A Travel Guide to Carpinteria: What to Do

A Travel Guide to Carpinteria: What to Do

Guidebooks won’t tell you this, but many Carpinteria beaches are considered by locals to be even nicer than their more famous Santa Barbara counterparts. The sand is usually wider, the crowd more relaxed and the surf... well the surf is legendary, especially at Rincon beach. Other beaches include Carpinteria State Beach, Carpinteria City Beach and Padaro Beach. Carpinteria State Beach offers a great campsite and picnic area. Padaro Beach is favored by natives and conveniently bordered by local businesses, including Padaro Beach Grill and A-Frame Surf Shop.

Things for Kids To Do in the Santa Barbara Area

Things for Kids To Do in the Santa Barbara Area

Whether you refer to your little humans as kiddos, kidlets, chillins, little monsters or angels, these suggestions are sure to help you and your munchkins enjoy Santa Barbara.  These are kid-friendly and budget-conscious suggestions for your family! 

Sometimes Ya Gotta Get Outta Dodge

Carpinteria Street

*Note: I’m a former English teacher and yet I prefer “ya gotta get outta” over “you have got to get out of”. The informal way implies, in this case, a more “chill” version while at the same time intensifying the meaning. In case you’re wondering, the Etymology (back story) of this phrase comes from a reference to Dodge City, Kansas, a busy cattle town in the late 19th century. Possibly inspired by the radio and television series Gunsmoke (1952-1975). I was raised on a cattle ranch in Colorado and so I love the saying and where it comes from (my dad loved Gunsmoke); I encourage others to adopt this verbiage in their everyday language.

Back to my point – Sometimes ya gotta get outta dodge, even when my “dodge” is one of the most beautiful places in the world (in the opinion of many, not just myself) – Santa Barbara. What a lovely place. Most people dream of vacationing in Santa Barbara; I am lucky enough to call it home (it’s taken a lot of work and sacrifice to make that happen, but that’s another story). Santa Barbara is filled with the most amazing restaurants, beaches, hiking trails, wineries, quaint and charming … well, everything is quaint and charming in SB, even the studios listed on Craigslist (although “charming and quaint” in SB CL world = a refrigerator in the closet).

So why would I want to leave on the weekends? Well, many times I don’t for all of the reasons I just mentioned. Sometimes I like to just chill in my charming little studio and ride my beach cruiser to the Santa Barbara Mission and lay a blanket out amongst the rose garden and get some vitamin D and aromatherapy.

There are other weekends that I gotta get outta dodge either because there are too many tourists or because I love mini road trips, but also because I happen to know the delightful beach towns that surround Santa Barbara. Carpinteria is one of my favorite little such beach towns. I hesitate writing about it – will people then flock there in hoards to experience what I do?

I recently took the 20-minute drive on the 101 South to Carp (locals call it Carp and so should you). I wanted to spend a day in one of my favorite little California towns. I’ll share my itinerary and you’ll know why I go there.

My first stop is at Jack’s Bistro for a latte to-go – it’s perfect for sipping while I’m taking my morning beach walk. So here’s the thing … the beaches in Carp are better than Santa Barbara (gasp!) … it’s true. They are cleaner and better for surfing (not that I surf). After an hour of walking, sipping and picking up shells, I’m hungry for a hot breakfast. Instead of driving, I just keep the car parked and I take a stroll up Linden Avenue and take note of all of the shops I want to go into after breakfast. Carp is also known for its antique shops too. The bagels are delicious – in fact, during the week when I’m driving through for business on my way to LA, I get the “Santa Barbara” Bagel with gourmet flavored schmear. I find it amusing that my favorite bagel is named where I live, but I eat it in Carp. My palate is notconfused though. I digress. But … it’s not during the week – it’s my weekend, so I opt for a mimosa (it is Saturday after all) and one of my faves – Huevos Rancheros. I’m goin’ all out. I find a relaxing sunny spot outside to people-watch. Ahhh.

Now full, I’m ready to window-shop. I live pretty simply, so I don’t buy a lot (plus all of my money goes to rent – remember I live in Santa Barbara), but I do love to look at pretty, darling little things. I find myself at Angel’s collections on Carpinteria Avenue – the antiques are so eclectic here and I could get lost in the details of the stories of each little thing sitting on the dusty shelves. What really caught my eye were the old and used surf-boards. This is so California. Still, I have no desire or urge to want to learn to surf. I just want to take pictures of them.

Despite Carp being a small town, there are still several spots that I love to visit. One can’t do all of the fun stuff Carp has to offer in just one day. So, of course, I will plan another get outta dodge day because even though I live in Santa Barbara, visiting Carp is worth the drive. Shhh, don’t tell anyone.

Silver's Winery and Jack's Bistro & Catering Wine Pairing and Appetizers Event

Silver's Winery and Jack's Bistro & Catering Wine Pairing and Appetizers Event October 21,2014 for the winner of one of the BCRC Silent Auction Items held at the Nesbitt Estate, Carpinteria California, October 21, 2013.

  1. Smoked Salmon Cambridge Smoked Salmon with Chive Cream Cheese and

capers on a pumpernickel bagel slicepaired with a Silver 2010 Viognier.

  1. Goat Cheese Stuffed Date Dates Stuffed with Cream Cheese & Wrapped

with Bacon Paired with a Silver 2009 Chardonnay Sierra Madre Vineyard

  1. Beef and Chicken Skewers with a light Glaze Paired with a Silver

2008 Pinot Noir Coteau Palmer

  1. Ahi Tartar on Endive with Wasabi Croquette paired with a Silver

2008 Saviezza (Santa Barbara super Tuscan red wine blend.)

  1. Chocolate Mousse cuppaired with Silver Fifty Cask 10 year aged

tawny styled dessert wine.

Santa Barbara Restaurant New Menu Items

Bistro & Fampus Bagels has developed some new menu items for its customers to enjoy. Not available daily -Please check at the Bistro 805-566-1558#1

                * Vegetarian Lentil Soup

                *Beef Barley & Musshroom Soup

                 *Salmon Corn Choweder

                *Brioche Hamburger Sliders with Carmelized Onions,

                 Cheddar Cheese, Arrugala, & Chipolte Mayo

Santa Barbara Restaurant New Menu Items

 Jack's Bistro

Jacks Bistro & Fampus Bagels has developed some new menu items for its customers to enjoy. Not available daily -Please check at the Bistro 805-566-1558#1

  • Vegetarian Lentil Soup
  • Beef Barley & Musshroom Soup
  • Salmon Corn Choweder
  • Brioche Hamburger Sliders with Carmelized Onions,
  • Cheddar Cheese, Arrugala, & Chipolte Mayo