The World’s Safest Beach
The Convergence of Mountains and Sea
La Carpinteria or “The Carpenter Shop” was first used by soldiers of the Gaspar de Portola Exhibition in 1769. During their exploration of the California Coastline, the soldier’s observed the Chumash Indians building wooden plant canoes in the area.
Carpinteria is a local’s beach town located just 10 miles south of sunny Santa Barbara. For the discerning guest, this town offers a relaxed but elegant lifestyle similar to Santa Barbara but with fewer crowds. The main street offers delicious eats and brewpubs (social distancing and masks required). The bluffs offer scenic views, a seal and sea lion rookery and, tide pools erupting with sea anemones, hermit crabs, and our starfish friends.
Let’s Talk About Dining
Zookers – Californian fare that is constantly changing their menu but they always have something interesting. A fun option for lunch or dinner.
Gianfranco’s Trattoria – An excellent little family-owned and run Italian restaurant. Authentic Italian homestyle Italian food with a warm and comfortable ambiance. Not as upscale as some other Italian spots in Santa Barbara, but I would argue the food is better than many of those. Kid-friendly and a very welcoming atmosphere.
Corktree Cellars – Casual spot for an afternoon glass of wine (or three?) and some lunch or a cheese & charcuterie board. They offer a well-rounded wine selection and a great location on Linden Avenue, so it makes for a good break from shopping or walking around.
Nutbelly – Casual (very casual) pizzeria but it is a good spot for kids and excellent if you get a pie to-go and eat it at the beach. Our suggestion is grabbing a bottle of wine from the grocery store, grabbing a pizza from Nutbelly, and enjoy dinner on the lifeguard tower at Linden Beach watching the sunset or take it to Island Brewing.
Little Dom’s Seafood – Brand new concept restaurant for Restaurateur Warner Ebbink and Executive Chef Brandon Boudet. Featuring local seafood, pizza hot out of the wood-burning oven, and Little Dom’s Italian classics.
Lucky Llama – Coffee shop that also offers açai bowls and pastries. Great stop in the morning and is right next to Heritage Goods and Supply (see shopping).
Reynaldo’s Bakery – This is probably one of the better Mexican spots in town. Not a full menu and it is better to take things to-go, but wow, this place will not disappoint. Their tamales are to die for.
The Spot – Very, very (did I say very) casual burger shack near the beach. Best if you have kids and they want to take food to the beach.
Rincon Brewing – Local’s favorite place in town. Great food and locals brews. A kid-friendly brewery that also serves food.
Island Brewing – Best brewery in town. It is located next to the train tracks so you can see the Amtrak go by which is kind of fun. They offer incredible local beers. Please know that they do not serve food but do allow outside food (read Nutbelly).
Brew Lab – A variety of inventive local brews showcased in a lively wood-accented room with music.
Apiary – This place is famous for its great service and friendly staff, that is always ready to help you. This spot offers you a great choice of dishes for democratic prices. Enjoy their hard kombucha, local brews, and mead (a delicious alcoholic drink made out of fermented honey and water).
Robitaille’s Fine Candies – Official candies of the 50th Presidential Inauguration. Local and family-owned candy shop will have your mouth watering before you even enter through their doors.
Chocolats Du Calibrenssan – Excellent French-inspired truffles and bonbons. They have another storefront in SB, but their factory and smaller storefront are in Carp.
Things to Do
Rincon Point – Locally known as the Queen of the Coast, this is one of the most popular surf spots south of Point Conception. Great spot for a walk to the point at low tide (bring shoes it’s rocky), or just to watch the surfers.
Carpinteria Nature Preserve – This makes for a great little walk. It starts at the Carpinteria Bluffs and if you follow the trail it will take you to an overlook to a seal rookery/breading area.
Beaches – Linden Avenue (from here there is a 1.5-2 mile stretch of beach and lots of parking in the area) or Santa Claus Lane. Linden is great as it is centrally located to the downtown area, Santa Claus is nice as it is close to A-Frame Surf Shop which offers rentals and lessons.
Various boutique shopping along Linden Avenue. Mostly casual but fairly chic stores. There is (obviously) a heavy beach influence but there are some cute spots for both gals and guys.
Rincon Designs – A Carpinteria staple for a long time. Matt is a local Carp surfboard shaper who has been in business for a long time. Great spot for some beach-inspired ware or just board shorts/bikinis.
Island View Nursery – A fun spot to walk around and even better if you find a beautiful plant to take home with you.
Heritage Goods & Supply – This is kind of a niche store, but it has taken off since it opened. It is owned and operated by three ladies; Lauren Moore (Matt Moore’s wife, see Rincon Designs above, they also own Llama Dog in SB), Lauren Malloy (married to professional surfer Keith Malloy) and Ashley Moore (Matt’s sister). They feature a variety of local products with a focus on homesteading, herbalism, health and wellness, and a bunch of other stuff. Some pretty badass ladies doing some pretty cool stuff and I have a strong feeling you would like them.
Seaside Makers Collective – Gifts for bath, body, and home can be found in this collective artisan space.
Seastrand – Locally owned company focusing on local clothing for ladies of all ages. Great for gifts and beachwear.