Twelve miles south of Santa Barbara, Carpinteria camping offers a mile of beach for swimming, surf fishing, tidepool exploring and camping. Although dogs are not allowed on beach, we have a great picnic area where they are allowed to enjoy the outdoors as well. Lifeguards patrol the beach year round and lifeguard towers are staffed roughly from Memorial Day weekend through Labor Day weekend. 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" here. This was because of naturally-occurring surface tar, which was used to waterproof the canoes.
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.
Pretty muddy, but great location. We got the shared spot, and we had tons of room. It was just a little muddy. Walking distance to all the great breweries, and restaurants.
Nice campground on a beautiful beach. Very crowded and expensive $60/$70 a night and right on a railroad track. Not bad for a beach campground but a bit too crowded and loud for my taste.
I have a wife and 4 kids and we spent 3 nights in a tent. We had a blast and I would recommend it. The beach is only a short walk away and you can enjoy all the normal activities that a beach brings. The bathrooms and showers are cleaned daily which is a plus. The fire pits were well made. A good place to ride bicycles with a paved loop through the park. Wind was an issue for us on one day. It was so strong that we couldn't stay on the beach and we had to point our tenet in a different direction. I didn't give it a five star review because I thought the dumpsters were out in the open to much and I couldn't get the hot water to work when I tried to shower.
This campground is very touristy and not very private. There is no shade, it's mostly for RV sites, you can put a tent up, but like everywhere else beach camping I would advise a trailer or something. It gets very windy and sand gets everywhere! It is also very near a train track! It is an absolutely gorgeous beach, I can see why it gets popular. Its also quite expensive. There are well maintained bathrooms, with coin operated showers. The stars are amazing at this beach.
Bring your bathing suits. Watch the tar.
Carpinteria State Beach Campground is a one of our frequently visited “staycation” spots. We live in nearby Santa Barbara, but will use Carp State Beach as a midway meeting point when friends from Southern California and Central California meet up.
The campground is pretty large, and caters mostly to RVs and trailers. There are loops within the campground that are essentially just asphalt lots with small dirt spaces for fire pits and picnic benches - these are intended for RV campers, but we have tent camped there in a pinch. Since we are tent campers we do prefer to camp in the grassy tent sites, but they are limited in number and tend fill up quickly. Because of the moderate year-round weather, Carpinteria State Beach Campground stays pretty full all year long!
The campground has full hook ups, clean plumed bathrooms, and coin-operated showers. There are grocery stores and conscience stores within short walking distance for anything you might need. Train tracks run directly behind the campground, so there is some noise pollution from the passing trains.
The campground is at the very end of downtown Carpinteria, right next to the ocean. There are no “ocean front” sites, but the beach is a quick 1-minute walk from essentially anywhere in the campground. Some small sandy dunes separate the campground from the beach, and there is an accessible paved boardwalk running along the length of the dunes. There are beautiful tide pools just south of Carpinteria State Beach Campground that are a must see. Check the tide charts on the internet to visit the tide pools at low to mid tide.
While we really enjoy camp cooking, we tend to opt to walk into town to eat when camping in Carpinteria. Linden Avenue is right next to the campground, and is the main street in downtown Carpinteria. There is a wide variety of restaurants, breweries and coffee shops downtown. Island Brewery CO is a local favorite just on the edge of the campground - while I don’t think they have food available (yet), their beer is GREAT! Their avocado beer is a must try - I know it sounds weird, but it’s delicious (and doesn’t taste like avocados)! Rincon Brewery is a few blocks up from the campground, and also has great beer, and TASTY FOOD!
Fees: $45/night (normal campsite)
Plumbed Toilets: Yes
Drinking Water: Yes
Showers: Yes (coin-operated)
Picnic Table: Yes
Cooking Grate: Yes
Cell Service: Yes
Animal Bins/Food lockers: No
Carpinteria state beach has the best beach row sites with full hookups. The town is awesome and a short bike ride away featuring everything from 5 star restaurants to antique stores and more. L
I’ve grown up camping at Carpinteria as a SoCal native and it is definitely worth the visit. With sites that have close access to the beach and a super cute town within walking distance, this is a great place for couples, groups, and families. The only downside of Carpinteria is a train that runs through near the grounds, but if you’re looking for quintessential CA beach camping, this is pretty ideal. Hit up ‘The Spot,’ a tiny shack on the beach that serves up some delicious burgers and visit during the Avocado Festival during October 5-7. It’s one of the best times to camp there. https://www.avofest.com/
I stayed at Carpinteria State Beach this past weekend and had a great time. The staff were super friendly at the entry and the camp host was as well. We had a spot on the far side of the camp from the beach but were still only a couple minutes walk away. The facilities were nice with individual shower rooms and restrooms. Only reason I’d remove a star is due to the train tracks right next to the camp. However thats out If their control and I didn’t notice a train horn between the hours of 2200-0530.
I love camping at Carpinteria State Beach when I can get a weekend spot! This place is located right on the beach in the small, fun town of Carpinteria, CA. They have nice, clean bathrooms with coin operated showers to clean up when you want. Very closely located to Grocery Stores, Banks, Food, and Pharmacy for all your needs. They even have a walk/Bike path that circles the grounds if you want to walk or bike. Overall Great place to stay, but you must book several months ahead of time to get a weekend trip. The week days are easier to book.