our readers to always do your homework. Conduct detailed research on the parks and surf pots you are going to visit. Many of the northern California areas have powerful swells and dangerous currents. In addition, please respect the locals when traveling to surf spots in State Parks. Give respect in order to get respect.
You could call Carpinteria State Beach and the surrounding town California’s version of Pleasantville and that ain’t a bad thing. Twelve miles south of Santa Barbara, this coastal camp site is a stone’s throw from the beach and a short walk from local pubs and restaurants.  On nearby Linden Avenue, The Palms restaurant has been there since 1905 and after surfing, you can cook up your own rib eye steak on the grill if you so desire, or take in their frequent live music. Or go hang outside at The Spot, a classic burger joint grilling since 1914 and watch the girls (or guys) cruise by. Matt Moore’s home-grown Rincon Designs surf shop is on the same street as well if you’re looking for some local equipment and color. Carpinteria is a classic, small beach town that has retained much of its laid-back charm and the beach park fits in well to the overall environment and vibe.
The grassy campground is so convenient to other activities it’s like being in the center of a happy little universe. That’s the one thing in common with everything mentioned, the local flavor looks and feels good. I’m sure most campers would love to stay longer than allowed if they had the choice. If you’re a surfer with time on your hands, it’s a nice, cheap place for some temporary living (albeit in a tent) with easy surfing accessibility. I know guys who set up camp there and would stay indefinitely if not for length of stay limitations.
Tar Pits is the close-by, a reef/beach break surf spot, named for the naturally occurring surface tar that ancient Chumash Indians used to seal their canoes and is popular with the local groms. However, if the “World’s Safest Beach” moniker that Carpinteria boasts is just too tame for you, Rincon, the Queen of the Coast, and one of the finest point breaks in the world, is a quick, five minute drive to the south.  Yeah, that’s rough.
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